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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 ammonium nitrate explosion in Toulouse (France, 2001) and the explosion of a process site for military explosives in Gorni Lom, Bulgaria (2014),  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 several dozen deaths, multiple injuries, and evacuation and shelter-in-place of several thousand citizens, not mentioning damage to property and the environment, the extent of which cannot be fully calculated. Moreover, outside of Europe industrial accidents continue to reap catastrophic consequences, such as, 3000 people suspected as injured from hydrofluoric acid inhalation in the Republic of Korea (October 2012), over 200 deaths from a fire and explosion of a fuel tanker in Pakistan (June 2017), and 165 deaths and nearly 800 injuries from fire and explosions at a warehouse in Tianjin, China. 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. 


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