News / Science & Technology

Report: Aging Nuclear Reactors Pose Safety Challenge

This Greenpeace photo shows a video projection reading "Tricastin, nuclear accident, " on the Tricastin power plant complex, July 15, 2013 in southern France.
This Greenpeace photo shows a video projection reading "Tricastin, nuclear accident, " on the Tricastin power plant complex, July 15, 2013 in southern France.
Reuters
Significant progress was made last year in strengthening nuclear safety around the world, the U.N. atomic watchdog said in its annual review, despite the “challenge” posed by a large number of aging reactors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published the report shortly before a protest on Monday by Greenpeace activists targeting one of France's oldest nuclear power plants and demanding its closure.

The EDF's Tricastin plant was built more than 30 years ago - an age which it shares with many other atomic energy facilities, the IAEA survey showed.

Overall, however, the U.N. agency report was upbeat about developments, saying “the world nuclear community has made noteworthy progress in strengthening nuclear safety in 2012”.

The report came more than two years after reactor meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, unnerved the nuclear industry and raised questions over whether atomic energy was safe.

Since the Fukushima disaster, a large majority of IAEA member states with nuclear power plants have undertaken so-called safety stress tests, the U.N. agency said.

“Many have introduced additional safety measures,” the report, posted during the weekend on the IAEA's website, said.

Operational safety remained high, it said, referring to performance indicator data on 437 nuclear power plants globally.

Of those, 162 have been in operation for more than 30 years and 22 for more than 40 years. Long-term operation and aging of nuclear power plants “is an ongoing challenge for regulators, operators and utilities,” the IAEA said.

There are growing expectations that existing plants should meet enhanced safety objectives, closer to those of recent designs, it said, and many countries had already taken action to address aging reactors.

For example, authorities in the United States, Switzerland and Canada have “published guidelines and aging lessons learned to ensure that safety and performance remain within acceptable limits throughout the life cycle” of nuclear power plants.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid