U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 1-15
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In advocating the acceptance of the draft of the Reactor Site Crite-
ria,1 the Director of Licensing and Regulation commented:
"One may justly conclude, as the Commission had done,
that although it is generally recognized that insufficient
experience with reactors has been accumulated to permit the
writing of definitive standards that would provide a quan-
titative correlation of all factors significant to the ques-
tion of acceptability of reactor sites, it is possible to
provide more guidance than currently exists as to the fac-
tors considered by the commission in evaluating reactor sites.
The proposed guide...is intended as an interim measure until
the state of the art allows more definitive standards to be
developed. The guide is a starting point that gives the
nuclear community an understanding of the basis on which the
Commission will review proposed sites while providing flexi-
bility and freedom for any applicant to demonstrate the appli-
cability and significance of considerations other than those
set forth in the guides. The proposed guides do not represent
a different approach to reactor siting than has been used to
date but rather they represent an attempt to articulate those
practices. Application of these criteria will result in re-
actor sites in general agreement with those approved to date
but sufficient flexibility has been provided to allow for con-
siderations that might lead to locations that vary from current
It is of interest to note that both the conservative and nonconserva-
tive factors involved in the determination of exposures at the specified
distances are tabulated in ref. 4. Excluding the assumed atmospheric dis-
persion (which appears on both lists), the conservatism in the calculation
of inhalation exposure may range from 103 to 106. However, three "poten-
tial conceivable conditions" could result in higher exposures. These con-
ditions are (1) greater activity release, (2) poorer atmospheric diffusion,
and (3) simultaneous failure of the containment structure. Whether or not
these three factors are conceivable is a question of semantics. If they
are taken as conceivable, it is theoretically possible for the total ac-
tivity release to be up to six times as large as that assumed (since the
release assumed was approximately 15% of the total). However, many re-
sponsible technical people would conclude that 100% release is not conceiv-
able in view of (1) the fuel-meltdown experiments that have been performed,
(2) the limit on the attainable temperature, even in a core meltdown, and
(3) the known chemical reaction behavior of the fission-product elements.
For the second nonconservative factor - poorer atmospheric diffusion - the
assumptions include a moderate inversion, low wind speed, and a narrow dis-
persion angle persisting for a long period of time compared with the half-
life of the released activity. Although there is a 25% probability that
such poorer conditions may exist at any time, there is much less likelihood
that such a weather condition will persist for a long time. In any event,
the condition is to be weighed against the other conservative factors that
are involved in the calculation.
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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/m1/43/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.