Reactor Containment and Environmental Considerations

by Raymond O. Brittan,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 1, Pg. 21-34

Document Type: Journal Paper


The environmental problems associated with the economic location and operation of nuclear power plants are outlined. These problems are solved by requiring that such plants meet criteria proposed to protect the health and welfare of the public. The means of meeting these criteria are developed historically. It is shown that as requirements became more stringent, changes in philosophy from extreme conservatism to moderate realism were necessary in both analytical assessment of the hazard and design approaches. Current success in coping with environmental considerations leads to the possibility of locating such plants within areas of large population concentrations. Assumptions now possible as a result of intensive experimental and analytical programs together with design innovations have reduced the old damage potential estimates. These, originally conservatively high by a factor of 107, are now only high by a factor of 102. A further reduction by a factor of 10 appears to be possible in the future.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Power plants | Public health and safety | Economic factors | Nuclear power | Innovation

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