Greenpeace calls for European regulators not to allow operation extensions of Europe's aging nuclear power plants as they are getting too failure prone.
Out of Europe’s 151 operational nuclear reactors, 67 are more than 30 years old, 25 more than 35 years old and seven more than 40. The environmental group, which recently published a study of Europe’s nuclear sector, said the aging plants, despite regular maintenance, might be prone to accidents, putting the lives of inhabitants in their respective areas at risk.
"By asking to extend the lifetimes of their old and deteriorating nuclear power plants, the big European electricity companies are simply hoping to extract more profit from their nuclear cash cows, while leaving Europe's citizens facing greater risks and enormous consequences in the event of an accident,” said Jan Haverkamp, one of the authors of the recent report.
"The lifetime extension of European nuclear reactors would lock us into an old and dangerous energy source for decades.
Greenpeace hopes to raise awareness of the issue ahead of the late March summit in Brussels where European leaders will meet to discuss the future European energy policy.
"European leaders must seize the opportunity to end the age of risk and pollution and support a binding renewables target to hasten the age of clean energy," Haverkamp said.
The environmental group has further called for reactors that have already reached and exceeded their designed lifetime to be shut down immediately and urged European nuclear regulators to prevent any further operation extensions.