WASHINGTON -- A new report says companies that operate U.S. nuclear power plants are not reporting some equipment defects that could create safety risks.
The report by the inspector general at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also raises questions about the agency's oversight, saying reporting guidelines for the nuclear industry are "contradictory and unclear."
The report, released Thursday, says that unless the NRC takes steps to improve its reporting guidelines, "the margin of safety for operating reactors could be reduced."
The report says NRC inspectors found at least 24 instances where possible equipment defects were identified but not reported to the agency from December 2009 through September 2010.
NRC staff reviewed a draft of the report but opted not to provide formal comments. An NRC spokesman declined to comment.