Nuclear Power's New Promise and Peril - What If a Jumbo Jet Hit?

By Tsubata, Kate | The World and I, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Nuclear Power's New Promise and Peril - What If a Jumbo Jet Hit?


Tsubata, Kate, The World and I


The chances of terrorists successfully piloting a fully fueled commercial airliner into a U.S. nuclear power plant and causing a catastrophic release of radioactivity are virtually nil, according to engineers and government authorities.

"We have reviewed the vulnerability of nuclear plants with experts around the country and found virtually no danger that terrorists could cause any kind of threat to a reactor," says Tom Randall, director of the John P. McGovern Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington, D.C., foundation that offers free-market solutions to public-policy problems. "Experts have explained to us that even if a 757 airliner hit, as unlikely as that is in the case of a relatively low-lying building, it would probably not penetrate the containment vessel, and, even if it did, the reactor vessel would still be intact."

The containment vessel is the outer wall of a nuclear power plant's reactor housing. It is generally three feet of concrete reinforced by a closely spaced, quintuple-layered latticework of 2.5-inch-diameter steel bars. The wall is lined with a 1.5-inch layer of steel.

Large-scale experiments that have been done all over the world, principally in the United States, show that such containment walls can fully withstand the impact of a very large jetliner topped off with aviation fuel. "The building would not collapse, and the airliner would not penetrate the structure," says Robert Henry, a former longtime nuclear reactor researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory and now with a consulting firm.

Although the containment vessel--so named because it is designed to contain any destructive release of pressure and radioactivity if a pipe burst--was not built with the notion in mind of resisting an outside attack, it is nonetheless essentially invulnerable to post-September 11 threats, Henry says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Nuclear Power's New Promise and Peril - What If a Jumbo Jet Hit?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.