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The National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) and BMT Argoss, a specialist provider of marine environmental information, have co-developed a marine-spill simulation tool.

The tool is primarily intended to support the Emergency and Rescue Services in the event of chemical incidents at sea or in port.

The application has been independently validated in controlled sea trials.

Marine incidents involving chemical substances are more complex to deal with than oil spills, for which several simulation tools already exist.

Dealing with one single substance dispersed at sea can be difficult enough but when two or more are present these may interact in a wholly different way, forming complex chemical compounds.

In addition, the variables required to assess the exact conditions of each incident include tidal currents, weather patterns and proximity to population centres.

The NCEC marine-spills simulation tool can also be used as a planning and prevention tool.

For example, port authorities may wish to plan for specific scenarios based on the movement of principal substances within that seaport.

Similarly, shipping companies handling specific chemicals could also use it for risk-management and actuarial purposes.

Chemical manufacturers can use the tool to demonstrate duty-of-care and regulatory compliance in their dealings with the third-party transportation of hazardous substances.

Local authorities may wish to run predictive models to enable disaster preparedness, including clean-up operations.

Fabien Daniel, marine consultant at the NCEC, said: ‘This handy software application combines the benefits of CIS with NCEC’s intrinsic expertise of chemical incidents, providing quick, easy and accurate solutions for preventive as well as incidents management purposes.

‘NCEC offers this service 24 hours a day, globally, with accurate reports accessible in minutes,’ added Daniel.

National Chemical Emergency Centre

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