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Richard E. Webb papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 161

Scope and Contents

The Richard E. Webb papers (1974-2006, 993 MB) document the research conducted by Dr. Richard Webb on the hazards of nuclear power plants. His research was presented at a Graduate Colloquium at Purdue University through the School of Nuclear Engineering on May 11, 2006.


  • 1974 - 2006
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/05/2007


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Richard E. Webb received his B.S. in engineering physics from the University of Toledo in 1962. In September of 1962 Webb began graduate studies for a doctorate in physics at Case Institute of Technology under a full fellowship granted to him by Case Institute but he enlisted in the U.S. Navy after listening to President John F. Kennedy’s October 22, 1962 address to the nation about the Soviet nuclear missiles then being installed in Cuba. In May 1963 Webb entered the U.S. Navy as a line officer at Newport, Rhode Island. He served for 4 years in the Navy in the Division of Naval Reactors, U.S. Atomic Energy. One of the hats Webb wore while working for the U.S. Navy was junior engineer for the nuclear reactor part of the Shippingport Pressurized Water Reactor, the first civilian nuclear power plant in the United States. Also during his time in the Navy Webb attended and received a certificate of completion from Bettis Reactor Engineering School, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1965. After finishing his commission with the Navy Webb worked at the Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Station, owned and operated by the Consumers Power Company, from 1967-1968 as an associate engineer. Webb was offered a position in the Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor Program Planning Office, Argonne National Laboratory, in January 1968 but declined the offer in order to begin a doctorate in nuclear physics. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics and engineering from Ohio State University in 1972. His doctoral dissertation deals with the subject of explosive power transients (nuclear explosion accidents) in liquid metal, fast neutron, plutonium breeder reactors-popularly called “fast breed reactors.” Webb engaged in post-doctoral studies of nuclear reactor accident hazards and the Constitution of the United States at Indiana University in the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy from 1972 to 1974. He was involved with research and teaching at the University of Massachusetts from 1974 to 1976 which culminated in the publication of his book The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants. Webb continues full time research in both nuclear hazards and the constitutional law of the United States.


1 Gigabytes (562 files, 59 folders)

2 items (2 CDs)

Arrangement Note

The directory structure was maintained when possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research only within the Karnes Research Center. Materials may not be transferred offsite.

Technical Access Requirements

All files are viewable through standard software packages

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Electronic records in this collection have been migrated to an archives server and digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center. Please request digital record prior to arriving at the Research Center.

Custodial History

2 data CDs donated to Stewart Saunders at Purdue University Library. May 15, 2006.

Method of Acquisition

Donated by Richard E. Webb.

Processing Information

A complete disk image was taken of both donated CDs using FTK Imager. Overt files were extracted and minimally processed. The directory structure was maintained when possible as were file names. In order to ease access, periods were removed from file names when they did not preced the extention. All WordPerfect files were migrated to PDF/A for long term preservation and access. A copy of the origianal WordPerfect files will be preserved in addition to the PDF/A files.


Digital materails processed by Carly Dearborn in 2014.
Richard E. Webb papers
Shauna Borger, 2009; Carly Dearborn, 2014 and Keertana Marella
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description was first completed 2010-07-11.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-28: Collection description updated by Keertana Marella

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States