Monday, November 19, 2012

Aging Nuke Plants Add to Europe Economic Woes

The Arizona Republic Nov 19, 2012 p. A10

[Excerpted] the stillness at Ignalina, a Lithuanian nuclear power plant built in the 1980s Soviet era, belies an unsettling fact: There is still nuclear fuel inside of the its two reactors, three years after it was shut down due to safety concerns. 

A temporary storage facility for spent fuel and radioactive waste is four years behind schedule, creating a money drain at a time when the 27-nation European union grapples with a crippling economic crisis.... [end excerpt]

Majia here: In the US, the NRC merely re-licenses and up-rates aging nuclear reactors.

Jul 19, 2012
Through a process known as “uprating.” According to a new analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the operators of 98 of the country's 104 commercial nuclear reactors have asked regulators for permission to ...

Majia here: The nuclear industry - typically at the helm of the NRC - hopes to avoid decommissioning even the most decrepit plants, until they have become so leaky that the tritium emissions are causing hard-to-hide increases in birth defects or until they cause nuclear disasters that no one can deny (although given the success in trivializing Fukushima I guess it is hard to imagine a nuclear disaster that is not denied)

It was indeed notable that in August re-licensing was delayed due to concerns about storage of the spent fuel and other toxic waste generated by nuclear power plants:

Aug 10, 2012
The court ruling that brought a halt to US licensing decisions for nuclear power plants stems from an action brought about the New York State Attorney General over the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
This battle is still being waged.

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