The ASME HPS Standard Section 6000 (as well as Sections 1000 to 5000) was begun with a draft outline in 1981 and released in 2003. Section 6000 “Hazardous Release Protection” of the High Pressure Systems (HPS) standard provides a risk-based criterion to assess the pressure system internal and external kinetic energy and degenerative hazards and permits a number of ways to lower risk to personnel and structures (e.g., redesign of the pressure system (improved system performance), protection (reduction of consequences), improved inspection (reduction of event probability), etc.). Part I of this paper examines the history of the development of Section 6000, the motivating safety issues; some incidences of system failures, which identify a need for guidance regarding tolerable risk; other guidelines, standard, and code development; and some references that document its development.

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