U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 1-01
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Wm. B. Cottrell
126.96.36.199 Reactor Containment
Reactor containment is a general term which, for the purpose of this
report, is defined to include all structures, systems, mechanisms, and
devices that can be provided to attain with a high degree of reliability
some specified attenuation in the radioactivity presumed to be released
from the primary system in a reactor accident and might otherwise be re-
leased to the surrounding environment. Most containment enclosures gen-
erally incorporate some radiation shielding in order to restrict the direct
radiation exposure therefrom in the event of a major fission-product re-
lease. Containment is usually not required for routine operations and need
not be absolute, and, in fact, generally is not. Containment systems are
normally referred to as "leak-tight" structures, which, in reality, leak a
finite amount. Thus as a consequence, containment systems may consist of
integrated complexes of structures, processes, and subsystems, which com-
bine to control the activity release in a prescribed manner with a high de-
gree of reliability. To the extent that activity may also be released from
refueling buildings and chemical processing plants, similar containment and
other engineered safeguard features are commonly provided with these facili-
188.8.131.52 Engineered Safeguards
Reactor safeguards literature is full of discussions of engineered
safeguard features, a designation that includes emergency cooling systems,
filters, sprays, etc., as well as containment enclosures themselves. Engi-
neered safeguards are discussed in the site criteria guide1 in the follow-
ing connotations: "unique or unusual features having a significant bearing
on the probability or consequences of accidental release of radioactive
material" and "such safety features that are to be engineered into the
facility. ... Where unfavorable physical characteristics of the site exist,
the proposed site may nevertheless be found to be acceptable if the design
of the facility includes appropriate and adequate compensating engineering
safeguards." The definition encompasses features whose function is to pre-
vent the occurrence of an accident, as well as those designed to mitigate
the consequences thereof; only the latter are discussed extensively in this
report. However, licensing procedures and safety analyses have always in-
cluded both preventive and consequence-limiting safeguards in their con-
siderations as a part of the "safety in depth" engineered in a reactor fa-
cility. It is possible that certain reactors at a particular site might
not be approved if certain engineered safeguards, in addition to contain-
ment, were not provided, although credit may not have been explicitly given
for their operation in the event of a severe accident.
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Cottrell, William B. & Savolainen, A. W. U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1, report, August 1965; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc101033/m1/29/: accessed March 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.