Nuclear Plant Accidents: Sodium Reactor Experiment

, former director, Nuclear Safety Project

Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #39

Disaster by Design

The best aspect of the defense-in-depth approach to nuclear power safety is that one thing, even one very bad thing, is unlikely to trigger an accident. If offsite power is lost, onsite power from emergency diesel generators will automatically take over. If a pipe ruptures to drain cooling water from the reactor vessel, emergency pumps will automatically start up to supply makeup cooling water. If a pump fails, at least one other pump is ready to step in. And so on. It takes a lot of things to defeat defense-in-depth. Read more >

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