The current fleet of 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. began their operation with 40 years operating licenses. About half of these plants have their licenses renewed to 60 years and most of the remaining plants are anticipated to pursue license extension to 60 years. With the superior performance of the current fleet and formidable costs of building new nuclear power plants, there has been significant interest to extend the lifetime of the current fleet even further from 60 years to 80 years. This paper addresses some of the key long term technical challenges and identifies R&D needs related to the long term safe and economic operation of the current fleet.

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