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Regular version of the site

Article

Risk and Uncertainty Management in Technological Innovation

Technovation. 2014. Vol. 34. No. 8. P. 395-398.
Olson, D., Birge, J., Linton, J.D.

Technological innovation is a manifestation of human progress, but efforts in this direction have yielded many issues. For example, in the energy field, nuclear power was considered the solution to electrical supply 50 years ago. While it has proven to be a viable source of energy in France and other European countries, it has had problems in the US (Three Mile Island) and in the former Soviet Union (Chernobyl). There is a reticence on the part of citizens to nuclear power, and the issue of waste disposal defies solution. The Federal Government in the US did not license new plants for decades, despite technological advances developed by national laboratories. Coal remains a major source of electrical energy fuel, although there are very strong questions concerning the need to replace it for carbon footprint reasons. Natural gas is one alternative. Wind power is another. Solar energy has been proposed. All of these alternatives can be seen to work physically. The question of energy was further complicated with the recent large-scale adoption of fracking. This technique introduces risk and uncertainty not only to itself, but its inclusion changes decision-making regarding all sectors of energy.