Nuclear Safety:

Comparison of DOE's Hanford N-Reactor With the Chernobyl Reactor

RCED-86-213BR: Published: Aug 5, 1986. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1986.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the similarities and differences in design and safety features of the Department of Energy's (DOE) N-Reactor and the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear reactor; (2) the DOE program to extend the life of N-Reactor; and (3) emergency preparedness plans for N-Reactor.

GAO found that differences between N-Reactor and the Chernobyl reactor included: (1) different inherent physical responses to increases in coolant temperature; (2) N-Reactor safety systems that the Chernobyl reactor did not have; (3) N-Reactor use of a metal form of uranium fuel rather than an oxide form of uranium fuel; (4) N-Reactor using once-through emergency cooling and the Chernobyl reactor using a recirculating emergency cooling system; and (5) N-Reactor using a reactor confinement system to control steam pressures and the release of radioactive materials during an accident, while the Chernobyl reactor used a containment system. GAO also found that: (1) it would cost approximately $1.2 billion to upgrade N-Reactor for safe operation; (2) DOE has complied with 7 of 10 GAO emergency preparedness recommendations; and (3) DOE and state and local officials must jointly participate in N-Reactor site-wide emergency drills.

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Aug 11, 2016

Aug 9, 2016

Aug 4, 2016

Jul 15, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jun 20, 2016

Mar 3, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here