The Stationary Low-Power Reactor (SL-1) project resulted in the only operator deaths due to exposure at a nuclear reactor in the U.S. On January 3, 1961, three operators were killed. Also, a significant change to how reactors are operated resulted from this tragic event. Write a short summary of what happened, and what design fault(s) was ultimately responsible for the accident. Make sure to answer the question;
What changed as part of the fundamental way a nuclear reactor is operated after the SL-1 accident? Question #2 (short answer)
What jurisdiction is the EPA responsible for, and what law provides the EPA its authority?
What is the general process for issuing a new US federal regulation? How often are the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Updated? How are these updates disseminated throughout industry?
What is SUPERFUND? How is the program funded? How many sites are on the active SUPERFUND list? How many have already been remediated? Are there any new sites currently being researched for placement on the SUPERFUND list? Who is ultimately responsible for clean-up costs?
How does the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) handle remediation of hazardous waste sites? Construct a flow chart of how the IAEA handles remediation.
Research the NEA and answer the following:
- What countries belong to the NEA? What is the NEA’s Mission? What topical areas of interest is the NEA principally involved in? What are the advantages and disadvantages of an intergovernmental organization have over an organization such as the NRC?
Discuss the similarities and differences regarding waste disposal regulations between the U.S. and the international community. What are the generally accepted types of repositories for the following waste types:
What was the general status (e.g., focus, concerns) of the International Nuclear Community after the Chernobyl accident in 1986? What is the general status (e.g., focus, concerns) of the International Nuclear Community after the Fukushima Accident in 2011? How has the nuclear industry vision of safety and regulatory oversight changed in the ~32 years since Chernobyl, and what impact did the Fukushima accident have?
How have nuclear regulations matured through the years? Divide the Nuclear Era focusing on major events like this:
2011 – Present
Choose from one of the following important events/themes in the history of the Nuclear Industry:
- Discovery of Fission
- Trinity test or the 2 nuclear bombs used during WW-II
- General Nuclear Weapons Testing and subsequent Test Ban Treaty
- Expansion of Nuclear technology to civilian uses, maturation of nuclear power plants
- TMI and Chernobyl
- Fukushima and the present day nuclear industry
Write a topic paper discussing the importance of the event/theme and the impacts to our current regulatory climate. Include a brief summary and the time period of the event/theme. Be sure to answer the following questions:
- What was the state of the nuclear industry prior to the event/theme?
- What are the lessons learned?
- What significant impact did the event/theme have on the current global nuclear industry?
- What was the impact to the US nuclear industry?
- Are the effects of the event/theme still important today? Why?
The SL-1 accident and changes in reactor operation
Q.1 SL-1 was a U. S. army worked on a nuclear reactor on January 3, 1996. It was designed as a prototype of low-power. It was an accident caused by ejection of a control rod during maintenance. The main reason for this accident was Steam explosion and water hammer. Caused of the SL-1 accident-
- Poor design or reactor.
- Radiation induced damage to material.
- Rod sticking and steam explosion.
After the SL-1 accident, testing of water reactor at BORAX and SPERT was studied along with SL-1 rod assemble. It was concluded that, the amount of reactive element needed for lifting the control rod. BORAX was developed for the purpose of testing reduction of reacting power due to water steam.
Q.2 EPA is responsible for the entire United States and EPA is an agency of the United States of environmental protection. Mr Richard Nixon established EPA to protect the environment and Executive order provide EPA to its authority.
Q.3 process for issuing a new US federal regulation-
Step.1: EPA proposes a regulation-
The agency proposes a regulation called notice of proposed rulemaking. It is listed in federal, so the public can send their comments.
Step 2: EPA consider comments and issues-
First, send a comment to federal than it revises regulation and pass to the final rule. This final rule transfer to the FR and EPA, they check it and post on regulations.gov. Website.
Step 3: Code of federal regulation-
After complete regulation, it printed in FR and it is codified after Code of federal regulation. CFR collect all records of regulation created by FR.
There are many methods to update CFR such as Westlaw and LexisNexis, FDsys, and GPO Access. To update CFR in industry, government provide minimal indexing, online publication, and limited reader’s aids.
Q.4 Superfund is a type of program which is responsible for cleaning up the most of land and protects the environment, natural disasters, and spills of oil. It protects the environment and human health; it focuses on visible and provides safety to people. It provides money to pay the federal share of site, and it receives money from petroleum taxes, feedstock taxes, and income taxes. Through EPA site any person can pay money for Superfund. Total 1322 sites are active for Superfund, and 53 additional sites are also active for Superfund. 375 sites already cleaned up from a list. Superfund discovered requirements regarding contaminated site and individual’s liability, businesses, the landowner, operator, and other parties are responsible for clean-up cost.
Q.5 Remediation handles by IAEA-
- It involves following activities-
- Site characterization
- Selection of remediation
- Identification of remediation and optimization technique
- Implementation of remediation
- Post remediation
To handle any remediation IAEA follow all above steps, an iterative approach is used in this process.
