The Life Span of U.S. Reactors

America’s fleet of nuclear power plants is aging. Their basic design goes back to a technology developed for nuclear submarines in the 1950s. New designs are far safer. Ironically, though, accidents in old plants like the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors in Japan could kill public support for construction of the new models. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must decide whether to extend the operating licenses of the existing fleet.

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