Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

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

Applied Risk Management: Integrated Risk Management, Systemic and Cascading Risks

Room: Salon H   1:30 pm–3:00 pm

Chair(s): Myriam Merad

Sponsored by Applied Risk Management Specialty Group

T3-G.1  1:30 pm  How can organisations deal with systemic risks? Florin MV*, Pfeiffer S; IRGC, EPFL

Abstract: IRGC is developing guidelines for the governance of systemic risks. This on-going work suggests a process for identifying and dealing with uncertain and sudden negative consequences when risks cascade in complex systems, focusing on what organisations can do to prepare and develop response strategies. Interconnectivity between systems is one of the defining and determining features of our modern world, which is becoming ever more complex and dynamic. While this interconnectivity can increase system efficiency and service delivery, it can reduce resilience and expose the various layered systems to risk of shocks, stresses or even system failures and collapses. Shocks to interconnected systems may cause feedback and cascading effects, extreme events, and unwanted side effects. A better understanding of the dynamic of risks in complex systems is essential for decision makers in order to prepare their organisation for future challenges, when disruptions are often unforeseen and transitions are in progress. In particular, the presentation will discuss the draft IRGC guidelines, developed as a set of overarching recommendations for recognizing and navigating the undergoing transitions that come with change. The guidelines will thus also address the positive side of transitions in complex adaptive systems, focusing on adapting or transforming the organisation to the system in which it will operate in the future, in view of avoiding undesirable consequences of change, or triggering other desirable changes.

T3-G.2  1:50 pm  An Argument and Methods for Integrated Risk Assessment for Decision Support . Ramsey BA*, Wilson JM, Smith KL, Norton RA; Desert Research Institute, UNR and Auburn University

Abstract: A continuing problem in assessing risk and providing decision support to policy makers and to preparedness managers is the historical stove piping of risk analysis. For example, in developing the guidelines for ecological risk assessment, EPA has focused on indicator species or population effects of a chemical or contaminants. However, research has consistently demonstrated that environmental risk is best assessed by addressing the hierarchical levels of ecosystem organization, providing estimate/predictions of risk to ecosystems, to ecological communities as well as specific populations/species. We believe it is essential to provide a non-partisan dialogue of scientists and evidenced based methodology in order to improve our estimation of risk to water and to food from Anthropocene events. Examples include the increased stress on public health in Haiti following the recent natural disaster by introduction of relief workers carrying disease. The global community has struggled with infectious disease crisis warning and associated risk assessments- particularly those associated with health security implications. Uncertainty in the global enterprise to provide effective early warning and assess risk has resulted in imbalanced communication to funders and most importantly, the public. This inability to place risk in context and apply balance in communication with stakeholders has challenged the credibility of the entire global public health and biodefense enterprise. This, in turn, has contributed to shortfalls in sponsor support of public health, as evidenced in the recent West Africa Ebola and Zika response efforts. In this paper, we present approaches for better estimation of risks from multiple sources and from cascading natural and man-induced events which would result in better forecasting and therefore meaningful interventions in infectious disease and agroterrorism risks.

T3-G.3  2:10 pm  Perspectives on risk assessment and risk management for carbon capture and storage. Larkin P*, Leiss W, Arvai J, Dusseault M, Gracie R, Fall M, Heyes A, Krewski D; University of Ottawa

Abstract: Wide ranging risk assessment and management (RA/RM) issues are relevant to carbon capture and storage (CCS) project implementation, a technological process aimed at mitigating point source CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change. Physical hazards in capture, transport, injection, and storage are associated with environmental and human health hazard and risk issues: for example, CO2 inhalation, causing occupational/public morbidity or mortality; drinking water, soil, or air contamination from amines, criteria contaminants, CO2, or brine; surface uplift or earthquakes; and an unanticipated CO2 leakage rate to the atmosphere potentially contributing to climate change sometime in the future. This presentation presents interdisciplinary perspectives on RA/RM and an integrated risk management framework (IRMF) for CCS. We consider worldwide environmental and human health CCS-related RM frameworks; the evolution of regulatory practice in Canada; results from an expert elicitation of relative risk and uncertainty for technical hazards in performance and containment, and RM of low probability high impact events; as well as best practice in risk communication and public engagement as foundations of public acceptability. Should policy makers and proponents choose to further advance CCS, key features of the IRMF are the ten-step rational and transparent process, options to engage with and integrate government and non-government stakeholders on an ongoing basis, and incorporation of independent external review at selected points in time. The place and execution of the IRMF is proposed as a blueprint to identify safe, effective, and acceptable risk control options, thereby leading to broader acceptance of CCS as a climate change mitigation technology. This would therefore also have an important part to play in protecting global population health and wellbeing in the long term.

T3-G.4  2:30 pm  Risk-based analyses of a hypothetical expansion in the scope of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety goal policy for nuclear power plants. Hudson DW*; Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety goal policy defines an acceptable risk level for nuclear power plant (NPP) operations. It guides agency evaluations to determine whether proposed regulatory actions to enhance NPP safety should be rejected before performing cost-benefit analyses if: (1) the potential safety benefit is judged to be not substantial; or (2) the existing risk is determined to be acceptably low. Two gaps in this policy have been highlighted since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. First, it is comprised of two qualitative safety goals, each supported by a quantitative health objective (QHO) that can be compared with NPP probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) results to evaluate goal attainment. However, these QHOs are limited to measures of average individual risk of radiological health effects. Thus, there is no QHO that addresses the societal risks of potential nuclear accidents, including risks posed by implementation of protective actions to avert radiation exposures among the affected population. Second, the safety goals and QHOs are applied strictly to individual reactors, even for the 57% of US. NPP sites that include multiple reactors. Concurrent accidents involving multiple reactors have thus been excluded from NPP PRAs and safety goal evaluations. Yet lessons learned from operational experience indicate such multi-unit accidents can occur with non-negligible frequency. These gaps together may cause the true residual risk to the public from potential nuclear accidents to be underestimated or mischaracterized. Thus, proposed regulatory actions that aim to further enhance NPP safety may be prematurely rejected, before performing cost-benefit analyses to determine whether they would result in a net societal benefit. This paper presents a policy analysis of a hypothetical expansion in the scope of the safety goal policy to include consideration of: (1) multi-unit accidents; and (2) a proposed set of societal risk metrics.

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