The Accident at Three Mile Island: The Need for Change, the Legacy TMI

President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, 1979 - 201 pages

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Page 27 - To prevent nuclear accidents as serious as Three Mile Island, fundamental changes will be necessary in the organization, procedures, and practices — and above all — in the attitudes of the Nuclear 'Regulatory Commission and, to the extent that the institutions we investigated are typical, of the nuclear industry.
Page 70 - Equipment should be reviewed from the point of view of providing information to operators to help them prevent accidents and to cope with accidents when they occur. Included might be instruments that can provide proper warning and diagnostic information; for example, the measurement of the full range of temperatures within the reactor vessel under normal and abnormal conditions, and indication of the actual position of valves. Computer technology should be used for the clear display for operators...
Page 38 - Low population zone" means the area immediately surrounding the exclusion area which contains residents, the total number and density of which are such that there is a reasonable probability that appropriate protective measures could be taken in their behalf in the event of a serious accident.
Page 8 - The equipment was sufficiently good that, except for human failures, the major accident at Three Mile Island would have been a minor incident.
Page 9 - After many years of operation of nuclear power plants, with no evidence that any member of the general public has been hurt, the belief that nuclear power plants are sufficiently safe grew into a conviction. One must recognize this to understand why many key steps that could have prevented the accident at Three Mile Island were not taken. The Commission is convinced that this attitude must be changed to one that says nuclear power is by its very nature potentially dangerous, and, therefore, one must...
Page 11 - In conclusion, while the major factor that turned this incident into a serious accident was inappropriate operator action, many factors contributed to the action of the operators, such as deficiencies in their training, lack of clarity in their operating procedures, failure of organizations to learn the proper lessons from previous incidents, and deficiencies in the design of the control room.
Page 7 - They simply state that if the country wishes, for larger reasons, to confront the risks that are inherently associated with nuclear power, fundamental changes are necessary if those risks are to be kept within tolerable limits.
Page 8 - Popular discussions of nuclear power plants tend to concentrate on questions of equipment safety. Equipment can and should be improved to add further safety to nuclear power plants, and some of our recommendations deal with this subject. But as the evidence accumulated, it became clear that the fundamental problems are people-related problems and not equipment problems. When we say that the basic problems are people-related, we do not mean to limit this term to shortcomings of individual human beings...
Page 68 - Exemption should be made only in cases where there is clea"r, documentary evidence that the candidate already has the equivalent training. c. The training institutions should be subject to periodic review and reaccreditation by the restructured NRC. d. Candidates for the training institute must meet entrance requirements geared to the curriculum. 2. Individual utilities should be responsible for training operators who are graduates of accredited institutions in the specifics of operating a particular...

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