John Large

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
JHL and Matte in library.
John Large

John H. Large is an English consulting Chartered Engineer primarily known for his work in assessing and reporting upon nuclear safety and nuclear related accidents and incidents,[1] work which has often featured in the media.[2][3]

Early career[edit]

From the mid-1960s until 1986 Large was an academic in Brunel University's School of Engineering, where he undertook research for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

In 1986, he founded the London-based consulting engineers Large & Associates, which specialises in analysis of and reporting on failure of engineering systems, particularly in the nuclear field.

Major projects[edit]

He advised the Government of Gibraltar on nuclear safety aspects of the repairs being undertaken to the nuclear propulsion reactor on board HMS Tireless during 2000.[4]

Large formed and led the nuclear risk assessment team involved in raising of the sunken and severely damaged Russian nuclear submarine Kursk in 2001 - the world's first successful recovery of a nuclear powered submarine.[5]

He provided technical evidence in the Friends of the Earth legal action over the failure of the steam generators of the Southern California San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2013.[6][7][8]

He reported upon the so-called 'carbon anomaly' that resulted in the temporary shutdown and resumption to power generation under restrictive conditions of 18 French nuclear power plants in 2016-17.[9] Separately, he advised on related quality control issues in Japan.[10][11]

Critical reviewer[edit]

At times, Large has been critical of the nuclear power industry, and has been commissioned by Greenpeace and other national and international NGOs to provide technical analysis on nuclear issues.[12][13][14]

In 1985 Large was invited by House of Commons Environment Committee to submit evidence on environmental issues associated with radioactive waste at the UK's irradiated fuel reprocessing works at Sellafield. He provided the Committee with a technical note on the breakaway corrosion of Magnox nuclear fuel, demonstrating the then hitherto undisclosed highly unstable pyrophoric reaction. Resulting from this disclosure, he provided evidence on the secrecy practised by the UK nuclear industry.[15]

In 2003 Large submitted a paper for publication to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers about the danger of a terrorist attack on UK nuclear installations. The paper was passed to the UK security services and then suppressed on the advice of the UK government,[16] although the work was subsequently published overseas in revised form.[17]

In November 2014, following a spate of overflights of French nuclear power plants by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Large provided evidence to the French Parliament (in the open session of l'Office Parlementaire d'Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologies, l'OPECST) relating to the vulnerabilities of plants to drone intrusion. The Large & Associates' report on the drone activity, commissioned by Greenpeace France, remains confidential but aroused considerable media speculation.[18]


  1. ^ "John Large". Expert Search. Archived from the original on 2006-07-23. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Profile: John Large". New Civil Engineer. 24 January 2002. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  3. ^ "Snippets-Large Associates". Large Associates. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  4. ^ John H. Large (March 2005). "Forensic Assessments of the Nuclear Propulsion Plants of the Submarines HMS Tireless and RF Northern Fleet Kursk" (PDF). Institution of Mechanical Engineers seminar: Forensic Investigation of Power Plant Failures. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  5. ^ "The Recovery of the Russian Federation Nuclear Powered Submarine Kursk], Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, World Maritime Technology Conference, Sans Francisco, October 2003" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "In the Matter of Southern California Edison Company, San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, Units 2 and 3, Response to Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's Factual Issues, 1st Affidavit of John Large" (PDF). 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "In the Matter of Southern California Edison Company, San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, Units 2 and 3, Comments on the NRC and SCE Responses of January 30, 2013, 2nd Affidavit of John Large," (PDF). 14 February 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Review of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and other Documents Relating to the Procurement and Design of the San Onofre Replacement Steam Generators" (PDF). 27 March 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Review: Irregularities and Anomalies Relating to the Forged Components of le Creusot Forge, 26 September 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Review: Irregularities and Anomalies Relating to the Nuclear Reactor Primary Coolant Circuit Components Installed in Japanese Nuclear Power Plants - Part 1 French Carbon Anomaly Correlation to Japanese Nuclear Power Plants=24 October 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Review: Irregularities and Anomalies Relating to the Nuclear Reactor Primary Coolant Circuit Components Installed in Japanese Nuclear Power Plants - Concluding Parts 2 & 3 - Potential Flawed Components Resident in Japanese Nuclear Power Plants=10 December 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  12. ^ John H. Large (2004). "Video and Other Material and Data acquired by Greenpeace International at and around the Iraq Tuwaitha Nuclear Site During 2003" (PDF). Greenpeace. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  13. ^ "Expert: nuclear facilities are vulnerable to intelligent intentional attacks". Russia Today. 21 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  14. ^ Peter Millar (11 March 2007). "Official secrecy is back on the rise". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  15. ^ "House of Commons, First Report from the Environment Committee, Session 1985-86, Radioactive Waste, Vol 1, 12 March 1986". 
  16. ^ Paul Brown (17 January 2003). "The threat that's bigger than ricin". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  17. ^ John H Large. "The Implications of September 11 for the Nuclear Industry" (PDF). 
  18. ^ "CE QU'IL FAUT SAVOIR DES DRONES UTILISÉS". Paris Match. Retrieved 26 February 2015.