U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 1-20
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Although both these objectives are not readily achievable by a single cri-
terion, the mobile-reactor site criteria effect the former by use of a
total-population-exposure limit and the latter by safety features in the
design, emergency procedures, and the special arrangements for port opera-
Once having established reasonable criteria, it is most important to
demonstrate that the criteria can actually be attained in all circumstances.
Of particular concern is the capability of removing the ship from its berth
in less than 24 hr. Many studies have been made of the exposures as a
function of time and position following the maximum credible accident.
These are formally summarized, so far as the N.S. Savannah project is
concerned, in the Port Analysis Reports (for example, the reports for
Savannah, Ga.,22 Norfolk, Va.,23 Panama Canal24) and in an ORNL report,25
which presents in more detail the probable exposures, independent of any
port or berth conditions. From these studies it is concluded that the
exposures of the tugboat personnel involved in moving the ship would be
less than l-r/hr submersion dose and less than 80-r thyroid inhalation
dose for the several hours that might be required for the emergency removal
of the ship, even if all personnel remained downwind of the release during
The ship criteria also provide for the relatively large number of
persons who might be on site (i.e., within the controlled zone), as well
as for those who might be aboard ship. In both instances these persons
must be evacuable before they have received 25-rem whole-body or equiva-
lent exposure. Their evacuation must be possible in the specified time,
that is, less than 2 hr, or their presence is not permitted. In this con-
nection it is noted that, even assuming the pessimistic leakage and release
rates indicated in the interim criteria, the close-in exposures would be
substantially less than in most stationary power plants because of the
double containment; thus the planned evacuation of personnel is considered
It appears that the mobile-reactor criteria have provided a reason-
able extension of the Commission's Reactor Site Criteria to meet the needs
of ship reactors. In so doing, certain concepts have been introduced or,
at least, extended that may assume greater significance in siting con-
siderations as nuclear technology develops. In addition to the total-
population-exposure limit, the following concepts are implicit or explicit
in the ship criteria:
1. controlled release of activity from the accident,
2. dependence on operating procedures to minimize the consequences
of the maximum credible accident,
3. dependence on administrative control to assure the integrity of
certain features (i.e., the reactor compartment).
The fact that each of the concepts is involved in conditions that
were authorized for the N.S. Savannah does not imply approval of the con-
cepts themselves but rather that, given justifiable reasons, modifications
to existing practice will be considered. This is really no more or less
than the approved Reactor Site Criterial (for stationary reactors) pointed
out in the statement that a "unique or universal feature having a signifi-
cant bearing on the probability or consequences of accidental release of
radioactive materials...would be taken into consideration. "
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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/m1/48/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.