Calculation of dose consequences of a hypothetical large accident at a nuclear power reactor

P.E. Becher, H.L. Gjørup, A. Meide, B. Michelsen, Søren Thykier-Nielsen, V.S. Pejtersen, T. Petersen

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    The fission-product release to the atmosphere from a nuclear reactor during a hypothetical large accident is discussed, and the consequences in terms of doses to the population are calculated. The reactor is a light-water reactor located at a site representing an idealized, simplified Danish location.

    Three release categories are discussed: The first is the release in an accident with a core meltdown and a major rupture of the containment. This release is represented by the BWR-2 release of WASH 1400. The second is the release where the containment integrity is maintained, but there is a failure to isolate the containment. This release is represented by the PWR-4 release. The third is obtained as a best estimate from empirical data, and it is called the BEED release. The release of the BEED case is deduced from empirical evidence - especially the SL-1 accident - in a separate study which is described in the appendix. The release fractions for the most significant elements such as iodine and cesium decrease by a decade from BWR-2 to PWR-4, and from PWR-4 to BEED, while the release fractions of the noble gases are assumed to be at an almost constant high level.

    The dose consequence in terns of a long-tern connitted effective dose equivalent is found to be practically directly proportional to the release fractions* i.e. decreasing by a decade fron BWR-2 to PHR-4, and fron PHR-4 to BEBD. For the acute bone marrow dose the contribution fron the noble gases is
    significant in all three cases, and as the noble gas release is almost constant the decrease fron one case to the next is of the order of only half a decade. For the BEED case the noble gases, which give an external oanma dose from the plume, are the most significant radioactive fission products, both for long-term and acute doses. For the BWR-2 and PHR-4 cases the 1-131 in the plume is predominant in the acute dose, rfhile Cs-137 deposited on the ground is the main contributor to the long*-term dose.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde, Denmark
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages46
    ISBN (Print)87-550-0790-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1981


    • Risø-M-2299
    • BWR type reactors
    • Cesium 137
    • Fission product release
    • Human populations
    • Iodine 131
    • Meltdown
    • PWR type reactors
    • Radiation doses
    • Radiation hazards
    • Rare gases
    • Reactor accidents


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