Natural-hazard triggered technological accidents (Natechs) involving the releases of hazardous substances, fires, and explosions at critical chemical infrastructures have been recognized as an emerging risk. Natech risks are expected to increase in the future due to the growing number of critical infrastructures, more natural hazards due to climate change, and the vulnerability of the society which is becoming more and more interconnected.
To be able to prevent and prepare for Natechs, authorities need to identify Natech prone areas and determine risk levels and their possible consequences on safety of the society and the environment. This requires knowledge of natural hazards, chemical hazards within natural hazard areas, and their interrelations. A recent study has shown that hardly any Natech risk maps exist within the EU or OECD. Furthermore, existing maps are usually created by simply overlaying natural and technological hazards, without considering site specific features, such as expected release scenarios under natural disaster conditions and existing safety measures.
In order to bridge this gap a study has been launched to assess the interrelation of natural and technological hazards at industrial plants for creating Natech scenarios, and in particular to develop a unified methodology for Natech risk mapping for selected natural hazards. This methodology will be implemented as a tool in a GIS environment for rapid and efficient application. The methodology will be validated using case studies in EU Member States and Candidate Countries.
This study is supported by JRC postdoc grant of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).