A quantitative risk assessment (QRA) tool has been developed by TNO for the external safety of industrial plants with a dust explosion hazard. As a first step an industrial plant is divided into groups of modules, defined by their size, shape, and constructional properties. Then the relevant explosion scenarios are determined, together with their frequency of occurrence. These include scenarios in which one module participates, as well as domino scenarios. The frequency is partly based on casuistry. A typical burning velocity is determined depending on the ignition type, the dust properties and the local conditions for flame acceleration. The resulting pressure development is predicted with the 'thin flame model'. Module failure occurs when the explosion load exceeds thresholds, which are derived from single degree of freedom (SDOF) calculations for various types of modules. A model has been developed to predict the process of pressure venting after module failure and the related motion of launched module parts. The blast effects of the primary explosion are based on results from calculations with BLAST3D. The blast and flame effects of the secondary external explosion due to venting are calculated using existing models. The throw of fragments and debris is quantified with a recently developed model. This model is based on trajectory calculations and gives the impact densities, velocities, and angles as output. Furthermore the outflow of bulk material is taken into account. The consequences for external objects and human beings are calculated using existing models. Finally the risk contours and the Societal risk (FN curve) are calculated, which can be compared to regulations. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.