Cover image for Commercial nuclear power : assuring safety for the future
Commercial nuclear power : assuring safety for the future
Ramsey, Charles B., 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York ; Chichester : John Wiley, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxviii, 508 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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TK9152 .R36 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Describes the role that nuclear power could play as a viable option in meeting future electrical energy needs. Describes nuclear plant operating practices and the regulatory oversight process that assures safety. Addresses significant accidental occurrences and describes how future accidents can be avoided through the application of the latest methods for systematic analysis of accident potential to derive the most effective accident prevention and accident mitigation measures. Lessons learned and emerging trends in the industry. Provides insights into the international demand and forecasts for electricity production from available fuels.

Author Notes

Charles B. Ramsey is a physical scientist with MS studies in special problems in nuclear engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Reactor Inspector certification for preoperational testing, startup, power operation, and shutdown of nuclear power plants from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Technical Training Center. He serves as the Functional Program Manager for Fire Protection and Nuclear Safety at the U.S. Department of Energy
Mohammad Modarres is Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Reliability Engineering, Director of the Center for Reliability Engineering, and Acting Director of the Center for Technology Risk Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and a fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He is the cofounder and president of the International Functional Modeling and Applications Association

Reviews 1

Choice Review

"How safe is safe enough?" A popular slogan, but when applied to specific issues it is virtually impossible to quantify. Nonetheless, those opposed to expanding domestic nuclear power inevitably raise concerns over reactor safety, often to exploit public fear of any excess exposure to radiation. Ramsey and Modarres, however, strongly endorse further growth of domestic nuclear power, contending "that there is sound infrastructure for operating commercial nuclear power plants safely with the benefits of lessons learned in design and operation; through analysis of all conceivable potential accidents; through a comprehensive management system and through extensive emergency planning and accident mitigation features." Each of these statements is sustained with arguments that are balanced, low-key, and technically supported. Lacking the frequent shrillness of similar treatments of these highly controversial issues, this well-referenced and indexed presentation is both highly informative and decidedly refreshing to read. General readers; undergraduates through professionals. J. G. Morse; Colorado School of Mines

