Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE : Nuclear Plant Fines Total $18.5 Million

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Commercial nuclear power plants have averaged more than one fine a week and paid $18.5 million since 1987 for safety violations ranging from improper radioactive releases to workers sleeping on the job, according to government documents. While industry and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials say safety at nuclear power plants has improved over the past decade, the number of violations resulting in civil penalties has remained fairly constant from year to year, according to a review of enforcement records by the Associated Press. Fines for a single offense ranged from $2,500 to $1.25 million. None resulted from infractions that posed immediate threats to residents around the plants.

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