10 CFR § 100.1 - Purpose.
(b) There exists a substantial base of knowledge regarding power reactor siting, design, construction and operation. This base reflects that the primary factors that determine public health and safety are the reactor design, construction and operation.
(c) Siting factors and criteria are important in assuring that radiological doses from normal operation and postulated accidents will be acceptably low, that natural phenomena and potential man-made hazards will be appropriately accounted for in the design of the plant, that site characteristics are such that adequate security measures to protect the plant can be developed, and that physical characteristics unique to the proposed site that could pose a significant impediment to the development of emergency plans are identified.
(d) This approach incorporates the appropriate standards and criteria for approval of stationary power and testing reactor sites. The Commission intends to carry out a traditional defense-in-depth approach with regard to reactor siting to ensure public safety. Siting away from densely populated centers has been and will continue to be an important factor in evaluating applications for site approval.