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18. Natural and Technological Hazards

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Naturally occurring hazardous events and technological accidents are separate causes of environmental impacts. The information available on their occurrence and consequences is far from comprehensive (Box 18A) and, in particular, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the long-term environmental impacts of accidents. However, on the basis of data which are available from a range of sources, it is possible to indicate how these two kinds of events are different and why they need to be treated separately from other pressures. This chapter examines the characteristics and importance of accidents and natural hazards as causes of environmental impacts. It summarises their causes and consequences in Europe, identifying different types of damage which can result from different sources.


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18.1 - Introduction
18.2 - Hazardous Events: A Separate Cause of Impacts

18.2.1 - Uncertainity and duration
18.2.2 - Impact mechanisms and types of damage - Accidents - Natural hazards

18.3 - Sources and Consequences

18.3.1 - Industrial installations
18.3.2 - Inland transport and distribution
18.3.3 - Marine transport and offshore installations
18.3.4 - Nuclear installations and transport of radioactive material - Transportation - Operation of nuclear installations - Abnormal events - Environmental effects - Important radionuclides - Radionuclide distribution - Radiation damage to vegetation - Radiation damage to fauna - Lessons learned and needs

18.3.5 - Natural hazards - Storms and floods - Heatwaves, fires and draughts - Earthquakes and volcanoes

18.4 - Hazardous Events as a Cause of Damage

18.4.1 - Short- and long-term impacts
18.4.2 - Relationship with other causes of impacts



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