With climate change, aging nuclear plants need closer scrutiny. Turkey Point shows why. – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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A Google Maps 3-D view of Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, situated on the Florida coast just south of Miami. The plant relies on a 168-mile network of man-made canals to release excess heat from the reactors. Image credit: Google Maps.Disclosure statement: The author is a legal fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is currently involved in a legal case appealing the subsequent license renewal at Turkey Point.Last December, two nuclear reactors at Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, located 25 miles south of Miami, became the first reactors in the world to receive regulatory approval to remain operational for up to 80 years, meaning reactors that first came online in the 1970s could keep running beyond 2050.The ages of the Turkey Point reactors are not unusual; of the 95 reactors currently licensed to operate in the United States, only five are less than 30 years old, while more than half are 40 or more years old. The Turkey Point reactors are a bellwether, just the first of possibly many aging nuclear reactors that will seek permission to stay online well into the middle of the century. Not long after the December decision, in March 2020, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission …

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