Sunday, December 11, 2005

Explosions: Hemel Hempstead, Flixborough, Chernobyl

Large explosions at fuel depot north of London

11 December 2005: A series of explosions and a massive fire erupted at a fuel depot north of London before dawn on 11 December and sent a large column of black smoke into the sky, witnesses said.

"There was an explosion in the vicinity of Buncefield depot at about 6:04 a.m. British time, a Hertfordshire police spokeswoman said.

The Buncefield oil depot supplies petrol and fuel oils for a large part of southeast England. Oil is brought to the depot, near the town of Hemel Hempstead, in an underground pipeline from tankers unloading on Britain's east coast.

Several other witnesses reported a series of explosions.


1974 Flixborough UK.

The Flixborough disaster was an explosion at a chemical plant next to Flixborough near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, in the UK, on 1 June 1974. 28 people were killed.

The chemical plant was owned by Nypro.

Two months before the explosion, a leak was discovered in a reactor. A temporary pipe was installed to bypass the faulty reactor. This allowed continued operation of the plant while repairs were made.

The temporary pipe broke. The bypass had been designed by engineers who were not experienced in high-pressure pipework. The bypass was inadequately tested. The bypass was mounted on temporary scaffolding poles that allowed the pipe to twist under pressure.


In 1986 the World's worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant had 4 reactors and whilst testing reactor number 4 numerous safety procedures were disregarded.

Scottish farms still contaminated by Chernobyl fallout - [Sunday ...

NEARLY 20 years after the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine exploded and showered Europe with radioactivity, farms in Scotland are still paying the price.

Eleven farms covering 11,300 hectares in Ayrshire and the central belt are still so contaminated by the accident that their sheep are considered unsafe to eat.

The concentrations of caesium-137 from Chernobyl in the animals exceed the safety limit of 1000 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram. Farmers have to mark radioactive sheep with indelible paint, and can’t have them slaughtered for food until they fall below the limit.

The revelation came in response to questions asked in the Scottish parliament by the Scottish National Party chairman, Bruce Crawford MSP. “After all these years, Scotland is still suffering the after-effects of Chernobyl,” he told the Sunday Herald.

“In these circumstances it is utterly ludicrous that the Blair government seems intent on foisting a new generation of nuclear power stations on this country. We must learn the lessons of last century and must not repeat past mistakes.

“No matter how much technology might have improved, radioactive waste is still produced, leaving a deadly inheritance for hundreds of thousands of years,” he said.


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