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Safety Engineering and Risk Management Debate 2012

Henry Tan's picture

This is the discussion blog for the MSc course "Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts" lectured at the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen. This course is a core module for the following Postgraduate Taught Programmes:
1. Subsea Engineering; 2. Renewable Energy; 3. Oil and Gas Engineering; 4. Safety and Reliability Engineering

King's College

Since this blog is very congested now, you are encouraged to post on sub-blogs for each topic chosen. 

Discussion Topic 1: Rank top ten severe accidents in energy sector

Discussion Topic 2: Is nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?

Discussion Topic 3: Is fracking for shale gas safe and without damage to community environment? Should it be banned?

Discussion Topic 4: If the Piper Alpha disaster occurred today, discuss the current safety legislative regime that will apply.

Discussion Topic 5: In recent years, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar panels.

Discussion Topic 6: Discuss safety in wind energy.

Discussion Topic 7: Discuss safety considerations in wave energy system.

Discussion Topic 8: Subsea integrity and reliability management

Discussion Topic 9: Safety and risk management in oil and gas industry

Discussion Topic 10: ONGC Mumbai High Accident (July 27, 2005 @ West Coast of India

Discussion Topic 11: Why is the FAR and SIR measures of fatality considered poor measures from the organisation perpective

Discussion Topic 12: Post Macondo underwater technology

Discussion Topic 13: Safety, Reliability and Integrity Mangement Processes and the Human Factor effect

Discussion Topic 14: Discuss safety in biofuels

Discussion Topic 15: Carbon emissions trading: How viable?

Discussion Topic 16: Global dimming and Global warming, hazardous effect of green house gases on our planet earth

Discussion Topic 17: Should Arctic drilling activities be halted until the Safety and Technology are improved?

Discussion Topic 18: The perceived conflict between safety and production

Discussion Topic 19: The April 16, 1947 Texas city fire disaster

Discussion Topic 20: ALARP concept and health and safety of personel, equipments and the work environment. Friends or foe.

Discussion Topic 21: Safety Integrity Level (SIL) of a system is important. What are the methods in place to assess the SIL of any system?

Discussion Topic 22: The role of safety in view of world energy forecast: striking a future balance

Discussion Topic 23: Implication of the offshore industry toward "zero harmful discharge"

Discussion Topic 24: Safety in Hydropower

Discussion Topic 25: The constant struggle between HSE legislation and human stupidity

Discussion Topic 26: The dangers associated with young and inexperienced workers in the workplace

Discussion Topic 27: Geothermal Energy a clean, safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source

Discussion Topic 28: Your view on iMechanica Safety Engineering and Risk Management Debate

Discussion Topic 29: Tackling occupational hazards in developing countries

Discussion Topic 30: Extending the life of pipeline in the North Sea what are the Safety & Risk challenge

Discussion Topic 31: Prescriptive case, Safety case and the furture of Legislation

Discussion Topic 32: Decommissioning of aged Platforms and Pipelines in the North Sea - Risks and Challenges

Discussion Topic 33: Discuss the future of Biomass as an Alternative Source of Energy- Risks and Challenges

Discussion Topic 34: Can the application of Redundancy Increase Safety and Reliability in the oil and gas industry?

Discussion Topic 35: A different approach to the basic R = P x C formula

Discussion Topic 36: Deep Sea Disposal of Oil and Gas Installations – Acceptable risk

Discussion Topic 37: Reliability in the wake of a mega-stor

Discussion Topic 38: Lessons- how are these capture

Discussion Topic 39: Proposed EU regulation on offshore oil and gas safet

Discussion Topic 40: Does the value placed on human life have an effect on safet

Discussion Topic 41: MyAberdeen versus iMechanica

Discussion Topic 42: Potential and Safety Issues concerning Biogas

Discussion Topic 43: Unsafe acts/conditions during routine tasks in platforms/offshore and how to avoid them

Discussion Topic 44: Inherent safety in process safety management – a practical approach

Discussion Topic 45: Managing the risks and issues associated with a depleting reservoir

Discussion Topic 46: Is it safe to leave the abandoned oil and and gas wells?

Discussion Topic 47: Effectiveness of using RBD, FTA, ETA and Bayesian network in modelling failure of equipments in the industry

Discussion Topic 48 (sub-branch): Safety issues during transportation and distribution of oil and gas.

Discussion Topic 49: Safety issues during drilling operations

Discussion Topic 50: Shale Gas Harmful or not, Economical or not

Discussion Topic 51: Energy landscape of the future and the risks associate

Discussion Topic 52: Human Factors in Process Safety

Discussion Topic 53: Health, safety, environmental and cost issues regarding operation, disposal, and re-use of decommisioned plants

Discussion Topic 54: Quality Assurance/Control -the influence on Safety

Discussion Topic 55: Can the applications of Ergonomics Improve Work Place Health and Safety?

Discussion Topic 56: How safe is using a Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) in an offshore platform or Helicopter Travel?

Discussion Topic 57: Why did macondo happen and changes it brought to health and safety laws

Discussion Topic 58: Discuss the safety and environmental issues of unconventional crude oil exploration

Discussion Topic 59: Discuss the Strategy of Fire Safety and Prevention in Offshore Installation

Discussion Topic 60: Discuss the Prevention of Slips, Trips and fall in the work place

Discussion Topic 61: Reactive Hazards

Discussion Topic 62: Discuss the Emergency Water Landing in the North Sea

Discussion Topic 63: Discuss the risks and challenges involved in working in a confined space.

Discussion Topic 64: Discuss the risks and challenges involved in simultanous operations or co-activities in Oil and Gas activities.

Discussion Topic 65: Excavation Work in Onshore Pipeline Crowded Areas - Risks and challenges

Discussion Topic 66: Discuss the risks and challenges involved in working at heights

Discussion Topic 67: Discuss the safety aspects associated with using divers in offshore operations

Discussion Topic 68: Discuss Body Mechanics and use of Tools in an Offshore Drilling Platform

Discussion Topic 69: The essence of performing FMEA and FMECA in Safety and Risk Management

Discussion Topic 70: Take a break, relax

other topics

You are welcome to initiate new discussion topics. If you are a student in my class “Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts” and want to start a new discussion topic, you can do the following:
1. post a new blog entry on iMechanica of your proposed discussion topic;
2. email me (h.tan@abdn.ac.uk) the blog address;
3. then I will setup the link between the main discussion blog here and your blog.

Here contains information about how to register and post. about
When you have difficulty with posting comments, read
node/3132

People from outside of the class are very welcome to join our debate!

AttachmentSize
Continuous Assessment.pdf34.12 KB

Comments

Henry Tan's picture

Peter McCue sent me an email about continuous assessment. I forward the email here.

