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This paper presents an algorithm for the selection of corrective control actions for bus voltage and generator reactive power in a power system. A genetic algorithm (GA) using linear approximation of load flow equations and a heuristic selection of participating controls were combined in a search method for the minimum number of control actions. The method was successfully applied on a 220-bus model for several cases of disturbed load flow, and calculation time was proven to be small enough to allow real-time application of the algorithm. The GA was compared with a integer programming-based solution method and showed a considerably reduced calculation time.