NUCLEAR MERCHANT SHIP REACTOR CRITICAL EXPERIMENT HAZARDS EVALUATION FINAL REPORT

This report is an evaluation of the potential hazards of operating the critical experiment facility for the Nuclear Merchant Ship Reactor. The experiments will be conducted in a new addition to the laboratory building. The license to operate the existing facility was issued to The Babcock and Wilcox Company March 20, 1957. The Hazards Evaluation for the Consolidated Edison Critical Experiment program, issued February 1956, went into detail concerning seismological, hydrological and meteorological studies of the area. The current report does not include these studies. Experiments will be conducted to determine the nuclear characteristics of an advanced design pressurized water converter type reactor. Details of the design are given in paragraph 2.1-Reference Reactor. One hundred ninety-two 0.5 inch diameter removable fuel pins of uranium oxide clad in 304 type stainless steel comprise one fuel element. The fully loaded core will contain 32 fuel cans and use water as a moderator. A list of experiments to be performed in this series appears in Exhibit 7 and will be conducted under the supervision of a licensed operator. The reactor will operate primarily at about 10 watts or less power and occasionally at 1000 watts. A sequence of permitted operations and interlocks are built into the control and safety system to prohibit operation until specified safety criteria have been met. Exhibit 6 is a normal operation check list. The insertion of positive reactivity above the normal operating limits can be accomplished only by a simultaneous personnel and equipment failure or deliberate sabotage. The security measures discussed in paragraph 5.6 are in effect and the possibility of an inadvertent action is minimized by persistent personnel training and by carefully designed controls built into the system. The maximum power created is limited by the inherent self-shutdown features of the core. Exhibit 8 presents a detailed study of the maximum credible accident possible for the MARTY reference reactor. This study will show that there is an extremely low probability of an accident occurring. However, if the maximum credible accident should occur, the resultant public hazards will not be severe, and below generally accepted radiation tolerance limits for one time accident dosage. Effects of the maximum credible accident are discussed in Exhibit 9. From this evaluation, it has been determined that the danger to persons and property inside and outside the facility will be very remote. Our emergency plan for protecting persons within the area affected by an accident and in the surrounding area is given in Exhibit 10. The testing program includes the health physics procedures and the equipment necessary to prevent hazards to personnel dealing with radioactive materials under normal operating conditions.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Babcock and Wilcox Company

    Atomic Energy Division
    Lynchburg, VA  USA  24504
  • Publication Date: 1957-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: 111 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00026012
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Maritime Administration
  • Contract Numbers: AT(30-3)-274
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 14 1974 12:00AM