From: Mccue, Peter [mailto:peter.mccue.12@aberdeen.ac.uk]
Sent: 28 September 2012 16:08
To: Tan, Henry
Subject: Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts Continuous Assessment

Dr Tan,

Your idea for continuous assessment is a new and interesting way for the students to carry out course work. However, if this method of assessment is to be used can you please post a document on MyAberdeen clarifying what you expect from an individual post in order for it to receive one mark. Also what “types” of posts will receive marks i.e.

• Original posts (made by student A)

• Positive evaluations (made by student B) on an original post (made by student A)

• Negative evaluations (made by student B) on an original post (made by student A)

• Posts making additional comments (made by student B) on an original post (made by student A)

In class you mention cutting the length of the posts to 100+ words, I think this is a really good idea as it will make the posts concise and the discussion should flow better. In addition, if someone would like to make a longer comment that is their choice.

Another question I have is with respect to the originality of comments. If every student wants to get 20 marks, which should be achievable, then a class of 150 students will make 3000 posts. Therefore, at some point it will become impossible to make original comments. Consequently, there will need to be in the region of 100 topics available for discussion in order to avoid this. How can we suggest our own topics of discussion and how will they be approved?

Furthermore, what should we use for a username on the website in order for you to keep track of who is commenting and how many comments they have made? Finally, will there be a quick and easy method to find out if your post has received a mark?

If I have not been clear enough with any of my questions in this email I am more than happy to meet you and discuss anything i have mentioned. If you can clarify these questions i would be very grateful and i am sure this method of coursework will be successful.

Kind regards

Peter McCue

Henry Tan's picture

Peter,
Thank you for the mail. I think posting the clarification here may be better. Here is my reply to your suggestions/questions.

What I expect from an individual post is something that can show:
(1) your contribution to the course, or
(2) your understanding of safety engineering and risk management.

All following “types” of posts will receive marks i.e.
(1) original posts,
(2) evaluations (either positive or negative) to other posts, or
(3) comments.

The minimum length of the post is 100 words in order to get the mark award.

You can suggest your own topics, it is very welcome. You can discuss with me if you are not sure if the topic is good or not.

Please register and post at iMechanica using your real name in the format of (Forename Surname). Please upload your photo image into your account. Don’t worry, iMechanica can keep track of who is commenting and how many comments they have made.

One mark is therefore awarded to Peter McCue for this contribution.

Regards,
Henry.

Henry Tan's picture

Peter,
I have also posted the Continuous Assessment statement at MyAberdeen / Continuous Assessment folder.
Regards,
Henry.

max0yang's picture

Hello Peter

Your suggestions are very thoughtful and I think it is crucial for students getting clear about what "types" of posts will help them receive marks. About the concern you are raising: For 3000 posts, actually I think there will be more than 3000 posts on this blog at the end of this assessment, I don't see the necessity of making 100 topics, “100 topics for 3000 posts” that is an equivalent of 30 posts for each topic, I think every student can easily post 10 comments on ONE topic if they commit to accomplishing this assessment. We definitely need to explore more topics in order to make the discussions flow better and get everybody involved.

Thanks for the advices

RegardsYang

Henry Tan's picture

Dear Yang,

Yes, I will later invite some industry friends for more discussion topics for further study of safety engineering and risk management concepts.

You can also invite people you know in this field to join the discussions.

1 mark to Yang.

Regards,

Henry.

Angelos Hadjiantoni's picture

May I also add my thoughts on this Continuous Assessment method.

I believe that a common Formating rule should be set in order to make all post look similar and more tidy. Also in that way eye strain should be minimized.

A common format of maybe Arial 10pt (like the one I am using now) or 12pt (like the one used here) should be fine.

This problem is not very obvious now but I think later on it will become an issue.

Best regards,

Angelos Hadjiantonis
Course: MSc Renewable Energy

Henry Tan's picture

With more and more posts come out, the system will automatically divide the contents into pages. So don’t worry.

max0yang's picture

Morning Henry

Thanks for the information, I was also concerning about the legnth of page, we don't want to scroll down the bar for minutes.

Could you please delete my previous post on shale gas? I mistakenly posted two slides with the
same information, so please delete the

slide without any replies.

Please ignore the deletion request, I see you did already

 

Thanks

Yang

Ronald Peters's picture

Very informative, Peter thank you. It is important to understand how risk can be managed now by risk management software tools, especially ones that are standards compliant such as Sarbanes Oxley.

Peter 

Ronald Peters's picture

The development on this is very good. Good ideas all around Mr Tan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kizi

victor.adukwu's picture


Is
nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?


Nuclear power plants
provide close to 6% of the world's energy and 13.5% of the world's electricity.
There are now over 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 31
countries, with 372, 000 Megawatt electric (MWe) of total capacity [Cited 2012 Sep.
29]. Available from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power#cite_note-Share-8.
Nuclear technology uses the energy released by splitting the atoms of certain radioactive
elements like uranium or plutonium and usually producing radiation.

Radiation can cause an unwanted transmutation in human gene or
genetic modification which might lead to the growth of cancerous cells in human
lungs or other part of the body. Currently, there is evidence that suggests
that any exposure to radiation poses some risk; however, it has not been
completely proved that there are risks at very low exposure level. The
definition for 'low dose of radiation' has not been agreed upon by expert and
radiation protection measures are based on the assumption that even small
amounts of radiation exposure may pose some small risk.


Nuclear accidents can and do result from natural disasters, such
as earthquakes and tsunamis, and also from human error and negligence. There are
also possibilities of terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants.

But radiation is not just a concern in a nuclear accident. The
processes involved in the nuclear fuel chain releases radiation, starting with
drilling for a particular radioactive element; it then continues for
generations because nuclear waste includes plutonium that will remain toxic for
thousands of years.


Any activity that produces or uses radioactive material
generates radioactive waste that must be disposed of properly. Radioactive
waste can be in liquid or solid form, and its level of radioactivity can vary.
Radioactive waste can remain radioactive for anywhere from days to hundreds or
even thousands of years. Waste not properly isolated from the public and the
generally accessible environment may contaminate air, soil, and water supplies


Nuclear power advocates must confront the fact that nuclear
power program has an unending harmful effect from generation to generation. It
is obvious that the use of nuclear power is not safe and should be discourage.


Victor Adukwu


Henry Tan's picture

You may also like to provide some examples, like Chernobyl, Fukushima , or others?

victor.adukwu's picture


Is nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?


The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in
April 1986 shows us the true nature of nuclear energy in human hand. Chernobyl is
a big illustration of radioactive let loss and in this sense suggests to people
more vividly that we have to do away with nuclear energy. Even though the escaped
radiation is only 3% of the reactor Uranium fuel, the fallout is more than 400
times greater than the atomic bomb used in Hiroshima and congenital heart defects
and cancer in the region has increase by 250% [Cited 2012 Sep. 30]. Available
from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fCCVU4y7oE&feature=related.


Over one million people were
affected by this disaster and the infant mortality rate in Belarus (one of the most
affected places) alone is 300% higher than the rest of Europe [Cited 2012 Sep.
30]. Available from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fCCVU4y7oE&feature=related.


