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Critical Flaws: Risk Assessments
This paper examines risk analysis models. Because the footnotes and formatting do not "carry over" I am attaching the PDF. Risk research references: http://caferadlab.com/thread-176.html

.pdf   Critical Flaws.pdf (Size: 481.27 KB / Downloads: 84)  

Content sans formatting and footnotes:

Nuclear Flaws: An Examination of Risk Analysis and Risk Aversion

Risk is defined by the Health and Safety Authority as "the likelihood that a person may be harmed or suffers adverse health effects if exposed to a hazard."

Risk Analysis
Business, government, and parents are known to conduct risk analysis when planning activities and in situations requiring decisions to avoid or mitigate negative outcomes. The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) presents a Summary Table of Available Tools for Risk Assessment used in assessing hazards  chemicals and pollutants, in particular. The Disaster Assessment Portal (DAP) presents Techniques Used in Disaster Risk Assessment to "explain a few of the wide range of techniques used to develop and apply disaster assessment tools."

OECD includes hazard and exposure assessment categories including environment and emissions. DAP presents techniques used in disaster risk assessment which includes environmental impacts and social analysis. Both models present a wide array of internal and external factors. Most people involved in assessing risk are familiar with the SWOT Analysis which is a more general framework to assess internal and external risk. 

Risk Aversion
Aversion to risk is most commonly referenced in financial decision-making, though it is a trait also found among individuals who have personally experienced traumatic injury or loss. Some people are called "risk takers" because they enjoy the adrenaline rush that some activities, such as sky diving, results in. I am one of those people who has chased after risk for a thrill, without conducting a risk assessment beforehand.

As an avid long distance cyclist for many years, I developed a fondness for speed when cycling down mountain roads and dirt trails. I admit that I never let fear of a tire blowing out while speeding down mountain roads stop me from risking my health or life, even though I never wore a helmet to protect my head in case of an accident. Having read accounts of car doors opening in front of cyclists, I felt there was a higher probability of that happening. And, in fact, a car door did open in front of me one day, leaving me with an irreparably damaged bike and serious injuries.

While I never feared speeding down mountains, my heart rate jumped when I rode alongside parked cars for several years after hitting the car door with my bike and body. The first time I felt my heart begin to race after the accident I considered the potential that another car door could suddenly open in front of me. I decided that I would try to avoid streets with long lines of parked cars. I was averting risk, but I still rode up mountains so I could speed back down, sans helmet. 

I have an office chair that recently lost it's capacity to remain in a fixed position and it rocked around causing me to consider I might fall back and hurt myself. I kept using it until it rocked around wildly one day. I don't use that chair now. I am lucky the chair did not dump me before I stopped using it. I am lucky a tire did not blow out while speeding down mountain roads. Looking back. There are probably many factors that impaired my judgement regarding risk assessment. For example, adrenaline was a powerful enticement in cycling. Continuing to use the office chair because it is/was the only comfortable chair I own and replacing it is a costly venture are powerful considerations. 

Surfers, race car drivers, lion tamers, and nuclear power operators all engage in risky activities. 

Risk taking behavior represents a critical flaw. Some activities have higher risk probability than others and some have a broader impact. Which is why we create and (hopefully) use risk assessment models in order to decide how to avert risk. The New York University Stern School of Business Risk Aversion discusses risk taking behavior. 

"psychoanalysts at the beginning of the twentieth century considered risk-taking behavior to be a disease, the fact that it is so widespread suggests that it is part of human nature to be attracted to risk, even when there is no rational payoff to being exposed to risk.

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) defines risk analysis as including "risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and policy relating to risk." Obviously, not all activities require such in-depth contemplation and development of procedures. But, some activities and events show us that we must use risk analysis and governance, especially when risk taking has the potential to affect large populations and the environment (hereinafter referred to as our commons).

With respect to nuclear facility operations, the question is, are analysis tools adequate to ensure protection of people and our commons? Following are snippets from sources in footnotes regarding nuclear facility risk assessments.

IAEA's ten fundamental safety principles 

The OECD and the Nuclear Energy Agency (but not all nuclear nations) use an analytical technique of probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) (an analytical tool for assessing nuclear safety) for nuclear energy risks. Two factors to asses risk are considered - theoretical core damage frequency (CDF) and the theoretical large release frequency (LRF). They contend that improved reactor types and improved safety culture reduces risk of critical incidents and compares nuclear power risks to other energy producers (coal, oil) which are reported as having higher incidences of accidents (based on data provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, a pro-nuclear entity). 

