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Nuclear Law Bulletin

Nuclear Energy Agency

Published twice a year, the Nuclear Law Bulletin covers legislative developments in almost 60 countries around the world as well as reporting on relevant jurisprudence and administrative decisions, bilateral and international agreements and regulatory activities of international organisations.

Each issue typically includes the following sections: Articles, Case Law, National Legislative and Regulatory Activities, International Regulatory Activities, Agreements, News Briefs, and a Supplement.

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Legal and regulatory aspects of long-term operation of nuclear power plants in OECD member countries

Nuclear Energy Agency

Nuclear power plants are typically designed to operate for 30 to 40 years. Between 2010 and 2020 a large number of nuclear power plants in the world and in OECD member countries, in particular, will reach their 30th or 40th anniversary. 1 As of June 2011, out of 440 nuclear power plants operating in the world, approximately 81% had been in operation for more than 20 years and about 35% for more than 30 years.2 In OECD member countries there are at present 339 nuclear reactors in operation, of which 135 reactors (39.8% of the total number) are over 30 years old and 15 reactors (4.4% of the total number) are over 40 years old. All nuclear reactors in Finland have reached their 30th anniversary while in the United States 56% of all reactors are beyond 30. In the United Kingdom and Germany about 42% of nuclear reactors are older than 30 years while in Canada, France and Japan, the respective percentages in this age bracket amount to 22%, 34% and 30%.

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