The effect of radiation lives
with a generation and the generation unborn. Just like the Chernobyl disaster,
twenty six years after the area cannot be inhabited and the effect is still on.


 

 

Is
nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?

Nuclear power
is an infinite source of power, It has human dangers of that there is no
argument; however as the world becomes more energy hungry and dependent, that
demand will grow and must be met.

According to
Kerekes, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates U.S. demand for
electricity will increase 23 percent by 2030 – the equivalent of 200-plus
full-scale power plants – and all independent analyses of climate change
(including studies conducted by the National Academies of Science, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DOE) conclude that meeting demand
while at the same time reducing carbon emissions requires a clean
energy technology portfolio in which nuclear energy plays a prominent role.

Reference: http://www.earthtechling.com/2010/12/is-nuclear-power-a-clean-energy-source/

The tsunami
that occurred in Japan was a tragedy and a natural disaster which led to a
major nuclear incident that shocked the world and japan. A report published by
the commission's chairman, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, a professor emeritus at Tokyo
University, said in a scathing introduction that cultural traits had caused the
disaster.

Tokyo
Electric Power (Tepco) entirely put the disaster at the Fukushima reactor plant down to a 14 metre Tsunami on the 11th
May 2011.

The report,
challenges nuclear operator Tepco comments, detailing that safety regulations
and standards where failing to identify possible hazards due to the Nuclear
facility being built in an area which is highly susceptible to earthquakes and
possible Tsunamis.

The
commission accused the Japanese culture of not stepping forward to question
designs, procedures and regulations, stating ‘Its fundamental causes are to be
found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience;
our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to 'sticking with the
programme'; our groupism; and our insularity’. Reference: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/05/fukushima-meltdown-manmade-disaster).

This nuclear disaster
was man made by poor risk management and safety not being properly identified
and controlled.

Nuclear power
is safe and is the future for worldwide power generation, proper control measures
must be designed and all risks identified, controlled and regulated. As the Japanese
report states, this disaster could have been avoided if proper engineering and
risk management had taken place.

 

Alan Benedetti

sotlog's picture

Alan ,i am going to disagree about your statement that nuclear power is safe and if proper engineering and risk management had taken place the disaster of foukosima could have been avoided.First of all human is not a robot and there is the probability of failure in every situation.In the occation of nuclear energy the consequences of an accident will be hudge.Do not forget foukosima.From the plant of foukosima escaped the chemical elements of iodine-137 and plutonium-259.The iodine is connected wiyh the cancer of thyroid into the people who were exposed.From the other side plutonium is extremely toxic.The exposure in plutonium causes lung cancer due to plutonium goes in the organism fromthe inhalation.I believe that nuclear power can not ever be safe for human and enviroment.

SOTIRIOS LONGINOS 

Aleksandr Poljakov's picture

 

Well, I am going to disagree with you on that
one. Nuclear energy is one of the safest and cleanest energy sources there is.
It produces no carbon emission emissions, and is designed to be safe. The
consequences of the nuclear power station accident are drastic and global. The
disaster you are talking about was something that they never thought of when
designing the power plant, as it more than adequate protection for both
tsunamis and earthquakes. Nuclear power stations are designed with a
conservative safety factor, and are much safer than any other power station.

Accidents that happen are very rare, but are on a big scale, and happen
unexpectedly.

 

Aleksandr Poljakov, MSc Oil and gas Engineering

Kevin K. Waweru's picture

Victor Adukwu’s contribution is noted; however, his sentiments that Nuclear Power should be discouraged are one-sided, lack in-depth analysis of nuclear safety and don’t consider the big picture.

It is only appropriate that the safety of nuclear power is compared to that of other energy sources in order to arrive at
an objective analysis.

Safety statistics (ref: course/lecture
notes by H Tan & M J Baker, Figure 3 of 2008) have shown that power from nuclear generation
is responsible for the LEAST number of human fatalities in the world compared
to different energy sources.

 The 1979 accident at Three Mile Island resulted in NO injury or loss to human life. However, the 1986 Chernobyl accident resulted in some 41 deaths within weeks of the accident (cited 2012-09-30: http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/ChernobylAccident).

In contrast, energy from coal and oil contrubutes the highest number of human fatalities of all energy sources (ref: course/lecture notes by H Tan & M J Baker, Figure 3 of 2008).

Therefore it can be said the nuclear industry is
relatively safe.

Kevin K. Waweru

Henry Tan's picture

1 mark to Kevin K. Waweru.

mohamed.elkiki's picture

I agree with Kevin. However, according to Dr. Henry, " safety means freedom of danger, or threat of harm , injury or loss to personnel and/ or property wether caused deliberately or by accident." so if we work by this definition, humans will not even progress or do anything either related to energy sector or other fields such as transportation beacuase cars and planes accidents is very huge but still people use normally. so i think nothing is free from danger. Humans should always take the risk in order to progress but it depeands on the percentage of risk and the system they use. 

Siwei Kang's picture

Hi, buddy. Dr. Henry said “safety is relative freedom from danger”. So he used “relative”, which means not absolutely. Therefore, safety management should aim to lower the probability of fatal or unsafe accidents as much as possible. As shown in the graph you previously posted, nuclear is the most safe energy. The number of fatalities per TWh in nuclear is only 0.04, which is much lower than that in coal and oil. In fact, nowadays nuclear has already become one of the main energies in electricity generation worldwide. There are now some 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries, accounting for 21% of the world's electricity production. [Cited from courseware of Pro.Paul Mitchell] According to BP’s report about energy outlook 2030, nuclear output in non-OECD, especially China, India and Russia, will increase rapidly due to their huge energy demand. The averaging increment in nuclear energy is estimated to be 7.8% per year from 2010 to 2030. Available from http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publications/statistical_energy_review_2008/STAGING/local_assets/2010_downloads/2030_energy_outlook_booklet.pdf

 

In my opinion, the major risks of nuclear power plants operation can be categorized by two aspects. One is the explosion caused by accident or external factors, like the earthquake or tsunami, leads to serious injuries or fatalities. Another one is the reactor coolant spillover accident occurred, causing radioactive hazards. To avoid these two, many precautionary measurements have been set up during construction, especially on the control of fusion of fuel rods. As we can see from the disasters happened in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant, the main problems are all resulted from the failure of fuel rods cooling. To date, the third generation of nuclear plant is designed to be more safe and reliable. On the other hand, all nuclear accidents are related to inappropriate human operation. Take Fukushima accident for example, although it was triggered by these cataclysmic events, this could and should have been foreseen and prevented. Before tsunami happened, one unit of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been in service over 40 years, and the aging sign also appeared, but no further protection for earthquake or tsunami was taken. Therefore, it is obvious that the key is to reduce man-made accident to avoid nuclear accidents. In other words, the nuclear plant is safe and no harm for environment.

Above all, my point is nuclear power is safe and clean.

