Description: The Independent Safety Assessment described in this study report was performed to assess the safety of the design and launch plans anticipated by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in 1993 for a Russian-built, U.S.-modified, TOPAZ-II space nuclear reactor power system. Its conclusions, and the bases for them, were intended to provide guidance for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) management in the event that the DOD requested authorization under section 91b. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, for possession and use (including ground testing and launch) of a nuclear-fueled, modified TOPAZ-II. The scientists and engineers who were engaged to perform this assessment are nationally-known nuclear safety experts in various disciplines. They met with participants in the TOPAZ-II program during the spring and summer of 1993 and produced a report based on their analysis of the proposed TOPAZ-II mission. Their conclusions were confined to the potential impact on public safety and did not include budgetary, reliability, or risk-benefit analyses.
Date: September 1, 1993
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