U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 1-32
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exposures over a long period of time or damage from a single exposure
might not become apparent for many years) makes a continuous policy neces-
The physical-property-damage policy provides coverage for financial
losses incurred due to damage to the reactor itself and other on-site
installations. It is in the form of an all-risk package policy, since
the exact cause of an accident may be difficult to determine. However,
the policy covers only nuclear perils; other hazards must be covered by
conventional forms of insurance.
1.3 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF REACTOR TYPES
Short descriptions of the various types of nuclear reactors that
exist or are in an advanced stage of design are given below in order to
identify the principle features of each system that relate to its con-
tainment requirements. Reactors may be classified according to the kind
of coolant utilized. Those cooled by (1) water, (2) liquid metal, (3) gas,
(4) organic material, and (5) fused salts are considered. Some informa-
tion on the extremes of several reactor parameters is given in Table 1.10
for each of the major reactor types. All these reactors require some form
of containment. The type that is best suited for a particular reactor is
the one that can economically and adequately limit the consequences of the
"design accident" while being otherwise compatible with the system. In
addition, all systems incorporate some engineered safeguards for which
credit may or may not be given but which are considered in licensing (see
also Sec. 7.9).
1.3.1 Water-Cooled Reactors
220.127.116.11 Pressurized-Water Reactors
In the pressurized-water reactor, shown schematically in Fig. 1.4,
water at temperatures up to about 600F and pressures up to about 2150
psia is pumped through the primary system. Boiling in the reactor vessel
is prevented by utilizing electrical heaters in the loop pressurizer to
keep the system pressure above the liquid saturation pressure. The circu-
lating water serves to cool and, usually, to moderate a critical fuel
assembly of fissionable material in the core. Heat removed from the fuel
assembly is transported by the water to a heat exchanger where it serves
to generate steam. The steam portion of the generator is part of the sec-
ondary system, which also includes a turbine where the heat energy is con-
verted to electrical energy.
Counting naval reactors, over 100 pressurized-water reactors have been
or are presently being built in the world. Since the concept required the
least developmental work, these reactors received early emphasis. The
Shippingport plant was the first U.S. nuclear plant built as part of a
public utility. As a result of the early start, pressurized-water tech-
nology is relatively well developed. In addition, water is well known as
a heat transfer medium, and the cooling system is simple.
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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/m1/60/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.