Risk assessment of mitigated domino scenarios in process facilities
Abstract The propagation of accidents among process units may lead to severe cascading events or domino effects with catastrophic consequences. Prevention, mitigation and management of domino scenarios is of utmost importance and may be achieved in industrial facilities through the adoption of multiple safety layers. The present study was aimed at developing an innovative methodology to address the quantitative risk assessment (QRA) of domino scenarios accounting for the presence and role of safety barriers. Based on the expected performance of safety barriers, a dedicated event tree analysis allowed the identification and the assessment of the frequencies of the different end-point events deriving from unmitigated and partially mitigated domino chains. Specific criteria were introduced in consequence analysis to consider the mitigation effects of end-point scenarios deriving from safety barriers. Individual and societal risk indexes were calculated accounting for safety barriers and the mitigated scenarios that may result from their actions. The application of the methodology to case-studies of industrial interest proved the importance of introducing a specific systematic and quantitative analysis of safety barrier performance when addressing escalation leading to domino effect. Highlights A methodology was developed to account for safety barrier performance in escalation prevention. The methodology allows quantitative assessment accounting for safety barrier performance. A detailed analysis of transient mitigated scenarios is allowed by the developed procedure. The procedure allows accounting for safety barrier performance in QRA of domino scenarios. An important reduction in the risk due to domino scenarios is evidenced when considering safety barriers.
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