60 Years to Decommission Nuke Plants from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.
Its worse! The NRC has a policy of "Extend and pray" as most of the US Nuclear power plants have serious problems, but the power companies (or the gov't) does not have the money or resources to decommission them. By extending the licenses, it allows the plants to generate revenue to offset the costs of maintaining the plants. Another issue that the US no longer has adequate staff and technical resources. After the 1979 TMI, few people when to school for nuclear power careers. The guys that are running the plants are starting to retire (entered workforce in the 1960's and 1970's). So anyone replacing them is going to be a difficult since as the existing staff retire, the skill and knowledge will disappear. Most of the plants are using old tech and plant operators didn't want to spend the $$$ to upgrade the control systems (Since its very expensive and time consuming to get the proper certification). Its only a matter of time before the US has it own Fukishima crisis. US Nuclear Plants have 30 to 50 years of spent fuel rods,measuring into the hundreds of tons, per pool. Should a disaster strike at one of the plants causing loss of cooling for more than a week, the, water covering the spent fuel rods will boil away and the rods will catch fire. A lost of a full spent fuel pool will render an area the size of NY state uninhabitable for hundreds to thousands of years.