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  • Chemical plant explosion causes significant fire, mass evacuations in US

    22 June 2021

    An explosion at a chemical plant in northern Illinois, US on June 14 caused a large fire and resulted in an evacuation order lasting for four days as firefighters fought the blaze. The incident happened at a plant belonging to Chemtool Inc., a lubricants and grease products manufacturer, in Rockton, northwest of Chicago....

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  • Jeff Bezos-backed fusion plant to be built in UK

    22 June 2021

    The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and Canada-based General Fusion have announced an agreement under which General Fusion will build and operate its Fusion Demonstration Plant (FDP) at UKAEA’s Culham Campus in Oxfordshire....

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  • Oil company fined £400,000 for North Sea platform gas leak

    22 June 2021

    Offshore oil company Apache has been fined £400,000 after it failed to provide written safety procedures for the depressurisation of an oil well, which led to the release of more than 1000kg of hydrocarbon gas at their Beryl Alpha production installation in the North Sea....

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  • Increase 5GW hydrogen targets or risk missing out on investment and jobs, UK gov warned by industry

    18 June 2021

    The UK could miss out on millions in investments and tens of thousands of jobs in the next ten years unless the Government raises its hydrogen production targets, according to a new industry report published on June 17. More than three-quarters of respondents to Hydrogen Strategy Now’s ‘State of the Hydrogen Nation’ survey said the 5GW hydrogen production target set out in the PM’s Ten Point Plan is not ambitious enough....

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  • US assesses Chinese nuclear plant after reports of leak, China says no radiation release or environmental concern

    17 June 2021

    The US government has been assessing reports of a leak at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China after a French company that helped design the plant’s reactor warned of an "imminent radiological threat". The company, which is also involved in the plant’s operations, also accused the Chinese safety authority of raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant in order to avoid having to shut it down....

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Australian inquiry into 2020 mine explosion finds miners faced “unacceptable level of risk” 15 June 2021

An inquiry into the May 2020 explosion at Anglo American’s Grosvenor coal mine in Queensland, Australia has found that production continued despite knowledge that the gas management systems were unable to cope with the rate of production. The Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry report found that methane gas levels in the mine exceeded regulated levels 27 times in the lead up to the explosion which seriously injured five people....

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University of Manchester launches Advanced Nuclear Energy roadmap 15 June 2021

Nuclear experts at The University of Manchester have developed a roadmap detailing the eight key actions required to assess the role of nuclear energy in the UK’s net zero future objectively. The 41-page position paper entitled Nuclear energy for net zero: a strategy for action, sets out the steps needed to examine the possible roles for nuclear energy using an objective, well-developed economic assessment system....

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Chemical leak kills eight people, injures three in China 14 June 2021

A toxic chemical leak at a factory in the Guizhou province of China killed eight people and injured three others on June 12. The incident occurred as workers unloaded a shipment of methyl formate at the chemical handling plant, local news reported....

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East England energy hub could power London and the South East for decades, says Oil and Gas Authority 11 June 2021

An Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) commissioned study has concluded that an Energy Hub in Bacton, Norfolk could provide low carbon energy for London and the South East for decades to come and help in the drive to net zero greenhouse gas emissions....

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EDF to move Dungeness B into defuelling phase 09 June 2021

EDF confirmed on June 7 that it would be moving its Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent, southeast England into the defuelling phase with immediate effect. Since September 2018 the station has been in an extended outage in which EDF has been managing a range of unique, significant and ongoing technical challenges that are not found at the other six AGR power stations, the company said in a statement....

Features

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Remote partial proof-testing of overfill prevention systems supports safer operations

Overfill prevention systems must be periodically proof-tested to confirm their ability to perform correctly when required. AnnCharlott Enberg, Global Functional Safety Manager at Emerson, explains how the digital technology in advanced level measurement devices enables partial proof-testing to be performed remotely rather than on location, and describes the benefits this provides....

Case Studies

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Case study: automation and digitalisation at scale

ANYbotics has collaborated with global chemical manufacturer BASF to deploy ANYmal at one of the company’s sites. The autonomous, four-legged robot has helped display the efficiency, quality, and scalability of robotic inspection and data-collection capabilities in complex industrial environments....

Comment

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The limits of growth

Every two months, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Arnhold, IECEx Chairman 2014-2019, provides an update on developments within the organisation. This month, Thorsten discusses nuclear power plants and the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components....

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