Presentation on theme: "Fukushima Daiichi: coping after a major nuclear accident Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation London, 30 October 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Fukushima Daiichi: coping after a major nuclear accident Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation London, 30 October 2014
NREFS more broadly Philip has introduced the NREFS project and the J-Value approach Ian has gone further in highlighting the wider utility of such approaches. From the start of the NREFS project it has been intended to make such approaches and insights available to the policy making community. We recognise, however, that real policy-making must make trade-offs between diverse quantitative and qualitative considerations. As such our work represents science advice, not science decision. In order better to appreciate the policy context, NREFS has also researched on a broader front.
UK History Led by Malcolm Grimston, the NREFS project has sought to understand better how concerns for possible severe nuclear accidents has shaped UK policy for the siting of new nuclear power stations since the 1950s. Proximity to centres of population is just one consideration among many to be considered when making siting decisions. Severe accident risk is an issue that has been given careful consideration at each evolutionary stage of the UK nuclear power programme, and the policy prescription has changed with time. [Ref: Grimston et al, J. Rad. Prot. 34, R1- R24 (2014)] The wider context I
Energy Security Also led by Malcolm Grimston, the NREFS project has built upon earlier work by NREFS researchers to understand how a modern society copes with the major loss of electricity generating capacity, such as can follow, directly and indirectly, from a severe disaster. Japan has managed to maintain electricity security despite having lost all of its nuclear electricity generating capacity. How energy security was maintained is the subject of the recent NREFS work. [REF: Grimston et al, Int’l J. Energy Research (submitted) See also earlier work by Haarscher et al. EPRG WP 1417 University of Cambridge] The wider context II
Financial and economic consequences Led by Dr John Moriarty at Manchester University, post-doc Dmitri Yumarshav has researched: Flexible Decision Making in Large Scale Nuclear Emergencies: Long-Term Response He has developed a simple model for a single economic location (say, a town, a village or an area of agricultural land). Optimization is performed on the long timescale of several long contaminant half-lives (e.g. Cs- 137). Hence the initial contamination/radiation levels in the given area are assumed to be known (once the ‘dust has settled’). As a result, the problem may be regarded as largely deterministic. Yumnashev et al. introduce a pair of controls, relocation/repopulation and remediation, and seek joint optimal solutions (according to Bellman’s principle of optimality). The wider context III
Yumanshev et al. continued Three main economic parameters appear to affect the rank of the optimal regime, hence these can be represented by a cube, with the optimal strategy rank plotted as a colour (heat map) as a fourth dimension in the 3D space of the parameters. Such visualisation quickly reveals preferred responses in diverse scenarios. An example heat map – different policy strategies are denoted by different colours.
now The Wider Context IV Chernobyl project NKS Workshops EthosFarming Integrative Accident Response Decision Making Led by Prof Simon French at Warwick University Post doc Nikolaos Argyris has been rethinking criteria for early phase response (e.g. sheltering and evacuation). This NREFS work builds upon a whole series of previous large research projects focussing on severe nuclear accidents and related issues. EURANOS EVATECH NERIS RODOS NREFS French et al. Research Project Sequence
During the planning phase of the NREFS project, our thinking turned to assessing where the greatest potential might lie for stakeholder communities to learn from the Fukushima-Daiichi experience. With limited capacity within NREFS we clearly had to be selective and could not take a holistic approach to stakeholder lessons. We briefly considered investigating possible lessons for first- responders, but after some brief reflection we concluded that the nuclear insurance sector could be a more interesting perspective to investigate. Our question became: how does that important stakeholder community address severe nuclear accident issues and how has the sector’s thinking evolved since the FukushimDaiichi accident? The OU and NREFS
The industry divides nuclear insurance according to two main types of loss. The first is prominent in day-to-day significance for nuclear power plant operators and is known as material damage insurance with the second being third party liability insurance. Here we focus on the latter. Nuclear liability insurance is a somewhat complex business, but at its heart there are a few guiding principles, as implemented in the UK: A liability regime of “strict liability” Operator Subject to a Limit of Liability Subject to the 1960 Paris Convention and 1963 Brussels Supplementary Convention which is legislated in the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 The OU and NREFS: Insurance
At the heart of third-party liability regimes is the notion of strict liability (i.e. the victim does not need to prove fault or negligence against the operator) and exclusive liability (i.e. all claims are legally channelled to the operator). This means that the operator is responsible for all third-party losses arising from nuclear activities on their licensed site, even if fault can be traced to an external supplier. Nuclear Liability Insurance
Interestingly third party liability insurance is a major issue facing the Indian nuclear power programme. India does not operate to international principles of strict and exclusive liability. Western industrial suppliers are therefore concerned that they might have enormous damage costs falling to them following a nuclear accident. Reassurances from the Indian government that no such risks exist are not entirely trusted by potential suppliers noting the robust independence of the Indian judiciary. I suggest that if India were to adopt international conventions then international civil nuclear trade would be facilitated. Nuclear Insurance
Some closing thoughts triggered by NREFS …
Insurance thought: four zones Prevailing winds Site: plant & electricity sales Mandatory relocation Precautionary evacuation Zone of blight prevailing wind
One thought …. Let’s posit the existence of four zones of concern following a severe nuclear accident. Let’s call them: The nuclear licensed site The zone of mandatory relocation The zone of precautionary relocation The zone of blight Arguably the insurance issues are respectively: Material damage insurance coverage applies Long-standing issues for liability cover usually with a limit of liability Recently added as a matter of insured liability (Revised Paris Convention) Arguably no loss requiring compensation, but … ?
Some closing thoughts … How do the legally determined realities relate to the political realities? How does this all compare to the scientific realities stressed earlier by Philip and Ian? Finally I am drawn to the suggestion that the nuclear industry should include the deaths arising from radiologically-motivated precautionary evacuation/relocation in the mortality statistics of severe nuclear accidents. To do so could be expected to give rise to better policy-making.
Open University NREFS Publications M Grimston, WJ Nuttall, and G Vaughan (2014). The siting of UK nuclear reactors. Journal of Radiological Protection, 34(2) R1-R /34/2/R1/article?fromSearchPage=truehttp://iopscience.iop.org/ /34/2/R1/article?fromSearchPage=true S French, N Argyris, WJ Nuttall, J Moriarty, and P Thomas (2013). The early phase of a radiation accident: revisiting thinking on evacuation and exclusion zones. In: 10th ISCRAM Conference, May 2013, Baden-Baden, Germany, pp. 296–300. M Grimston, SF Ashley, and WJ Nuttall. Japan’s Electricity Challenges After Fukushima. Submitted to International Journal of Energy Research (submitted) In final stages of preparation RJ Heffron, SF Ashley, and WJ Nuttall. Reform and Issues in the Global Nuclear Liability Regime Post Fukushima (planned submission to Harvard International Law Journal) Other papers are planned concerning issues surrounding nuclear insurance, nuclear law, and regulation post-Fukushima and insights into issues surrounding nuclear insurance, nuclear law, and regulation from a UK, US, and Indian perspective. Papers are also anticipated concerning the economic cost of a hypothetical nuclear accident in the UK and issues of uncertainty and flexibility in nuclear power technology choices
Acknowledgements I am most grateful to colleagues involved in the OU NREFS work, especially: Steve Ashley, Michel-Alexandre Cardin, Malcolm Grimston, Raphael Heffron, Geoff Vaughan and Yan Sixu. It has been a great pleasure working with NREFS colleagues from City University, Manchester University and Warwick University. It has also been most enjoyable being part of the Indo-UK Civil Nuclear Research Partnership. Any errors or omissions in my remarks are my responsibility alone. Thank You