LARGE VAPOUR CLOUD EXPLOSIONS
Graham Atkinson of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Laboratory made a very informative presentation, entitled “Large Vapour Cloud Explosions: What do we know?”, to OPERA on 8th March 2022. In the past, the emphasis was on the release of light hydrocarbons in light to moderate winds, leading to early detonation. In the last 20 years, the emphasis has switched to the slow release of heavier hydrocarbons, such as naphtha and gasoline, in still conditions, which allows for the build up of very large clouds before ignition and Large Vapour Cloud Explosions. The vapour cloud explosions at Buncefield, Jaipur and CAPECO are good examples and demand that risk engineers fully examine the possibilities.