NRC seminar series: J-value Risk Assessment Tool and its Application to Big Nuclear Accidents

10 December 2014, 1.00 PM - 10 December 2014, 2.00 PM

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1.18, Queen’s Building, University of Bristol. Speaker: Prof Philip Thomas

The J-value is a new and objective assessment tool that can be applied across all industries, balancing safety spend against the extension of life expectancy brought about. It has the considerable advantage over conventional cost benefit analysis that no explicit assumptions have to be made about the difficult issue of the monetary value to be attached to saving a human life (where the UK's current figure has been shown to be without foundation). Also, unlike other approaches, the J-value allows immediate fatalities and potential loss of life in the longer term (e.g. after exposure to a carcinogen) to be measured on the same scale.

It is thus particularly suitable for judging nuclear safety, including assessing mitigation strategies following large accidents like Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011). Inevitably in the spotlight of national and world opinion, such measures need to be capable of rigorous justification, not only to experts in the field but also to politicians and the general public. The J-value approach has highlighted the less than 2 weeks' life expectancy lost by the members of the public most threatened after Chernobyl, and calls into question the policies of large-scale evacuation instituted at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

For more information, visit the NRC website. Download the flyer (PDF, 672kB) here‌.

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