Adekola Obayomi's picture

The safety statistics that Kevi K. Waweru cited  and additional comments from Siwei Kang have both been noted. However, most of the statistics associated with human fatalities that occur during a nuclear power accident is still subject to debate.  
The numbers of fatalities often recorded are those that occur within a day or week of the disaster.

The first question we should be asking ourselves is do we have to measure safety in terms of fatalities? Are we saying once there is no fatality it means that our procedures and environment are safe? What about serious injuries?

Furthermore, the numbers of deaths associated with nuclear power accidents are often times long term in nature as it take months or years before they manifest. Unfortunately, the media frenzy about the disaster would have subsided and those who are affected are left to suffer their fate in silence.  Some of these cases are only brought back to light when NGOs such as Greenpeace International decide to follow up on the people who were victims living within the area where the disaster has occurred.

It appears that until the long term fatalities of the victims are properly documented and a common base for determining the number of such fatalities are harmonised, the nuclear power plants cannot be truly said to be relatively safe.

Andreas Kokkinos's picture


Nuclear power; like Kevin
noted previously, is responsible for the least direct fatalities when compared
to other energy sources such as oil and especially coal.


More specifically:


In 1986 Chernobyl accident;
around 30 people died directly and totally 56 in a short period of time. In
Japan, 8 fatalities are counted from 3 different nuclear accidents, 5
fatalities in Fukui Prefecture in 2004, 2 fatalities in Ibaraki Prefecture in
1999 and a single fatality in Fukushima in 2011. From the 1979 disaster in
Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania in USA; no fatalities were counted despite the
2.4 billion dollars in damages occurred by the disaster.


On the other hand every
nuclear disaster according to its magnitude has its own effect both on humans
and the environment. The 1986 Chernobyl accident is counted responsible for
approximately 4000 cancer incidents/deaths and birth defects according to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents)


(http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html)


 


In this point a new question
takes place. Can Nuclear Power become safer?


Some nuclear power plants
use multiple safety system features in order to achieve these safety measures
such as high – quality design and construction of Nuclear Power plant which
must include cutting edge technology for prevention, monitoring and action.


(http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html)


Finally, nuclear
industry is considered safer and certainly the introduction of new safety measures
will contribute significantly to the restrain of such accidents in the future.

Andreas Kokkinos

Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

Engineers and
scientists believe that nuclear power is the most clear, safe, cheap and
efficient power nowadays. We found nuclear energy systems almost anywhere now
as in aircraft carriers, airplanes, submarines and the most common to produce
electricity.

Although
engineers support nuclear power, people disagree because of the consecutive
accidents.  Here is an article that I
have found supporting the opinion of the civilians.

A nuclear and radiation accident is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency as an event that has
led to significant consequences to people, the environment or the facility.
Examples include 
lethal
effects to individuals
, large
radioactivity release
 to the environment, or reactor core melt. The prime example of a "major
nuclear accident" is one in which a 
reactor core is damaged and
significant amounts of radiation are released, such as in the Disaster in 1986.

The impact of nuclear accidents has been a topic of
debate practically since the first 
nuclear reactors were constructed. It has
also been a key factor in 
public
concern about nuclear facilities
. Some technical measures to reduce the risk
of accidents or to minimize the amount of 
radioactivity released to the
environment have been adopted. Despite the use of such measures, "there
have been many accidents with varying impacts as well near misses and
incidents".

Benjamin
K. Sovacool
 has reported that
worldwide there have been 99 accidents at nuclear power plants. Fifty-seven accidents have occurred
since the Chernobyl disaster, and 57% (56 out of 99) of all nuclear-related
accidents have occurred in the USA. Serious 
nuclear
power plant
 accidents include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011),Chernobyl
disaster
 (1986), Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the SL-1 accident (1961). Stuart Arm states, "apart from Chernobyl, no nuclear workers
or members of the public have ever died as a result of exposure to 
radiation due to a commercial nuclear reactor incident."

Nuclear-powered submarine mishaps include the K-19 reactor accident
(1961), the 
K-27 reactor accident
(1968), and the 
K-431 reactor accident
(1985). Serious radiation
accidents include the Kyshtym
disaster
, Windscale
fire
,
radiotherapy accident in Costa Rica radiotherapy accident in Zaragoza, radiation accident in Morocco, Goiania accident, radiation accident in Mexico City, radiotherapy unit
accident in Thailand, and the 
Mayapuri radiological accident in India.[1]

Most governments took people’s opinion
seriously and started unplugging the nuclear stations all over the country
(e.g. Germany).

I have a serious question to ask! What if the
lights go out? When oil and natural gas finish (which are going to eventually)
because of the high demand of electricity, especially, what will be the
solution? With the nuclear reactors we have the easy way to produce power for a
long time. For example a nuclear submarine and an aircraft carrier can travel
in the sea for 60 years without refueling, which means no oil or natural gas
waste.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents

Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

Topic 1: Rank top ten severe accidents in energy
sector

1.   
Gulf
of Mexico:

The accident
was caused by gas release and subsequent explosion. There were 11 people died.
The accident involved a well integrity failure followed by a loss of
hydrostatic control of the well. BOP emergency functions failed to seal the
well after the initial explosions.

2.   
Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear disaster:

Equipment
failures, nuclear meltdowns, releases of radioactive materials and gas. Caused
by a major earthquake followed by a 15 meter tsunami which caused severe damage
at the reactors and the cooling systems of the station.

3.   
The
piper Alpha disaster:

There were
three major explosions of the oil rig. what causes the disaster was a
pressurization pump which was used without a safety valve in place. 167 people
died.

4.   
Ocean
ranger oil rig accident

The rig’s
ballast room began taking on water due to a broken window. All 84 crew members
were perished and the rig fell into the ocean.

5.   
Sea
crest drillship disaster

Drillship sea
crest caught in a typhoon and capsized. 91 people lost.

6.   
Rio
de janeiro offshore rig sank

Caused by
rough seas the oil rig has tipped sideways and then sank. 6000 liters of oil
spill into the ocean. Three explosions ripped the rig off. 10 people killed.

7.   
The
Banqiao reservoir dam

The initial
project was the control of the flow and electrical power generation. The design
standards were lower than usual because of the absence of the hydrology data.
Due to construction and engineering errors a big flood killed 170000 people and
another 11 million lost their homes.

8.   
Three
mile island accident

A partial
nuclear meltdown power which result in the release of small amounts of
radioactive gas and iodine into the environment. The accident started with
failures in the non-nuclear secondary system followed by a stuck-open
pilot-operated relief valve in the primary system which allowed nuclear reactor
coolant to escape. 150000 liters of nuclear of waste fell into river and 140000
people evacuated the area.

 

9.   
San
Juanica disaster

Series of
massive explosions at a liquid petroleum gas tank. 500-600 people died another
7000 were suffered severe burns. What caused the accident was a gas leak from a
pipe rupture the facility’s waste-gas flare pit.

