Oodles of Nuclear Plant Data

, director, Nuclear Safety Project | May 20, 2014, 6:00 am EDT
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Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit #30

The NRC’s website includes oodles (or scads, I confuse the two) of information about nuclear power reactor operating performance and events.

For example, the NRC provides statistics on the fraction of the year that reactors operated between 1980 and 2012. These statistics are provided on either a calendar year or fiscal year. What’s the difference? About three months.

There are also industry performance data showing how components like air-operated valves, motor-operated valves, emergency diesel generators, motor-driven, and steam turbine-driven pumps have been performing.oadening the focus from key components, there are also data on the performance of vital safety systems like the reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) system on boiling water reactors, auxiliary feedwater (AFW) systems on pressurized water reactors, emergency power systems, and residual heat removal (RHR) systems.

Broadening the focus from key components, there are also data on the performance of vital safety systems like the reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) system on boiling water reactors, auxiliary feedwater (AFW) systems on pressurized water reactors, emergency power systems, and residual heat removal (RHR) systems.

Fire events are recorded and available as are events causing offsite power supply to nuclear plants to be lost. Fires and loss of offsite power events have been calculated to have significant risks of reactor core damage because they can disable numerous components and systems as well as their backups.

Fire and losses of offsite power are but two of the initiating events that can cause nuclear plants to start down the path towards accidents. There are also data on initiating event frequencies.

These data and scads (or oodles) of other nuclear plant data are online.

Bottom Line

Considerable data are available on the NRC’s webpages, but this information is challenging to understand.

While it is much better than being given a dictionary after asking for a user’s manual, there is a similar burden on the reader in extracting the right data and assembling it in understandable order.

 

The UCS Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit (NEAT) is a series of post intended to help citizens understand nuclear technology and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s processes for overseeing nuclear plant safety.

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  • You can find similar kinds of information at various FAA websites. What we need are some bloggers paid to terrify the public with the dangers of flying.