July 29, 2005


Science and Technology Failure Database Opened on the Web

Keywords: Others University / Research institute 

On March 23, 2005, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) started providing on its website an open reference resource, the "Failure Knowledge Database." Information outlines are also provided in English for overseas readers (URL:http://shippai.jst.go.jp/en/index.html). The database showcases analyses of accidents and failures in science and technology fields, sorted into 16 categories that reflect the type of lessons learned from these failures. Its aim is to prevent similar accidents and failures from happening and to improve the reliability and safety of technology in society.

As of May 13, there have been 1,135 case studies presented from the four industrial fields of machinery, materials, chemistry and construction. Points of interest can be searched for using key words, from the 16 categories of lessons learned, and also looked up through a "Failure Mandala" that systematically organizes a failure scenario to show causes, action, and results.

A section on the website entitled "100 Worst Failures" presents easy-to-read but detailed explanations of domestic and overseas case studies. Currently 46 case studies are described on the site; "The Space Shuttle Columbia's Return Failure" and "Cover-ups at Nuclear Power Plants" have been among the most frequently accessed so far.

The JST hopes that the database will be useful in preventing similar accidents or failures, as well as for technological education and training purposes.


Posted: 2005/07/29 11:08:15 PM
Japanese version