nuclear safety

Nuclear plants are designed with multiple layers of protection for public health and safety

The Fermi 2 plant was built to and operates under strict safety standards. Safety and security are principles that guide every aspect of our day-to-day operation. 

Plant structures are designed to contain radiation within the plant and minimize the release of radioactive material in any event. Beyond the redundant safety systems and physically imposing concrete and steel barriers, are carefully developed work procedures and extensively trained personnel to ensure consistency and safety. Our plant’s construction, safety systems and operations are thoroughly checked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  

 Design

  • Fuel is formed into ceramic pellets that hold in most radioactive byproducts of nuclear fission.
  • The plant has multiple levels of safety systems, all of which can operate manually or automatically.
  • Fermi 2's reactor vessel is constructed of steel that is four to six inches thick.
  • The vessel is located inside a primary containment structure that is constructed of a six-inch steel liner inside a shell of high-density reinforced concrete that is eight to ten feet thick. 
  • Both the vessel and containment structures are contained in a reactor building constructed of high-density reinforced concrete that is two to four feet thick.  The reactor building serves as a secondary containment structure.
  • Pipes that pass through the containment structure walls typically have valves both inside and outside containment for added safety.
  • To prevent air leakage, air pressure inside the reactor building is kept slightly lower than outside air pressure.
  • Multiple plant cooling systems, a variety of water sources and a series of independent emergency core cooling systems ensure an adequate water supply to maintain proper fuel temperature.
  • An air filtration system minimizes the effect and continuously monitors airborne radiation releases during an emergency. Computers analyze the data and weather conditions to help public officials decide whether to order people to take protective action in the unlikely event of an emergency.
  • We have several independent power sources that supply electricity to plant systems.

 

Procedures

A detailed emergency plan is in place to protect the public in the unlikely event of a serious accident. The plan has the support of local, county, state and federal governments, and is tested frequently.

Staff

Our training programs are fully accredited by the National Academy for Nuclear Training.