The study looks at the safe management of radioactive materials. As demand for products and services using radioactive material is growing, there is an increasing demand for appropriate guidelines to manage nuclear installations safety. In particular, there are two competing strategies for managing nuclear plants and radioactive materials: Defence in Depth and Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA), which are deterministic and probabilistic in nature respectively.There has been considerable debate concerning which is the best approach, leading to a need to address the negatives and positives of each in an academic study. This need informs this study, which considers the nature of each in risk assessment, prevention of nuclear incidents, and response to events. The study therefore presents a review of relevant recent literature on the topic.
The study considers each approach in detail, looking first at the deterministic approach, which aims to address damage limitation at each of the potential stages involved in nuclear incidents. As an approach it uses expected deviations from normal operations. It has been improved over the years and currently allows realistic modelling of nuclear processes and events, and is currently an important way to assess potential problems and address them if they occur.Similarly, PSA is widely used around the world today, but offers a wider assessment of risk and also allows for operational events to be interpreted more accurately, leading to better perception of risk, and more ability to rank risks according to the likelihood they will occur.
However, the study also shows that current regulations regarding nuclear safety, particularly the PSA are inadequate. Both approaches rely upon the assumption of normal conditions, which introduces uncertainty in quantification and hence in calculations.A possible approach to minimise the inherent problems of each approach is offered.
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