Title: RAPID-N: Assessing the Impact of Natural Hazards on Industrial Installations
Citation: European CIIP Newsletter vol. 9 no. 1 p. 17-19
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC94966
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC94966
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The impact of natural hazards, such as floods, high winds, earthquakes, etc., on industrial installations that process or store hazardous materials can cause fires, explosions and toxic releases. These so-called “Natech” accidents have often had significant social, environmental and economic impacts. For example, in 2011 the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami led to one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history. In addition, six refineries suffered severe damage; effectively shutting in over 30% of Japan’s refining capacity. Similarly, in 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on the US on- and offshore oil and gas infrastructure, which led to enormous damage and a hike in global oil prices. A recent survey among competent authorities highlighted that Natech risk is a concrete threat in European Union and OECD Member States where numerous Natech accidents have occurred. The most important accident triggers were found to be floods, low temperatures and lightning. Interestingly, these natural hazards were not always the ones believed to be of major concern in that specific region. This indicates a discrepancy between risk perception and actual accident causes. The survey also identified gaps in the development of methodologies and tools for analysing and mapping Natech risks. RAPID-N was developed in response to calls by governments for a decision-support tool for Natech risk management, considering that climate change and increasing industrialisation will change the risk landscape in the future.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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