J-Value Research Featured in PolicyBristol Briefing


Groundbreaking research from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol has been featured in a briefing report by PolicyBristol aimed at objectively valuing human life in safety decisions.

The research, led by Professor Philip Thomas of the Safety Systems Research Centre, was released in November 2017 in a series of papers that made up the Management of Nuclear Risk Issues: Environmental, Financial and Safety (NREFS) project.

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Pioneering J Value Method

A key feature of this research was the J (Judgement) Value method that is a new way of assessing the costs and benefits of a health care or safety measure. This methodology has been principally applied in the research to a large nuclear accident scenario.

Explaining the usefulness of the J Value method,  Professor Thomas said:

"The J-value combines objectivity and empirical validation.  These factors make the method better qualified than any other for cost-benefit analysis when human life is at stake.

Balance and consistency are extended to safety decisions where people historically have less of a feel for the level of risk.  Nuclear radiation is a prime example."

The researchers found that it was difficult to justify relocating anyone after the Fukushima Daiichi accident, where around 85,000 of the 111,000 people who were moved out by the Japanese government had still not returned four and a half years after the accident. You can read more about the findings in the University of Bristol press release.


Watch the 'coping with a big nuclear accident' public lecture

Following the publication of the NREFS project research in November 2017 Professor Thomas held a half-day conference and public lecture discussing the research findings. You can watch this public lecture here:


Publication of Research Findings

'Coping after a big nuclear accident' by  Thomas, P. J. and May, J. in Management of Nuclear Risk Issues: Environmental, Financial and Safety (NREFS) special issue

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