Nuclear Geriatrics: "Bury The Old" To Build The New

oldbury.jpgBritish nuclear engineers are set to follow the path of all ancient architects. "All but one of Britain's nuclear power stations will be shut by 2023, and the government insists it must make a decision this year on whether to build new nuclear power plants...The complete Oldbury [plant] shutdown will cost around 1 billion pounds and could take 110 years, nearly three times longer than the plant has been in operation...Decommissioning [all the] aging nuclear plants, like 40-year-old Oldbury in western England, and storing their toxic waste will cost around 70 billion pounds ($138.3 billion), according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority." In announcing the decision to indeed build more reactors this week, the government spokesman stated "it would make sense for any new nuclear plants to be built alongside existing ones, because all the necessary infrastructure and links to the National Grid were already there." Did they really mean they would bury the old plant's hot carcass aside a new one? If so, this could become common practice wherever aging nuclear plants must be decommissioned, including in North America - as long as no one can agree on a central repository for radiological waste. Once this prospect sinks in to the public consciousness, public licensing hearings will be, shall we say, "heated." Semantic aside: the namesake town is Oldbury - Old Bury, get it? Via:: Scientific American Image credit: Oldbury Plant NukeWorker

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