Facility Siting Studies

Federal and State OSHA requires a facility siting analysis as part of the Process Hazard Analysis requirements. ACTA developed FSDAn, a risk-based facility siting analysis tool, which enables a facility to manage the risks to on-site personnel from explosion, fire and toxic hazards. The analysis approach follows the American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practices, API RP-752 and API RP-753.

The code uses a database approach to manage building data, potential blast sources, hazardous material inventories and occupation information, and allows a user to evaluate siting issues with complete control of data integrity.

Fire and Explosion Hazard

ACTA provides specialized expertise to model the physical phenomena of fires and explosions as required by Federal and State OSHA regulations.  Our models predict the behavior of flammable materials, accounting for flashing material releases, the formation of pool fires, jet fires, fireballs, dispersion of flammable vapor clouds, the potential for a confined or unconfined explosion and the effects of flame, heat and explosion.  We also analyze the potential for missile and shrapnel generation and determine the effects on surrounding structures and people. Our customers include refineries and chemical facilities, the Air Force, Navy, Army, NASA and the FAA.

See Also: Facility Internal Explosions

Toxic Material Hazards

A comprehensive understanding of the conditions and dispersion characteristics of a toxic material release is fundamental to predicting the extent that a system may endanger workforce or offsite personnel.  We provide the expertise to model the dispersion and potential consequences of such releases, under all potential environmental conditions.

​We developed several computer programs to determine the extent of a potential toxic material hazard and compute the risks to facility personnel and offsite populations. These models encompass a wide range of capabilities, including elevated hot gas releases and cold spill releases. Graphical output in the form of hazard contours can be overlaid on a facility or community map and risk results can be provided in terms of expected causalities and risk profiles. Results may also be used to determine suitable and cost-effective mitigation strategies.

Flare Hazard Analysis

Thermal radiation hazards arise wherever fires develop in close proximity to personnel or facilities.  ACTA developed software and analysis techniques to evaluate the radiation heat flux for flare stacks using the methods of the American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 521.

​Data is output in tabular format and graphically, which illustrates radiation heat flux contours overlaid on a facility map.  This enables facility engineers to define flare stack location, placement of new equipment in the vicinity of existing flares and evaluate emergency response and risk mitigation plans.

Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis

At least one strong earthquake may occur during the life of many industrial facilities located in seismically active states.  A seismic hazard analysis is required under the California Accidental Release Prevention Program (CalARP).  Notwithstanding the regulatory requirements, a major loss could have a devastating effect on a business and so a thorough evaluation of the seismic impact to operations is considered worthwhile by a number of companies.

​Our personnel are recognized experts in seismic analysis and the potential impact to facilities and contributed to current databases and methods.  Studies include determination of potential ground accelerations from all nearby faults, the potential for soil liquefaction, amplification of seismic waves and slope instability.  We use computer codes to evaluate the dynamic response of structures and predict the likelihood and severity of failure.  Studies include risk management procedures and strengthening and mitigation devices.

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