Domino effects in chemical factories and clusters, risk in the eye of the beholder: An historical perspective and discussion

Paul Swuste, Karolien Van Nunen, Genserik Reniers, Nima Khakzad

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Major accidents in Western countries, receiving a lot of media attention in the 1970s, are starting point for research into internal and external domino effects in the chemical and petrochemical sectors and clusters. Initially, these reports are published by government institutions and government-related research centers. With the upcoming quantitative risk analyses in the 1970 and 1980s, the so-called colored books, published in the Netherlands, play a prominent role in quantifying these domino effects. Since the mid-1990s, the second European Seveso Directive encourages scientific research on domino effects, shown in substantial growth of academic publications on the topic. Research in Western countries is dominated by risk assessments, probabilities, and failure mechanisms are calculated for the complex phenomenon of domino effects and its consequences. Previous works are closely related to political, official, and private decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDynamic Risk Assessment and Management of Domino Effects and Cascading Events in the Process Industry
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780081028384
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Bowtie diagram
  • Domino effect
  • History
  • Seveso directive
  • Transition


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