COMPARATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR ENERGY SYSTEMS: A TOOL FOR COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF ENERGY SECURITY

PETER BURGHERR AND STEFAN HIRSCHBERG

Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis, Villigen PSI, Switzerland

1 INTRODUCTION

Disasters and accidents occur as a consequence of the exposure of people and their socioeconomic activities to natural and man-made hazards [1–4]. The increase in the numbers and associated consequences of natural disasters and man-made accidents in the last three decades as well as the recurring occurrence of single devastating catastrophes in recent years [5–7] have made the issues of disaster and risk management a top priority at national and international levels. Large loss events cannot be addressed as isolated events anymore because they provide a potential threat to people's health and property, the supply of economic goods and services, and the degradation of ecosystem functions, fauna, and flora. Also, societal vulnerability has further increased because of the steady growth of industrialization, continuing rapid urbanization, the disproportionately high development of coastal and other risk-prone areas, and strong dependency on complex, interrelated infrastructures, constituting a serious challenge to society and its sustainable development [8–12].

Disasters are generally assigned to two principal categories, that is, natural or man-made (anthropogenic or human induced). Natural disasters can be further classified into several ...

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