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Underground Siting of Nuclear Power Plants: Enhancing Safety and Reducing Construction Cost

[+] Author Affiliations
Jay F. Kunze, James M. Mahar, Kellen M. Giraud

Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID

Carl W. Myers

Independent Consultant, Los Alamos, NM

Paper No. ICONE22-31179, pp. V003T06A055; 8 pages
  • 2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Next Generation Reactors and Advanced Reactors; Nuclear Safety and Security
  • Prague, Czech Republic, July 7–11, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4593-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


It has been shown, in a number of papers presented by the authors, that the construction of a nuclear power park underground, involving a number (six or more) of conventional Generation III+ LWR units, plus reprocessing, fuel re-manufacturing, and waste storage facilities is cost effective (both capital construction cost and operating costs) compared to the construction of similar facilities above ground (even if all such facilities are co-located). These papers have addressed the protection provided for both security from domestic acts of terror and natural hazards, and the ultimate containment of nuclear contamination in the event of accidents. However, as a result of the Fukushima tsunami and its effect on the six reactors at that location, issues are raised concerning the worst possible accident scenarios that could occur as a result of siting of nuclear plants underground. This paper addresses those highly unlikely events, with extremely low probabilities of occurrence, and shows that the effect of underground siting has advantages has over at ground locations.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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