BRAIDWOOD, Ill. (WBBM) — Federal nuclear safety regulators said Thursday they will be conducting special inspections at two nuclear plants in Illinois.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, in February, routine inspections at the Braidwood generating station in Will County, and the Byron generating station in Ogle County west of the Chicago area, found a problem with backup pumps that would be used to remove heat from the reactors in case of an accident.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports

Initially, Exelon Corp., which operates both plants, said the pumps would work if needed. But the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the pumps would not be operable.

The inspections will be carried out in the next 45 days, and will review the issues in the system and the actions by Exelon, Reuters reported.

The agency will also review the loss of alarms on control room equipment at the Braidwood plant during maintenance.

Backup systems at nuclear plants have come under closer public scrutiny after those at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan failed after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami there.

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