<XML><RECORDS><RECORD><REFERENCE_TYPE>3</REFERENCE_TYPE><REFNUM>9216</REFNUM><AUTHORS><AUTHOR>Johnson,C.W.</AUTHOR></AUTHORS><YEAR>2008</YEAR><TITLE>Understanding Failures in International Safety-Critical Infrastructures:</TITLE><PLACE_PUBLISHED>Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Systems Safety, Vancouver, Canada 2008</PLACE_PUBLISHED><PUBLISHER>System Safety Society</PUBLISHER><ISBN>0-9721385-8-7</ISBN><LABEL>Johnson:2008:9216</LABEL><KEYWORDS><KEYWORD>Critical Infrastructures</KEYWORD></KEYWORDS<ABSTRACT>The increasing integration of safety-critical infrastructures introduces vulnerabilities that extend across international borders. On the 14th August 2003, a domino-effect disrupted the power supply to more than 50 million people across the North-Eastern United States and Canada. Consequent losses were between (US) $5-10 billion and the failure was implicated in numerous accidents. Meanwhile on the 28th September 2003, a similar blackout affected more than 56 million people across Italy and areas of Switzerland. Knock-on effects propagated across France, Slovenia and Austria. Both incidents had similar technical causes triggered by large-scale transfers of electricity across aging distribution networks. Increased loads caused power lines to heat and sag until they hit trees. Both blackouts also stemmed from longer term vulnerabilities to do with the regulation and monitoring of energy transfers and the algorithms used to predict potential distribution problems. The European and North American failures had managerial and human factors causes; these arguably included an over-reliance on computer-based decision support systems. The following paper applies accident investigation techniques to represent and reason about the complex interactions between these causes. In particular, we use Violation and Vulnerability (V2) diagrams to map out the causal factor behind two of the most serious failures across international, safety-critical infrastructures.</ABSTRACT><URL>http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~johnson/papers/Blackout_Comparison/Johnson_Power_Infrastructure.pdf</URL></RECORD></RECORDS></XML>