Hankin, Robin K.S.
Risk assessment of major hazards: the effect of ground slope
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 16, (4), . (doi:10.1016/S0950-4230(03)00020-2).
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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.
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