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Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2008

Risk Analysis: the Science and the Art

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Technical Hazards

Room: Grand Ballroom D   2:00-3:30 PM

Chair(s): Joesph Arvai, Robyn Wilson

M3-B.3    Communicating the benefits of an integrated risk management approach: A mental model study of farmer decision making. Wilson RS*, Tucker M, Hooker N, LeJeune J, Doohan D; The Ohio State University

Abstract: Integrated management approaches are believed to be necessary for preventing and managing agricultural risks that result from an over-reliance on one management approach (e.g., chemical use). However, anecdotal and case history evidence suggests that farmers’ hold widely varying beliefs regarding the need for integrated approaches. Here we report an initial empirical investigation of how farmers make decisions about the management of risks related to weeds (i.e., risks to environmental health, human health, agricultural productivity, etc.). The long-term goal of this on-going study is to inform risk communication efforts designed to encourage greater adoption of integrated weed management approaches. In the research reported here, farmer decision-making processes were probed using a mental models research approach. The results indicate that, compared to the expert model, farmers were less likely to believe human activities contribute significantly to weed-related risks. Farmers also placed less importance on risks posed to the agro-ecosystem while focusing almost exclusively on economic risk. They were largely unable to identify any benefits associated with weeds. Finally, the preferred management strategies of farmers reflected some integration of techniques but a disinterest in prevention (a major tenet of an integrated approach). The initial analyses indicate that farmer decision-making for weed-related risk management is guided by several cognitive and motivational heuristics. These heuristics include loss aversion, an assumed inverse relationship between risk and benefit, and over-attributing negative outcomes to external factors (i.e., the fundamental attribution error). The actual use of these heuristics is currently being assessed through a confirmatory survey with a representative sample of farmers from the upper Midwestern United States. Initial results from the survey will also be discussed.

M3-B.4    The influence of a nuclear power plant’s location on the image of the region, and the effect of information emphasizing the benefits of the nuclear power plant. Oiso S*, Tanaka Y; Institute of Nuclear Safety System,Incorporated, Osaka Gakuin University

Abstract: This research studied the influence that a nuclear power plant’s location has on the image of the region, from a psychological viewpoint. It also examined the effect of information emphasizing the benefits of the nuclear power plant on people’s image of the region. This survey was conducted in Japan with 2,000 randomly selected adult participants. The participants were divided into four groups: group 1 was given information about the nuclear power plant’s location and benefits; group 2 was given information about the benefits only; group 3 was given information about the location only; and group 4 was given no information. Three factors, 1) comfort of living there, 2) possibility of growth, and 3) volume of energy, were extracted by factor analysis of twenty items concerning image of the region. It was found that when the participants were informed that nuclear power plants were located in the region, the image depicted by nine of the items constituting the “comfort of living there” factor changed negatively. However, the image of four items of the “possibility of growth” factor changed positively, and the image depicted by seven of the items of the “volume of energy” factor did not change. On the other hand, providing information concerning the benefits of a nuclear power plant did not lead to a negative change in image in the case of three of the nine items constituting the “comfort of living there” factor, namely, 1) cheerful, 2) prosperous, and 3) being clean. This indicates that giving information about the location of a nuclear power plant may not affect the image of the region, if information about the benefits of the nuclear power plant is given.

M3-B.5    The Rural Communities of Nevada and National Defense Externalities: An examination of public attitudes toward environmental activities at the Nevada Test Site. Neill H.R.*, Ward J.; University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Abstract: The long term relationship between rural communities and nearby industrial sites is complex given the potential conflicts among economic, social and environmental factors. There are few papers that examine the relationship between rural communities of Nevada and the Nevada Test Site where the U.S. government conducted over 900 nuclear tests above and below ground between the early 1950s and 1992. Some papers such as Schwer and Waddoups (1996) examined the impact of the US nuclear moratorium on workers but did not distinguish impacts on workers living near the Nevada Test Site. To address this gap in the literature, the purpose of this paper is to measure the awareness and attitudes of citizens from rural communities surrounding the Nevada Test Site. We distributed a mail questionnaire and received 837 responses, a 14% response rate. Our results showed that the majority of respondents supported present cleanup efforts and risk reductions for future generations. To examine attitudes and awareness levels further, we presented results from multiple binary choice models to identify which characteristics were significant predictors.

