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Resilience of Critical Infrastructure to Extreme Fires - Gaps and Challenges

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National Research Council Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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This report provides the results of the study conducted by NRC on the protection and resilience of critical infrastructures against extreme fires, e.g. fuel storage or tanker fires. The 911 World Trade Centre building collapse and the MacArthur Maze Bridge collapse on April 27, 2007, a critical bridge in the San Francisco area, are two examples of such extreme fire threats to critical infrastructures. The main goal of this study was to develop a better understanding of the threats from extreme fires to critical physical infrastructures. Furthermore, the studies attempted to identify and prioritize the gaps and challenges of the prevention, response and recovery from such incidents. The study included a literature review of the gaps and research needs for the assessment and protection of critical infrastructures to enhance their resilience against extreme fire. Critical border crossing bridgestunnels, embassies and government buildings are examples of critical infrastructures. An advisory board with 25 members from different government departments, industries and regulatory bodies discussed these research needs and provided inputs on their priorities. This project also included two demonstration fire tests conducted using a new testing facility at the National Research Council Canada NRC. As an example of a bridgebuilding structural element, two reinforced concrete columns were successfully tested based on two standards an extreme fire, ASTM E1529, and a typical building fire, ASTM E119. The results demonstrated that 1 extreme fire conditions could be produced using the NRC furnace facility and 2 fire enduranceresilience of critical infrastructures can be tested and evaluated using this facility. This report presents the outcomes of the review study on the gaps and priorities as well as the results of the two fire tests.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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