Wednesday, 29 Mar 2023

The US predicted a nuclear crisis

Analysts of the rating Agency Moody’s predicted a possible nuclear crisis in the United States, writes Bloomberg. The reason is global climate change, which in the foreseeable future may lead to spikes in heat and flooding.

The authors of the study analyzed the current situation at 57 nuclear power plants in the United States, in particular, the degree of their readiness for possible climate threats in the next 20 years. Most businesses were not prepared for the intense heat and drought that will result from global warming. They may face a shortage of water needed to cool the reactors. Some nuclear power plants are also at risk of being affected by flooding due to river flooding.

The main problem, according to experts, is not the lack of technical equipment for nuclear power plants, but the fact that climate change is happening too quickly, so that the previous standards become outdated faster than expected, and the service life of plants is reduced.

Despite the existing problems, most stations are able to withstand the growing load in the near future, the authors write. But in the medium term, the situation will change dramatically, and in order to avoid catastrophic consequences, the owners of nuclear power plants will have to invest in modernization. This, in turn, will entail additional costs and increase the credit burden.

Another disturbing trend analysts call the lack of adequate measures by the station management in recent years. In 2011, after the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the US authorities demanded to conduct an internal check for preparedness for disasters. Then 54 out of 60 stations showed unsatisfactory results, and since then the situation has not changed for the better. Meanwhile, nuclear generation accounts for about 20 percent of the country’s electricity supply.