Publication Laka-library:
Lifetime extension of ageing nuclear power plants: Entering a new era of risk

AuthorGreenpeace, J.Haverkamp
DateMarch 2014

From the publication:

Lifetime extension of ageing nuclear power plants:
Entering a new era of risk
Report comissionned by Greenpeace
Edited by Jan Haverkamp
March 2014

Introduction 1
Executive Summary 9
Chapter 1: Risks of Nuclear Ageing 15
Chapter 2: The economics of nuclear power plant lifetime extension 69
Chapter 3: Nuclear Liability Of Ageing Nuclear Reactors 99
Chapter 4: Politics, public participation and nuclear ageing 121
Ackowledgments 140

The heyday of nuclear power plant construction was the 1970s and 1980s. While most
 of the first generation of reactors have been closed down, the following second 
 generation of reactors are largely still operational. By 11 March 2014, the third 
 anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the 25 oldest reactors in Europe 
 (excluding Russia) will be over 35 years old.
Almost half of those are older than their original design lifetime. In Europe 
excluding Russia, 46 out of 151 operational reactors are older than their original 
design lifetimes or within three years of reaching that date. However, only a few 
of those reactors will be closed down in the near future – most have had, or are set 
to have, their lifetimes extended for a further 20 years or more. In the United 
States, meanwhile, more than two-thirds of the ageing reactor fleet have received 
extended licences to take them to 60 years of operation. As a result, we are 
entering a new era of nuclear risk.
This study, commissioned by Greenpeace, consists of four chapters that address 
different aspects of Europe's ageing reactor fleet and issues relating to its 
lifetime extension. In Chapter 1, the German Öko-Institut investigates the 
technical aspects of nuclear ageing, building on earlier work commissioned by 
Greenpeace in 19861 and 2005.2 In Chapter 2, Prof. Stephen Thomas of the University 
of Greenwich assesses the role of economics in decisions on the lifetime extension 
of old nuclear reactors. In Chapter 3, Prof. Tom Vanden Borre of the University 
of Leuven in Belgium and Prof. Michael Faure from the University of Maastricht 
assess the implications of an ageing reactor fleet for nuclear liability – in 
particular the question of the extent to which, if an accident befalls one of 
these older reactors, victims can count on receiving adequate compensation. 
They have also produced a longer, more in-depth study that will be published 
on the internet together with this report.3 In Chapter 4, Ir. Jan Haverkamp 
assesses the public’s role in decisions to extend the lifetimes of old nuclear 
reactors, and considers whether there are adequate opportunities for it to 
influence the decision-making process.
The opinions in the different chapters represent the opinions of the authors 
and do not necessarily coincide with those of Greenpeace.