Nuclear Safety, Security, & Profitability via Probabilistic Risk Assessment
Abstract: The Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) research laboratory (http://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/) in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) focuses on the advancement of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), which is one of the key pillars of the Risk-Informed Regulatory Framework for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The key research impacts of the SoTeRiA lab include (1) making scholarly contributions to risk analysis of complex technological systems; (2) bridging scientific risk analysis research with industry and regulatory challenges; (3) providing strong leadership at risk analysis conferences; (4) advancing risk-informed solutions for new technologies; and (5) promoting nuclear safety, security, and profitability through risk analysis. This talk provides an overview of some of SoTeRiA’s ongoing research projects and risk analysis courses.
John Beal Bio: John Beal is a first-year Ph.D. student at NPRE and received his Bachelor’s degree from NPRE in the spring 2020. Beal has worked with the SoTeRiA Lab since his junior year and took NPRE 461 and NPRE 561 risk analysis courses. Beal is the recipient of the 2020 NPRE Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award and an NRC Graduate Fellowship. He is the winner of a prestigious fellowship from the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy University Program that fully funds his graduate studies. Beal’s research focus is on risk analysis and policy making for advanced reactors. Since joining SoTeRiA, he has been the first author or a co-author of several publications.
Associate Professor Zahra Mohaghegh Bio: Zahra Mohaghegh, the Director of the SoTeRiA laboratory, is an Associate Professor in NPRE and an affiliate with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at UIUC. Zahra is the first woman in the NPRE department to have attained a tenured professorship, a step toward equality for all women. She believes, however, that pioneering socio-technical risk analysis research and education has been her greatest accomplishment. She has recently become a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (IAPSAM). With the desire to create an international think tank for safety, Dr. Mohaghegh has initiated research collaborations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to develop risk methodologies for advanced reactors and with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) to advance simulation models for risk-informed emergency preparedness and response. SoTeRiA research has also received funding from several national sponsors including the NRC, the DOE, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the nuclear power industry. Dr. Mohaghegh is honored to have received the College of Engineering at Illinois Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and the American Nuclear Society Mary Jane Oestmann Award, conferred for her pioneering introduction of human and organizational factors into the risk analysis of socio-technical systems in nuclear and various other fields.