Developing a quantitative fire risk assessment method for critical infrastructures: The case of road tunnels

Ntzeremes Panagiotis 2Researcher: Dr Panagiotis Ntzeremes
Year: 2013-2019
Affiliation: National Technical University of Athens
Primary supervisor: Professor Ilias Tatsiopoulos

Thesis language: English

This PhD Thesis poposes a novel approach for enhancing the level of safety of road tunnels. The approach consists of two main methods, SIREN and EVADE that support the operational risk assessment and decision making for additional safety measures, respectively. 

Tunnels are the most sophisticated elements of the road infrastructure. Tunnels are regarded as complex socio-technical systems. Although tunnels benefit the operation of road networks, their use involves the risk that a potential dysfunction of a tunnel can cause serious dysfunction on the broader road network due to its interdependencies. Fire is the foremost critical event for road tunnels' safety. The severity of tunnel fires is related to some special attributes of these infrastructures. Fire safety of tunnels concerned intensely the public opinion after the disastrous trans-Alpine accidents in Europe in the late 90s. Therefore, risk assessment was officially introduced for ensuring tunnels' level of safety.
This Thesis presents a novel quantitative risk assessment method, named SIREN, aiming at enhancing road tunnels' operational risk assessment regarding fire accidents. The stochastic-based approach of SIREN mitigates the fallacies arising from the traditional deterministic methods.
Furthermore, this thesis proposes also the EVADE method in order to support the decision-making process towards the selection of fire safety measures for road tunnels. This method provides a systematic decision process through the use of particular and consistent decision criteria, together with considerations of alternative safety measures which are based on the stated subjective preferences of the decision-maker. It can be applied in addition to SIREN or independently.
The results of this research provide a novel approach for enhancing the level of safety of road tunnels and the produced methods can be applied in all types of tunnels.



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