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NRC Expects Applications To Operate Reactors Beyond 60 Years 135

mdsolar writes with news that the aging reactor fleet in the U.S. will likely see units hitting 80 or more years of use before being decommissioned. From the article: "Officials of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry expect the first application to be filed with the agency in 2018 or 2019 for a license renewal to operate a power reactor or reactors beyond 60 years. At a Nuclear Energy Institute forum in Washington Tuesday, neither NRC nor industry officials named specific plants considered likely to apply, and it was not clear from their remarks if any nuclear operator has yet volunteered to be the first to apply." Also see the staff report on preparing for the first applications. The proposed operating license changes would place no limit on the number of 20 year extensions, so perhaps a few reactors will end up in operation for a full century (if there's anyone left who can remember how to operate them then).
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NRC Expects Applications To Operate Reactors Beyond 60 Years

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  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @03:38PM (#46361169)

    reactors can be refurbished (usually "head" replacement, about $120M ten years ago), steam generators and primary coolant pumps replaced, etc.

    I was scheduler in nuke plant, saw all those things done

  • Re:Idiots in power (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:42PM (#46361811)
    The Chalk River medical isotope issue was different though.

    Everyone agrees that the regulator did its job by shutting down the plant for not meeting the once in a million years safety ratio that is the standard. However the plant was not a power plant, it was a research plant producing medical isotopes. So issue wasn't whether the ractor met the standards, it didn't. The issue was the probability of people getting injured or dying from a plant malfunction was significantly less than the probability of people dying from not getting those medical isotopes.

    When presented with instructions to provide a temporary exception to the rule until other sources of the isotope could be brought online, the regulator said no. So things escalated until someone (parliament) had the authority to over rule the regulator.

    She was fired for not granting the exception, even though she knew what the balance of probabilities were. Basically she was power tripping.
  • Re:Idiots in power (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EvolutionInAction ( 2623513 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:45PM (#46365127)

    But they didn't! The damn plant had another safety shutdown because the reactor vessel was corroded to hell. I happened in 2009 and lasted over a year. Worldwide shortage of medical isotopes because *nobody had prepared for another shutdown.*

    And as a point of interest, according to the safety commissioner, the risk was pegged at 1 in 1000. Which is pretty damn far away from the one in a million standard.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb