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Peak and Collapse 1974–76

  • Duncan Burn
Part of the Trade Policy Research Centre book series

Abstract

Orders for LWRs in the United States reached a new peak in the first three-quarters of 1974. This reflected mainly the first impact of the Arab oil embargo and its effect on fossil-fuel prices. Other factors helped. The LWR was almost universally accepted as safe. Rasmussen, as it were, clinched this. Muntzing’s promise of a six-year or less lead time within three years1 was widely derided, but a reversal of the trend to longer lead times seemed possible. Plant makers had responded to the invitation to submit designs of standard plants. These would be subjected to a more than usually rigorous scrutiny, but when the regulators were satisfied with them they could be regarded by the utilities ordering them as reviewed for safety purposes — this seemed to offer significant savings. The scheme emphasised that plant development had reached greater maturity, and the introduction in summer 1972 of the BWR/6 by GE was symptomatic. Based on evolutionary modifications of components and systems, the central feature being a new core which gave a higher average with lower peak temperature and allowed a 20 per cent increase of output from a given size of pressure vessel with an additional safety margin, this was to provide the basis of a standardised plant which should take six months less to build, and offered a potential reduction in real costs of up to 20 per cent.2

Keywords

Energy Crisis Nuclear Plant Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Safety American Nuclear Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Duncan Burn and the Trade Policy Research Centre 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Burn

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