Commencing in October 2013 and due for completion in September 2016, INFRARISK (Novel indicators for identifying critical INFRAstructure at RISK from natural hazard) is a European Union 7th framework funded project under the Environmental work Programme. Coordinated by ROD-IS, the project is focused on developing a stress test framework to tackle the coupled impacts of rare low frequency high consequence natural hazard events on interdependent critical infrastructure networks. The ultimate goal is to establish the resilience of critical European road and rail Infrastructure to events and aid decision making regarding robust infrastructure development and the protection of existing infrastructure. 

Through robust risk and uncertainty modelling, an operational analysis framework is being developed that considers not only the impact of individual hazards on specific infrastructure systems but the coupled interdependencies of critical infrastructure, climate change, cascading hazards, cascading effects and time dependent vulnerability. Practical software tools and benchmark guidelines are being developed that will support European infrastructure managers in assessing the probability of occurrence of extreme rare events and assessing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, arming them with the necessary tools to develop robust mitigation and response strategies. 

In addition to our role as coordinators, ROD-IS are also testing the methodologies being developed using case studies in Italy and Croatia. Risk is assessed according to the direct and indirect consequences associated with extreme, low-probability events and cascading effects. The direct consequences are quantified in terms of the physical damage caused to the infrastructure. The indirect consequences are assessed in terms of the additional travel times experienced by users as a result of the functionality loss of the network. The direct and indirect consequences are quantified in monetary terms and the associated risk level is evaluated according to a stress testing methodology, whereby an intervention strategy for the network may be implemented where the level of risk is considered unacceptable.

Further information can be found at www.infrarisk-fp7.eu.