For the second time in four years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a ”final” rule that would allow utilities to operate nuclear power plants beyond the 40 year term of the current license.
The nuclear industry’s first attempt to renew a nuclear reactor license resulted in the shutdown of Yankee Atomic’s Rowe reactor, a perennial industry leader. In the wake of the Rowe debacle, the nuclear industry pressed the Commission to change the license renewal rule. Acquiescing to industry demands, the NRC’s rewrite of the rule concluded
that the existing regulatory process will continue to mitigate the effects of aging to
provide an acceptable level of safety in the period of extended operation.
NRC’s Efforts to Renew Nuclear Reactor Licenses