Appropriate facility siting is a key aspect in ensuring that the risk management objectives of a facility are met. It is a process by which the adequacy of a location is evaluated based on known hazards. At its core, it seeks to inform decision making related to the location of a facility or parts of it (e.g. buildings, equipment items) and involves three key steps as follows:
- Identify Hazards,
- Evaluate Consequences and
- Manage Risks.
The importance of this activity is underscored by the wealth of regulations, standards and technical publications available on the subject (e.g. API 752/753, CIA, BEVI, CCPS, OSHA, EPA etc.).
Undertaking the required analysis can be resource intensive and time consuming. This is especially the case where a large number of potential accident scenarios need to be evaluated under various conditions (weather, release direction etc.). It is important that such studies can be conducted as quickly and as efficiently as possible and that the requisite results can be ascertained in a timely and effective manner. It is also important that the outputs are robust and trustworthy and form an adequate basis for decision making. In sum – accuracy and speed need to go hand in hand.
Facility siting using Phast, our consequence analysis software package, includes key hazard modelling requirements (fire, explosion and toxic hazards). One key aspect is to place emphasis is the assessment of explosion hazards taking into consideration congested/confined areas of the plant as well as calculation of the toxic risk to both indoor and outdoor populations.
Illustration of 3D Explosion Calculations
Another important point is the ability to model multiple scenarios that can be analysed and reported on simultaneously – thus enabling more efficient and rapid analysis.
Author: Kenny Shaba and Colin Hickey