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The 10-mile evacuation zone around nuclear plants is a “planning standard” that could change during an accident, said the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Asked Tuesday why the NRC urged Americans to move 50 miles away from failing plants in Japan if it has a 10-mile standard in the U.S., NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said the situation in Japan was specific to what happened there.

If there was an incident of any kind in the U.S., the NRC would recommend an evacuation beyond 10 miles if the situation called for it, he said.

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