Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 21 million

Official Journal Reference

L 3 of 1984-01-05

Legislative Reference

of 1983-12-22
To investigate the risks associated with the operation of hazardous industries, such as processing, chemicals and energy, and of large technological systems, with special emphasis on major accidents, in order to develop methods for identifying, evaluating and managing low-frequency high-consequence emergencies.


Part of the first Framework Programme (1984-1987) under activity 8: "Environment" and part of the Research Action Programme (RAP) "Environment".

This new task of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) complemented the shared-cost multiannual programme for pilot projects on major technological hazards, which became operational in 1986 (TECHHAZ C), and supported the regulatory actions of the Commission's Directorate-General XI within the framework of the Community Directive on "Major Accident Hazards of Certain Industrial Activities".

The research covered system and structural reliability, man-systems interaction, decision theory and decision support systems, confined and unconfined explosions, the behaviour of materials and structures under loading, atmospheric diffusion of noxious substances, and emergency simulation and planning.

The aim of the Benchmark Exercise on Major Hazards Analysis (BE-MHA) was to establish a state-of-the-art review of procedures, methods, models and databases for risk analysis of chemical facilities. Following its conclusion, with this programme, in 1987, the MARS (Major Accident Reporting System) accident database became fully operational.

The integrated Ispra Risk Management Support (IRIMS) software system was developed to produce comparative risk scenarios for the production, transport and use of chlorine in the Netherlands.


Two areas:

- Accident prevention:
This included the Benchmark Exercise on Major Hazards Analysis (BE-MHA) and development of the STARS (Software Tool for Advanced Reliability and Safety analysis) expert system database;

- Accident mitigation and control:
This included construction of the experimental Facility for Investigating Runaway Events Safety (FIRES) to validate specific numerical codes for the control of industrial chemical processes.


The Commission, assisted by the board of governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), was responsible for carrying out the programme, which was executed in the Ispra establishment of the JRC.

Information was disseminated in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 2380/74 of 17 September 1974 (Official Journal No L 255 of 20.9.1974), adopting provisions for the dissemination of information relating to research programmes for the European Economic Community.

The Commission prepared annual reports for the Council and the European Parliament on the execution of the programme. It was also to submit a critical independent analysis before proposing a further four-year programme.


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