Critical Infrastructures

Upcoming events

16 September 2016:
STREST Final Workshop, Ljubljana

14-15 September 2016:
STREST Final Meeting, Ljubljana

Past events

12-13 October 2015:
STREST 2nd Year Workshop, Thessaloniki

22 May 2015:
WP5 workshop, Zurich

19 December 2014:
WP4 workshop, Naples

29-31 October 2014:
STREST 1st Year Workshop, Ispra

26-28 February 2014:
Joint WPs3-4-5 workshop, Utrecht

14 January 2014:
WP2 workshop, Zurich

21-22 October 2013:
STREST Kikc-off Meeting, Zurich

STREST receives funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 603389.

STREST at a glance

Critical Infrastructures (CIs) provide essential goods and services for modern society; they are highly integrated and have growing mutual dependencies. Recent natural events have shown that cascading failures of CIs have the potential for multi-infrastructure collapse and widespread societal and economic consequences. Moving toward a safer and more resilient society requires improved and standardized tools for hazard and risk assessment of low probability-high consequence (LP-HC) events, and their systematic application to whole classes of CIs, targeting integrated risk mitigation strategies. Among the most important assessment tools are the stress tests, designed to test the vulnerability and resilience of individual CIs and infrastructure systems. Following the results of the stress tests recently performed by the EC for the European Nuclear Power Plants, it is urgent to carry out appropriate stress tests for all other classes of CIs.

  • Establish a common and consistent taxonomy of non-nuclear CIs;
  • Develop a rigorous, consistent modelling approach to hazard, vulnerability, risk and resilience assessment of LP-HC events;
  • Design a stress test framework and specific applications to address the vulnerability, resilience and interdependencies of CIs;
  • Enable the implementation of European policies for the systematic implementation of stress tests.

STREST focuses on earthquakes, tsunamis, geotechnical effects and floods, and on three principal CI classes: (a) individual, single-site, high risk infrastructures, (b) distributed and/or geographically extended infrastructures with potentially high economic and environmental impact, and (c) distributed, multiple-site infrastructures with low individual impact but large collective impact or dependencies.
STREST works with key European CIs, to test and apply the developed stress test methodologies to specific CIs, chosen to typify general classes of CIs.

  • Methods to harmonize the treatment of uncertainties and the mechanics of hazard assessment, with focus on the quantification of epistemic uncertainties and its effects on LP-HC hazard, the integration of regional versus site- specific hazards and near-source effects;
  • Consistent quantification of the occurrence of LP-HC events (extremes, cascading effects) and schemes to introduce them in hazard and risk evaluations;
  • Definition of appropriate measures to express aggregated probabilities of exceeding limit values across an extended footprint, taking into account the spatial correlation characteristics;
  • Consistent taxonomy of different classes of CIs, to classify them in terms of common characteristics of vulnerability, possible consequences and resilience;
  • Probabilistic models for the vulnerability and consequence assessment, designed to enable transferring from hazard to risk and evaluating the consequences of system failures extending much beyond direct damages to equipment and structures, involving cascading effects;
  • Improvement of the present understanding and assessment of losses and resilience, at the level of single CI, CI system or society;
  • Probabilistic structural and systemic performance models (stress tests) to determine the losses in CIs, and their susceptibility to cascading effects that may amplify these losses, as well as interdependencies among different CIs;
  • European Reference Reports concerning the assessment and protection of CIs;
  • Interactions with practitioners via the involvement of CI owners and stakeholder workshops.

Duration: 3 years (October 2013 - September 2016)
Consortium: 12 partners from 8 countries
Budget: 3,975,006 € (EC contribution of 3,000,000 €)
Work Plan: 7 Work Packages, 6 Test Sites

Latest News

In the Media

May 2016: The STREST project has been featured in the Futuris program of Euronews channel. Watch the video "Imagining the worst for Europe’s riskiest assets" here.

STREST Final Workshop

May 2016: The final STREST stakeholder workshop (taking place in Ljubljana, 16 September 2016) aims at communicating the products developed during the project, namely new research results on natural extreme events and harmonized methods for risk assessment leading to the standardization and implementation in Europe of stress tests for various classes of CIs. It will present the results of applications from a large selection of CIs: petrochemical plants, hydropower dams, oil pipelines, gas networks, port infrastructures and industrial districts. The main innovations presented will be related to seismic hazard and risk, coastal and downstream flooding, as well as to the process of domino effects across natural hazards and CI elements. Invited researchers from partner European projects will also present their main findings. The workshop is addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, including regulators, owners and operators of non-nuclear CIs, civil protection services, and the scientific and technical community. Participation to the workshop is free of charge. See flyer for more details.

STREST Reference Reports

Apr 2016: The first STREST reference report "State-of-the-art and lessons learned from safety studies and stress-tests for critical infrastructures" is now available in the Results section. Five more reports will be published in the coming months.

STREST Scientific Papers

Apr 2016: More than a dozen of articles presenting the results of the STREST project have already been published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. See the full list in the Results section.

In the Media

XL Group (2015), Redefining Risk for Critical Infrastructure: Q&A with EU STREST Coordinator, Professor Domenico Giardini [LINK]