A Probability of Core Meltdown for the Second and Third Generation Nuclear Reactors

6 Pages Posted: 13 May 2023 Last revised: 12 Jul 2023

See all articles by Adam Szymański

Adam Szymański

Environmental Protection Program

Date Written: May 9, 2023


In the article we compare the probabilities of a core meltdown for second and third generation nuclear reactors. A simple methodology with its physical interpretation was proposed. The probability of a core meltdown for the set of 405 reactors of the second generation (GENII) was calculated to be 5*10^-3, and for the set of three AP1000 reactors GENIII+ was estimated as; 1*10^-5, according to Westinghouse and others data. Our model approximates it as 2.5*10^-3. These probabilities apply to the lifetime of GENII and GENIII+ reactors; 40 and 60 years, respectively.

The interpretation of the probability of a core meltdown given in the article is completely different from that propagated by Strupczewski, who claims that "Severe core meltdown accidents less than once every 100000 years." Additionally, from the theoretical point of view, the core damage frequency value provided in the official Westinghouse documentation is incorrectly calculated because it can not be summed over an operational period of time to obtain an overall risk.

Keywords: core meltdown, AP1000, PRA, Fukushima, probability, GENII reactor, GENIII reactor

JEL Classification: L13, L21, L5, L70, L74

Suggested Citation

Szymański, Adam, A Probability of Core Meltdown for the Second and Third Generation Nuclear Reactors (May 9, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4442813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4442813

Adam Szymański (Contact Author)

Environmental Protection Program ( email )

84-210 Choczewo
Kierzkowo, 84-210

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