Nuclear Reactor Safety and Regulation

  • Samuel Glasstone
  • Alexander Sesonske


We introduce this chapter, which is devoted to those aspects of nuclear reactor engineering concerned with system safety, with a few thoughts on some nontechnical considerations that are relevant. First, there is the matter of terminology. The word safety is generally defined as “freedom from danger or hazard,” while risk means “the chance of injury or loss.” We will examine these terms more carefully later when we discuss the subject of risk analysis. However, mathematically based quantitative definitions of risk are beyond our scope. A problem is that in a technological society, no activity has zero risk. Thus, there cannot be absolute safety and the two terms are related to one another, with low risk meaning the same as high level of safety. However, psychologically, we tend to be more comfortable with the term safety than with the term risk, whether we are discussing nuclear reactors, automobiles, airplanes, or chemicals.


Fission Product Fault Tree Severe Accident Nuclear Regulatory Commission Primary Coolant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Glasstone
  • Alexander Sesonske

There are no affiliations available

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