John Beal awarded NEUP Fellowship for Socio-Technical Risk Analysis research


John Beal awarded NEUP Fellowship for Socio-Technical Risk Analysis research

John Beal, a graduating senior in NPRE’s Power concentration, was selected for a three-year fellowship from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP). Beal has been a member of Professor Zahra Mohaghegh’s Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Lab ( since Spring 2019 and will continue his graduate studies with Prof. Mohaghegh as his advisor. The SoTeRiA Research Lab focuses on the advancement of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), the leading technique for assessing nuclear power plant risks and a key pillar of a risk-informed regulatory framework used by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

As a member of the SoTeRiA Research Lab, Beal is involved in several PRA-related projects. In collaboration with other SoTeRiA team members, Beal developed a Maintenance and Organizational Analysis (MOA) module for an Integrated Enterprise Risk Management (I-ERM) NEUP-sponsored project (#17-12614). In the summer of 2019, Beal traveled to North Carolina to present his paper on the results of SoTeRiA’s research on the coupling of degradation and maintenance to model safety risk and production risk under the I-ERM framework at the Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technologies (SMiRT 25) conference (see the paper here).

Beal has also worked with SoTeRiA team members to develop an interface between component reliability estimates in a renewal process model and plant risk and production loss estimates using PRA and Generation Risk Assessment (GRA) methodologies. Working with senior SoTeRiA team members, Beal contributed to an IAEA-sponsored project to generate a maintenance model and renewal process model to support the development of an Integrated Component Reliability and Availability Analysis (I-CRAA) to estimate the reliability of Reactor Coolant Pressure Boundary (RCPB) piping in Advanced Water-Cooled Reactors (AWCR). Beal is now working on his first journal manuscript related to this ongoing research.

Under the NEUP Fellowship, as a graduate student in the SoTeRiA Research Lab, Beal will continue to improve and apply his PRA technical expertise and make scientific contributions toward the advancement of PRA. Beal and the SoTeRiA Research Lab are committed to their mission: to increase the use of risk analysis technologies for the improvement of business enterprise performance and safety to protect workers, the public, and the environment.

To learn more about SoTeRiA research, please visit: