MODELING DISPERSION FROM CHEMICALS RELEASED AFTER A TRAIN COLLISION IN GRANITEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA

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The Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Weather INformation and Display (WIND) System was used to provide meteorological and atmospheric modeling/consequence assessment support to state and local agencies following the collision of two Norfolk Southern freight trains on the morning of January 6, 2005. This collision resulted in the release of several toxic chemicals to the environment, including chlorine. The dense and highly toxic cloud of chlorine gas that formed in the vicinity of the accident was responsible for nine fatalities, and caused injuries to more than five hundred others. Transport model results depicting the forecast path of the ongoing release ... continued below

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Buckley, R; Chuck Hunter, C; Robert Addis, R & Matt Parker, M August 7, 2006.

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The Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Weather INformation and Display (WIND) System was used to provide meteorological and atmospheric modeling/consequence assessment support to state and local agencies following the collision of two Norfolk Southern freight trains on the morning of January 6, 2005. This collision resulted in the release of several toxic chemicals to the environment, including chlorine. The dense and highly toxic cloud of chlorine gas that formed in the vicinity of the accident was responsible for nine fatalities, and caused injuries to more than five hundred others. Transport model results depicting the forecast path of the ongoing release were made available to emergency managers in the county's Unified Command Center shortly after SRNL received a request for assistance. Support continued over the ensuing two days of the active response. The SRNL also provided weather briefings and transport/consequence assessment model results to responders from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), the Savannah River Site's (SRS) Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Department of Energy Headquarters, and hazmat teams dispatched from the SRS. Although model-generated forecast winds used in consequence assessments conducted during the incident were provided at 2-km horizontal grid spacing during the accident response, a high-resolution Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS, version 4.3.0) simulation was later performed to examine potential influences of local topography on plume migration. The detailed RAMS simulation was used to determine meteorology using multiple grids with an innermost grid spacing of 125 meters. Results from the two simulations are shown to generally agree with meteorological observations at the time; consequently, local topography did not significantly affect wind in the area. Use of a dense gas dispersion model to simulate localized plume behavior using the higher resolution winds indicated agreement with fatalities in the immediate area and visible damage to vegetation.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association

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  • Report No.: WSRC-STI-2006-00061
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 891671
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883893

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 7, 2006

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 2, 2016, 3:42 p.m.

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Buckley, R; Chuck Hunter, C; Robert Addis, R & Matt Parker, M. MODELING DISPERSION FROM CHEMICALS RELEASED AFTER A TRAIN COLLISION IN GRANITEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, article, August 7, 2006; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883893/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.