Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis

Technology Assessment Group

Scope

Develop and implement state-of-the-art methods and databases for interdisciplinary assessment of energy supply options to support rationale and sustainable decisions.

Approach

We focus on process-oriented Life Cycle Assessment, environmental impact assessment, risk assessment and external cost assessment, and cost assessment, including integrated evaluation addressing also social aspects. Apart from national and foreign research establishments we cooperate with major actors on the energy scene, including industry, authorities and relevant international organizations.

Vision

While developing, applying and integrating advanced methods, we present and disseminate our results in understandable forms to the scientific community, policy makers and stakeholders. We use our knowledge and experiences nationally as well as internationally, particularly for assisting developing countries in establishing more sustainable energy supply strategies.

Energy Economics

Scope

Perform quantitative analyses of energy systems at the Swiss, European and Global levels to improve the understanding of the interactions between energy, economics, environment and technology.

Approach

We focus on the development and application of energy-system models with emphasis on the incorporation of the main mechanisms of technological change. Using these models, we develop long-term scenarios of energy systems and examine associated energy-technology strategies and the impact of related policy instruments.

Vision

Contributing to inform decision-makers and stakeholders on topics of policy relevance and issues of strategic interest to PSI in the energy-systems analysis area. Collaborating with partners with complementary skills at the Swiss and international levels to improve the quality and relevance of scientific contributions in the field of energy-systems analysis.

Risk and Human Reliability

Scope

Contribute to the resolution of current and emerging issues in the treatment of the human factor in Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSAs). Provide direct support to the Swiss nuclear authority (the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate - HSK) and/or to the Swiss utilities.

Approach

We address open issues in the HRA area, in particular, with regard to treating errors of commission (i.e. inappropriate/aggravating operator actions). We strive for cooperation and use of synergies with safety assessment groups within PSI and ETHZ, and for participation in international cooperation projects. We contribute to PSA education at the university level.

Vision

Enhancing the treatment of human reliability within the existing PSA studies. Developing models and methodology for future HRA, specifically, in the area of operator-plant simulation for dynamic risk assessment. Developing non-nuclear HRA activities and expand the PSA-related research beyond the HRA area.