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Aff & Neg Nukes

Aff & Neg Nukes

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Published by: AffNeg.Com on Jan 08, 2009
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05/24/2012

Reactors don’t degrade – no accident risk
Sweet, 6
– Senior news editor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
(William, Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy, pg. 182-183 ) CP

During those decades, however, reactor performance began to steadily improve, without attracting too much notice
from the general public. The numbers are impressive: in 1980, U.S. nuclear reactors were generating electricity only
56.3 percent of the time on average; in 2004, the reactors were running 90.5 percent of the time (see graph). During
this period, the anticipated life expectancy of reactors also increased no tably-an important consideration, given their
very high capital costs (though perhaps not quite as important as one might suppose'). In the early years, many
nuclear critics believed that the materials in the power plants might degrade faster than nuclear proponents claimed,
mainly because of intense bombardment by radiation. But it turns out that most reactors are holding up better than
expected. In the United States and in some of the other countries that went nuclear early on, utilities that had
obtained licenses to run nuclear plants for 40 years are now applying to extend those licenses for another 20 years.
In several large advanced industrial countries, nuclear energy has been supplying very large fractions of total
electricity for decades, with out any major mishaps. In France, which has probably the best reputa tion for strong
nuclear management, reactors supply three quarters of the country's electricity. In Sweden and South Korea the
proportion is roughly 50 percent, and in countries like Japan, Germany, and the United States it hovers around 20 to
25 percent. Even at the low end of that range, 20 percent represents a huge quantity of energy-only coal produces
much more in the United States, with natural gas running about even with nuclear.

Michigan 7 weeks

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