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Biographical Datap. xxvii
1. Types of Facilities and Operationsp. 1
Introductionp. 1
The Story of Energyp. 2
The Nuclear Fuel Cyclep. 21
The Nuclear Islandp. 31
The Turbine Islandp. 34
The Outlook for Nuclear Power Plants: Issues and Answersp. 52
Designs for the Next Generation of Nuclear Power Plantsp. 59
2. Types of Health and Environmental Effectsp. 67
Introductionp. 67
Causes of the Upward Trend in Malignant Diseasep. 69
Societal Scars Versus Societal Gains from Nuclear Products and Servicesp. 70
Potential Dangers of the Transboundary Transfer of Radioactivityp. 70
Impact of Nuclear Bombardment and Atmospheric Nuclear Testingp. 79
Internal Radiationp. 88
External Radiationp. 98
Nuclear Incidents Unrelated to Atmospheric Testing or Commercial Nuclear Powerp. 101
Impact of Nuclear Accidentsp. 101
Impact of Commercial Nuclear Industry Accidentsp. 105
1975 Brown's Ferry Unit 1 Firep. 105
1979 Three Mile Island Unit 2 Valve Leakp. 106
1986 Chernobyl Unit 4 Explosion, Fire, and Nuclear Meltdownp. 109
Precursor Analysis of Event Occurrences at U.S. Commercial Nuclear Facilitiesp. 114
Impact of Soviet Nuclear-Related Accidentsp. 122
Impact of U.S. Defense Nuclear Facility Accidentsp. 130
Similarities Between the U.S. and Soviet Radioactive Releasesp. 135
Current Countermeasures in Place for Radioactive Releasesp. 136
3. Control and Safety Systemsp. 141
Introductionp. 141
Control and Safety Systemsp. 143
Engineered Safeguard Featuresp. 144
Systems That Control Process Parameters During Normal Operationsp. 151
Instrumentation and Control Systemsp. 157
Nuclear Steam Supply Control Systemp. 162
Processing Systems for Solid and Liquid Hazardous Wastep. 169
Radiation Monitoring Systemp. 171
4. Accident Preventionp. 175
Introductionp. 175
Risk Reductionp. 176
Design Objective of Nuclear Facilitiesp. 176
Defense-in-Depthp. 177
Accident Mitigationp. 179
Site Characteristicsp. 180
External Factors Affecting Safe Operationp. 180
Design Basis Accidentsp. 182
Accident Consequence Analysisp. 184
Safety Analysis and Reviewp. 186
Operational Accidentsp. 189
Natural Phenomena Eventsp. 194
Operating Technical Specificationsp. 199
Normal, Abnormal, and Emergency Operating Proceduresp. 204
Human Factorsp. 206
Quality Assurancep. 208
Configuration Managementp. 213
Managing Nuclear Operationsp. 219
5. Safety Margin and Adequate Protectionp. 227
Introductionp. 227
Safety Margin and Adequate Protectionp. 227
System Safety Engineeringp. 232
Accident Initiators and Accident Sequencesp. 233
Probabilistic Risk Assessmentp. 233
Experiences with PRA Applicationsp. 243
Hazard Evaluationp. 244
Safety Goals of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissionp. 245
Defense-in-Depth Accident Mitigation Featuresp. 257
Role of the U.S. Congress in Establishing the Adequate Protection Standardp. 257
Commercial Nuclear Industry Practice in the United Statesp. 260
Systems Important to the Safety and Balance of Plant Systemsp. 260
Radiological and Toxicological Dose Valuesp. 261
6. Impediments to Accident Preventionp. 265
Introductionp. 265
People Identify Hazards and Prevent Accidentsp. 266
Public Participation in Key Decisions About Accident Preventionp. 267
The Role of Science and Engineering in Accident Preventionp. 268
Management Response to Hazards and Accidental Occurrencesp. 268
Protecting Workers from Occupational Hazardsp. 269
The Role of Workers in Accident Preventionp. 270
Tensions Between Economic Cost and Safetyp. 273
Pervasiveness of Worker Persecutionp. 274
Raising Plant Emergency Lighting System Concernsp. 275
Raising Spent-Fuel Storage Concernsp. 279
Accidents Avoided by Concerns Raised by Workersp. 282
Adequacy of Legislation to Protect Workers from Persecutionp. 283
Effectiveness of NRC Regulatory Oversightp. 283
The Diminishing Nuclear Workforcep. 284
Deregulation and Discretionary Enforcement Under Executive Order 12498p. 286
The Economic Constraints and Foreign Policy Impact on Accident Prevention at Soviet-Designed Nuclear Power Plant Reactors in Russia and Central and Eastern Europep. 287
7. Nuclear Fire Protection (An Example of External Event Analysis)p. 295
Introductionp. 295
Nuclear Fire Protection Strategiesp. 297
The Science of Nuclear Fire Protectionp. 300
Four Major Sources of Fire Ignitionp. 304
Explosionsp. 308
Products of Combustion and Corrosive Speciesp. 310
Fire Loadp. 315
Combustible Materialsp. 317
Flashoverp. 319
The Goal of Fire Protection at Nuclear Power Plantsp. 320
The Dominance of Fire Risksp. 321
Fire Risk Separation by Compartmentalizationp. 327
Physical Security Considerationsp. 328
Design Interfaces and Protective Measuresp. 329
Fire Damage Thresholds of Equipmentp. 329
Fire Test Data Confirming Electrical Equipment Fire Damage Thresholdsp. 331
Qualitative Fire Hazard Analysis/Risk Assessment Methodsp. 336
Quantitative Fire Hazard Analysis/Risk Assessment Methodsp. 339
Goal Trees as Logic Models for Fire Hazard Analysisp. 349
Typical Boiling-Water Reactor Performance Goalsp. 354
Typical Pressurized-Water Reactor Performance Goalsp. 357
Alternate (Remote) or Dedicated Shutdown Capabilityp. 361
8. Nuclear Plant Maintenancep. 365
Introductionp. 365
Maintenance Management Philosophyp. 365
The Maintenance Function and Control Systemp. 366
Trends in Performance-Centered Regulations Related to Maintenancep. 367
Maintenance Practice in the U.S. Aviation Industryp. 373
Preventive Maintenancep. 377
9. Safety Managementp. 387
Introductionp. 387
Elements of Safety Managementp. 388
Accident Managementp. 389
Emergency Managementp. 394
Emergency Planningp. 396
Emergency Preparednessp. 397
Risk Managementp. 403
10. Regulatory Oversight And Future Trendsp. 411
Introductionp. 411
Technology-Based Regulationp. 412
11. Accident Investigationp. 431
Introductionp. 431
Key Elements of Accident Investigationp. 433
Other Analytic Techniques for Accident Investigationp. 437
Analytic Treesp. 439
Two Analytic Techniques for Root-Cause Analysisp. 440
Arriving at Conclusions in Accident Investigationsp. 443
Example of an Investigationp. 446
Summaryp. 447
Epilogp. 449
Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summitp. 450
Nuclear Waste Managementp. 453
Nuclear Material Securityp. 453
Principles for Enhancing Professionalism of Nuclear Safety Personnelp. 456
Appendix International Electricity Demand and Usage Forecastsp. 459
Economic Growthp. 462
North Americap. 466
Western Europep. 470
Industrialized Pacificp. 471
Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Unionp. 473
Developing Asiap. 473
Other Developing Countriesp. 475
Carbon Emissions and the Greenhouse Effectp. 482
Forecast Uncertaintiesp. 483
Indexp. 485