Gas transmission pipelines belong to the critical infrastructure – they are essential for the energy supply of the industry and public households. International and national statistics1,2 show a continuous decrease in the number of events per 1000 km pipeline length as a result of a permanent increase in Technical Safety during the last thirty years. Nevertheless, catastrophic incidents like gas explosions in Ghislenghien3, Gräveneck4 or Oppau5 can’t be fully excluded.
Third party activities, especially through excavators and drilling machines, are the main the reason for these incidents. The most effective topic to further enhance the current safety standard of gas transmission pipelines is the protection of the critical gas infrastructure from external impacts.
Especially in Germany population density locally increases while public acceptance of incidents decreases continuously. An innovative pipeline security concept is needed - it is time for a paradigm shift: pipelines shall additionally be protected by (1) a Third party anti-collision system (THANCS) based on latest Industry 4.0 opportunities and (2) an active role of the population to ensure pipeline security. As a consequence, the European Risk Communication Platform (EURIC) is founded at the CSE Center of Safety Excellence to deepen the research in this field.