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RR888 - HSE/Ofgem: 10 year review of the Iron Mains Replacement Programme

The Iron Mains Replacement Programme (IMRP) was introduced in 2002 to address 'societal concern' regarding the potential for failure of cast iron gas mains and the consequent risk of injuries, fatalities and damage to buildings (defined as incidents). The objective of the IMRP was to decommission all cast iron mains within 30 metres of property in 30 years - the IMRP is often referred to as the '30/30' programme. The IMRP accelerated the replacement of cast iron mains to a level that was estimated to be as fast as practicable at that time, given the potential risks faced by society and the resources required. The IMRP excluded steel mains and services from the replacement programme as potential risks from steel, at that time, were considered to be at a lower level than risks from cast iron mains.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) have commissioned jointly an independent review to assess the progress of the IMRP to date, and evaluate potential options for the remaining 20 years of the original programme. Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA), working in partnership with Advanced Engineering Solutions Ltd (AESL), has been contracted by the HSE and Ofgem to conduct this review.

Advanced Engineering Solutions Ltd has considered the overall performance of the IMRP since 2002, as evident from assessment of operational data provided by all Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs). This technical report records the apparent performance of the IMRP, as evident from the data study, and any perceived characteristics or other observations arising from the study. The AESL analysis is intended to inform and advise CEPA of technical issues relevant to this report "HSE/OFGEM: 10 Year Review of the Iron Mains Replacement Programme".

This report, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-23