Technological Risk
in Real-time

Project Technical Documents

The HITERM on-line User Manuals have been developed for restricted project-internal access only;
they are made accessible for documentation purposes only.

On-line Documents     Project Deliverables

The on-line documents include the public Project Deliverables. These are parts extracted from the Deliverables of WP1, the Requirememnts Analysis including the Executive Summary, and Appendices of related technical information, and the subsequent on-line Project Deliverables, which include internal documents restricted to project participants.

The documents provide the framework and background for the design of the HITERM system and demonstrator; they combine, more or less side-by-side, the background and requirements analysis and the emerging technical and functional specifications for the systems, and then describe the development steps and the three case study applications, and finally exploitation and dissemination issues.

    WP 0 Final Project Report ESS, with input from all partners
    WP 1 Requirements and Constraints Report SYRECO, ASIT

    Executive Summary (D01.0)

      Section 1 Regulatory framework, institutional structures, management and organization
      Section 2 Emergency planning and management, hardware and software tools
      Section 3 Human, institutional and technical requirements and constraints
      APPENDIX I Simulation models and their data requirements for the Case Studies
      APPENDIX II Hazardous Chemicals, example MSDS for the Case Studies

    WP 2 Model Parallelization GMD
      D2.1 Model Specifications
      D2.2 Installation Manual (parallel environment)
      D2.3 User Manuals (basic models)
    WP 3 Communication and networkingFCCN
      D3.0 Communication Architecture: Technical Report
    WP 4 Visualization and Multi-MediaESS
      D4.0 Implementation and User Manual
    WP 5 Model Calibration and Uncertainty AnalysisGMD
      D5.0 Technical Report
    WP 6 Decision Support and Expert SystemsESS
      D6.0 Implementation Report
    Technical Report
    WP 7 Systems Architecture ESS
      D7.0 Systems Architecture Report
    User Manual
    WP 8 Case Study: Portugal (road transportation)Petrogal, LNEC
      D8.0 Case Study Report: Portugal
      D8.1 Demonstrator: Portugal
    WP 9 Case Study: Switzerland (rail transportation)ASIT
      D9.0 Case Study Report: Switzerland
      D9.1 Demonstrator: Switzerland
    WP 10 Case Study: Italy (chemical process plant)SYRECO
      D10.0 Case Study Report: Italy
      D10.1 Demonstrator: Italy
    WP 11 Case Study Evaluation (including benefit analysis)ASIT
      D11.0 Case Study Summary Report
    WP 12 Dissemination and Exploitation Plan
    (Technology Implementation Plan)
      D12.0 Dissemination and Exploitation Plan
      D12.1 Technology Implementation Plan (PROSOMA format)

    1.1 The Regulatory Framework

    Authors: Fausto Zani, SYRECO, 
             Nikolaus Seifter, ASIT.
    Edited by K. Fedra, ESS.

    Each country has its own regulation about industrial risk analysis, within the European Union generally derived from the framework of the EC Seveso Directive 82/501 and following modifications, in particular the new Seveso II Directive 96/82/EC.

    Those regulation requires the owner or operator responsible for an installation covered by the Directives (included in a certain list of hazardous activities, exceeding a given threshold of hazardous materials involved in the operations) to prepare and communicate a risk analysis and a Safety Report for the competent authorities.

    The frame of application of those regulations in Italy is quite detailed and extended up to a relatively low threshold value of hazardous material, thus identifying two different classes of Seveso Directive subjected activities (the so called Notification and Declaration), for which different competent authorities are responsible at a federal and local (Regional) level.

    The main objectives of the industrial risk analysis and Safety Report are:

    • to analyse the safety provisions in order to prevent, and minimize the effects, of accidents
    • to provide for the requirements for emergency planning
    • to define the information contents for competent authorities and the affected public.

    Swiss regulation and law in the framework of industrial risk analysis (although not referring to EC Seveso Directive) pays attention to the impact of relevant accidents on population, as well as on the environment (surface and ground water pollution prevention), including general principles to standardize the essential safety requirements and extend the application field from hazardous material to micro-organisms.

    Transportation of Dangerous Goods

    No specific regulation exists in Italy about hazardous materials transport, since this is explicitly excluded from the application field of the Seveso Directive national implementation (with the exclusion of fixed installations, such as fixed/temporary storage, ports, railway stations and marshaling yards, loading docks, truck parks and so on), although an increasing interest towards a more stringent requirements is developing, waiting for the promulgation of a specific regulation concerning hazardous goods transport risk analysis.

    The situation is quite different in Switzerland and Portugal, where specific regulations, ordinances and laws exist, including safety requirements and risk analysis/safety report criteria for hazardous materials transport, quite similar to fixed hazardous installations. National regulations in those countries also include guidelines and requirements for road use and restrictions in case of hazardous goods transport that go beyond the international ADR requirements and regulations.

