U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 2-01
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2. CODES, CRITERIA, AND REGULATIONS
R. W. Schneider*
Containment structures are used to enclose nuclear facilities and
are designed to control the dispersal of activity in the event of an ac-
cident. The structure must contain all credible accidents, including the
maximum credible accident. Although a steel pressure vessel is the most
common type of containment structure for power reactors in the United
States, containment structures may assume many forms, such as confinement
buildings with filtered and scrubbed exhaust, concrete, prestressed con-
crete, or underground buildings. In general any containment system may
be employed with any reactor, but in practice some containment systems
are more compatible with certain reactor systems.
At the present time the reviewer's judgement plays a large role in
evaluating reactor systems for the granting of construction permits and
operating licenses. Attempts have been made and are being made to codify
requirements, for example, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part
100, "Reactor Site Criteria"' (see Chapter 1), but it is not yet possible
to eliminate judgement from the hazards evaluation process. However, at
the present state of experience the most fundamental principles that
could be included in codes vary over an extremely broad range and, for
the most part, comprehensive data are not available. Many people be-
lieve that criteria written at this time might impede progress to such an
extent that new designs and concepts might not be investigated. As a re-
sult, there are few nationally recognized and accepted codes available on
criteria and design of containment structures.
The boiler and pressure vessel codes, which existed before the nu-
clear age, have been revised and supplemented to provide rules for the
design of pressure containment structures, and new rules are forthcoming
A comprehensive discussion of codes and criteria for steel (metal) pres-
sure containment vessels is presented in Section 2.4. Since most power
reactors in the United States use steel containment vessels, there is con-
siderable experience available on this type of containment scheme, and
therefore the discussion here of steel containment vessels is more compre-
hensive than for the other types of reactor containment or confinement.
*The work on this chapter was initiated in 1962 by C. L. Whitmarsh,
Jr., now of the Lewis Research Center, and was completed by R. W.
Schneider of ORNL in 1964. The author is indebted to F. W. Catudal of
Travelers Indemnity Co., E. A. Fenton of American Welding Society, Inc.,
Henry G. Lamb of Nuclear Standards Board, E. C. Miller of ORNL, J. D.
Wilding of ASME, R. R. 1accary of Division of Reactor Licensing, AEC,
L. P. Zick of Chicago Bridge and Iron and others for aid in this work.
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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/m1/87/: accessed March 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.