Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
175 European Commission Initiative on Safety and Security of Energy Infrastructures in a Comparative View (PSAM-0035)
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The use of different systems for the generation and distribution of energy, such as different fossil energy carriers, is at the base of any advanced society. They provide the basic resources for industrial production, transport and domestic needs. On the other hand, they involve hazardous activities that pose a threat to public health and environment and create problems in dealing with dangerous wastes. During the last years a lot of attention has been paid by regulators, utilities, environmental groups and the general public to risk issues related to the use of the different types of energy systems across their fuel cycle chains. The current socio-economic system is largely based on centralized conventional energy sources (fossil, nuclear) and their distribution systems. In addition, legislation and the liberalization of the energy market are focused on helping new or improved energy technologies to join the market at a competitive level, offering more possibilities for distributed generation. Examples mentioned in the European Green Paper “Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply” to counter the increasing energy supply dependence of the EU are renewable energy as well as advanced nuclear technologies to help to reduce dependence on imports and increase the security of supply and at the same time limit the greenhouse gas emissions, in support of the Kyoto protocol.
In such a wide context, where often safety assessment practices and criteria are incomplete and not entirely consistent, the problem of safety comparison and risk/benefit communication is of critical importance for sustainable decision making. The European Commission's Directorates-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) and Transport and Energy (DG TREN) have recently started two connected initiatives, called Energy Risks Monitor (ERMON) and Safety & Security of Energy Infrastructures in a Comparative View (SEIF-CV).
ERMON's objectives are:
▪ to develop a methodology for comparative assessment of accidental risks of different energy systems that allows any interested person or institution to compare results from risk studies of different energy systems across the various steps in their specific fuel cycle chains (production, transportation & distribution, waste);
▪ to develop a practical web-based tool to map available end results of any energy risk assessment or incident/accident statistics into common metrics to allow fair results to compare and detect possible trends;
▪ to enhance multi-disciplinary and -sectoral dialogue in addressing energy risks, via the SEIF-CV Process.
SEIF-CV is envisaged to be the spark of a process where dialogue and information exchange between the various stakeholders in the field of energy safety and security is promoted. Thus, the purpose of SEIF-CV is to present and discuss about pressures (safety and security risks, economical, socio-political, etc.) on the EU energy arena, and actions (standardised methods, research, policy measures, etc.) implemented to address this dynamic and inter-connected landscape. The aim and motivation of SEIF-CV is to identify and reach consensus from the different stakeholders (authorities, industry, NGOs, etc.) regarding:
▪ status of the important factors ensuring / threatening reliable supply of energy products (electricity, heat) for Europe for the different types of fuel,
▪ further international needs for policy, research and standardisation on criteria and methods to ensure reliable supply, and
▪ how to promote and improve risk communication at EU and international levels.