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      NRC report calls new wave of reactors safer

      ATLANTA (AP) -- A taskforce examining the lessons learned from a nuclear accident in Japan says that a reactor proposed for use in the South would be safer than existing models in some accident scenarios.

      The report Wednesday from a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission task force says that Westinghouse Electric Co.'s AP1000 and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's ESBWR have emergency cooling systems that could run for 72 hours. Those cooling systems are powered by natural forces such as gravity and convection that do not require electrical power.

      Westinghouse has contracts to build its AP1000 reactors in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

      Related Stories... Westinghouse submits latest nuclear reactor plan NRC wants more info on nuclear reactor design Regulators discuss safety at Richland Co. nuclear fuel plant

      The task force was examining a March 11 earthquake off Japan that triggered a tsunami. The wave disabled electricity-driven emergency cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, leading to meltdowns.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)