Global nuclear retreat, but some want to keep plants open
Much of the world is going into nuclear retreat; Japan is now running its economy without nuclear energy for the first time since 1970; Germany and Switzerland are phasing out their reactors and France is closing their oldest reactor and is aiming for less dependence on nuclear power.
In the US, one of the last nuclear reactors without a primary containment structure is about to receive a life extension until 2019. The Metsamor reactor is not the only one receiving a life extension; the US has granted around 70 licenses for another 20 years on nuclear reactors.
The EU is calling for the plant to be closed as ‘it poses to much of a risk to the entire region’, due to the high seismic risk of the zone in which it is built, and also to the age of the reactor. That said, just because a plant is older does not inherently mean it is more dangerous. They can be just as safe if maintained properly.
(Image via wikimedia)