Rituals in risk evaluation for land-use planning

N.H.W. Xanten, van, C.M. Pietersen, H.J. Pasman, H.K. Vrijling, J.G.M. Kerstens

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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. 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 has 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, safetyrelevant 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)85-90
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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