Risk evaluation in Dutch land-use planning

N.H.W. Xanten, van, C.M. Pietersen, H.J. Pasman, P. Torn, van der, H.K. Vrijling, A.J. Wal, van der, J.G.M. Kerstens

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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In Dutch external safety policy, the acceptance of risk for the population in areas surrounding hazardous substances establishments is based on a limit value for individual risk (IR). Additionally, changes to societal risk (SR) must be justified. A specific software program (SAFETI-NL) with the associated Reference Manual Bevi Risk Assessments (RIVM, 2009) is legally required for the calculation of IR and SR. This prescribed "Bevi calculation method" forms the basis for decisions with important consequences for industry, land use planning and the protection of citizens. It is important that the outcome of calculations made with the prescribed method can be relied upon when making decisions about land use planning that affects both industry and population. This is the subject of this paper. The prescribed calculation method has been evaluated by performing a case study. The evaluation focussed on risk modelling of a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) at an LPG filling station, an incident type that plays a significant role in Dutch external safety. The risk modelling of the BLEVE with the prescribed calculation method was found to have a number of serious deficiencies. It is concluded that the prescribed calculation method yields no reliable perspective on the safety of production, use and storage of hazardous substances, nor of possibilities to increase safety. Decision making should not only depend on quantification of IR and SR. Improving the safety-relevance of the prescribed calculation method requires an increase of the number of dimensions of the outcome of risk calculations in order to make feedback possible. It is recommended to incorporate additional, safety-relevant information into planning and decision-making processes. It is envisaged that a more far-reaching change of Dutch QRA practice is needed (medium to long term). In this context, a number of interesting elements have been noticed in decision-making procedures in other EU Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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