ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — An Associated Press investigation finds that the U.S. nuclear power industry and government have tried to rewrite history to justify extending the life of atomic power plants for up to a century.
When commercial nuclear power was getting started, industry and government officials openly acknowledged that reactors were designed to operate for only 40 years.
Now they tell another story -- insisting that the units can run for up to a century.
The revised history has helped plant owners extend the lives of dozens of reactors through a relicensing process.
The AP's yearlong investigation finds that relicensing resembles nothing more than an elaborate rubber stamp. It relies on paperwork with little onsite inspection and verification.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)