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20 year reactor license extensions just assumed

A 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the costs of long-term high-level radioactive waste management and "disposal" assumed that every single operating reactor in the U.S. would have its requested 20 year license extension rubberstamped by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, resulting in a grand total of 153,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste in the U.S. by the year 2055. The amount of high-level radioactive waste that had been generated by commercial atomic reactors by the spring of 2010 was 63,000 metric tons. GAO's assumption, given on page 54 and elsewhere, states: "Current reactors will receive, if they have not already, a 20-year licesen extension and will operate until the end of their licensed life." The NRC has obliged this assumption thus far, rubberstamping 66 reactor operating license extensions thus far. 16 additional extensions have been applied for, and NRC's decision is pending. And yet another 16 future submittals of renewal applicationns are expected beyond that.

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