1st Edition

Risk Analysis in Engineering Techniques, Tools, and Trends

By Mohammad Modarres Copyright 2006
    418 Pages 178 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

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    Based on the author’s 20 years of teaching, Risk Analysis in Engineering: Techniques, Tools, and Trends presents an engineering approach to probabilistic risk analysis (PRA). It emphasizes methods for comprehensive PRA studies, including techniques for risk management. The author assumes little or no prior knowledge of risk analysis on the part of the student and provides the necessary mathematical and engineering foundations. The text relies heavily on, but is not limited to, examples from the nuclear industry, because that is where PRA techniques were first developed. Since PRA provides a best-estimate approach, the author pays special attention to explaining uncertainty characterization.

    The book begins with a description of the basic definitions and principles of risk, safety, and performance and presents the elements of risk analysis and their applications in engineering. After highlighting the methods for performing PRAs, the author describes how to assess and measure performance of the building blocks of PRAs, such as reliability of hardware subsystems, structures, components, human actions, and software. He covers methods of characterizing uncertainties and methods for propagating them through the PRA model to estimate uncertainties of the results. The book explores how to identify and rank important and sensitive contributors to the estimated risk using the PRA and performance assessment models. It also includes a description of risk acceptance criteria and the formal methods for making decisions related to risk management options and strategies. The book concludes with a brief review of the main aspects, issues, and methods of risk communication.

    Drawing on notes, homework problems, and exams from courses he has taught as well as feedback from his students, Professor Modarres provides a from-the-trenches method for teaching risk assessment for engineers. This is a textbook that is easy to use for students and professors alike.

    Introduction and Basic Definitions

    Importance of Risk Analysis
    Elements and Types of Risk Analysis
    Risk Assessment
    Risk Management
    Risk Communication

    Elements of Risk Assessment

    Types of Risk Assessment
    Risk, Hazard, Performance and Engineering Risk Assessment

    Probabilistic Risk Assessment

    Steps in Concluding a Probabilistic Risk Assessment
    Strength of PRA
    Scenario and Logic Modeling, Development and Quantification
    Modeling of Dependent Failures in Risk Assessment
    A Simple Example of PRA

    Performance Assessment Data and Modeling

    Active Hardware Performance Assessment
    Statistical Data Analysis for Hardware Items
    Availability as a Measure of Performance for Repairable Hardware Items
    Classical Parameter Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance Assessment of Hardware
    Bayesian Parameters Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance Assessment of Hardware
    Performance of Passive and Some Active Hazard Barriers through Physics and Engineering of Failure Modeling
    Software Performance Assessment
    Human Reliability Analysis
    Expert Opinion in Risk Assessment and Performance Assessment

    Uncertainty Analysis

    Types of Uncertainty
    Measures of Uncertainty
    Uncertainty Propagation Methods
    Comparison of Uncertainty Propagation Methods
    Graphic Representation of Uncertainty
    Identifying, Ranking and Predicting Contributors to Risk
    Importance Ranking in Probabilistic Risk Assessment
    Importance Measures in Success Risk Assessment
    A Comprehensive Example of Importance Measure Application
    Consideration of Uncertainties in Importance Measures Used for Risk-Based Ranking
    Uncertainty Importance Measures
    Precursor Analysis
    Representation of Risk Values and Risk Acceptances Criteria
    Representation of Risk Results
    Health and Safety Risk Acceptance Criteria
    Economic Risk and Performance Acceptance Criteria
    Decision Making Techniques Using Risk Information
    Economic Methods in Risk Analysis
    Non-Economic Techniques

    Risk Communication

    Forms of Communication
    The Basic Rules of Risk Communication
    Elements of Effective Risk Communication
    Characteristics of an Effective Risk Communication
    Risk Perception
    Appendix A: Basic Reliability Mathematics: Review of Probability and Statistics
    Appendix B: Statistical Tables


    Mohammad Modarres

    “… this book contains the most used procedures and practices particularly in conducting probabilistic risk assessments of complex systems such nuclear power plants. One of the special feature of this gook is the inclusion of several worked out examples in the text and also a large number of exercises at the end of each chapters. This feature makes it very useful for the undergraduate, graduate students, who would like to study the subject of risk modeling, assessment and management as a part of their curricula. … the reviewer would like to recommend this book to all those practicing engineers, students, teachers, and researchers, who would like to make in depth study of the probabilistic risk assessment and associated problems and are looking for their solutions. This is a most comprehensive treatment of the subject.”
    — K. B. Misra, in International Journal of Performability Engineering, (IJPE), July 2006