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NRC updates rules for emergency evacuations near nuclear power plants
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is ordering nuclear power plants to provide updated estimates of how long it would take to evacuate the plant in an emergency.
Under the new rule, plant operators would have to update their evacuation estimates after every 10-year census, or when changes in population would increase the estimated time by at least 30 minutes.
The requirement is among several changes regulators approved Tuesday regarding emergency preparedness. The changes come as the commission considers sweeping safety changes for the U.S. nuclear industry in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko says the commission did not need to wait for the post-Japan reforms to be approved before changing the rules on emergency preparedness. The agency's emergency rules have not been significantly changed since 1980.