Nuclear risk assessments: deterministic approach
The deterministic approach is "based on two principles: leaktight barriers and the concept of defence-in-depth. Leaktight barriers refers to containment vessels and materials. Defence-in-depth consists of taking into account potential equipment failures and human errors, so that suitable preventive measures may be applied, and of making provisions for the installation of successive devices to counter such failures and limit their consequences. It consists of several successive stages (or levels), hence the term "defence-in-depth."

Prevention and surveillance: all necessary measures are taken to ensure that the plant is safe; items of equipment are designed with adequate safety margins and constructed in such a way that under normal operating conditions the risk of an accident occurring in the plant is kept to a minimum;

Protection: it is assumed that operating incidents may occur; provisions are made to detect such incidents and to prevent them from escalating. This is achieved by designing safety systems that will restore the plant to a normal state and maintain it under safe conditions.

Safeguard: it is assumed that severe accidents might occur that could have serious consequences for the public and the environment. Special safety systems are therefore designed to limit the consequences to an acceptable level.

Some countries make provision for a fourth level of safety consisting of what are known as ultimate measures, designed to provide protection against severe conditions under which defences at the three levels described above prove inadequate.

The IAEA discusses PSAs in Applications of probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) for nuclear power plants (below). They note that not all nations use the same framework. 

With regard to comparing different energy type health outcomes, in 2010 OECD stated:

"The latent fatalities (i.e. deaths resulting from the exposures of radioactivity over long periods after the event) from the Chernobyl accident are also considered. These are of the same size as the prompt deaths from the world’s biggest non-OECD hydro accident.They are also considerably smaller than the latent deaths resulting from fossil fuel use, although data on these is difficult to find."

The Chernobyl  accident occurred in 1986. In 2009, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment authored by Alexy V. Yablokov et al. was published and contains multiple references to death and disease. OECD does not reference Dr. Yablokov's findings.

The concept of risk described with regards to the PSA
Nuclear facilities are designed so that the risks associated with their operation are within acceptable limits for both the public and the environment. There is no precise definition, however, of what constitutes an "acceptable risk"; it is basically a subjective notion. In its simplest form, risk denotes the level of uncertainty associated with an individual's given action. The acceptance of risk is generally governed by the degree to which it is considered to be relatively improbable and of limited consequence.

NEA and OECD state "Safety during normal operation includes the impact of any environmental discharge: The impact during normal operation is small. It does not normally attract significant public or media attention and is not the subject of this present report." (Emphasis added).

Concerns with nuclear facility risk assessments
In Rocky Flats MROHP Interviews: Jacqueline "Jacque" Brever, Ms. Brever describes multiple incidences of risky behavior by management which put employees and surrounding communities in dangerous situations. Her practice of keeping a daily record of incidents and of challenging management brought undue negative attention to her. She later died from nuclear radiation induced diseases. 

Daily notices by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) titled Event Notification Reports exhibits that risk analysis is not a common component in daily operations. From employees violating substance abuse laws to theft, mistakes in medical delivery of radioisotopes to patients, and destruction of tools and equipment containing radioisotopes, there appears a pattern of disregard for risk aversion. 

The NRC received petitions to change the linear no-threshold model of radiation protection from nuclear vested parties in 2015. The comment period for public input ended in November 2015. The number and quality of comments advising the NRC to reject the petitioners' requests far outweigh those supporting the call to use a model based on the idea that a little radiation may be good for people (hormesis). That the NRC even accepted the petitioners' requests in the first place is a sign that risk analysis does not hold an important place in legal guidance used by the NRC. Comments by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research demonstrate clearly that appropriate risk assessments are not being conducted with regards to nuclear energy management and guidance. 

More than a decade of international negotiations over Iran's nuclear capacity ended with no agreement being signed. Parties involved in the negotiations make accusations against other parties and the IAEA appears incapable of managing the situation in a manner that may result in secure operations. 

After Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima nuclear power plant reactors exploded, it became very apparent that risk analysis was not a highly regarded aspect of either preparation to build the facilities or in management following the disaster. 

Post Fukushima, more attention was paid to international trade of nuclear components and services. Non-proliferation violations have been found. 

