skip to main content

Title: Understanding the nature of nuclear power plant risk

This paper describes the evolution of understanding of severe accident consequences from the non-mechanistic assumptions of WASH-740 to WASH-1400, NUREG-1150, SOARCA and today in the interpretation of the consequences of the accident at Fukushima. As opposed to the general perception, the radiological human health consequences to members of the Japanese public from the Fukushima accident will be small despite meltdowns at three reactors and loss of containment integrity. In contrast, the radiation-related societal impacts present a substantial additional economic burden on top of the monumental task of economic recovery from the nonnuclear aspects of the earthquake and tsunami damage. The Fukushima accident provides additional evidence that we have mis-characterized the risk of nuclear power plant accidents to ourselves and to the public. The human health risks are extremely small even to people living next door to a nuclear power plant. The principal risk associated with a nuclear power plant accident involves societal impacts: relocation of people, loss of land use, loss of contaminated products, decontamination costs and the need for replacement power. Although two of the three probabilistic safety goals of the NRC address societal risk, the associated quantitative health objectives in reality only address individual human health risk. Thismore » paper describes the types of analysis that would address compliance with the societal goals. (authors)« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Ohio State Univ., 201 West 19th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1142 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22106064
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ICAPP '12: 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants, Chicago, IL (United States), 24-28 Jun 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 11 refs.; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants - ICAPP '12| 2799 p.
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society - ANS; La Grange Park (United States)
Research Org:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; COMPLIANCE; CONTAINMENT SHELLS; COST; DECONTAMINATION; EARTHQUAKES; HEALTH HAZARDS; MELTDOWN; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; PROBABILISTIC ESTIMATION; PUBLIC HEALTH; SAFETY ANALYSIS; SAFETY STANDARDS; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS; TSUNAMIS