    Emergency Planning and Accident Prevention

    Each county has an its own regulations and organization for emergency and prevention planning and civil protection, including definition of the competent Authorities and structures/organization requirements for forecasting, prevention and rescue intervention. Those regulation are anyway very different, for instance, looking at Swiss and Italian laws and organization model, the latter being much more centralized at the national level than the former. The Swiss also demonstrated a strong organization and competence at the local (Municipal) level that does not exist in practice in Italy, where the decision is taken at provincial level by the national central representative (Prefetto). A certain distinction between the co-ordination and decision competencies and the operating intervention forces exist in Italy, resulting in some anomalous practical condition where the information on accident dynamics are first of all available at the intervention level, and only later at the decision making level. Swiss regulations again demonstrate a certain distinction in organization and competence according to the type of accident.

    Environmental Hazards

    No specific regulation exists in Italy dealing with environmental and natural crises, other than the specific national and regional laws, not strictly targeted at environment emergency organization and planning.

    In comparison, Switzerland developed a specific regulation in this field, with specific application to forests, hydrology, land use planning and so on.

    1.2 Institutional Structures

    1.3 Management and organization in Emergencies

    2.1 Emergency Planning

    Emergency planning is considered one of the most important factors in industrial risk emergency management, and a specific regulation and set of guidelines have been emitted in each country. In particular, in Italy, a special guidelines for provisional emergency planning has been recently adopted by Ministry of Interior - Civil Protection Department, whose application is now progressing for all the Seveso classified hazardous activities, according to which a short-cut, quick method has to be applied for evaluation of the potentially affected zones in case of an accident.

    Threshold values have been defined in order to define the maximum radius associated to three zones for emergency planning:

    • sure impact zone I (high lethal probability)
    • damage zone II (possibility of lethal effects, heavy and or irreversible damages to structures)
    • warning zone III (possible damages, no lethal effects)

    for which different requirements in terms of resources, intervention in emergency and preventive/operating information to the population has to be provided.

    Fire Fighting Brigades are still using this method in the form of simple tables organized in informatic model, to define the potentially affected areas in case of accident. Quick and simple, but easily understood and applied methods like these should also be integrated as a first estimation method in a system like HITERM.

    Issues such as Risk analysis methodology, Preparedness (mainly awareness and knowledge of the area characteristics and potential useful resources in case of emergency), Co-ordination between intervention forces and Communication to population and the related aspects resulting from interviews to Italian deputies are presented too.

    Similar conclusions are drawn from the analysis and interviews conducted in Switzerland, where major attention is paid to the identification and analysis of the potential affected areas from the environment protection point of view. Emergency planning includes mapping on access routes, rescue equipment, communication facilities, drainage systems and retention basins, potentially vulnerable subjects and particularly endangered natural resources. Periodical exercises are also included in the emergency planning as an important factor for preparedness in the Swiss example.

    Emergency Management

    2.2 Hardware and Software Tools

    HITERM is based on a client-server architecture that links easy-to-use front end (clients) with powerful High-Performance Computing as the main server. The basic architecture of the system is organized around a central HITERM Server, that coordinates the various information resources, prominently including the HPCN components like parallel computers or workstation clusters for better-than-real-time simulation of demanding models, potential links to monitoring equipment, and the user interface clients. Since the communication of the various software components is based on the standard http protocol, a high degree of hardware independence can be achieved: any platform and operating system that supports that protocol on top of TCP/IP can be integrated within this framework.

    For the hardware and software tools used for HITERM, we have to discriminate between:

    • the develop platforms and the Demonstrator
    • the delivery platforms for a commercial exploitation phase

    2.2.1 Current practice and technical development graphical, analytical, interface tools

    Software tools for risk analysis and risk management can be grouped into a number of categories:

    • simulation models
    • GIS based tools
    • decision support tools

    2.2.2 Different tools and their compatibility with different development environments (languages, libraries, data formats)

    2.2.3 Different platform diffusion

    2.2.4 Tools, libraries, data bases and information sources for the final system

    2.2.5 Communication protocols and networking

    Technical/Human requirements and constraints

    3.1 Identification of technical constraints

    3.1.1 Minimum hardware equipment

    The minimum hardware requirements can be grouped into three more or less independent elements:
    • The HITERM server See the detailed specifications under 5.6.
    • The HPC resources

      In principle, the various models used in HITERM can run on all hardware platforms listed below. However the listing is sorted in order of the expected computational speed and therefore ordered according to the proposed preference. Besides, the type of the used computer platform the real computational speed depends on the number of used parallel processors, the speed of the underlying communication network and the considered model region (e.g. grid size, traffic burdens). The given values of the memory as well as the number of processors should always be considered as minimal requirement. The listing is a collection of hardware platforms the programs can definitely run on and therefore incomplete.

