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Nuclear Power Plants and Climate Change

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Climate change is expected to exacerbate natural hazards--including heat, drought, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, and sea level rise. Risks to nuclear power plants from these hazards include loss of offsite power, damage to systems and equipment, and diminished cooling capacity, potentially resulting in reduced operations or plant shutdowns. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) addresses risks to the safety of nuclear power plants, including risks from natural hazards, in its licensing and oversight processes. However, NRC's actions to address risks from natural hazards do not fully consider potential climate change effects. GAO is making three recommendations, including that NRC assess whether its existing processes adequately address climate risks to nuclear power plants and develop a plan to address any gaps identified.
Date: Apr 02, 2024
Runtime: 00:01:21
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