Scenario 10: Societal Risk Assessment | Summary and Q&A

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August 17, 2017
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Scenario 10: Societal Risk Assessment

TL;DR

A guest speaker discusses the high risks associated with the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Boston Harbor and proposes a new risk assessment process to properly evaluate these risks.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are the potential consequences of a gas leak from the LNG facility in Boston Harbor?

A gas leak could lead to a large explosion, causing major damage to infrastructure and property, as well as a potential loss of human life.

Q: What are the problems with the current risk assessment for the facility?

The current risk assessment assumes that all safety measures are being taken 100% of the time, without accounting for human error or negligence. Site visits by regulatory agencies are infrequent and announced ahead of time, failing to accurately reflect day-to-day safety measures.

Q: How can a new risk assessment be conducted?

The speaker recommends a 2-step process. The government, along with public input, should determine the acceptable level of risk. Then, a group of scientists should conduct the risk assessment, considering the possibility of human error and non-compliance with safety measures.

Q: What should be done if the risk assessment findings do not align with the society's acceptable level of risk?

If the risk assessment shows that the facility exceeds the predetermined level of acceptable risk, the government should consider closing the facility. Otherwise, regular safety monitoring and adherence to safety measures should be ensured.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The LNG facility in Boston Harbor carries the risk of a gas leak, which could lead to a fire and a large explosion.

  • The risks are even greater when LNG is transported through water, as spills could spread more quickly and be harder to contain.

  • The current risk assessment for the facility is inadequate, as it does not account for human error or negligence and has limited monitoring.

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