Risk-informed Robust Off-site Protective Action Decision Making for Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies


Off-site emergency planning is required for nuclear power plants. Current planning is completed using deterministic assumptions in domain-specific sections (e.g. transportation, communication) to meet site licensing regulations. Risk to the population is not considered in many of these sections as the primary measure of effectiveness. The combination of these studies does not result in overall situational awareness needed for robust decision making in the event of an emergency. We find that the typical deterministic assumptions in current plans result in overconfidence in the ability of a protective action to avoid dose. When comparing protective action strategies, a balance is needed between transportation risk and dose risk. As expected, the amount of early warning is a major factor in avoiding dose. However, early warning does not affect the portion of dose avoided uniformly across protective action strategies. It is only through a risk-based integrated decision model that a more complete understanding of robust protective action selection and decision making under uncertainty can be achieved. Minimizing evacuation time has been the standard practice but does not always minimize risk. Rapid decision making and communication is essential to increase early warning. The typical assumptions result in overpredicting the effectiveness of a protective action which may result in selection of a less than ideal strategy.

Dec 14, 2020 7:30 PM — 9:00 PM
Risk Science for Sustainability
PhD Candidate / Engineer / Consultant

My research includes energy systems, policy soultions, and deep uncertainty.