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NRC fines GE-Hitatchi $45K over NC nuke test site

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has fined a General Electric nuclear facility in North Carolina $45,000 for what the agency said were multiple violations including management shortcomings.

A spokesman for Wilmington-based GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy said Thursday the violations involved a contractor's employee working at the company's Global Nuclear Fuels facility. Spokesman Christopher White said the fines were paid earlier this month.

The NRC provided The Associated Press with a redacted copy of its violation letter to GE-Hitachi following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists says the NRC very rarely imposes fines, so the issue was probably serious.

The GE-Hitachi fuels facility is an experiment to find out whether it is feasible to enrich uranium with lasers instead of costlier centrifuges.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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