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Despite their increasing use, risk assessment procedures for chemical processes and storage plants are not yet well established. Decision makers are confronted with a variety of approaches, methodologies and forms of presentation of the results which makes it difficult to compare studies performed by different analysts. Furthermore, a comprehensive investigation of the uncertainties linked with the results of a risk assessment, as well as of the causes of their variability, is lacking. Benchmark exercises have been shown to be highly successful in the establishment of consolidated consensus procedures for probabilistic assessment of the safety performance of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP). Indeed, the independent analysis of a reference object performed by different teams with different backgrounds, has proved effective in generating an understanding of the available methods, their strengths and weaknesses, the uncertainties involved, their origins and their impacts on the results. Based on this experience, the JRC, during the period 1988-1990, managed a benchmark exercise on major hazard analysis (MHA-BE) for a chemical plant. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the state of the art and to obtain estimates of the degree of uncertainty in risk studies. The exercise was performed by 11 teams representing 25 organisations (research institutes, engineering companies, authorities, industries) from different European countries. This paper summarises the main steps and findings of the project.

Additional information

Authors: AMENDOLA A, JRC Ispra (IT);CONTINI S, JRC Ispra (IT);ZIOMAS I, University of Thessaloniki (GR)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 7th International Symposium on Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion, Taormina (IT), May 4-8, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36590 ORA
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