10.  Chernobyl disaster

Catastrophic
nuclear accident. Caused because the reactor four suffered a catastrophic power
increase, during system test, leading to explosions in its core. Large quantities
of radioactive fuel and core materials escape into the atmosphere.

All of the
accidents have been punished with fines and a lot of actions depending on the
law. But no law can’t restore the environmental damage or bring back the life
of thousands of people who died working in these accidents.

 

 

 

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7064893

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/gulf-m19.shtml

http://suite101.com/article/oil-rig-accidents-a139903

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_industrial_disasters

Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

 Is fracturing for shale gas safe and without
damage to community environment? Should it be banned?

Hydraulic fracturing
is a well stimulation used to maximize the extraction of underground resources
(oil, natural gas).

After the
building of the infrastructure, drillings are taking place in horizontal and
vertical sections. Then fluids are pumped at high pressure (hydraulic
fracturing) which enlarges the fractures of the rocks so it can be achieved a
bigger surface and bigger amount of gas.

Is it safe?

Based on a
research, fracturing is safe well tested technology and is being used for 60
years. This technology also has increases the natural gas reserves.

Does fracturing
causes earthquakes?

The answer is
no. fracturing causes very minor seismic activity when the fluids are injected.
There have been some tests by geologists by installing micro seismic geophones
during a fracture treatment and the conclusion was that the seismicity created
wasn’t enough to be detected on the surface.   

http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/wells_hydrowhat.cfm

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_11109618

http://www.coga.org/pdfs_facts/SeismicActivity.pdf

Henry Tan's picture

Besides earthquake, we also need to check other failure modes of hydraulic fracturing, such as the pollution to underground water, etc.

michael saiki's picture

If we look at the potential risk a nuclear power plant poses to life in the event of radioactive exposure/leak we would say it is not not safe. but if we look at the overall value in terms of ecological and Environmental effects, magnitude of energy produced, overall disaster control and safety management response history, and the extent of damage/fatalities compared to other energy sources http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html we can categorically say it is safe

 For Example there are only three to four major known Nuclear plant accidents for over the past 50years of man's quest for nuclear energy sources (www.youtube.come)  i.e Chernobyl(Ukraine 1986), Three Mile Island(USA 1979), Fukushima (Japan 2011), Windscale(Britain 1957), and the Fatalities have been very minimal infact Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Windscale did not record any Fatalities and infact technicians where still working in the plants after the accidents had occured to reduce the imminent risks.

This is obviously

 

Henry Tan's picture

Interesting, it may further trigger the discussion of  the difference between “feeling of safety” and “statistics of safety”.

1 mark to mikesaiki.

Mikesaiki, could you please upload your image photo.

michael saiki's picture

 

Man's quest for energy over the years has continued to increase and will continue to increase. Lets imagine for a minute what will life turn out to be if man eventually runs out of Fossil Fuels(Oil and Gas); all the reserves are depleted. Man would return back to stone age in there are no alternative energies to meet man's enrgy demands.

 Oil and Gas Exploration started from onshore and moved to offshore and continues to move to deeper and ultra deep subsea reserves. Man has continued to push himself to the limits, developing non tested technologies, taking risks upon risks to harness this energy even with the known disasters and risks that Oil and Gas exploration and Production Processes poses.

But why? someone would ask.

The answer is simple the value Energy has provided to man so far.

So, man is willing to push himself above the limits to derive value.

Take a look at this.

(http://www.howitworksdaily.com/science/is-nuclear-power-safe/) Since nuclear power produces no greenhouse gasses, proponents are touting it as a greener alternative to fossil fuels. They argue that one pound of enriched uranium (the chief nuclear fuel) can provide the same energy as 3 million pounds of coal or 1 million gallons of gasoline.

Also look at http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html find attached a picture to show number of deaths from Energy sources

So does this imply man has seen tremendous energy potential with Nuclear Energy sources.

So the question we should be asking ourselves is how can we safely harness Nuclear energy. Pushing ourselves to learn and discover the finest technologies and best practices to harness it

Michael Saiki

 

Henry Tan's picture

Do we really need that much of energy for living a comfortable life?

Aaron McKenna's picture

Perhaps one of the greatest hurdles that nuclear related
energy will have to overcome is the negative connotations which are drawn upon
by the media. As mentioned by Mikesaiki fatalities in this field are comparably
low, however the media very much emphasizes these disasters when they occur, in
my opinion due to the nature of the injuries and scars they can incur. The
effects of radioactive fallout and such are very harrowing and can cause long
and drawn out suffering and eventual death, which has a very harsh impact on
the views of society. Additionally, I feel that there is a certain amount of
ignorance that draws further negative feelings toward nuclear energy, in that
many people will subconsciously relate nuclear energy disasters to use of
nuclear and atomic warfare such as that used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.Although
this was of course intentional misuse of such energy, it will always play a
part in many peoples “feeling of safety” with regards to nuclear energy.

Craig Donaldson's picture

Yes, the media helps to extenuate the publics perceived risk
of Nuclear energy and as stated above by others I also believe that Nuclear Energy
is far safer than it is made out to be. However, in my opinion the following
factors increase the publics perceived risk of nuclear energy and I have
highlighted the ones which I think the media tends to put extra focus on.

·        Lack of personal control over the outcome

·        Uncertainty of outcome

·        Lack of personal experience of hazard

·        Delayed effects

·        Genetic effects

·        Low frequency/High consequence effects

·        Human rather than natural causes

There may not be many deaths at the time of the initial
incident (Fukushima, Three Mile Island) so the media look to pick up on
something else equally as gruesome but far from certain to focus on. This is
the effects that contact with radiation can cause down the road. Obviously,
this can be a significant problem, however the media will be quick to drop
coverage of it as soon as the public interest begins to wane. The effects may
or may not appear down the line but they are unlikely to get any further
coverage. Why is this?

Henry Tan's picture

Aaron and Craig,

You opened an interesting topic on "media effects".

1 mark to Aaron McKenna.

1 mark to Craig Donaldson.

Regards,

Henry.

Brenda Amanda's picture

Whether we like it
or not, the media will always look for the stories that will gunner the most
response; they need to sell. It's a business. 

That's beside the point. The horrendous results of
nuclear use in the past have left scars that will not be leaving us anytime
soon. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki examples cited by Aaron and the results of the
Fukushima accident in Japan cost lots of lives. Perhaps the worst thing about
the nuclear energy related accidents and reactions are that the negative
effects of the resulting radiation continue to be felt long after the actual incident.

While the estimates
of the number of cancer consequences is yet to be made of the Fukushima Daiichi
accident, frank N. von Hippel in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Sept/Oct
2011 vol 67 no.5) makes a guestimate of 1000 cancer related deaths from the
incident, and that’s not including the psychological  pain inflicted on human beings.

Granted, every
energy source has got its pros and cons; in my book, the adverse effects of a
nuclear related accident cannot be explained away. And that’s even before any
discussion is begun about the world’s super powers trying to fight each other
about the development of nuclear weapons!

