Expected fatalities for one wedge of CCS mitigation: Actuarial risk assessment of carbon capture and storage at the global scale in 2050

Abstract : This study estimates the human cost of failures in the CCS industry in 2050, using the actuarial approach. The range of expected fatalities is assessed for all steps of the CCS : additional coal production, carbon capture, transport, injection and storage, based on empirical evidence from technical or social analogues. The main finding is that a few hundred fatalities per year should be expected if the technology is used to avoid emitting 1 GtC yr-1 in 2050 at 1 500 baseload coal power plants. Implementing the CCS would arguably save several tens of thousands of lives in 2050 by mitigating climate change. Thus, in terms of expected life saved, CCS benefits outweigh its costs. The large majority of fatalities are attributable to mining more coal, next would be shipping casualties. These risks compare to today's industrial hazards : technical, knowable and occupational dangers for which there are socially accepted non-zero risk levels. If storage sites perform at safety levels socially tolerated today in analogue installations, expected fatalities per year due to leakage, while an important concern for the local public, should have a minor contribution in the total expected fatalities per year : less than one. But that condition on storage site performance will be disproved if a single fatality occurs before 2030.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00487175
Contributor : Minh Ha-Duong <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 28, 2010 - 9:35:25 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 29, 2019 - 9:10:40 AM
Long-term archiving on : Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 3:41:27 PM

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Minh Ha-Duong, Rodica Loisel. Expected fatalities for one wedge of CCS mitigation: Actuarial risk assessment of carbon capture and storage at the global scale in 2050. 2010. ⟨halshs-00487175v1⟩

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