Risk Management Plan for case study of Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

Risk Management Plan for case study of Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

1.Executive Summary

This report comprises of the risk management plan for the case study of Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Disaster. Risk management plan is developed toidentify scope and objectives of the case study by setting the boundary. The risk criteria have been identified using ALARP andproper risk assessment has been done followed by the identification, analysis, and evaluation along with the risk assessment using FMECA analysis. Similarly monitoring and review has also been performed for this case study.


Risk is defined as an event which when occur effects the aim of the project and plan. There are uncertainties associated with every plans and project. Hence it necessary to understand the reasons behind those events and the find out the solution to overcome those risk factors. Risk management in engineering is explained as theidentification, evaluation andordering of the risks that isfollowed by monitoring and evaluation of those events[2]. Risk management procedure should be conducted by understanding the whole context on which that project is scheduled. The plans and measures to overcome the risk factors should be relevant to the context of the project. In this report the risk management plan for the project Fukushima Daichi has been intended following the AS/NZS ISO Standardization[3]. Here the scope of the project has been considered along with the setting the boundaries and objectives of the project. 

2.1. Scope

The scope of this RMP is to propose the plan that consist of the factors contributing for the cause of such devastating event. Based on the risk management plan and strategy FMECA will be used that assists in the application of those measures to minimise such events that are likely to occur in future also. Also,quantified tolerability according to the risk criteria has been provided.

2.2. Setting Boundaries

For the proper and regulated analysis of the system, the specified boundary to cooling system has been set up because the backup generators that were intended to be working when cooling system did not operate well because of the tsunami.

2.3 Objectives of the project

The aimof this report is to reduce the risks and losses by figuring out the causefactors and using the proper tools and technique to overcome those problems.

The main objectives of this plan are:

·         To identify the stakeholders along with their responsibilities.

·         To find out the risk factors associated with that event.

·         To minimise the risks adhered with the project following AS ISO 31000: 2018.

·         To eliminate those risk factors using FMECA for risk treatment.

·         To monitor and evaluate the proposed plan.


3.Stakeholders Identifications and Responsibilities

3.1Internal Stakeholders:

Nuclear plant manager:

The nuclear plant manager is one of the main stakeholders who is responsible for most of the process and work in the plant for the successful production of the electricity. The nuclear plant manager is responsible for installation of the new plants, checking and updating the running plants, and managing the whole environment with Prestart up Safety Reviews (PSSRs) along with the safety hazards[4]. The nuclear plant manager usually observes the flow and working of the nuclear plant and give instruction to the whole team if any problem or issue is seen in the plant. They are also engaged in providing the safety programs and training to handle the equipment to the staffs.

The role of the nuclear plant manager is to check the overall management of the nuclear plant and the team working in the environment. He should also be responsible for the safety and risk to the workers and the machines. He should check and keep track of all the nuclear plant and the new changes in the plant. He should manage and guide the management of change within the environment before any new addition or any change which have direct or indirect impact on the nuclear plant[5]. He should be responsible for the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) and perform a regular meeting with the other stakeholders like fuel rod operator, operational managers, and other departments. The nuclear plant manager should attend in all the crucial evets like meetings, emergency situations, routine check-up and safety and risk management.

Operation Managers

All the operational and maintenance activity within the nuclear plant is handled by the operational managers. Their job is to look after all the operation of the plant and check if any of the plant is having any issues in it[6]. If there is any problem in the plant like leakage, delay in function, corrosion, and other issues then the operation manager will evaluate it and give instruction to the team members to fix the problem. Along with it, they also need to look after the documentations and draft and report it to the nuclear plant manager describing any issues in the plant.

Operation managers are also responsible for the safety and risk precaution to the workers. The Process Hazards Analysis will help to solve any hazard related issues and the operational managers should follow their instructions for the safety of the workers. They should be responsible to guide the workers about the Standard Operating Procedure so that they will not face any problem while working in the field.

Fuel rod operators

Fuel rods are made up fissionable materials which is slim, long and zirconium metal tube to provide fuel for nuclear reaction[7]. The bundles of fuel rods are also known as fuel assemblies which are separately placed into the reactor core. Fuel rods act as both coolant and moderator when submerged in water, inside the reactor vessel. During the chain reaction, the neutrons generated by the fission are slow down with the help of moderator. The heat generated with fission process convert the water into steam to generate electricity.

The responsibility of Fuel rod operators is to maintain the fuel rod for the proper fission reaction in the core to produce carbon free electricity. The operator should be responsible for checking the condition of the rods, managing the rods, and updating the new rods if needed. The operator should visit the site to check the condition of the fuel rods. They should also be present during the events like meetings, communication with other department and other critical events. The operator should be responsible for handling the rods for the safety and risk precautions.


Safety supervisors

Safety supervisors are a team who are responsible for examining any risk associated with the nuclear plants, fuel rods, valves, internal parts of the plant which will help to occurrence of the risk on the site. The role of the safety supervisors is to recognize the consequences which affect the working mechanism, the risk associated with the plant, safety of the team members, so that the workplace will not have any incident which effect the staff as well as the plant[8]. The team of process Hazard Analysis should be alert enough about all the sensitive machines and equipment’s installed inside the nuclear plant for the safe working environment. If any incident happened in the nuclear plant, then the safety supervisors should inform and report it to the operational managers.

