The costs of failure: A preliminary assessment of major energy accidents, 1907-2007
A combination of technical complexity, tight coupling, speed, and human fallibility contribute to the unexpected failure of large-scale energy technologies. This study offers a preliminary assessment of the social and economic costs of major energy accidents from 1907 to 2007. It documents 279 incidents that have been responsible for $41 billion in property damage and 182,156 deaths. Such disasters highlight an often-ignored negative externality to energy production and use, and emphasize the need for further research.
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