General Chair Message

A message from the general chair, Cindy Pezze.

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Welcome to the 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017). In my role as key account vice president at Westinghouse Electric Company, I understand the importance of transferring knowledge and skills within our community to continue developing innovative approaches to resolve key challenges facing our industry. This meeting will provide an opportunity to learn from expert presentations and gain knowledge from PSA practitioners with a broad range of experience and expertise.

The theme for this meeting is “A Path for Next Generation PRA Innovation and Growth.” I encourage you to consider yourself a pioneer of PSA, no matter how many years you have been working in the field. We hope to see many long time veterans of PSA as well as early career professionals who are new to this exciting technology.

We need new ideas and perspectives to keep PSA moving forward and continuing to provide value to the nuclear industry. The extensive experience of those who were in the early part of their careers when the Individual Plant Examinations were developed, combined with the energy and vitality of our young professionals, is a key aspect to successfully bring innovative ideas together and to keep growing the value of PSA.

This forum provides opportunity for collaboration, which is critical to assure the safety and long-term sustainability of nuclear power. I care about our industry and its future and hope you are able to participate in this meeting and share your experiences.

 

A message from the international chair, Enrico Zio.

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I am very excited about the upcoming 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017), whose theme has been selected to be “A Path for Next Generation PRA Innovation and Growth.” Indeed, the PSA meeting will provide an extraordinary opportunity to hear old and new problems, learn new methods and exchange experiences and expertise. This is very much needed in the very dynamic world that we live in, where knowledge and technology are advancing at a very fast pace, as we must appreciate the opportunities and challenges related to ensuring that we continue to search for, and find, innovative solutions to benefit our industry, its safety, and sustainability. To increase and improve the use of SPA for providing value to the nuclear industry, new ideas and developments are needed. Innovation is necessary to continue assuring the required standards of safety and long-term sustainability for nuclear power generation. You can make a difference by participating in the PSA 2017 meeting, sharing your competence and experience with the rest of the participants.

 

A message from the academic chair, Zahra Mohaghegh, Director of the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Zahra Mohaghegh - professor of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering

Catastrophic events have made it clear that the integration of physical and social causes of failure into a common systematic modeling framework is essential for the future of risk analysis. There is a need for systematic and theoretical risk analysis frameworks to determine the salient contributing factors (e.g., underlying technological, environmental, and social conditions) that affect risk. Since history has consistently shown that disasters result from dynamic and multi-stranded chains of events, and because accident scenarios must consider the causes of social distress, managerial deficiency, human error and technical system failure, risk analysis requires the development of a common vocabulary within multiple engineering and social science domains in order to address risk emerging from the interface of social and technical systems. The ANS PSA 2017 conference brings together a vibrant and diverse community from industry, governmental agencies and academia to build this common vocabulary and expand upon a shared vision for enhancing risk analysis research and education in order to usher in a new era, void of catastrophic accidents, where scientific discoveries are used to raise social responsibility for the protection of workers, the public, and the environment. Building this community ensures that scientific contributions in risk analysis can continue to benefit complex socio-technical systems by advancing risk informed decision making. As an educator of engineers, social scientists, and policy makers, the PSA conference creates a multidisciplinary environment for uncovering important areas of formal risk analysis training and education, advancing risk analysis knowledge sharing among academia, industry, and governmental agencies by creating an open scientific environment. By promoting risk analysis as its own academic discipline through the ANS PSA conference, we encourage the next generation of risk analysts being introduced into the workforce, thereby contributing to international safety, security, and peace in our global community.