Unexpected end-of-life

Preparation and planning for the unexpected end-of-life of an industrial facility in the event of disaster is just as critical, if not more so, than the scheduled case. The result of a sudden, serious or catastrophic event can have a profound impact on any business, oftentimes requiring extensive resources to be available, which hadn’t necessarily been planned for previously.

Among these kinds of disasters, we consider:

  • Natural disasters:
    • Floods
    • Earthquackes
    • Landslides
    • Avalanches
    • Severe storms
    • Tornadoes
  • Jobsite accidents:
    • Tipping over a crane or dropping a large load
    • Having a building or structure collapse into a street
    • Causing a toxic, flammable, or hazardous liquid or vapor release
    • Transportation accident
  • Acts of terrorism:
    • Bomb Threats
    • Arson
    • Chemical Release
    • Sabotage
    • Radiation Release
  • Negligence:
    • Unforeseen collapse due to poor maintenance
    • Unexpected fires
    • Explosions and over-pressurization events
    • Overloading of structures

EXAMPLE: Ten years ago, a terrible earthquake in Japan triggered a nuclear crisis in Fukushima Daiichi. Today, there is more than 1 million m3 of radioactive water present, with accumulated uranium and molten waste still active. The timeframe to complete the decommissioning pro- cess is expected to extend to 2051.

After these types of disasters and unforeseen events, it is critical to establish the priorities for the emergency deactivation of the facility, and the phases to be considered for this unexpected end-of-life of the facility. As a minimum, the following features should be considered:

  • Identification and engagement of specialist contractors
  • Contractual engagement with demolition contractors, using pre-agreed fee structures
  • Assessments of the facility
  • Evaluation of what else could go wrong
  • Primary costs to be considered
  • Evaluation of knowledge, equipment and team that will be needed
  • Evaluation of substances both used and stored within the facility
  • Implementation of the emergency response protocol with authorities and demolition contractors.
  • Communication and appointment of a company spokesperson
  • Verification of insurance policies, ensuring that the participation of the demolition contractor/s is also included therein
  • Establishing and the determining priorities for demolition and decontamination (for example: preventing cross-contamination before recovering equipment)


Consult the full guide here:

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