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The Minerva Portal of the Major Accident Hazards Bureau

A Collection of Technical Information and Tools Supporting EU Policy on Control of Major Chemical Hazards

Single chemical accident releases involving dangerous substances in chemical installations, petrochemical and oil refineries continue to happen frequently enough in Europe and demonstrate the need for better and more efficient control of major industrial hazards. Industrial accident prevention and preparedness in Europe is aimed not only at preventing major catastrophes such as the fire in the petroleum storage depot at Buncefield (United Kingdom, 2005) or the ammonium nitrate explosion in Toulouse (France, 2001), but also at the small catastrophes that violate the right to a safe community, a safe workplace and a clean environment. Notably, since 2010, major industrial accidents in Europe have been responsible for approximately 20 deaths, 70 injuries, evacuation or shelter-in-place of several thousand citizens, not mentioning damage to property and the environment, which account for millions of Euros, the extent of which cannot be fully calculated. Moreover, outside of Europe industrial accidents continue to reap catastrophic consequences, most recently, 3000 people suspected as injured from hydrofluoric acid inhalation in the Republic of Korea (October 2012); 26 workers killed at a natural gas plant in Mexico (September 2012), and 41 deaths at an oil refinery in Venezuela (August 2012). The use of the same technologies in countries outside the EU, many transferred from the west to the developing world, the prevalence of European multinationals, and the globalization of trade make industrial accidents abroad increasingly a concern also of European citizens.  

For this reason, it is increasingly important to ensure wide availability of the knowledge base created to support chemical accident prevention and preparedness in the EU and worldwide. With this intention, the Major Accident Hazards Bureau of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has created the MINERVA portal to provide access to all information on current activities, relevant publications, and tools on control of major chemical hazards which MAHB produces on its own or in collaboration with others, or has received in its role as a centre of information exchange. 

More information on future developments of the portal at this link:  About the Minerva Portal


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