A potential failure of critical infrastructures such as, pipelines, energy lines, transportation routes, etc., can occur at any point and at any unexpected moment across their extended grid spread over wide geographic areas. These Widezones aim primarily to the strengthening of the infrastructure’s robustness by extending in a transboundary fashion for the transport of materials necessary on a daily basis. Failures at critical points (functions, equipment, and controls) can compromise the integrity of the involved installations and the security of energy and resources supply, with adverse socio-economic effects to citizens, customers and the environment (major accidents). Shortcomings in the control of hazards inherent to the safe performance of the infrastructures are strongly linked with the effective implementation and functioning of a Safety Management System (SMS) including appropriate safety and security provisions, emergency planning and other proactive measures such as surveillance, from detection to alert.

 

In the control of major accident hazards, technical safeguards such as safe operation limits and operational controls are proved to be insufficient without the effective implementation of an adequate Safety Management System (SMS) by the operators of hazardous infrastructures or infrastructures involving high risks to their stakeholders, in industry, transportation, energy and other sectors. Root-cause analysis of accidents in chemical and nuclear plants, fuel transmission pipelines and other hazardous infrastructures, as well as research findings have shown that component failures and operator errors are often rooted in management decisions and organizational factors. On top of that, sense-making is difficult when facing uncertainty, threat and time pressure. It is therefore recognized that organizational and management factors play a significant role in the safety of the installations. In the European Community, the SEVESO II Directive (EC 96/82 Directive) contains the necessary provisions for the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances. According to the Directive, establishments including major hazards are required to draw up a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) and a Safety Management System (SMS) for implementing it. Failures of the management system were shown to have contributed to the cause of over 60 per cent of the accidents reported in the European Commission’s Major Accident Reporting System (MARS) (Rasmussen 1995).The need to measure safety performance is well established and great effort has been put into analyzing the elements of SMS that might affect system safety (Mitchison & Papadakis 1999).

 

At the same time, huge transport networks bridge large distances between countries, by means of complex highways and rail tracks, and providing a truly pan-European web responsible for the transportation of millions of citizens every day. 

 

Critical infrastructure may spread over large areas covering wide geographic zones. Wide-area infrastructures such as electricity try to strengthen their resilience by expanding their grid trans-boundary or the need for oil trans-boundary transport by pipeline instead of ships are fine examples where the need to manage their surveillance operations becomes a real challenge. The fact that those infrastructures are often controlled by several stakeholders in a consortium (oil gas, electricity, water, highways) makes the challenge even greater and more complex to manage.

 

ZONeSEC aims to address the needs of Widezones surveillance by defining a new European-wide framework, which will extend beyond a sole technical proposition. Driven by the need to yield a holistic and uniform approach, ZONeSEC redefines the issue of security of widezones by taking into consideration issues pertaining to costs, complexity, vulnerability, societal acceptance and ethics.

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ZONeSEC Concept