A-panel OKs safety rules, skirting a low-risk proviso

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's new policy on reactor safety does not include a recommendation from the NRC's advisory committee that the risk of nuclear power operation be ''as low as reasonably achievable.''

The commission gave formal approval to the long-awaited safety policy by a 4 -to-1 vote. It is intended to limit the chance of a catastrophic reactor core meltdown at the nation's 82 nuclear power plants. In a last-minute effort, the advisory committee criticized the commission decision to eliminate language from its safety goals which would have made them tougher.

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