In the nuclear power industry, Level 3 probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) is used to estimate damage to public health and the environment if a severe accident leads to large radiological release. Current Level 3 PRA does not have an explicit inclusion of social factors and, therefore, it is not possible to perform importance ranking of social factors for risk-informing emergency preparedness, planning, and response (EPPR). This article offers a methodology for adapting the concept of social vulnerability, commonly used in natural hazard research, in the context of a severe nuclear power plant accident. The methodology has four steps: (1) calculating a hazard-independent social vulnerability index for the local population; (2) developing a location-specific representation of the maximum radiological hazard estimated from current Level 3 PRA, in a geographic information system (GIS) environment; (3) developing a GIS-based socio-technical risk map by combining the social vulnerability index and the location-specific radiological hazard; and (4) conducting a risk importance measure analysis to rank the criticality of social factors based on their contribution to the socio-technical risk. The methodology is applied using results from the 2012 Surry Power Station state-of-the-art reactor consequence analysis. A radiological hazard model is generated from MELCOR accident consequence code system, translated into a GIS environment, and combined with the Center for Disease Control social vulnerability index (SVI). This research creates an opportunity to explicitly consider and rank the criticality of location-specific SVI themes based on their influence on risk, providing input for EPPR.
- Geographic information systems
- Level 3 probabilistic risk assessment
- social vulnerability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Physiology (medical)