Environmental Risk Management: Fault Tree Analysis – Literature review Example

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The paper "Environmental Risk Management: Fault Tree Analysis" is a good example of a literature review on science.   The modern world has witnessed a lot of changes especially on the way various systems have been designed and established. Safety for these systems has become one of the top priorities for companies that establish these systems. During high consequence installations such as nuclear plant installations, there are always concerns as to the probability of accidents occurring. This has led to the development of various models that try to analyze the possibilities of any accident happening.

In doing so, these models look at the probable factors that could trigger an accident and the magnitude of the effects caused as a result of the accident. In most instances, these factors are often ignored as they are deemed irrelevant and too small to cause any harm. One of the models used by companies in analyzing the possibilities of any accidents occurring in the Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). FTA is a deductive model meaning that it starts from the top going downwards in trying to determine the factors that could lead to a tragic accident.

Therefore, this makes it easier to prove or disprove whether a combination of certain factors has the capacity to cause a system failure resulting in tragic accidents (Javadi, Nobakht, and Meskarbashee 46). The other model that is used in delaminating the various factors that could contribute to an accident is the Event Tree Analysis (ETA). ETA, on the other hand, is an inductive model meaning that it starts from the bottom, building upwards to the accident. ETA looks at the occurrence of certain events that could probably lead to an accident happening.

It takes into account the various safety barriers that have been installed, and whether such barriers have been installed safely. It also tries to demonstrate the links that exist between various events leading to an accident (Bucci et al 1620) Fault Tree Analysis According to Javadi, Nobakht, and Meskarbashee (46) FTA is probably one of the most common models that are used in analyzing risk in high consequence risk installations. This can be attributed to the gravity of damage that could arise from these installations should any accident happen.

This model was developed in the year 1962 by the U. S Air Force Ballistics Systems Division contract to analyze the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Launch Control System. Since then, FTA has widely been accepted in most installations that aim to determine the probability of some of the safety hazards that may be present in the installation itself. One of the areas that FTA has been applied is in nuclear plant installations. As earlier stated, FTA starts from the top going downwards meaning that the first step that should be taken when conducting an FTA is to establish a top probable event that is likely to happen in any installation.

This, in turn, helps in coming up with some of the probable factors that could make it possible for the manifestation of an accident. These factors could either be a system failure or human errors. Therefore, with the assistance of FTA, it is possible to break down an accident into the basic causes making it possible for any company or organization to set out preventive measures.

These preventive measures are targeted on the basic factors that could cause an accident thus minimizing the probability of the accident happening.


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Hong, Eun-Soo, Lee, In-Mo, Shin, Hee-Soon, Nam, Seok-Woo, and Kong, Jung-Sik. “Quantitative risk evaluation based on event tree analysis technique: Application to the design of shield TBM.” Tunneling and Underground Space Technology 24 (2009): 269–277. Print.

Jasanoff, Shelia Learning from Disaster: Risk Management After Bhopal. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994. Print.

Javadi, Mohammad S, Npbakht, Azim, Meskarbashee, Ali. “Fault Tree Analysis Approach in Reliability Assessment of Power System.” International Journal Of Multidisciplinary Sciences And Engineering 20.6 (2011): 46-50. Print.

Meloy, Anthony F. “Arenal-type pyroclastic flows A probabilistic event tree risk analysis.” Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 157 (2006): 121 – 134. Print.

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