U.S. nuclear power plants: Continued life or replacement after 60?

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration

The nuclear industry has expressed strong interest in continuing the operation of existing nuclear facilities, and no particular technical issues have been identified that would impede their continued operation. Recent AEOs had assumed that existing nuclear units would be retired after 60 years of operation (the initial 40-year license plus one 20-year license renewal). Maintaining the same assumption in AEO2010, with the projection horizon extended to 2035, would result in the retirement of more than one-third of existing U.S. nuclear capacity between 2029 and 2035. Given the uncertainty about when existing nuclear capacity actually will be retired, EIA revisited the assumption for the development of AEO2010 and modified it to allow the continued operation of all existing U.S. nuclear power plants through 2035 in the Reference case.

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