Saturday, August 22, 2009

NRC looks at nuke plant shutdown fund shortfalls

Industry critics say reactor owners were not saving enough money even before the financial meltdown, and that federal regulators need to hold the industry to a higher standard to help insure the public's safety.

Plant owners say there are many ways to address the shortfall, including idling the plants or having the government extend licenses to operate them.

Industry officials say that most, if not all, owners of reactors will seek license renewals to extend operations by up to 20 years. Industry officials say the additional time will help them recoup their fund losses.

Plant operators are required to set aside funds during a reactor's operating life to insure the site will be properly cleaned up once the reactor is permanently shut down.

Associated Press

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