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An update on Phast/Safeti 8.4

It’s been a couple of months since my last blog post, providing some details of the next release of Phast and Safeti, version 8.4.  A lot has happened in those two months, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide an update.

In my last post, I described four improvements being made:

  • 64-bit
  • Explosion and thermal radiation exceedance
  • GIS improvements
  • ERPG toxic effect level contours

In addition to these, I’m excited to be able to announce a number of other improvements:

  • Long pipelines
  • New materials
  • DIPPR 2018


The 64-bit work is mostly complete and I’m really excited by what this will offer, particularly for large Safeti studies. It really is a game changer for memory management.

Explosion and thermal radiation exceedance

The explosion and thermal radiation exceedance work is complete and this is another big improvement.  Users will be able to produce exceedance curves even if storage of detailed results has been turned off.  Again, this will really help large studies, because it will mean the database containing risk results by default will be significantly smaller.  Users will be much less likely to run into the 10 GB limit and will still be able to produce exceedance curves.

If there is one thing I have learnt in my career it’s that things take longer than what you first think, and the exceedance work was no exception to that.  We did more than originally planned because we felt it was a good opportunity to tidy a few things up in the user interface and to provide some additional reports.  We’ve also decided to have two risk galleries: one providing standard results and one providing additional results when storage of detailed results is turned on.

Standard and detailed risk galleries

We’ve decided that storage of detailed results will be turned off by default. We feel that this is appropriate because the majority of users will not require analysis of those detailed results and they will require only those results shown in the left hand risk gallery above.  For those users, database sizes will be kept to a minimum.  For those that do require access to the detailed results, you will be able to change a setting before running calculations.  It’s worth noting that detailed results are always calculated; it’s whether those results are saved in the database that the user now has a choice over.

GIS improvements

On the GIS side, we’ve made an improvement to the export of consequence and risk plots from the GIS map as shapefiles (.shp), which allows the data to be imported into other GIS software (Google Earth, ArcGIS, QGIS, etc.) very easily.  In previous versions of Phast and Safeti, the user would have to download a projection file (.prj) from third-party websites before the shapefiles can be imported into their GIS software.  In Phast/Safeti 8.4, users will no longer have to do this, because as part of the process to export data to shapefile, the projection file will also be exported.  A small change that makes the whole process easier.

Contours in Google Earth

Further improvements to the GIS will involve users being able to import KML data and import it into Phast/Safeti to be used in the modelling.  A good example of this is associated with long pipelines.  We want users to be able to take a pipeline geometry drawn in other GIS software (e.g. Google Earth) and import into Phast/Safeti so that there’s no need to re-draw the route.  I’m writing this blog in the middle of a workshop with our developers to deliver this work.  Similar to what I wrote earlier…nothing is as simple as you first think!

ERPG toxic effect level contours

The work to implement ERPG toxic effect level contours is complete; this will allow users of Phast/Safeti with a 3D licence to produce effect/risk effect contours for the ERPG concentrations of toxic materials.

Long pipelines

You will be able to create long pipelines without having to draw the entire route on the map.  There will be three options:

  • Pipeline point
  • Pipeline polyline with the entire route drawn
  • Pipeline polyline with a portion of the route drawn

A pipeline point will allow you to to click a location on the map where you want the release to be modelled.  Within the pipeline object you’ll be able to specify the distance from the start of the pipeline to the release location.

With a pipeline polyline, you will draw on the map the section of the pipeline’s route where you want to model releases.  This could be the entire route or a portion of it.  This will be particularly useful if, for example, you want to model releases from a few hundred metres’ worth of pipeline located adjacent to a facility such as a refinery.  Instead of drawing the entire route, you would draw the few hundred metres.  Then in the model’s dialog you will be able to specify the entire length of the pipeline for inventory calculations and also where along the pipeline the drawn portion exists: the start, the end or somewhere in between.

Long pipeline specification

New materials

New materials will be added to the standard list of materials in a new Phast/Safeti workspace.  This will mean less of a requirement to open the Admin Materials program to manually add materials from the DIPPR database.  The new materials are highlighted below.

New materials in the standard list

DIPPR 2018

We plan on updating the materials database to the 2018 version of the DIPPR database.  This version contains updated physical properties and flammability limits of some materials.  As part of the release notes we will summarise the main differences for your reference.

There are one or two other improvements currently being discussed; I’ll bring you details of these once we know for certain whether those improvements will make it.  It’s a very exciting time, and we’re not too far away now from this version being available to download.  I’m often pressed for an expected delivery and I’m usually cautious because of uncertainty.  Our current expectation is December, but I must emphasise I can’t promise anything.  As you know by now…things always take longer than what you initially expect.

Thank you for reading.  I hope the next time you hear from me will be in a webinar to present these changes in a live setting.

6 Comments Add your comment
Avatar Masoud Sadra says:

Hi James
Thanks for this update and looking for your next webinar on 8th of Dec. My question is with regard to consideration of Domino effects in QRA software. Because of uncertainties and difficulties involved, although up to now there exist no QRA software with the extension to consider Domino , do you have any plan to link and/or incorporate Domino effects in PHAST Safeti? Thanks

Thank you for your comment. I wrote an article about using Phast/Safeti for domino effects: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/phast-safeti-domino-assessment-james-pickles/

It provides an outline methodology, and involves some work to extract consequence and risk data from Phast/Safeti and to do some external calculations. We have plans to include domino reports in Phast and Safeti in a future release, possibly next year.

Avatar Mohamed Thaslim says:

With regards to Toxic exceedance, suppose if there are more than one toxic material (or mixtures) modelled for risk, will there be different exceedance curves for different toxic materials?

I presume you’re referring to the toxic ERPG effect level contours, as opposed to exceedance curves. For the effect level contours, if you have two or more toxic materials the effect level contours will include all toxic materials in a one set of contours. If you wish to have separate effect level contours for each toxic material you’ll need to spread your scenarios across different studies or run rows.

Avatar David Brown says:

Sounds good! Do you think 8.4 will be ready for issue by the end of this year?

Hi David,
Thanks for reading. There is a degree of uncertainty, but the current plan is to release in December.

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