Watchdogs say the Nuclear Regulatory Commission compromised public safety with its decision late last month to grant long-term renewal of the operating licenses for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in southern Maryland. Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. Photo: Dan Hamilton. With the decision, the plant, tucked on a rural peninsula along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, became the first of the nation's 103 commercial nuclear reactors to win a 20-year extension of its operating licenses. Environmentalists fear the NRC's move could portend a new wave of nuclear plant license extensions around the country, giving the nuclear industry a …
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Bruce Hamilton is a freelance reporter who writes on natural resource and environmental issues. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.