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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the criteria that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) uses to allow nuclear powerplants to restart operations after a shutdown to correct safety or management problems, focusing on: (1) the Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, plant's operating history; (2) NRC rationale for allowing the plant to continue operations despite its history of problems; (3) the extent to which NRC would consider outstanding maintenance items before allowing the plant to restart; and (4) the manner in which NRC addressed public comments.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1. To ensure that each plant's readiness to restart is assessed, the Chairman, NRC, should develop criteria that include, at a minimum a review and approval of the utility's corrective action plan, inspections to ensure the actions are taken, independent review of NRC actions, and public participation.
Closed - Implemented
On March 23, 1990, NRC established restart guidelines that include all of GAO recommended criteria.

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