Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Expert View on Nuclear

Peter Lam
Image Source: InsideClimate
A quick summary of interview of Peter Lam, Nuclear Expert, on his thoughts after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. 
He was a firm believer in probabilistic risk assessment but after the disaster, changed his views on the importance of accident probabilities—a key tenet of America's nuclear safety policy.
Peter Lam spent 20 years in private sector, 18 years as an administrative judge at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is a retired nuclear engineer with 110 published judicial decisions and more than 70 technical papers in industry journals and company publications

  • Probabilistic planning vs Deterministic planningThere is a difference in probabilistic planning and deterministic planning.Deterministic [risk assessment] is saying, to the extent possible, one should preset a lot of parameters for how to design, manufacture, install, operate and maintain the plant. (ie. Planning around known, foreseeable parameters)Probabilistic is, 'outside of these predetermined parameters, there's something we have not thought about.' (ie. Planning around unknown, less probable events)=> Both are necessary in planning.
  • Talk to the people on the ground.They will tell you things which did not get appropriate attention.
  • Whistle blowers programme are necessary

Link to the full article here.

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