Dangers at Aging U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
Friday, 8 July 2011, 1:33 pm
Investigation Reveals Dangers at Aging U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
Interview with Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, conducted by Scott Harris
"...The other thing is -- and this is something that those of us who work closely on this business are also pretty aware of -- is that as the U.S. reactor fleet ages, the average reactor in the U.S. is more than 20 years old. A lot of them are more than 30 years old, a few are right around 40 years old, and as they get older, just like any other piece of machinery -- any other large complicated mechanical thing you can think of -- as they age, they experience more problems.
And this is particularly true in a reactor, where you not only have a sort of a normal kind of aging that you might find in a car or a factory or anything else -- these are operating in environments of extremely high heat and extremely high radiation, and that causes different effects on materials than would be the case under a non-nuclear environment...."