Invitation to submit innovative operational projects to manage industrial risks: 4 successes for the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS)

The fire that broke out at the Lubrizol premises and Normandy Logistics in September 2019 was a reminder of the importance of maintaining control and industrial risk management in a densely built-up urban setting. Against this background, the Agence nationale de la recherche (National Research Agency (ANR)) has joined together with the Normandy and Hauts-de-France regions in 2020 to launch an invitation to submit SIOMRI (Solutions Innovantes et Opérationnelles dans la Maitrise des Risques Industriels en milieu urbain et denses) (Innovative, Operational Solutions in Industrial Risk Control in densely built-up urban settings) “research-action” projects. Four of the Institute’s projects have been accepted.

The aim of this invitation to submit projects is to provide scientific responses to operational and technological, organisational and health-related, legal and societal issues in order to alert, reduce the effects of these risks, and to deal with them more effectively when they occur.
Since 2003, the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks has had a dedicated unit to provide support in emergency environmental crisis situations, in order to technically assist State services with managing situations like the Lubrizol fire. The National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, together with its partners, has responded to the invitation to submit projects. Four projects were accepted and will mobilise the Institute’s skills in terms of organisational and human aspects, material resistance, phenomenology, instrumentation, physico-chemical sampling and analysis. These projects will make use of the Institute’s digital modelling abilities as well as its small and large-scale test facilities:

MAPSEA (MAtériaux absorbeurs pour la Protection des Sites Industriels et de leur Environnement contre les Agressions dynamiques de type explosion) (Absorbent Materials to Protect Industrial Sites and their Environment against Dynamic Explosive Events)
The aim of the project is to define the mechanical behaviour of three materials that are currently widely used for their high energy performance (foams). Their properties of impact energy absorption provide some interesting prospects for potential new barrier applications against overpressure/blasts during accidental or intentionally malicious explosions. They will be specifically assessed on the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks’ and other partners’ small and medium-scale experimental facilities.
 Partners: National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (coordinator), Institut Franco-Allemand de Recherches de Saint Louis (ISL), Institut de recherche Dupuy de Lôme (IRDL), Laboratoire de mécanique Gabriel Lamé (LaMé) of the University of Orléans and Tours, and INSA Centre Val de Loire, Nuvia Structure.


FIREPLUME (Emergency digital simulation of fire plumes, from source identification to dispersion)
The aim of the project is to develop an atmospheric modelling platform that is capable of predicting the consequences of an industrial fire. It will make it possible to reconstruct the source conditions, to predict how dangerous it is in the short and long term, and the dispersion of the associated emissions into the air on the basis of the characteristics of the products involved, the properties of the source and weather-related data. In this project, the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks and its partners will pool their large and small-scale experimental resources and their simulation capabilities.
 Partners: Laboratory CORIA (Complexes de recherche interprofessionnelle en aérothermie) (Interprofessional Research Complexes in Aerothermy) in Rouen (coordinator), National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, Laboratoire d'énergétique et de mécanique théorique et appliquée (Energy and Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Laboratory) (LEMTA), UMR Sciences pour l’Environnement (Sciences for the Environment) – University of Corsica.

DESIHR (Drones en Essaim pour la Surveillance des sites Industriels à Hauts-Risques) (Essaim Drones for Monitoring High-Risk Industrial Sites)
This project involves the use of a fleet of drones that are able to modify their flight pattern in accordance with information gathered, with a view to fulfilling two mission types involving industrial fires. The first will entail positioning itself along the fire plume dispersion line increasingly far away from the source in order to take samples and to identify the substances present. The second involves capturing video images of the plume, which will then be processed to establish a range of parameters which can be used for modelling.
Partners: National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (coordinator), Groupe de recherche en électrotechnique et automatique du Havre, (Research Group in Automation and Electrical Engineering), University of Le Havre Normandy (GREAH - ULHN), Institut de recherche en systèmes électroniques embarqués (Research Institute into Embedded Systems) (IRSEEM de l’ESIGELEC), Atmo Normandie, Squadrone System, Normandie AeroEspace (NAE).

CARE (Apport des capabilités pour l'acceptabilité et la résilience des risques majeurs) (Contribution of Capabilities for the Acceptability and Resilience of Major Risks)
 The aim of the project is to conciliate societal and technical regulatory views of approaches to risk assessment. The aim is to build on the work of Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, to construct a more sophisticated overview of the mechanisms of acceptability of major risk and of an area’s ability to withstand technological risks. A cross-section of several hundred residents of Rouen will be surveyed and will be linked to a digital machine learning tool with a view to defining standard profiles, and to model the mechanisms of society's mechanisms of resilience for an area.
 Partners: National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (coordinator), Laboratoire de Mécanique de Normandie (LMN) (Mechanical Laboratory of Normandy) - INSA Rouen, Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision (Analysis and System Modelling Laboratory to assist with decision-making) (AMSADE).

These projects are part of the framework of the new National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks’ Objectives and Performance Agreement signed in December 2020. They will enable us to strengthen the Institute’s expertise in assisting Public Authorities in cases of emergencies and environmental crisis.