The U.S. seems on a trajectory to reinforce its footprint as an energy “bad boy” with new pipelines, expanded drilling and fracking.
You can add to that ill-advised mix the relicensing of Limerick Nuclear Generating Station Units 1 and 2 in Pennsylvania, which the NRC has just delivered to Exelon.
This, despite the fact that there were still ten more years of service on the plant’s previous licenses.
… Lewis Cuthbert from the Alliance for a Clean Environment, which has steadfastly fought Limerick’s licensing renewal… said he still does not understand why its necessary to renew the license when there is still 10 more years of wear and tear from operations on the plant to analyze, before tacking on another 20 years, a decision based on 10-year-old data.”It’s as if you bought a car in 1980 and expecting it to run without problems until 2049,” he said. “It’s regulatory malpractice by the NRC.”
A lot can happen in ten years. I would hazard a guess that Exelon is certain that they wouldn’t get that renewal ten years from now.
Renewal of the Limerick licenses brings to 75 the number of commercial nuclear power reactors with renewed licenses. Applications for an additional 17 renewals are currently under review.
With the Limerick decision the NRC continues its record of never having refused to renew any license it has been asked to consider.
As efforts in the U.S. continue to add twenty more years of operation to nuclear power plants designed more than half a century ago, the most nuclear dependent nation, France is committing to a 25% reduction in its use of nuclear over the next eleven years. The goal is to eventually rely entirely on clean renewables.
Vive la difference?
I’ll close with a recent clip of Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gundersen offering the definitive answer to the question,
” Is nuclear power a sustainable or safe solution to ongoing energy demands around the world?”
Note: As regular readers of GMD know, I am a non-technical member of the Fairewinds Energy Education team.