With climate change, aging nuclear plants need closer scrutiny. Turkey Point shows why. Last December, two nuclear reactors at Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, located 25 miles south of Miami, became the first reactors in the world to receive regulatory approval to remain operational for up to 80 years, meaning reactors that first came online in the 1970s could keep running beyond 2050. Even when it is technically conceivable to replace old reactor parts, economically it often is not. Already, nuclear reactors are closing well before their current licenses expire because of economic constraints. In today’s electricity market, nuclear power struggles to compete with cheap natural gas and renewable energy. Many reactors can only stay in business with significant additional government or ratepayer subsidies. These economic constraints have led to cost-cutting measures, including reducing health, safety, and environmental safeguards.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 14th Sept 2020 read more »