Risk Analysis

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Introduction

Risk analysis originated in safety and systems engineering and following the events at the Three Mile Island nuclear facilities in the United States developed into an interdisciplinary approach to better understand and manage hazards. It has been applied to many human and ecological health issues, such as air borne spread of biological agents, destruction of the United States chemical weapons stockpile, cyber attacks, facility safety, food contamination, hazardous waste management, medical decision-making, nuclear power and waste management, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes. Several of the ideas and models can be extended to economic, social, and even political risk.

Risk analysis is divided into risk assessment and risk management, although feedback loops exist among the stages. To provide continuity to this entry, the author uses the example of a terrorist planning to kill bus riders.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessors try