Analyzing and Aiding Decision Processes, 14 by Patrick Humphreys

By Patrick Humphreys

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1981 ). A routine process for approving industrial facilities existed at the time of Western’s applications. This siting procedure was, however, coniplex, involving three levels of government. The Federal Power Commission was responsible for assessing national need as well as environmental impact; the local authorities were required to grant the various licenses for land use, access, and so forth, and the California Coastal Commission (CCC) was mandated to give the final approval for any facility on the California coastline.

Each scenario named a "population risk", in fact the number of people covered by the maximum plume or fire zone, which ranged from 0 to 70,000. These scenarios could be described as maximum credible accidents (though SES did not do so). They were not accompanied by any estimates of their probabilities, which would have been quite low. In the section immediately following the scenarios, the SES report presented a more probabilistic analysis, which in fact combined the most conservative numbers and assumptions from the SAI and FPC studies as well as a Coast Guard study.

Pn), for any i and j , to be a more equitable distribution of risk than (pl, . . , p i + € , . . , p j - ~ , . . L. Keeney 32 between pi + f and pj- e . Note that all Ph, h # i, j are held fixed in the definition. This definition merely says that given all risks but t w o are fixed, the better balanced these two are, the more equitable the risk. A reasonable assumption might be that a more equitable distribution of risk is preferred t o a less equitable distribution. Observation 3. Given the basic model assumptions and a preference for a more equitable distribution of risk, the utility function for mortality risks must be the multiplicative form (5) where 0 > k > 1 .

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