U.S. Reactor Containment Technology: a Compilation of Current Practice in Analysis, Design, Construction, Test, and Operation, Volume 1 Page: 2-02
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Before any containment and confinement schemes can be regarded as
acceptable to the Division of Reactor Licensing of the Atomic Energy Com-
mission, their performance must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of
the Commission. Since nationally recognized codes for nuclear confine-
ment structures and containment vessels (other than steel) are essentially
nonexistent, the consideration of applicable codes for these structures,
as in Section 2.6, must be of a general nature.
It must be appreciated that code rules, in general, provide minimum
safety requirements. The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Codes do not
cover the deterioration that might occur in service as a result of radia-
tion effects, corrosion, erosion, etc. Nevertheless, these effects and
many others must be considered in order to be reasonably assured of
achieving the specified life of the vessel. In general, design parameters
must be established before the codes can serve a useful purpose.
Approval to construct and operate a nuclear facility is granted by
the Division of Reactor Licensing of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission
and is directly related to compliance with pertinent regulations and,
thus, indirectly to the application of appropriate codes and criteria.
Guidance is provided here by a discussion of pertinent federal, state, and
local regulations and the federal-state relationship.
2.2 REGULATORY ORGANIZATIONS
2.2.1 Atomic Energy Commission
The U. S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established by the Atomic
Energy Act of 1946 and later modified by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.2
Its prime functions are (1) to regulate the atomic energy industry in a
manner to protect the health and safety interests of the public, (2) to
control and regulate the use and possession of special nuclear materials,
(3) to foster international cooperation in the use and development of nu-
clear energy, and (4) to encourage industry participation in research and
development. In addition, it is a federal law that no one may build or
operate an atomic power plant without first obtaining a construction per-
mit and then an operating license from the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission.
An organization chart for the entire AEC is shown in Fig. 2.1 and
that of the Divisions under the Director of Regulation are shown in Fig.
2.2. The functions of the divisions associated with the approval and li-
censing of reactor systems, including the containment structure, are de-
The present organizational structure was established in April and
May of 1961 (ref. 3) as a result of a Commission decision to separate its
regulatory functions from those of operations and development. Prior to
that time the activities of the various divisions now reporting to the
Director of Regulations, a position that was created in May 1961, reported
to the AEC General Manager, who was also responsible for all Commmission
operations and development.
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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/m1/88/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.