NCEC (National Chemical Emergency Centre)

Advanced marine spill simulation software is key to coastal environmental protection

NCEC, part of the AEA Technology group, in partnership with BMT Argoss, a global specialist provider of marine environmental information, has co-developed a unique and sophisticated marine spill simulation tool to support primarily 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, offering unparalleled accuracy and versatility. 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 are many, including tidal currents, weather patterns and proximity to population centres.

The NCEC Marine Spills simulation tool can also be used successfully 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 too can use it to demonstrate duty of care and regulatory compliance in their dealings with third party transportation of hazardous substances. Even local authorities could avail themselves of this tool, as they may wish to run predictive models to enable disaster preparedness, including clean up operations.

“This handy software application combines the benefits of GIS with NCEC’s intrinsic expertise of chemical incidents, providing a quick, easy and accurate solutions for preventive, as well as incidents management purposes” – Fabien Daniel, Marine Consultant, NCEC, adding: “NCEC offers this service 24 hours a day, globally, with accurate reports accessible in minutes.”

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