Seminar | July 24 | 2-3 p.m. | Davis Hall, 325 Davis Hall
Fabrizio Paolacci, Assistant Professor, Structural Engineering, Roma Tre University,
The vulnerability of the urbanized territory against Na-Tech events represents a strategic issue because of the general unpreparedness of the countries in predicting effects and consequences in the aftermath of a disaster. Despite the continuous evolution of knowledge on this matter, there is lack of information about possible procedures to predict damage propagation within a process plant and in the surrounding areas, and the quantification of the risk under Na-Tech events. The effects of earthquakes on chemical plants is important, as demonstrated by the recent 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, where many industrial plants suffered losses from damage.
In this seminar a new tool for the probabilistic risk assessment methodology for petrochemical plants under seismic loading is illustrated, which is based on Monte Carlo simulations. Specifically, starting from the seismic hazard curve of the site, a multi-level approach is proposed, in which the first level is represented by the components seismically damaged, and the following levels are treated through a classical consequence analysis that includes propagation of multiple simultaneous and interacting chains of accidents. The procedure has been implemented in PRIAMUS software, which assumes that the accident may be represented by a sequence of propagation levels. With a series of automatically generated samples of damage propagation scenarios, the risk of the plant can be easily quantified. The application of this method to a petrochemical plant shows the potential of the method and envisages possible further evolution.