Keywords: critical systems, decision support, maintenance, nuclear reactors, operations, production, reliability, risk management, safety, trade-off
Safety and productivity trade-offs: managing nuclear reactor outages
Risk management is a critical function in all organisations, particularly those that operate high-risk systems such as chemical processing facilities or offshore oil platforms. In this context, risk management extends beyond the protection of financial assets to deal with issues of public concern including human safety and environmental impact. It is clear that these critical systems operate with several important objectives. It is less clear that decision makers are adequately equipped to deal effectively with trade-offs between objectives, particularly under time pressure or other constrained resources. The purpose of this paper is to present an analytical approach that can be used in the public and private sectors to guide the management of risk-critical systems, and to illustrate its application to the management of nuclear power plant outages.