The U.S. government has adopted the first set of comprehensive changes in the emergency planning program for communities near nuclear power plants since its creation after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

The changes call for:

— Limited community participation in planning for attacks on nuclear plants.

— Less frequent community exercises in 50-mile emergency zones — every eight years instead of every six.

— Periodic community exercises with scenarios assuming little or no release of radiation.

— Delayed evacuations for more people in the immediate vicinity of an accident.