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Plant life management and plant license extension are crucial issues for nuclear operators.
Extension of reactor lifetimes from 40 to 60 years is enhancing the economic competitiveness of plants, while both ownership and operation of these is becoming concentrated. Financially, operators would sooner extend the life of their plants rather than decommissioning, an issue which is now more important than ever due to the current economic situation.
There are now 104 operating nuclear power reactors in the USA, with over half coming to the end of their 40 year cycle. These plants now need approval by the NRC to continue operating by applying for a new operating license. This process is complex often taking years to complete. The NRC guidelines must be followed giving rise to predicaments such as replacing nuclear components and the obsolescence of equipment, as well as degradation issues with underground piping and medium voltage cables. In addition, how will we overcome plant aging issues and how will we break the 60 year barrier?
Now in its 18th year, PLIM & PLEX 2009 in Chicago, USA, will include significant case studies and presentations from leading utilities, operators, innovators in R&D, regulators and international associations to provide answers to these and other topical questions. From long range planning for capital modification to overcoming fuel storage problems, this conference will provide insight in how to solve the critical issues facing the industry today.