Dynamic Process and Accident Simulations as Tools to Prevent Industrial Accidents

The dynamic simulation of chemical processes is an indispensable and central tool for processdesign, analysis, and operation. Compared to a steady state simulation, the dynamic processsimulation has some outstanding advantages, such as the assessment of control system reliability before its implementation on the real plant, the planning and testing of start-up and shutdown procedures, the training of operators, the possibility to investigate the causes of previous accidents, and to determine the consequences of possible accidents. In particular, as far as the accidents are concerned, it is not of minor importance that they are an economic liability to the company and the community (Fewtrell and Hirst, 1998). Fewtrell and Hirst highlighted also that high-cost accidents have some common features. The coupled dynamic simulation of process and accidents allows identifying the aforementioned deficiencies while moving towards a more safe and productive management of chemical processes. This manuscript analyzes the possible plant/accident interactions and suggests the simultaneous dynamicintegration of process simulators and accident simulators. In fact, to simulate a realistic accidentdynamics, both the dynamics of the plant and of the accidental event should be run simultaneously since they are biuniquely interrelated and they influence one another. The manuscript investigates the feedbacks and interactions between the process and the accident by means of a specific case study.