Fig. 1: Flow chart of remediation process-
(Source: IAEA, 2007)
Q.6 NEA countries-
Argentina (2017), Australia (1973), Austria (1958), Belgium (1958), Canada (1975), , Denmark (1958), Finland (1976), Greece (1958), Hungary (1996), Iceland (1958), Ireland (1958), Italy (1958), Japan (1972), Korea (1993), Luxembourg (1958) Mexico (1994) Netherlands (1958) Norway (1958) Poland (2010) Portugal (1958) Romania (2017), Russia (2013), Slovak Republic (2002), Slovenia (2011), Spain (1959), Germany (1958), Sweden (1958), Switzerland (1958), France (1958), Turkey (1958), United Kingdom (1958), and United States (1976), Czech Republic (1996)
NEA mission is to advocate for education, unity in members and fulfil promise of public to provide good education to every student. There are many sectors where NEA work such as equal opportunity, just society, democracy, professionalism, partnership, collective action, and also focus on energy and resources of students.
Jurisdiction and authority of the EPA
Advantages of IGOs-
- Hold state authority
- Permanent institutions
- Forum for discussion
- Issue specific and provide information
- Limited membership
- Complex network
- Inequality of members
Q.7 According to the U. S. environmental protection agency, solid waste is not managed. This solid waste poses risk to the environment and human body, increasing flood, and rodents. There are many types of solid waste such as municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, radioactive waste, medical waste, and industrial waste. In the United States, there are two types of solid waste are used such as hazardous waste, and non- hazardous waste. In the United States, a municipal solid state is handled in three ways such as landfilling, incineration, and recycling. For other countries, incineration rate is slow as compared to United States incineration rate. For other countries reuse and recycle of incineration ash is a low disposal of municipal solid states. The main advantage of incineration is that it reduces a volume of waste, which provides extra energy source from combustion. There are 200 waste energy sources in around 14 European countries but in the United States total 89 waste energy plants. In the United States total 9,000,000 tons of ash available per year and around 500,000 tons ash reused per year but in Germany total 3,140, 000 tons of ash available per year in which around 2,025,700 tons of ash reused per year. In 2003 total 5.6% of ash reused in the United States but in Germany total 64.5 % of ash reused. EPA government are implementing U.S. 2020 program that provide a platform to reduce land contamination using waste management. There are two types of solid waste used in U. S. such as non-hazardous waste, and hazardous waste. American and European are using same low for waste that is common law, and civil law. Difference between U. S. and other community waste disposal is a federal system. EPA provides resources for waste management, scrap Tires provides technical and economic information for government. There are following department regulates waste disposal-
- Environmental protection agency(EPA)
- Department of transportation(DOT)
- Nuclear regulatory commission(NAC)
In high level waste deep geological repository is used, in transuranic waste isolation pilot plant is used, and in mixed waste radioactive waste management site is used. These definitions of solid waste are also applied to the international community, many countries use MSW, HLW, and hazardous waste.
Q.8 Focus on Chernobyl accident and Fukushima accident-
Chernobyl and Fukushima both were a major accident of radioactive into an environment and it was leading to exposure of public. Both were most challenges for the protection of radiological. The Chernobyl mischance in 1986 was the aftereffect of an imperfect reactor outline that was worked with deficiently prepared staff. Nations around the globe keep on implementing wellbeing changes and remedial activities in light of exercises learned from the 11 March 2011 mischance at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant. After Fukushima accident community released around 1331 fuels and three reactors were stable to recycle water from the plant. After Chernobyl accident, nuclear industry developed new international law, a new role for IAEA, new mission, for nuclear safety G-7 heads of state program launched, and for the safety of reactors, nuclear energy program launched. Fukushima accident impacts the whole nuclear industry and it releases radioactive isotopes from a nuclear power plant. On 26th April 1986, Chernobyl nuclear plant placed in Ukraine. It was a major accident that followed by a prolonged and releases radioactive substances into the atmosphere. It has also impact on the human health and negatively influenced to the nuclear industry. The first review meeting of this accident was organized by IAEA community in 1986. The IAEA developed an assessment of radioactive consequences and 200 experts from different countries participated in both field and subsequent assessment. European Commission organized a conference in 1996, in which the IAEA and WHO community summarized the results of last 10 years and clarified the health, economic, and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident. After Fukushima accident, International community has taken action to provide safety of nuclear power plants and embarked on ideas for Fukushima accident. For other countries such as Germany and Italy, the Fukushima accident led towards expanded nuclear power plants. The IAEA organized a conference to make a legal framework for nuclear plants safety and regulation.
Process for issuing a new US federal regulation
Q.9 In between 1940-1950s, Nuclear weapons were launched in 1946; the main purpose of this development is that to control nuclear energy.
During 1960 to 1970s, during this year atomic energy commission was developed.
On 1974 nuclear regulatory commission was developed, the NRC focused on AEC issues.
In 1985 the nuclear regulatory commission was involved in weapon and reactors.
