An Explanation of the Gaps in the Distribution of the by Brown E. W.

By Brown E. W.

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In this sense, a plant can be said to be standardised if it meets a set of performance standards. In this form of standardisation, no design features are specified and two plants of 'standard' design could be physically entirely different. With respect to nuclear power plant, this concept of standardisation forms the basis of the current EPRI standard plant development programme. Performance criteria are specified in such a way that, in principle, any design of nuclear power plant, from PWR to gas-cooled plant could meet them.

Chapter 5 suggests that it was also an efficient mechanism for gathering experience from the construction and operation of plants and ensuring that this experience was utilised effectively. Centralisation tends to lead to uniform standards, it does not ensure high standards - if the central authorities make poor decisions, these will be uniformly implemented. However, centralisation 48 may allow valuable resources to be concentrated and may simplify overall management of the programme. Therefore centralisation does not, by itself, explain the high level of performance, although the remarkable uniformity of performance from plant to plant does seem to confirm the significance of central control.

Governmental decision-making was located in only one ministry, not spread across a number as is the case now in most western countries. Safety regulation was not made fully independent until the mid 1980s, well after the WWER-440/230s and WWER-440/213s had been designed and built. The Soviet system gave no effective scope for public concerns to be aired and acted upon. The designers were therefore essentially free to produce designs which reflected only their priorities and beliefs. As these technologies were further developed, new generations of designers were brought in, other influences, such as western practice, safety-related modifications had an impact and the purity of vision of the original designs may have been lost.

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