Risk Aversion Requires Conscious Management
Risk analysis or assessment requires that those who manage nuclear energy activities use guidance and models that consider a wide array of potentials. This does not exist in the current nuclear management scheme. They need more than a bicycle helmet. Nuclear needs a better, more relevant risk analysis model.
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Reading this article of 12 Dec 2015 I have to reflect deeply (personally) on the possibility that Japan is not using any risk assessment in their thinking about nuclear products (energy/waste)

Japan to consider ocean disposal of nuclear waste https://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disast
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(12-13-2015, 08:52 AM)piajensen Wrote: Reading this article of 12 Dec 2015 I have to reflect deeply (personally) on the possibility that Japan is not using any risk assessment in their thinking about nuclear products (energy/waste)

Japan to consider ocean disposal of nuclear waste https://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disast


The industry ministry will consider the feasibility of burying high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants under the seabed, which a working panel said Dec. 11 could be a “highly appropriate” solution.

In an interim report on disposal methods of highly contaminated materials from spent nuclear fuel, the panel said such waste could be disposed of in adjacent waters within 20 kilometers of the coastline.

It called the disposal method relatively realistic because the circulation of groundwater at sea is not as strong as on land. The panel said the site should be created in adjacent waters so that nuclear waste can easily be transported by ships.

The panel included the under-the-seabed disposal plan in nearby waters as a viable option for the final disposal site.

Based on this proposal, the ministry will set up an expert panel in January to discuss what specific technical challenges lay ahead.

The expert panel will discuss locations of active faults under the seabed and the impact of sea level changes to evaluate the feasibility of the project. It is expected to issue its recommendations by next summer.

While the government has encouraged municipalities to submit candidate sites for nuclear waste disposal, it is being forced to rethink this policy because no local government has come forward to provide a realistic disposal site.

Instead, it will hand-pick the “candidate sites from scientific perspectives” and unilaterally request local governments to comply with its research and inspection efforts.

It's not like nuclear waste hasn't been dumped at sea.  They don't say how far under the seabed they will place the high-level radioactive waste.  No one knows what to do with nuclear power's waste products, yet they keep making more.  There is no risk assessment, only foolish greed motivates management.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."
via @Zerohedge https://twitter.com/zerohedge How The Masses Deal With Risk (And Why They Remain Poor) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-31...emain-poor 

"Let me give you an example of how easily an otherwise intelligent person gets royally screwed by the system by routinely miscalculating risk."
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Conference... via Reynolds Journalism Institute opens with David Ropeik Harvard University speaking on Nuclear safety in a post-Fukushima world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjVxEzfpNzg "You used the word 'safe" ..loaded word" definition of risk
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Nuclear accident mechanism.
Presentation held in Loviisa 12.1.2010. Gordon Edwards is math & physics professor from Canada who increases awareness of nuclear power to prevent the harm that the mere self-sustaining thrive of the industry leads to.

Edwards nuclear lecture 4/5: There will be meltdowns
Classic example of how the nuclear sidesteps what ought be a primary responsibility - understanding the health impacts of nuclear energy facilities. Talk about risk aversion...

Federal regulators killed a rigorous examination of cancer in millions of Americans living near nuclear plants http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and...-residents
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Spent fuel - potential for nuclear fires study...

Nuclear nightmareworse thanFukushima couldhit US because of ignored risks https://www.rt.com/usa/389813-us-potenti...-disaster/
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Beginning April 2017 news began to seep out about safety issues with US imports of solar technology products. Today it was announced that the US may place an emergency tariff on solar imports http://www.business-standard.com/article...438_1.html

How convenient for the fossil fuel and nuclear industry.

25 May 2017 ITC Launches Investigation into Import of Solar Cells & Modules https://www.apks.com/en/perspectives/pub...t-of-solar

26 April 2017 Suniva petition could start new global solar trade war https://www.pv-magazine.com/2017/04/26/b...trade-war/

So, if solar products present such a great threat to US economic interests, why hasn't
the same logic been applied with regards to nuclear imports... that's a rhetorical question.

17 January 2017 Seventeen U.S. Nuclear Reactors Use Parts From Forge Under Probe http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2017/0...probe.html

24 March 2017
Inspectors find safety irregularities at Creusot nuclear forge in France https://www.theguardian.com/environment/...kley-point

13 December 2016 Coverup at French Nuclear Supplier Sparks Global Review https://www.wsj.com/articles/problems-at...1481625005

9 November 2016 'Nuclear Industry in France in Crisis,' 20 Reactors Shut Down https://www.ecowatch.com/france-nuclear-...14462.html

2 September 2016 Steel in Troubled French Nuclear Reactor Used in Japanese Plants https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...ese-plants
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