Monday, 29 October 2012
NUCLEAR PLANTS SAFETY
Just like any other technology, nuclear plant designs are improved and advanced to ensure that they meet the required safety standards. Current plant designs feature reliable and diverse safety systems and strong physical barriers to prevent incidents that could pose a threat to public health and safety. The same features that safeguard the public and the environment from a radiation release also defend the reactor from outside interference.
The reactor is typically protected by about four feet of steel-reinforced concrete with a thick steel liner, and the reactor vessel is made of steel about 6 inches thick. Steel-reinforced concrete containment structures are designed to withstand the impact of many natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods, as well as airborne objects with a substantial force.
An independent study confirms that the primary structures of a nuclear plant would withstand the impact of a wide-bodied commercial airliner. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted a state-of-the-art computer modeling study on the impact of a Boeing 767 crash. EPRI concluded that typical nuclear plant containment structures—as well as used fuel storage pools and steel and concrete fuel storage containers—would withstand the impact forces and shield the fuel. Multiple layers of physical security, together with high levels of operational performance, protect plant workers, the public and the environment