Suggest a reading of the Kaplan-Mikes paper on risk analysis.  Risk from engineering activities (such as oil spills or nuclear disasters etc.) cannot be solved by design engineers or operating company only. Kaplan-Mikes make a potent argument for going beyond rule-based risk management.

Reference:  http://www.hbr.org/2012/06/managing-risks-a-new-framework/ar/1

Usually, most risk statements are inward looking (risks to me or my organization). TCS in India does risk analysis for the risk that the customer incurs for outsourcing them work !! Reference: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.197.424

Human perception and behavior are immense contributors to risk related study. (Reference: http://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/people/faculty/baruch-fischhoff.html )

The vogue/neccesity for four (may need more !?) dimensional risk management is here- probability, impact, frequency and difficulty of detection.

With this course, a new level of risk management is coming to play - how do we mitigate risks for humanity in the work we do? Kudos.

Postscript- Gower Publishers has about 200+ titles on risk which is worth looking into.

 

Henry Tan's picture

Dear Chakradhar,

Thank you for the this.

Can anybody in my class elaborate more on the for four dimensional risk management - probability, impact, frequency and difficulty of detection mentioned?

Regards,

Henry.

Aaron McKenna's picture


I wish to relate to the essential four dimension risk
management and discuss the potential issues with it. As much as we know and recognize
the need to assess risks and potential hazards from certain procedures and
facilities and indeed the focus on this is ever increasing, it is something
that will never be an exact science. For instance we can probably make a good
estimate of the probability of failure for certain aspects that have previously
been in use by collecting data on their failure in the past. However, for a new
piece of technology it would be very hard to determine the probability it will
fail. Again the impact of failure has a multitude of factors that all can affect
this, such as the temperature or weather on the day of failure or the day of
the week the failure occurs on. Frequency too runs into the same problems as those
related to the probability of failure. As such the ultimate decision must be a
human made one which takes into consideration all these potentials. Therefore this will never be perfect and failure and the subsequent
consequences are always going to happen. To protect against blame however the
decision making procedure must be thorough and honest.


Henry Tan's picture

There are some mathematical models we will develop in the class to deal with the mentioned difficulties with risk management.
1 mark to Aaron McKenna.

Charles Stuart's picture

I agree
with the points raised by Aaron, particularly as related to risk quantification
not being an ‘exact science’ and the human effect on risk management.  Whilst the models and formulae used to refine
risk estimates using data based upon past performance etc. are very powerful,
there is almost always a requirement for human input (which is inherently imperfect)
which can result in the implementation of non optimal risk reduction strategies
(e.g. strategic decisions: when the cost associated with mitigating a risk may
be deemed unacceptable by management who consider the money may be better spent
achieving the company’s strategic goals to increase share value neglecting the
potential consequences or lack of specialist knowledge: the incorrect people
being called upon to participate in risk reviews resulting in invalid risk
estimates).  Ultimately, those people
entrusted with managing organisations, in particular those where the
realisation of a risk can have catastrophic consequences to people and/or
environment, must ensure they utilise all available techniques to accurately
quantify risks so as to be as fully aware of all aspects of the risk in
question such that they can act and prioritise them accordingly.

I would
also add a minor note that in terms of estimating the probability of failure of
a new piece of equipment, there usually exist structured approaches to
qualifying performance as dictated by the relevant industry standards which
would typically prescribe extended lifecycle testing to simulate the equipment’s
performance over its design life. Whilst this doesn’t completely eliminate the
chance of a failure, it highlights any issues which can then be addressed at
the design stage, vastly reducing the risk of failure.

Dike Nwabueze Chinedu.'s picture

The four dimensional risk management - probability, impact, frequency and difficulty of detection in my opinion are issues associated with the systems approach to identify, evaluate and mitigate risk involved in systems. For complex systems, assessing the probability or the likelihood that the system will fail taken into consideration statistical data and historic events cannot and will not be 100% exact. Even when all factors of safety are put in place, the problem of failure of such a system and the frequency of its occurence may not also have an exact analysis. Thus, the problem of failure cannot be fully solved or eliminated by design engineers. The impact of the failure of any integral part of the system can either be social, economic or environmental or may even lead to the introduction of a new regulation or legislation. The difficulty of detection of a risk in my opinion is purely a human factor problem and the reliability of some equipment may not completely be what it was thought [1].

Thus, those saddled with the responsibilty of risk management need a complete and critical application of the risk analysis models and theories for a near optimum solution/decision making as a perfect solution is not realistic.

REFERENCES

[1] Deep Water Horizon: What Happened, why, and where do we go from here. [online] Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrO87PQKTx0&feature=related [Accessed 1 october 2012].

Dike Nwabueze Chinedu.

Student Number: 51123954

MSc Subsea Engineering

...Engineering Sustainably.

max0yang's picture

Discussion Topic 3: Is fracking for shale gas safe and without damage to community environment? Should it be banned? Before we are going to discuss more details about the safety of the shale gas fracking, we need to know what the shale gas is, where it is located and what benefits it can bring to the market. From the “Wikipedia” definitions, we can know “Shale gas is natural gas formed from being trapped within shale formations”, Shale is a fine-graded rock and it is less permeable to allow fluids flow around or flow to the well bore, most shales are not considered to be good sources of natural gas, especially back in 1970s and 1980s, drilling in shale is not commercially viable.

max0yang's picture

So why has the shale gas productions brought this much attentions this years, especially on the safe production and environmental damage these aspects, only because the invention of fracking technology, also called “hydraulic fracturing”. This technology allows companies to overcome low permeability of the shale and produce extensive artificial fracture around the well bore. Figure 1 shows a basic concept of “fracking” in gas productions.

Shale Fracking Figure 1From this figure, we can see well is turned horizontally into the “Hydrofrac Zone” through a “wellbore”, since horizontal drilling is often used with shale gas wells, with lateral lengths up to 3000 m, those drilling activities could cause toxic and radioactive water pollution if they are not well regulated and inspected. Sometimes applications of new technologies can be like a double-sided sword, they will bring us enormous amounts of resources, but if they are well-regulated by the authorities and planned by the organisations, one day we will experience energy shortage and weather pollution all over again.

max0yang's picture

Some already concern about the shale gas extraction could lead to water pollution, The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a report on potential dangers of shale gas fracking to water pollution, some residents in Wyoming State, US complained about well water polluted with chemicals, local residents were advised not to drink well water after EPA detected a low level of Hydrocarbons in the wells. The industry claims the fracking is safe, but environmental agencies and local residents are not convinced, they think the drilling process has poisoned the groundwater. The report has caused significant implications on regulations of the drilling process, also EPA has now published regulations and protections against know hazards involved in the shale gas fracking.

