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EC takes stock of ageing nuclear power plants

The European Commission (EC) has recently published a report on a project to investigate the preparatory work undertaken for an indicative programme related to the aging of nuclear power plants. This is intended to give account of either recent or ongoing programmes on the agi...
The European Commission (EC) has recently published a report on a project to investigate the preparatory work undertaken for an indicative programme related to the aging of nuclear power plants. This is intended to give account of either recent or ongoing programmes on the aging of the components of nuclear power plants.

What happens to nuclear power plants as they grow older is of great importance to regulators, utilities, designers and research and development laboratories because of the potential ramifications for safety. There are currently no well-established provisions for mitigating such aging effects, mainly because of the complexity of the phenomena involved and a major difficulty in anticipating such effects during the design stage for components.

The report is, in part, a response to a statement from the Commission Working Group for Codes and Standards, who back in 1995 stated that a programme on aging for codes could not be handled on large scale without an accurate view of ongoing programmes.

The report includes an extensive overview of the work and a useful list of references of reports available from a number of aging programmes. It focuses mainly on light water reactors (as the first objective in the project), and sets out recommendations for the Working Group's programme in the future.

The report can be accessed in pdf format via:

URL: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg11/nuclear/index.htm

It contains the following sections:

- Aging research programmes status (list of institutions: International organizations, USA, European Union, other countries and utilities and owners groups);
- Aging ongoing programmes (list of institutions);
- Strategies and future developments;
- Conclusions;
- References.

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