In 1954, when Congress enacted the Atomic Energy Act, it imposed a 40-year limit on the license term for any nuclear power plant, with provision for renewal. However, at that early stage in the life of the nuclear power industry, Congress made no provision for the manner in which renewal of those licenses should be considered. The fire protection rule is an example of important safety requirements that look strong on the books, but which are substantially weakened in their application—largely due to generous grandfathering and exemptions. As an additional limitation on the scope of license renewal proceedings, the rule requires that citizen intervenors who seek hearings on age-related degradation issues must demonstrate that the degradation is "unique" to license renewal. The license renewal rule also forbids consideration of whether an applicant for license renewal complies with its current licensing basis unless the non-compliance relates to aging of the plant.