Welcome to discussions and comments

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

Fracking is seen as an
effective way of releasing natural gas from impermeable stone; Exxon Mobil are
among the leading specialists in this field and Russia is expanding rapidly
into extending this form of gas release throughout the country to compete with
other countries on the international stage. So yes, this topic is very current
and safe delivery of the gas and potential environmental impact depends a lot
on the local geology and extraction processes in use to determine whether it is
safe to frack or not; calls to ban anything is often the knee-jerk reaction of
the uninformed, often swayed by political propaganda, so my response to this is
never to call on something to be banned, perhaps fracking may need to be
contained in certain circumstances until more through or detailed reviews and
data analyses are performed, but not completely banned.

The biggest potential danger is
the possible environmental impact relating to contamination of local underground
water reservoirs, consequently the drilling near water springs and known water
reservoirs’ would never be considered. Slickwater fracking allows significant
economical access to shale gasses with these gasses channeled into wellbores,
leaving minimal environmental impact as slickwater is around 99% fresh water;
however depending on the rock formation slickwater might not be suitable and
silicones or gels are introduced (around 5% polymer addition) to gain greater
penetration and it is with these that greatest potential environmental impact
could be realised.

Henry Tan's picture

Good summary of Shale Fracking.

max0yang's picture


Shale gas is an important part of the natural gas resources, and
the shale gas has huge business potentials and it could bring us billions of
pounds. However, EPA and other researchers have proven that gas fracking will
lead to groundwater pollutions in some cases; some researchers even argue it
could lead to potential earthquakes. France is the first country to ban the use
of fracking, a number of EU countries, including Demark, Germany, and Netherlands
support this action. France decides to ban the use of fracking, even without defining
“fracking” in the legislations.

Personally I don’t think we should simply ban something that could
bring us billions of pounds, Energy giant Chevron now has shale gas productions
operating in US, China and Canada and other parts of the world, so we may need
to find a balance between environmental risks and business potentials. I think
that ALL the risks associated with these activities must be properly and
independently analysed before this industry goes any further.


The link below is some quick facts on fracking in Scotland:

http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking


It is worth mentioning, a recent industry report confirmed
that fracking was the likely cause of an earth tremor in Lancashire. We simply cannot
ignore these risks before making further discussions.


Henry Tan's picture

Why US, China, Russia, Canada, France, Denmark, Germany and Netherlands had such big differences regarding fracking? How about UK?

Kevin K. Waweru's picture

The differences regarding Shale Gas
Fracking arise from Energy Security and Environmental standpoints.

Big economies such as U.S. where natural
gas drilling has recently boomed will reduce their gas imports significantly thanks
to their huge reserves of shale gas (Texas, Pennsylvania, etc), which are now
being explored using hydraulic fracturing. This has already resulted in reduced
U.S. gas prices and created much needed employment, hence being beneficial to
the U.S. economy (cited 2012-10-01: http://www.economist.com/node/21556249).
Shale gas fracking by individual European states of their own reserves may well
reduce reliance on Russian gas imports, hence benefitting their economies.

In contrast, many European countries are
experiencing environmental protests against fracking (cited 2012-10-01: http://www.economist.com/node/21556249).
France & Bulgaria have banned fracking whereas Denmark & Germany have
imposed a “freeze”. Netherlands has also imposed a “freeze” awaiting verifiable
independent investigations to confirm the risks are manageable and acceptable.

A recent report from Harvard University (cited
2012-10-01: http://online.wsj.com/article/APa101793a7eb4445dad3f3f797b5faa45.html)
concluded that the ability of the world’s top economies such as U.S. China and
Russia to exert influence in the world is largely dependent on global gas
developments.

Overall, the impact of Shale Gas Fracking on
world energy markets is likely to be substantial. The implications may lead to adverse
or otherwise economic and political changes for many countries, with those sitting
on shale gas reserves likely to benefit.

Kevin K. Waweru 

max0yang's picture

Hello Kevin

The webpage you posted from economist is very helpful, before going to discuss about the safety of shale gas fracking, we need to look at what "gas fracking" has brought to The US:

  • At current production rates, America has over a century's supply of gas, half of it stored in shale and other “unconventional” formations. Undoubtedly, it is a good signal to current economic situations we are in. Furthermore, Global gas production could increase by 50% between 2010 and 2035.

  • Emission reduction -America's emissions have fallen by 450m tonnes in the past five years, more than any other countries.

  • Market domination and job growth- America now has the dominated place in the shale gas / unconventional gas markets

Compared to the US, the European Union has seen its emissions rise, partly because of an increase in coal-fired power generation in response to Europe's high gas price. We all know Burning gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal; so where gas substitutes for coal, emissions will fall. So why not encouraging industries to engage with shale fracking, and well regulate the drilling activities.

Thanks

Yang 

max0yang's picture


As I said in my previous post, the governments need to find a
balance between managing environmental risks and potential business benefits,
The US government has always been the frontier of developing and applying
modern technologies, the leaders are willing to take the risks to put the first
step forward, also we can’t ignore the factor of huge potential reserves of
shale gas in the States. Similar situation in China as well, the shale gas
explorations have helped the US to lower their gas prices and reduce the carbon
dioxide emissions, China is the world second largest economy, it seeks to low price
and carbon dioxide emission energy resources more than any time before, the
changes induced by Shale gas in US have attracted China’s attention. China has the biggest shale gas reserves in the world, so the business potentials can NOT be measured.


In the UK, The Government has rejected shale gas technology
as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut
bills or keep the lights on. There have been continuous debates over shale gas
production in recent years :

  • Supporters of the fracking technology – which
    blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped
    deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming
    Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and
    dramatically reducing costs.

  • The Energy Contractor company (ECC) says in the
    report, “Shale will not be a 'cheap' source of gas and there is unlikely to be
    a repeat of the US experience”. Also The CBI, which represents over 250,000 UK
    businesses, is also deeply unconvinced about the prospect of cheap shale gas.


I personally think it is extremely difficult for UK to carry on
any further actions on the shale gas, as some EU countries have banned shale
gas productions already. The British Shale gas industry needs to negotiate with
not only British authorities, but also with European authorities.


oseghale lucas okohue's picture

Fracking is the popular  term for hydraulic fracturing, the technique used to extract natural gas from deep beneath the earth's surface. Fracking is promoted by the gas industry as the key to escaping from dependence on foreign oil. But evidence is mounting that fracking pollutes groundwater with a witches' brew of toxic chemicals, creating imminent threats to public health and safety. It has even caused earthquakes in Ohio. Unlike the easily extracted crude oil of Saudi Arabia, the natural gas in the Shale found in the US, China, Russia, Canada, France, Denmark, Germany and Netherlands are captured in tiny pockets, and is hard to get at. In order to extract it with what the industry considers efficiency, holes are drilled thousands of feet deep, which then turn a corner and continue thousands more feet, horizontally. The detonation of explosive charges, coupled with the infusion of high-pressure fluids, fractures the shale, allowing the gas to bubble up to the surface. It has been  said that the component of fluid used for fracking is protective. Where the fracking fluids go is a key question after it has been pumped into the formation. The biggest fear is that only 20% of that water returns, and the water returns with radioactive material – barium, strontium … Which is inherently dangerous. The UK is not too concerned about the shale fracking as long as certain requirement are met. The are aware that it could lead to environmental risks, but believe with proper  proactive risk assessment measures and careful monitoring these may be overcome.

