For a long time, the nation’s nuclear reactors were able to operate on fuel a little short of that amount. But while fuel has a short lifespan, a large pool of spare power can increase production by several thousand megawatts, the U.S. Department of Energy said in a news release on Thursday, while power plants have since expanded to more than 1 million kilowatt-hours per year.
It is not clear how clean-up will happen, as those technologies are still mostly being developed, but the energy provided from the grid could be in the hundreds of megawatts.
[New reactor at Fukushima-level will run for more than 20 years]
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s nuclear program, plans to issue regulatory guidance Wednesday that will determine the role of the remaining seven reactors, with the ultimate aim of providing safe, clean-up infrastructure that will serve as a backup to power Japan and other world powers.
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