Rips In The Nuclear Safety Net?Peter Coy
How safe is your local nuclear power plant? Constantly assaulted by radiation and temperature variations, nuke plants' steam tubes can develop dangerous cracks. To find them before they grow, engineers apply electric currents to the metal and read the results on an oscilloscope. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is highly confident of these tests--so much so that operators who produce good test results can seek licenses to run their plants for two decades past their originally intended 40-year life spans.
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