DEVELOPMENT OF A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT POTENTIAL RISK INDEX (NPP PRI)(JOINT EXTRA CREDIT)

Event Date: April 30, 2015
Speaker: JASON T. HARRIS, PH.D.
Speaker Affiliation: Idaho State University
Type: Joint
Time: 1:15 pm
Location: PHYS 201
Abstract:
 
This study examines the potential risks associated with the 65 U.S.-based commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). The goal of this work was to construct a NPP potential risk index (NPP PRI) and estimate the demographic characteristics of the peoples exposed to four discrete risk categories—namely, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. To do this, a conceptual framework was laid out to include the three cornerstone potential risks of any NPP—namely, plant risks, natural disaster risks and location risk. First, potential risks at a given NPP can stem from the plant itself—from its day-to-day operations, the normal aging of the plant and/or the continued, ongoing exposure of the plant, its equipment and its surroundings to radioactive effluents and their byproducts. Second, any NPP could experience an accident, including a core-damage event, which could be triggered by, for example, a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado. Third, the plant’s physical location influences its potential risk level. If a given plant is sited in proximity to a densely populated area such as a city, that plant will thus be more prone to a man-made disaster such as an airplane crash, a terrorist attack, etc. Therefore, a given NPP’s potential risk level can be measured across those three dimensions. In order to construct a composite risk index, (ci’) each variable was then rescaled along a range from 0 to 100. The formula of {ci΄= [(ci - cmin )/ (cmax – cmin)] x 100} was used in order to arrive at such a scale. Weights were allocated as follows: 20% radioactive effluents, 35% near-miss events, 15% years in operation, 20% disaster risk and 10% location risk. All variables were then summed, producing a composite index score that could be used to classify the NPP according to four risk categories: Green (a composite score >10 and ≤22), Yellow (>22 and ≤26.72), Orange (>26.72 and ≤32) and Red (>32 and <65). Out of the 65 NPPs included in the current study, 12 (18.46%) were sorted into the Green category of potential risk level, 11 (16.92%) into Yellow, 27 (41.54%) into Orange and 15 (23.08%) into Red. Demographic composition and trends were also analyzed.
 
At the conclusion of the seminar, the author will summarize his relevant past, present, and projected future research and program development activities.

2015-04-30 14:15:00 2015-04-30 15:15:00 America/New_York DEVELOPMENT OF A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT POTENTIAL RISK INDEX (NPP PRI)(JOINT EXTRA CREDIT) PHYS 201