Maintenance workers

The role and responsibilities of the maintenance workers is to regularly check the plant and maintain the working mechanism of the plant. The operational manager will have close eye on the nuclear plant and checks the issues arising in the nuclear plant and inform the maintenance workers. Then, the maintenance workers will look after the problems and try to fix it. The maintenance workers are responsible to follow the guidance of the Process Hazard Analysis while fixing the problem. They cannot go beyond the safety and risk precaution given by the Process Hazard Analysis while fixing the issues.

They oversee the equipment needed to produce the electricity which includes turbines, pumps, fans, boilers, gauge and controls and others. They are also in charge for maintain the equipment by cleaning, lubricating, and fixing the machines to avoid the malfunctions.

Energy Operators

While generating the electricity, the nuclear power plant will have three energy conversion: firstly, the nuclear energy is converted to the thermal energy then thermal energy into mechanical energy and at last mechanical energy into electrical energy. Energy operators are responsible for refilling the batteries with the electrolyte, refilling the oil in the voltage transformers, and resetting the electric relays which are tripped[9]. They also handle the pumping equipment, generators, and the device to either connect or disconnect them from the circuits depending upon the current.

They are also responsible for the evaluation of the oil, electrolyte and water used in the nuclear plant by sending the samples for lab analysis. The energy operators also need to communicate with the other system operators to synchronize the frequencies, voltages and loads to produce the current.

3.2 External Stakeholders:

General public

General public are those residents that live within the area of Fukushima-Daiichi. The local people who live within the zone of 2-3 km radius may have high chance of getting influenced by major incident. The local people within this zone have responsibility of informing the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board if they identify or find any irregularities in the atmosphere. They can help the community and the nuclear power plant by informing them about the problems which can avoid the issues.

Radioactive Waste-Contractor:

When electricity is generated, nuclear power plant produces the waste like all other industries. The waste produced while generating the electricity must be managed to protect the environment and human health. The radioactive waste can either be dilute, isolate to remove the harmful chemicals before returning it back to the environment[10].

The responsibility of radioactive waste contractor is to look after the waste produced by the plant and manage it properly so that it will not have harmful effect on the environment. Their role is to collect the data and report the operational manager. If there is any possible risk, then they need to report it to the safety managers. They are also responsible for the safe and clean environment of the community.


Government is also one of the stakeholders for the nuclear power plant. Government is the external stakeholders who is responsible for funding, and any economic support.

The responsibility of government is to check if the plant is running as specified or not and supporting them in terms of any economic conditions and the funding.

4. Process and Tools

4.1 Process

Following are the processes required for the risk management plan:

·         Identification of the risks: The inherent risk that was identified for this case was the cooling system which was not operated after the tsunami.[12] This was the reason for the meltdown as the fuel control rods were not mobilised accordingly. The risks associated with the case has been identified first which is followed by other procedures.

·         Analysis and evaluation of the risk:After the identification of the risk the proper analysis of those risk factors is to be done ensuring that proper risk treatment tools are being used to eliminate those factors.And also, the evaluation should bedone on the basis of the risk factors and itscriteria.

·         Risk treatment: It involves the treatment considering the maximum benefit for the project. Here the treatment should be done analysing the both human and technical system that assists in minimising the risk factor as per  ISO 31000 [3]


4.2 Tools

Among various techniques available for the risk treatment and evaluation FMECA has been applied to risk assessment.

5. Risk Criteria

Risk criteria is crucial to assess the risk for making the judgement or decision making. Risk criteria includes the legal and statutory requirements for implementation of any project. Risk criteria is also concerned with the stakeholder’s analysis[13]. They also help in managing the association of cost and the benefits from the project. 

The safety management of the company with their work safety culture is implemented by the risk criteria with the help of Process Hazard Analysis. Risk criteria is used to evaluate the consequence in the methods that indicate the aims of the organization. The factors responsible to assess the risk criteria are given below as:

Ø  Programs with the safety management

Ø  Stakeholders Analysis

Ø  Probability and time duration of overpressure

Ø  Risk associated with safety management programs.

To remove the risk completely based on the overpressure condition is not practical enough but we can reduce the possible risk based on the hierarchy of controls of the ALARP principle by setting the risk criteria. Based upon ALARP principle the risk levels are classified into three levels which are given as:

Unacceptable Risk Level: In every case, there are some of the risks which are not acceptable. The level of risk is high in this level and the risk are not acceptable at all. In this case study, the earthquake led to power supply loss which disrupted the cooling system of the reactors. The backup generators that were supposed to operate were also damaged by the tsunami. In this situation, the 3 nuclear reactors of the nuclear plant were damaged including the damage of the radioactivity which required the evacuation of all locals around 20 km radius. It is recommended that the nuclear plant should have the enough backup generator for the power supply for the nuclear plant. The risk of overpressure in this level is high.

Tolerable Risk: In this level, the risk is lowered as much as possible as it will be more reasonable to reduce the risk by installing the backup cooling system in the plant. It is impractical to further reduce the risk as the benefits are not proportional and it requires more cost to reduce the risk, but the risk can be accepted and tolerated with the help of risk treatment controls.

Acceptable Risk Level: In this level, the risk level is reduced by changing the design into the safe design or implementing the new design for the system where the overpressure risk is not able to be reduce[14]. The safety review, monitoring of the management tools and other health tools are some of the requirements in this level.

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