M3-B.6    The media coverage of a disaster over time: framing and tone-of-voice. Kuttschreuter M*, Gutteling JM; Center for Risk & Safety Perception, University of Twente, Netherlands

Abstract: In 2000, an explosion took place at the S.E. Fireworks factory and warehouse in Enschede, the Netherlands. In this explosion 22 people were killed and a residential area was destructed. The paper presents a quantitative analysis of the media coverage in the local and three national newspapers over a three-year period of time. Research questions related to 1) the characterisation of the amount of coverage over time by means of a statistical function, 2) the characterisation of the coverage content from the perspective of news selection and news framing and 3) the differences in framing and tone-of voice between periods with high coverage and normal coverage. All articles on the Fireworks disaster that were published in the major newspaper in the affected area (TcTubantia), and three national newspapers (Algemeen Dag¬blad, Volkskrant, Telegraaf) in the three years following the disaster were included in the analyses (n=4.928). In all periods, the local newspaper published more articles on the disaster. The newspapers used a responsibility frame most often (64%), followed by a conflict-frame (52%), human-interestframe (36%) and economic-consequences frame (31%). The total number of articles per 4-week-period declined over the years, as did the number of articles in which specific frames were used. The decline over time was statistically best described by the inverse function. In certain periods, the media coverage suddenly peaked compared to the hypothesized inverse-function. These peaks seemed to be related to specific events that took place in the three-year period following the disaster, such as the publication of the outcomes of an investigation by an independent committee (Commissie Oosting). The frame-use and tone-of-voice in these periods with excessive coverage will be compared to those in the periods with normal coverage.

M3-B.7    The Chernobyl accident and public health. Borodyanskiy NI*; Europen Institute for Management

Abstract: The Chernobyl disaster is described as the greatest technological catastrophe in human history. In the report presented different problems of risk perception of the Chernobyl accident are considered. The accident caused the cancellation of nuclear power programes in Ukraine and became a turning point for the world nuclear history. There is still ongoing discussion about the quantity of radioactive material released in 1986. The economical damage to CIS and EU countries is described. The health problems in the countries of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are analyzed. Other health effects on the population are discussed. The situation with dangerous reactors and Sarcophagus shutting down is given. Due to the serious risk of the next coming accident at Chernobyl it is clear that Chernobyl problems in the Ukraine require wider governmental actions in the area of emergency prevention, response, mitigation and rehabilitation. Among our priorities for international co-operation are: creation of a legal basis for joint efforts in the field of emergency prevention and response on bilateral and multilateral basis; joint plans and procedures outlining implementation of mutual aid agreements; improvement of interoperability with foreign and international organisations dealing with emergency prevention and response; exchange of information and experiences. Among the key elements of international co-operation are joint research programmes involving support from the side of international foundations. Only in this way we can find the solutions for Chernobyl problem.

M3-B.8    Assessing technical and other hazards in new technologies: Developing common metrics in the EU. Jovanovic AS*, Salvi O; EU-VRi: European Institute for Integrated Risk Management

Abstract: Recent efforts of organizations and bodies like OECD, API, IAEA, HSE and/or other organizations have recently brought new ideas in the area of establishing metrics for technical hazards and risks. The metrics is largely based on the concept of key and/or safety performance indicators (KPIs/SPIs). A review of these efforts and the directions in which new projects and activities should go is provided in the paper. In particular, the paper will concentrate and report of what is done in the following projects and activities: a. The newly approved (20 million € budgeted) FP7 project iNTeg-Risk “Early Recognition, Monitoring, and Integrated Management of Emerging, New Technology related Risks” has KPIs as one of the cornerstones of the work of establishing the consolidated EU response to the risks related to the development, introduction and use of new technologies; based on the 17 well-defined practical applications a common concept (framework) will be developed and tested by a consortium of over 80 leading European partners; KPIs will play a pivoting role in this process; b. Development of a fast growing data and information base (in Sept. 2008, containing over 500 KPIs, out of over 20 sources, and over 100 different documents devoted specifically to KPIs/SPIs), including the options to compare and hierarchically organize KPIs/; c. Current results and future plans of the activities related to the European (CEN) and national (DIN) standardization aspects of KPIs/SPIs – e.g. inclusion of KPIs/SPIs into the new standardization documents (e.g. already included into CEN 15740); CEN/ETPIS survey on the use of KPIs in the European industry (results of Sept. 2008); d. Inclusion of the KPIs/SPIs related issues into the respective, risk/safety related academic (University of Stuttgart) and professional education (Steinbeis). The above activities are expected to significantly improve the situation in terms internationally recognized and accepted references and de facto standards.

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