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Suggested Citation:"Appendix N: Conversions and Units." National Research Council. 2014. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18294.
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Appendix N

Conversions and Units


Distance-Related Conversions

kilometers (km) and miles (mi) 1 km = 0.62 mi 1 mi = 1.6 km
km2 (square kilometers) and mi2 (square miles) 1 km2 = 0.39 mi2 1 mi2 = 2.59 km2
m (meters) and ft (feet) 1 m = 3.28 ft 1 ft = 0.30 m
m3 (cubic meters) and ft3 (cubic feet) 1 m3 = 35.3 ftt3 1 ft3 = 0.03 m3
km/h (kilometers per hour) and mph (miles per hour) 1 km/h = 0.62 mph 1 mph = 1.6 km/hr

Radiation-Related Conversions

mSv (millisieverts), mrem (millirem), and mGya (milligray) 1 mSv = 100 mrem = 1 mGy 1 mrem = 0.01 mSv = 0.01 mGy
Bq (becquerels) and Ci (curies) 1 Bq = 2.7 × 10−11 Ci 1 Ci = 3.7 × 1010 Bq

Other    

MJ (megajoules) and kWh (kilowatt hours) 1 MJ = 0.28 kWh 1 kWhr = 3.6 MJ
MPa (megapascals) and psi (pounds per square inch) 1 MPa = 145 psi 1 psi = 0.007 MPa
Celsius and Fahrenheit °C = (5/9)*(°F − 32°) °F = (9/5)*°C + 32°
metric tons and pounds (lbs) 1 metric ton (tonne) = 2,204 lbs  

Suggested Citation:"Appendix N: Conversions and Units." National Research Council. 2014. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18294.
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Prefixes

pico- 10-12  
micro- 10-6  
milli- 10-3  
kilo- 103  
mega- 106  
giga- 109  
tera- 1012  
peta- 1015  

a Millisieverts and millirem are units of effective dose, whereas Gray is a unit of absorbed dose. They are numerically equivalent when exposure is from gamma rays and x-rays.


Unit of Measure Abbreviation Type of Measure

Becquerel Bq radiation activity
Celsius C temperature
centimeters cm distance
Fahrenheit F temperature
feet ft distance
gallon gal volume
gallons per minute gpm flow rate
Gray Gy absorbed radiation dose
Joule J energy
kilogram kg mass
kilometers km distance
kilopascals kPa pressure
kilovolts kV electrical potential
kilowatt kW electrical power
kilowatt-hour kWh energy
liters per minute Lpm flow rate
megapascals MPa pressure
megawatts electric MWe electrical power
meters m distance
millimeters mm distance
millirem mrem effective radiation dose
millisievert mSv effective radiation dose
newton N force
pound lb mass
pound-force lbf force
pounds (-force) per square inch psi pressure
volts V electrical potential

Suggested Citation:"Appendix N: Conversions and Units." National Research Council. 2014. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18294.
×
Page 369
Suggested Citation:"Appendix N: Conversions and Units." National Research Council. 2014. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18294.
×
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The March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami sparked a humanitarian disaster in northeastern Japan. They were responsible for more than 15,900 deaths and 2,600 missing persons as well as physical infrastructure damages exceeding $200 billion. The earthquake and tsunami also initiated a severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Three of the six reactors at the plant sustained severe core damage and released hydrogen and radioactive materials. Explosion of the released hydrogen damaged three reactor buildings and impeded onsite emergency response efforts. The accident prompted widespread evacuations of local populations, large economic losses, and the eventual shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan.

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants is a study of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. This report examines the causes of the crisis, the performance of safety systems at the plant, and the responses of its operators following the earthquake and tsunami. The report then considers the lessons that can be learned and their implications for U.S. safety and storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste, commercial nuclear reactor safety and security regulations, and design improvements. Lessons Learned makes recommendations to improve plant systems, resources, and operator training to enable effective ad hoc responses to severe accidents. This report's recommendations to incorporate modern risk concepts into safety regulations and improve the nuclear safety culture will help the industry prepare for events that could challenge the design of plant structures and lead to a loss of critical safety functions.

In providing a broad-scope, high-level examination of the accident, Lessons Learned is meant to complement earlier evaluations by industry and regulators. This in-depth review will be an essential resource for the nuclear power industry, policy makers, and anyone interested in the state of U.S. preparedness and response in the face of crisis situations.

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