Risk assessment of major hazards: the effect of ground slope

Hankin, Robin K.S.. 2003 Risk assessment of major hazards: the effect of ground slope. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 16 (4). 305-311.

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Liquefied gases, such as chlorine and ammonia, are stored in large quantities at industrial sites. If released accidentally, they form a heavy gas cloud that has the potential to kill or injure large numbers of people. The dispersion of such a cloud is thus of interest to the risk assessment community [Nussey, Pantony, & Smallwood, 1992. HSE’s risk assessment tool, RISKAT. In: Major Hazards: Onshore and Offshore. pp. 607–638]. Little is understood about the effect of slope on risk. Here, the risk (probability) of being exposed to the gas cloud, given a release, is considered; probability language is needed because wind direction is assumed to be a random variable. This paper shows how the risk of being exposed to toxic gas released over a slope may be estimated using simple physical modelling. The physical model used is that of Tickle [J. Hazard. Mater. 49 (1996) 29], who showed that a finite-volume instantaneous release on an inclined plane can form a stable wedge-shaped cloud that moves down the line of greatest slope. Nonzero windspeeds are accounted for by following Tickle’s suggestion of vectorially adding windspeed to the advection induced by the slope. A range of windspeeds and slopes are considered. The slopes substantially affect the risk in the sense that the predicted risk contours are far from circularly symmetric.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0950-4230
Additional Keywords: Heavy gas dispersion; Risk assessment; Slopes
Date made live: 14 Aug 2008 +0 (UTC)

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