Book Review: The Safe Use of Cryogenic Technologies by Robert Done

by Dr. John Weisend II, European Spallation Source ERIC, CSA Chairman,

It is becoming common for large-scale scientific projects to include cryogenic systems provided by other countries. Examples of this include CERN, the European Spallation Source, ITER and the PIP II project at Fermilab (CSA CSM). While these contributions are quite valuable, one of the big challenges in such projects is understanding which safety regulations are relevant and how to apply them. This is true even in situations where common standards, for example within the European Union, should apply.

One of the virtues of Robert Done’s recent book (IOP Publishing, 2021) on cryogenic safety is that it addresses this problem in great detail. The author provides an extensive listing of the important safety regulations that may affect cryogenic systems. Specifically, he examines the safety regulations from the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU). The role of international and nongovernmental organizations is also described. As these regulations may change over time, the author wisely does not attempt to paraphrase the regulations but rather describes what they cover and then provides references to the regulations themselves. These references include clickable links that can be directly accessed via the ebook itself.

The book begins with a brief introduction to cryogenics and cryogenic temperatures followed by a description of the overarching safety regulations in the UK, US and EU. The next four chapters provide the bulk of the added value of this book. Each chapter, in turn, covers applicable cryogenic safety regulations from the UK, US, EU and international and nongovernmental organizations. The next two chapters qualitatively describe hazards found in cryogenic systems and how to mitigate them. Oxygen deficiency or asphyxiation hazards are rightfully given their own chapter describing risks and mitigations. Two detailed case studies involving the quantitative calculations of oxygen concentrations during accident scenarios and the mitigations taken to reduce the risk illustrate the lessons of the asphyxiation hazards chapter.

Overall, the book is well organized and well written. The main points of each chapter are nicely summarized, and extensive references provide links to additional information. While a more quantitative approach to some of the cryogenic hazards might have been preferred, such information exists in other texts and this book nicely complements the existing literature on cryogenic safety. The book is suitable for both students and professionals and contains useful information for the general public.

The Safe Use of Cryogenic Technologies is a valuable addition to the cryogenic safety literature. Its description of relevant cryogenic safety regulations from multiple authorities is quite noteworthy. This book is recommended for all personal and institutional libraries, particularly those in ins-titutions with international collaborators. More and more, this applies to everyone. ■ Book-info