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The United States and the other nations of the world will need more electric power in the future. It is important to establish the principle that currently operating plants can continue to operate beyond their original 40-year license periods. The only component that really should influence this licensing decision is the ability of the pressure vessel to maintain assurance of integrity. Nuclear power operates in “licensing space”. It is different from most other technologies. To sustain operation, or ever to begin to build new nuclear plants in licensing space, we, the technologists, must document the answers to the critical questions of material performance over time.
pressure vessel, neutron embrittlement, electricity supply, nuclear licensing, regulation
President, American Nuclear Society, President Rossin and Associates, Energy and Safety Consultants, Los Altos Hills, CA