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The Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Laboratory, directed by Professor Zahra Mohaghegh, in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, provides scientific and innovative research solutions to complex real-world problems of safety, reliability, profitability, and security. The SoTeRiA Laboratory is evolving Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) by explicitly incorporating the science of underlying accident causation into risk scenarios.

The SoTeRiA Laboratory, received a three-year Department of Energy (DOE) grant to promote U.S. nuclear fleet sustainability by developing systematic scenario-based Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) technologies. As a pioneering laboratory in the spatio-temporal causal modeling of social and physical failure mechanisms in Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), SoTeRiA received a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to incorporate Big Data Analytics into PRA.

Maintaining close relationships with academia enables collaborators to have access to multidisciplinary experts from diverse engineering and social science backgrounds, and to react quickly to challenging research needs as they emerge. For Example, since 2012, SoTeRiA Laboratory has been involved in the risk-informed resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191, a long-standing issue for commercial nuclear power plants and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 2015, SoTeRiA Laboratory developed and presented the U.S.-China Probabilistic Safety Assessment Workshop on “Risk-Informed Regulation and Safety Culture” in Shenzhen, China, as part of the DOE’s Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology (PUNT) program, which included 72 nuclear industry experts from 28 companies in China.