Monday, June 20, 2016

Does Extension of Nuclear Reactor Lifespans Decrease Human Lifespans?

The nuclear industry refuses to die and the military-industrial complexes are there to promote life support, even for aging reactors.

Quiet campaigns are underway in the US and Japan to extend the lifespan of aging nuclear reactors built in the mid-twentieth century:

US Energy Information Administration (2014, December 8). Almost all U.S. nuclear plants require life extension past 60 years to operate beyond 2050,

When nuclear power plants are built, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the authority to issue initial operating licenses for a period of 40 years. Beyond that, the reactors need license renewals, and the NRC has granted 20-year license renewals to 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. These reactors may now operate for a total period of 60 years. They represent a cumulative capacity of a little more than 69,000 megawatts (MW). The NRC is currently reviewing license renewal applications for an additional 17 reactors, and expects to receive seven more applications in the next few years.

This campaign to extend the lifespan of aging reactors is active in Japan, even after enhanced safety requirements seemed to preclude that policy after the Fukushima disaster
Regulator allows extended use of old reactors. NHK 
Japan's nuclear regulator has for the first time given the green light to extending the use of two old nuclear reactors that have been in operation for 40 years.
Regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident do not allow in principle the use of reactors beyond 40 years unless safety measures meet new criteria.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority met on Monday to discuss extending the operation of the Numbers 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan.
Extending aging nuclear reactors is a very bad idea, especially in earthquake prone Japan. Nuclear reactors suffer embrittlement from neutron irradiation:
G.R. Odette and G.E. Lucas. Embrittlement of Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels. JOM,
53 (7) (2001), pp. 18-22. Available,

Neutron irradiation embrittlement could limit the service life of some of the reactor-pressure vessels in existing commercial nuclear-power plants. Improved understanding the of the underlying causes of embrittlement has provided regulators and power-plant operators better estimates of vessel-operating margins. This article presents an overview of embrittlement, emphasizing the status of mechanistic understanding and models, and their role in increasing the reliability of vessel-integrity assessments. Finally, a number of outstanding issues and significant opportunities, including a new fracture-toughness master-curve method, are briefly described.
Neutron embrittlement is unavoidable. Earthquakes are also unavoidable. Given the inevitability of earthquakes and embrittlement, why would Japan or any nation even consider extending the lifespan of aging reactors in geologically active zones?

Location of the Japanese reactors slated for extended "lifespans":

It is indeed ironic that word "lifespan" is used to describe the extension of operations of atomically destabilized reactors.

The  risks from extending reactor lifespans could in fact be calculated in relation to increased mortality and reproductive risks for local human populations as aging reactors spew contaminants (e.g., such as tritium) and pose the potential for catastrophic failures.

Nuclear reactors are like evil gods that have enslaved powerful human populations who willingly make live sacrifices at their alters.



  1. Of all the serious car accidents in America how many could have been prevented if the owner had done repairs that a mechanic told them needed to be done? A Volvo mechanic told me that not infrequently people with fairly new Volvos would fail to replace the tie rods when it became obvious they might give out. The owners were likely men in most cases willing to take a risk. It does seem like the higher in status the more immature the person. These old reactors could harm thousands or millions of persons--but the deciders are going to take that risk. They probably already have their excuses lined up and have little or nothing to fear from the laws. The uninformed public meanwhile is oblivious of the hazards they face.

    1. You are so right about "deferred maintenance." Especially scary when it comes to NPPs.

  2. Murphys law grows exponentially for every 5 year extension addede to a 30 or 40 year old reactor.

  3. They have labs with the worst viruses. The have mountains full of biological and chemical agents. There are nuclear weapons everywhere. They have experimented on us and even injected people
    with plutonium. There are nuclear isotopes everywhere. The refined ones they use to treat radiation induced cancer and nuclear waste.

    They kill, maim, mutate, infect, contaaminate, torture us and our children freely and we allow it. They are the worst of the worst war criminals abroad and at home. Worse than ww2 Germans, Serbs, Turks who killed Armenians, war lords in Africa, The blood lusted generals from indonesia in the 60s 70s 80s, who they supported. The govt of the USA really despises its citizenry and its citizenry is so incredibly brainwashed and stupid it let's its government contaminate its water with radioactivity and poison to the point on instant death and chronic disease for sure.