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Risk Management of Future Foreign Conflict Intervention

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Journal Article

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Risk Management Solutions, Inc Newark United States

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Risk is a concept that is universal in its common everyday usage. It is simply an expression of the potential for a given action to lead to a loss of some kind. But risk also has a specific and precise technical definition among professional risk analysts. For this community, risk is the combination of the probability of an event and its consequences. Awareness of the consequences of various actions or events is patently necessary for informed decision making on public safety. If there is a core meltdown of a nuclear reactor, there will be a massive release of radioactivity. Even if this were contained within the nuclear plant, the public trauma would put pressure on shutting down the nuclear industry, as has happened in Japan. This key paradigm, which has been highlighted in the risk literature for more than a half century, shows that awareness of the probability of an adverse event should also be important for decision makers. For unless the probability of a core meltdown is demonstrated to fall below some extremely low tolerance threshold, the risk to the public would be unacceptable despite the energy supply benefits. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami-induced disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2012, was a stark reminder that the residual risk of a core meltdown is not so low as to be purely academic. Yet it was after a fire at a first-generation nuclear facility in Northwest England in 1957 that the basic probabilistic principles of risk acceptability were originally developed for application to the nuclear industry. For public endorsement of nuclear power generation, the regulation of the nuclear industry requires that the probability of a serious nuclear accident must be extremely low. Regrettably, the aging 40-year-old Fukushima plant was designed and constructed before the use of probabilistic methods became widespread.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Administration and Management

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