What if the abuses now surfacing from the ruins of the suspicious building collapse and tragic loss of life at the Surfside, Fla., condominium were to occur at an operating nuclear power station? Too far fetched, you say?
On June 22, 2021, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) abandoned its review of an absurd industry suggestion to increase the operating license renewal period for nuclear power stations from 20 to 40-year extensions. “License renewal” has become the nuclear industry’s most viable “bridge to the future” by extending operating licenses to more extremes. We note that 90% of the NRC budget as appropriated by Congress is collected from the industry through annual reactor licensing fees.
Interestingly, the NRC staff decision to halt their review of the 40-year interval basically admits that the agency could not “reasonably assure” that safety margins projected into the extreme future can be met as aging reactors deteriorate and materially break down.