From 2011 to 2018 nuclear reactor increasing, with 50 reactors, these 50 reactors constructed in 13 countries. In 2017 IEA increase nuclear over 25% from 2015 that means it developed from 404 GWe to 516 GWe.
Nuclear fission is a part of nuclear physics which consists of a nuclear chain reaction that splits into small’s particles called nuclei. Fission produces neutrons, photons and provides large energy. It was discovered on December 17, 1938, it is a nuclear reaction that produces electromagnetic and kinetic energy. The mass ration between two nuclei is 3 to 2; it consists of radioactive decay and provides high mass isotopes (Cameron, 2012).
Radioactive decay is a type of nuclear fission that occurs without neutron. In a nuclear reaction, a sub-particle collides with a nucleus. Nuclear fission is an advanced version of nuclear reaction that can be controlled by chain reaction. There are two types of nuclear are used such as 235U and 239Pu. Lda Noddack suggested nuclear fission in 1934 and it performed by Otto Hahn in 1938. Nuclear fission performed by nuclear plants and fission reaction provide a large amount of energy. Nuclear fission splits atom into small atoms and produces a large amount of heat which is used to generate water steam. This steam transfer to a cooling chamber using turbine system and produce electricity. Nuclear fission also used for controlling of neutrons (Tabak, 2009).
Neutron was the first nuclear reactor that discovered by Hungarian in 1932, neutrons provide nuclear reaction using nuclear chain reaction. Szilard gave an idea that nuclear reactor using neutron in light element was unworkable for a nuclear chain reaction. A new type of nuclear discovered by Lise Meitner that was uranium with the neutron. After neutron new nuclear reactor discovered in 1939 that was nuclear fission to produce a large amount of heat by nuclear chain reaction.
Nuclear fission is a process to generate large heat by split atom into small particles; it provides electromagnetic, kinetic energy, and free neutrons. A nuclear reactor has an automatic system to generate heat; it used light water, heavy water, and solid graphite for a chain reaction. Produced kinetic energy converts into thermal energy using collision process of atoms. Nuclear reactor absorbs gamma radiation and converts into heat. Through nuclear fission uranium- 235 produced a large amount of energy as compared to coal burned, so it generates a large amount of energy and converts into heat.
Nuclear fission generates energy and provides nuclear weapons for nuclear power, nuclear energy can be used as electricity but it produced from an atom by splits into small atoms. A nuclear reactor is a type of process that controls fission to generate energy. Nuclear fission uses pellets fuel to produce electricity. Heat generated by fission used for a cooling agent, but some of the reactors use molten salt. Nuclear fission produced heat, this heat transfer into the turbine and generates electricity. The main application of nuclear fission was water steam that means it produced water for steam and electricity. Around 15% of energy is generated by the nuclear power (Cameron, 2012).
Overview of the Superfund program
The United States uses fossil and hydroelectric fuel to produce electricity and it has around 100 nuclear reactors. There are many nations like France, Slovakia, and Lithuania uses nuclear reactors to create electricity. Uranium is most commonly used to generate nuclear energy and it can easily split the atom into small atoms. It found in rocks and produce energy using nuclear chain reaction, called U-235. The U. S. obtains uranium from different countries such as Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. Nuclear reactor creates weapons and it is a part of nuclear proliferation treaty. In U.S. nuclear power plant a nuclear reactor uses 200 tons of U-235 every year. Recycled is the main problem occurs in uranium that reduces mining and extracting.
Nuclear fission is very important for earth and environment because peoples get energy from the sun that is very harmful to human and environment so nuclear fission protects the environment and produce a large amount of energy. There are many benefits of fission such as plentiful electricity, reduced pollution, heat convert into electricity, nuclear energy make 35% of electricity for the United States and reduced greenhouse gases.
In USA 20% of electricity is produced by nuclear power plants. In France more than 75% of electricity generates by a nuclear power plant, around 15 countries use nuclear reactors to produce electricity. Nuclear energy can be safe, produce electricity, and can be used for water steam. A nuclear power plant is a renewable plant that helps to save energy (Ferguson, 2011).
During World War II, nuclear industry focused on the development of nuclear weapons, before fission neutron was discovered and scientists find an application of nuclear technology to generate electricity.
In 1934, Enrico Fermi researched nuclear atoms and bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons, but the elements did not stronger than uranium. After that scientists discovered chain reaction of nuclear atoms and found that atoms can be splits into small particles and produce electricity.
In 1938, nuclear fission was discovered after this complete nuclear industry was changed. The nuclear industry used nuclear fission to split atoms into small particles and produce electricity or energy.
After nuclear fission, U. S. nuclear industry developed rapidly in 1960 but in between 1970 and 1980, this growth slowed. A demand of nuclear energy decreased and many issues occur such as waste disposal, the safety of nuclear reactor, and other environmental issues. Nuclear power plants transferred around 22% of electricity in the U.S.
Yes, nuclear energy is very important today because it produces electricity using nuclear chain reaction. 11% of the world’s energy or electricity is produced by around 450 nuclear reactors. In 2016, nuclear power plants transferred around 2477 TWh of power and around 60 reactors are under construction.
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