Title: Assessment of the impact of an unconfined vapour cloud explosion at a major hazard facility in Melbourne close to a large proposed housing development

Authors: Ian F. Thomas; Milinda Suraweera; Madhat Abdel-jawad

Addresses: I F Thomas & Associates, 123 Nelson Place, Williamstown, VIC 3016, Australia ' GexCon Australia, 8/64 Fitzgerald St, Perth, WA 6003, Australia ' GexCon Australia, 8/64 Fitzgerald St, Perth, WA 6003, Australia

Abstract: An increasing problem in Australia is the encroachment of residential areas into former industrial zones near to operational Major Hazard Facilities (MHFs). The consequences of scenarios such as unexpected UVCE or Unconfined Vapour Cloud Deflagration (UVCD) events can be catastrophic with significant loss of life and extensive property damage. They follow from the formation of clouds of gases and vapours resulting from accidental release of flammable liquids or pressurised heavier-than-air flammable gases and their subsequent ignition. The paper describes superimposition of the published 2005 UK Buncefield accident overpressure contours on the Gellibrand Tank Farm (GTF) in Williamstown and presents the findings of a targeted CFD modelling study. The modelling was limited by absence of data for the GTF. The purpose of the work is to emphasise the need for a full and independent quantified risk assessment study to be performed as would be required in the UK, with respect to a major housing development proposed on former nearby industrial land.

Keywords: UVCE; unconfined vapour cloud explosion; UVCD; unconfined vapour cloud deflagration; QRA; overpressure contours; PADHI; consultation distance; sensitivity level; OPAA; outer planning advisory area; IPAA; inner planning advisory area; NPV; Nelson Place Village; GTF; Gellibrand Tank Farm; Mobil Refining Australia; PoMC; Port of Melbourne Corporation; major hazard facilities; housing developments; residential areas; Buncefield oil storage depot; Buncefield incident; CFD; computational fluid dynamics; modelling; risk assessment; industrial land.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFE.2014.066314

International Journal of Forensic Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.2, pp.122 - 143

Published online: 30 Apr 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article