America’s fleet of nuclear reactors is quickly aging, also posing a critical issue for the country, according to a Friday report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA.)
EIA’s record notes that nearly all nuclear plants from the U.S. started operating between 1970 and 1990. This implies they’re aging fast and will need to revive their first 40-year working licenses until 2050. The majority of these reactors are only designed to function for a maximum of 60 years and the U.S. isn’t constructing new ones fast enough.
“The U.S. nuclear power fleet and American global market direction is obviously in cliff’s edge without new capability given the current trajectory of premature plant closings and likely licensing-related plant retirements.,” David Blee, executive director of the U.S. atomic Infrastructure Council (NIC), told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Graph out of U.S. Energy Information Administration
EIA’s report estimates that 25% of currently working U.S. nuclear electrical generating capacity will be made to retire by 2050.
“We do not subscribe to this EIA’s doom and gloom base-case scenario with respect to no new potential additions beyond the four under-construction VC Summer and Vogtle reactors,” Blee said. “With eight new reactor permits either issued or in the queue in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC] along with a spate of innovative, innovative little advanced reactors moving toward accreditation, we believe new nuclear is placement to meet up with the need for new ability posed by retirements and electricity demand.”
Nuclear power currently accounts for roughly 20% of all electricity generated in the U.S. and also the country generated more nuclear energy than any other. This, however, is changing fast.
China is building 20 new nuclear reactors while South Korea alone has 5 under construction. Meanwhile, only four reactors are under construction from the U.S. That’s barely enough to replace old reactors going out of support. Over fifty percent of the world’s nuclear reactors under construction are in Asia together with the vast majority of those in China, based on Seeker.
“But without daring action at each level to monetize the value of baseload electricity, measure the playing area on energy incentives and modernize the nuclear regulatory labyrinth, nuclear energy’s future will continue to be hard,” Blee said. “The status quo will surely mean less energy that is clean, a less dependable electric grid and greater costs for consumers in addition to lost U.S. jobs and exports as the America loses its renewable nuclear energy direction to Russia, along with other sovereign competitors from the $2.6 trillion world market.”
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