The U.S. nuclear industry is turning up the power on old reactors, spurring quiet debate over the safety of pushing aging equipment beyond its original specifications.
The little-publicized practice, known as uprating, has expanded the country's nuclear capacity without the financial risks, public anxiety and political obstacles that have halted the construction of new plants for the last 15 years.
The power boosts come from more potent fuel rods in the reactor core and, sometimes, more highly enriched uranium. As a result, the nuclear reactions generate more heat, which boils more water into steam to drive the turbines that make electricity.
TVNL Comment: But we are worried about toothpaste on airplanes and Mexican laborors looking for a better life crossing the border into our nation. Americans are idiots.