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NRC requiring modifications to every U.S. nuclear power plant



san onofre nuclear power plant atomic
san onofre nuclear power plant atomic
Jason Hickey/Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. nuclear power plants have until the end of 2016 to comply with new safety recommendations released Friday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Plants were ordered to begin immediately implementing the upgrades in an effort to prevent a large-scale radioactive crisis like what occurred last year at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami.

Recommendations were laid out in a three-part plan. Two points apply to every U.S. commercial nuclear power plant, including those under construction and recently licensed new Vogtle reactors. One point only concerns a specific type of containment structure, said the NRC in a press release.

In Japan, the plant explosion occurred when reactors and spent fuel pools overheated after cooling systems were knocked offline. During the emergency, an estimated 100,000 tons of highly contaminated water was reportedly used to cool the reactors, notes CNN.

The NRC is also requiring detailed information from every operating U.S. nuclear power plant regarding the location's emergency procedures in the event of earthquakes, flooding and extended power loss. 

All modifications and requirements must be completed by Dec. 31, 2016. San Onofre, looking in your direction.