      Highly parallel systems:

      (e.g. Intel paragon, Cray T3D, Thinking Machines CM5, Parsytec Power GC or CC, IBM SP2, iPSC/860

      Workstation clusters

      the following UNIX platforms interconnected by a variety of networks (Ethernet,Token ring, FDDI,...) with TCP/IP. At least 2 computers with 64 MByte RAM each are necessary:

      producer model operating system
      SUN Sparc Solaris1 (SunOS)
      SUN Sparc Solaris2
      Intel Intel x86 Linux, 386BSD, NetBSD, BS DI
      HP PaRisc HP-UX
      IBM RS/6000 AIX
      SGI Iris, R4000 and up Irix
      DEC Alpha Digital Unix

      PC Networks

      An alternative to UNIX workstations clusters are networks of the following WINDOWS platforms interconnected via TCP/IP. At least 2 computers with 64 MByte RAM each are necessary..

      producer model operating system
      Intel Intel x86 Windows NT
      Intel Intel x86 Windows 95
      DEC Alpha AXP Windows NT

      Heterogeneous Networks

      In addition to the above options, the HITERM HPCN Server will be operational on heterogeneous networks of different platforms out of all listed computers above.

      In addition to the hardware requirements a FORTRAN and C compiler has to be available on the chosen platform. PVM3 (Parallel Virtual Machine) or MPI is used as the underlying message passing system. This tool allows a heterogeneous collection of workstations and supercomputers to function as a single high performance parallel machine. PVM is the existing de facto standard for distributed computing and therefore usually installed on most platforms. Should this be not the case, public domain versions of PVM are available in the Internet.

      General information on High Performance Computing can be found, for example, at the Internet Parallel Computing Archive at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. HPCN centers across Europe are described by FCCN in their report on High-Performance Computing in Europe.

    • The user-interface clients

    5. System requirements

    5.5 Decision Support System

    In HITERM, the decision support approach chosen is primarily constrained by the characteristics of the underlying system. These are:

    • dynamic, with a typical time resolution in the order of minutes; accident scenarios are always time critical;

    • spatially distributed, with spatial resolution ranging from the local accident site level (meters) to the regional air quality or groundwater grid (km);

    • highly non-linear and involving bifurcations (e.g., for evaporation versus explosion) and complex and delayed cause-effect relationships (toxic reactions).

    These problem characteristics preclude any straight forward optimization approach.

    Consequently, HITERM uses an approach centered on

    • Scenario Analysis
    • comparative evaluation of scenarios
    • discrete multi-criteria optimization.

    Scenario Analysis

    In a DSS framework, Scenario Analysis supports the user to explore a number of WHAT -- IF questions. The scenario is the set of initial conditions and driving variables (including any explicit decision variables) that completely characterize the system behavior, which is expressed as a set of output or performance variables.

    One of the central aspects of risk assessment is the treatment of uncertainty. Use of Monte Carlo techniques and error propagation will be used to add uncertainty as an explicit component of decision support information.

    5.6 Hardware/software tools

    Hardware Requirement

    For the Demonstrator, the HITERM SERVER requires a UNIX workstation with a high-resolution graphics system (1280 by 1024), 256 simultaneous colors, i.e., an 8 bit graphics frame buffer) with 32 MB RAM and, depending on the application, 1 GB of (data) disk space or more.

    To standardize during the development phase, SUN Ultra/SPARC workstations from SUN Microsystems, under Solaris 2.x will be used.

    Please note that for the operational use of the system in the exploitation phase, the Demonstrator can either be ported to Windows NT, or be redistributed to use the same hardware platform as the MODEL Server and use a Java based client-interface that can be run from any Java-enabled browser program on a PC or Network computer (NC).

    Operating System

    The HITERM SERVER will be supported for the demonstration phase on SUN Sparc architectures, under SUN Solaris 2.4 or higher. Support for alternative architectures and operating systems (HP UX, IBM AIX, Intel Linux) can be arranged, but would require additional resources not foreseen in the project.

    In addition to the operating system, X Windows run-time libraries (usually part of the basic systems software. Under SUN Solaris, the necessary libraries and tools are available under /usr/openwin/lib and /usr/openwin/bin.

    Window Manager:

    Common Desktop Environment (CDE)

    The system will also require a http demon (httpd) for the client-server integration and Internet access. For more information on http and setting up a local Web server, see, for example:

    Liu, Peek, Jones, Buus, and Nye (1994)
    Managing Internet Information Services. 630 pp., O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Sebastopol, CA. ISBN 1-56592-062-7.

    Networking: access to the HPCN resources

    The host of the HITERM Server will require a local LAN connection or Internet access for some of the systems intended functionality, and in particular, the connection to the parallel HPCN models. To access remote computing and data resources, a minimum of 64Kb/s will be required (e.g., through an ISDN phone line).

    The model server will be implemented either on a dedicated parallel machine at the GMD, or on a UNIX workstation cluster under MPI. Unless the workstation cluster running the MODEL Server is in the same LAN with the HITERM Server at a demonstration site, an external connection (dedicated ISDN, Internet, see above) is required.

    Auxiliary Tools:

    As external tools for data preparation, editing etc, the following tools are recommended:

    • basic screen editor like vi
  • graphical editors and image conversion programs, including xv, xpaint, giftrans
  • a standard GIS for geographical data capture and editing, for example:
    • Arc/Info (powerful but expensive);
    • IDRISI (PC based, reasonably cheap);
    • GRASS (public domain);

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