A University of Utah nuclear engineer says he expects a national committee to complete work this fall on a new set of safety standards for low-power research reactors.
Dr. Kevan C. Crawford, reactor supervisor in the U.'s Nuclear Engineering Laboratory, says the group will draft new national standards for control consoles and other safety systems on research and training reactors.The standards will deal primarily with designing and assembling consoles that govern the movement of control rods and other safety systems during reactor operation.
"We're seeing a new generation of control consoles come on line that utilize computers, which makes the drafting of uniform procedures necessary," says Crawford.
Researchers from universities, national laboratories, military facilities, the nuclear power industry and federal regulatory agencies serve on the committee. New standards have already been written for other categories of research reactor safety, including emergency planning, requalification training for console operators and quality assurance procedures.