Industry: Nuke Plants Need Terror Protection

Washington (AP) -- There's a dispute between the federal government and the nuclear power industry over how new plants should be designed.

The nuclear industry says the government should require companies to design new reactors so they can better withstand large fires and explosions, such as those that might be caused by terrorist attacks.

That's at odds with a decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The agency decided more than a month ago to keep the old design rules, but said once new plants are built, they can be modified to meet the tougher standards. It's currently rewriting two different sets of regulations: one for licensing new reactors, the other for plant security procedures.

The industry says the plants should be built stronger from the get-go.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.