The starting idea for this work, published under the sponsorship of the Atomic Energy Commission, derives from a letter written by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards of the A.E.C. which suggested “a twenty-five man-year effort” to bring together in one place, and to evaluate, organize and generalize, the twenty years of experience garnered in the field of nuclear reactor safety. In order to realize such an objective, Project SIFTOR (Safety Information for the Technology of Reactors) was organized, out of which now come these unified studies, The Technology of Nuclear Reactor Safety.
The word “unified” is used to underscore the major cooperative character of the work. In June, 1963, for example, as a step in the realization of the Project's goal, the contributing authors met in a twelve-day conference in order to supplement preceding author-to-author correspondence and discussion. After the conference completed its work, a preliminary manuscript was widely distributed among specialists for purposes of critique and evaluation. A continuing process of up-dating ensued in order that the completed work reflect the very latest possible information.
Thirty-one authors, each a recognized authority in some phase of nuclear science and technology, have contributed to The Technology of Nuclear Reactor Safety. Their writings mirror the experience of industrial concerns, Atomic Energy Commission laboratories, and university establishments with all the principal reactor types. The divergent experience of the authors when treating identical or related subjects will prove especially valuable to the reader.
These basic volumes belong in every important technical collection. They will serve the newcomer to the field as well as provide an up-to-date summary for those already engaged in nuclear reactor work. The fundamental character of this major study cannot be overstressed.
Much of the first volume presupposes a knowledge of nuclear reactor theory, while the second volume requires some knowledge of engineering—mechanical design, materials and metallurgy, fluid flow, heat transfer, chemical engineering and processing, etc. The technically trained scientist or engineer, however, who is capable of reading and understanding a chapter covering his own specialty, will be able to read and appreciate contributions on specialties other than his own, for it was the specific intention of the editors that the volumes be designed to allow a maximum “cross-fertilization” breaking down, wherever possible, barriers between disciplines.