Opening Address at PSAM 5 held in Osaka, November 27, 2000
Shunsuke Kondo

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!

My name is Shunsuke Kondo, Professor of Quantum Engineering and Systems Science at University of Tokyo. As Chairman of the Organizing Committee of PSAM 5 and President of IAPSAM, it is a great pleasure to welcome so many of participants from abroad and Japan to this fifth in the series of probabilistic safety assessment and management conferences, PSAM 5 here in Osaka. On behalf of Organizing Committee of PSAM 5 and IAPSAM, I would like to express my hearty thanks to all the participants and attendees for their interest and efforts in helping us to make this conference possible, especially those who have traveled great distances and taken valuable time from their very busy schedules just after Thanksgiving day to attend the conference.

Probabilistic safety assessment is the process of identifying, characterizing and understanding risk. At the same time, it is a policy process wherein alternative strategies for dealing with risk are weighed and decisions about acceptable risks are made. The strategies consist of policy options that have varying effects on risk, including the reduction, removal or relocation of risk. Cost-benefit analysis, assessment of risk tolerance, and quantification of preferences are often involved in this decision making process.

It is an important policy process recently because as Peter Bernstein suggested in his book entitled Against the Gods: The remarkable Story of Risk by saying that the revolutionary idea that defines the boundary between modern times and the past is the mastery of risk, our society is moving towards governance and management that are more clearly and directly risk informed - governance and management that provide protection against significant risks but avoids imposition of resource burdens for risks that are not really there or are unimportant. The background is people's expectation that we should continue to take advantage of advances in science and technology, under a condition that those who create risk should be responsible for ensuring that adequate measures are in place to protect people and the things they value from harmful consequences that may arise from such risks. Results of the application of PSAM methodologies to the issues at hand are major building blocks for the information base to support sound risk-based governance and management, key of which is the transparent and comprehensible explanation of how it is intended to protect against harm both in general and in particular circumstances.

This meeting includes four plenary presentations and more than 370 papers covering the status of research for developing methodologies and data bases for PSAM as well as insights obtained from the application of PSAM methodologies to various issues related to risk-based governance and management in our society. Among the over 400 registered attendees at last count are participants from government, various research firms and laboratories, private industries and universities of more than 30 countries as shown in Figure 1.

Due to the fact that PSAM traces its roots to the nuclear industry and rational risk management is still an important subject in this industry, about 40% of papers have come from this industry. At the same time, however, a significant number of papers have come from non-nuclear areas such as construction and transportation industries as shown in Figure 2.

For those of you who did not attend the previous PSAM conferences, I would like to point out that this conference differs somewhat from most other conferences. I would like to ask, as in the past, chairpersons of each session to limit question and answers after each presentation to minimal and proceed to panel discussion after three or four presentations assigned to the session, entertaining live discussion among presenters as well as between panelists and attendees during the time remained. I hope that each of you will take an active part in this panel discussion to exchange results and ideas, obtain fresh perspectives on your endeavors, and draw lessons from presentations to pave the way for new and even more stimulating studies and applications.

This conference is supported by many organizations and persons. I would like thank them by introducing them by two foils, one of which shows as you can see now a list of society and organizations we agreed to cooperate with us and the other which show a list of organizations who are kindly enough to financially support and help in other ways also in organizing and conducting this conference.

As a chairperson of Technical Program Committee, I am indebted to the many committee members who have worked hard to coordinate sessions and review abstracts submitted. As an editor of proceedings, I am indebted to authors for submitting camera-ready text in accordance with the publication specification.

Most of secretariat work has been undertaken by of Nuclear Safety Research Association. I would like to express my hearty thanks to Mr. Sato and Mr. Shimizu of NSRA for the diligent work they have done in planning and arranging and organizing this conference and to Professor Uchida, the president of NSRA for allowing them to devote most of their time to the preparation for the conference.

Special thanks should also go to members of a supporting team from Kansai Electric Power Company led by Mr. Morimoto for their substantial support for the on-site preparation and conduct of the conference in this week.

Certainly one of the marvelous things of international meeting such as this is the opportunity to meet with old friend and to become acquainted with new ones. I would like to conclude this opening address wishing you a pleasant stay in Osaka and an enriching experience both personal as well as professional.

Thank you for your attention.

List of Attendees

PSAM5 Photograph