An Integrated Quantitative Risk Assessment Method for Urban Underground Utility Tunnels

Jiansong Wu, Yiping Bai, Weipeng Fang, Rui Zhou, Genserik Reniers, Nima Khakzad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


With the rapid urbanization, urban underground utility tunnels have seen fast growth in China in the past few years. Urban utility tunnels can house various kinds of city ‘lifelines’ such as natural gas pipeline, heat pipeline, water supply system, sewer pipeline, electricity and telecommunication cables, which are of great significance to guarantee essential flows of energy, information and logistics for urban life. If a utility tunnel accident occurs, the consequences could be catastrophic. Risk assessment has been an important tool to examine the safety performance of industrial facilities and the effectiveness of safety measures. In this study, an integrated model based on dynamic hazard scenario identification (DHSI), Bayesian network (BN) modeling and risk analysis is proposed for risk assessment of urban utility tunnels. The worst-case scenario of urban utility tunnel accidents is identified by DHSI and modelled by BN. Meanwhile, risk analysis is conducted based on the results of BN considering casualties and economic losses. Finally, the integrated method is applied to evaluate the risk level of a real-world utility tunnel. The results indicate that the integrated quantitative risk assessment framework is an alternative and effective tool for safety assessment and land-use planning of urban utility tunnels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107792
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bayesian network
  • Delphi method
  • Dynamic hazard scenario identification
  • Risk assessment
  • Urban underground utility tunnels


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