Solar and wind power are projected to make very limited contributions as electrical demand rises about 30 percent by 2035. So keeping old [nuclear] plants operating makes good business sense.
Do you see the obvious flaw in that reasoning? The reason "[s]olar and wind power are projected to make very limited contributions" is because the government isn't gearing up society for it.
If the people were to demand solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and other non-carbon and non-nuclear generation, then we'd have it much sooner than later. It's that simple. Also, the more of it we put into place, the cheaper it will get. In fact, that's why the major corporations hate solar and wind, etc.
They can't control it the way they do carbon-based and nuclear generation. It's the greed-factor at work. The greedy put themselves, their private wealth and power, above everything and everyone else. They are wholly immoral and should not be allowed to lead anything.
The AP article is worth reading however. Just read it knowing what I've said above.
Peter Lyons, a physicist and recent NRC commissioner, said several features of plants are extraordinarily hard to replace and could limit their lifetimes. They include reactor vessels, electric cables set in concrete, and underground piping.
The AP is doing a series of articles on nuclear power. I read an earlier one about the many underground water leaks and most (that's most) of the nuclear plants in the US.
I'm glad they are doing this series. It's probably the best thing I've seen the AP do for decades. Maybe now they won't mind that I've quoted them a bit and linked to them. Let's pray the carbon-based industries (oil, coal, and gas) aren't behind it.
Unfortunately, the article on Yahoo will go to archives so it won't remain available via the link. When that happens, we'll have to do a text search on part of the directly quoted material to find it elsewhere (if possible).