2 years after Japan nuclear crisis, US nuclear plants safer but not perfect, officials say

WASHINGTON - Top U.S. regulators say nuclear power plants in America are safer than ever, but not without problems.

The announcement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission arrived just before the two-year anniversary of Japan’s crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Alison Macfarlane, who chairs the NRC, says performance of U.S. plants is "quite good." Macfarlane says all but five of the nation's 104 reactors were performing at acceptable safety levels at the end of last year.

But a watchdog group calls her assessment overly rosy. The Union of Concerned Scientists says in a report that nearly one in six U.S. reactors had safety breaches last year, due in part to weak oversight.

Federal officials say none of the incidents hurt workers or the public.

Monday marks the two-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

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