Abiaziem Davidson's picture



Fracking is the process of drilling down and creating tiny
explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside.
Enough water, sand and chemicals are used in the production of shale gas. [1]



Fracking for shale gas operation goes with damage to
community environment and most of the arising issues include contamination of
underground (acquifer) by fracking chemicals, accidental chemical spill, waste
disposal, air quality, the land footprint of drilling activities, pipeline
placement and safety, and the amount of water used. Shale gas production is
highly controversial in part because of environmental concerns, fear of
drinking water contamination.  [2]



Fracking for shale gas can be safely managed provided there
is best practice observed and provided its enforced through strong regulation. The
risk water contamination in fracking is very low provided fracking takes place
at a depth below the level of acquifers and that the wells are properly
constructed. [3]



The boom in shale gas production is not likely to be banned
because of the amount of resources spent in the development, more employment
opportunity it is creating and the amount of money to be made from the
production. Gas fraking will mean economy growth to the western world, china
and Israel, and it will crash oil price to the less developing countries and
troubled unstable economy of middle- east nation. [2]



Reference



  1.   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512003382

  2.   www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401



3.      
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18611647


      4.    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512003382

Kevin K. Waweru's picture

One definition of Fracking is the process used to extract Shale Gas from dense rocky formations deep in the earth’s crust. It involves two methods that make exploration of this energy resource economically viable, i.e. horizontal drilling and the controversial hydraulic fracturing (cited 2012-10-01: http://www.europeunconventionalgas.org/new-home/unconventional-gas/about-unconventional-gas).

Hydraulic fracturing is performed using a fracturing fluid at very high pressure. A large proportion (99%) of the fluid (cited 2012-10-01: http://www.europeunconventionalgas.org/new-home/the-process/what-s-in-hydraulic-fracturing-fluid) consists of a water and sand mixture, with the remainder comprising of chemical additives. These additives are found in our everyday household products but this has not stopped them from being termed as “offending”.

Given that the proportion of “offending” additives in the fracturing fluid is minimal and the process takes place deep below any potable water aquifers which are nevertheless protected from the wellbore using cemented steel casings, there is a strong argument that Shale Gas Fracking poses very minimal risks and is relatively safe. Furthermore, pollution incidents from Shale Gas Fracking remain minimal.

However, more research needs to be done to address the ever increasing concerns being raised.

Kevin K. Waweru 

Henry Tan's picture

With “extensive artificial fracture” under the ground we stand on, are our human being crazy? Looks like a suicide action.

Brenda Amanda's picture

Someone (whose name I do not recall) once said that the one
thing we learn from history is that man does not learn from history.

Throughout history we have heard of and witnessed
earthquakes as a naturally occurring disaster and have seen the devastation
that always follows (Chile 1960, Indonesia 2004, Japan 2011 and so many others)
and still we invent and use technologies that will definitely induce seismic
activity. It is crazy.

While the benefits of hydraulic fracturing or fracking for
shale gas have been noted, especially in the United States where the method has
been used longest, it is imperative that we protect our earth by all means
necessary.

Maybe once we have studied the probability theories about
risk assessment, I will be able to make a more analytical discussion of whether
or not the technology should be banned given its pros and cons, but right now,
my stand is that anything that exposes mother earth to warranted risks should
not be allowed until mitigation measures have been taken at the very least.

One report 1    shows
that shale fracking has been linked to low magnitude tremors but there is a
possibility that the magnitudes of the tremors will increase and before long,
earthquakes or other seismic related disasters could be upon us.

At the very least, the technology should be suspended
pending more research and more adequate methods of mitigating the obvious effects
of the technique. Inducing of seismic activities ( however minor), pollution of
ground water aquifers, not to mention green house gas emissions (at a time when
the whole world is trying to reduce our carbon print ) are things that we
should not be taken lightly.

Crazy indeed!!!

1.       1.De Peter,C.J,  Baish S., Geomechanical Study of Bowland Shale
Seismicity, 2nd November 2011.

 

Emmanuel Mbata's picture

The safer the better

oseghale lucas okohue's picture

Tan this topic is getting more interesting. But I agree to disagree with you that our humans are being crazy. In argument of this extensive artificial fractureLets have a look at the technology background of shale.  We are aware that every formation is under the influence of underground stresses. These stresses results from weight of the overlying rock (overburden), fluid pressure and geologic and tectonic activities that the formation has experienced during the millions of years of its life. Stresses in the formation are divided into two basic types: normal and shear. Normal stresses tends to compress the material or pull it apart in tension. Shear stresses tend to tear the material, either by sliding or twisting action. These stresses have different magnitudes in different locations and generally increase with depth.An important mechanical property of the formation is its strength. This is usually measured in the labouratory. Two types of formation strength are measured:  compressive and tensile.  Rocks are usually more under much stronger compression than they are under tension. Formation failure occurs whenever the stresses acting on any part of the rock exceed its strength. Such areas is limited only to areas where certain conditions have been met especially areas in which earthquake has occurred before in the past. In this light failures in hydraulic fracturing occur mainly as a result of tensile stresses induced by fluid pressure inside the fracture and so the probability of shear failure occurring is slim. Even if it occurs is on a small and local scale and is due to natural fractures or planes of weaknesses along the part of fracture. Because of formation geological and material heterogeneity(plane of weakness), its strength varies in different locations and orientations. This results in local (rather than global) and directional rock failure. In engineering this can be assesses using mohr and mogi envelops.  So Tan if risk assessment is rightly performed on this areas before fracking and regulatory requirement procedures is duely followed without  human factor error. Their will be less need to worry about the extensive artificial fracture under ground. http://www.worldoil.com/March-2012-Can-hydraulic-fracturing-cause-earthquakes.htmlhttp://www.worldoil.com/March-2012-Can-hydraulic-fracturing-cause-earthq...

max0yang's picture


Yeah, the "extensive artificial
fracture" created by fracking, have been seen as " a potential
threat" to earth stability. Some residents in Ohio State protest against local
drilling activities, but some say, gas fracking boom could boost President
Obama in the coming election. It's sad to say, Human safety and morality are weak
compared to money and politics.


However, trial drilling activities in rural
areas could be acceptable, the government should restrict gas fracking
operations only at remote locations or less populated areas. Since this
technology was only invented in the late 70s, there aren’t enough evidences to
prove its safety to the environments. Also as a common routine for new
technologies, it requires almost half of a century to develop into massive
productions.


Maria Christou's picture

For many years shale gas has been extracted from rock shale with natural
fractures. However during the last few years, it has been developed a new
technology where extensive artificial fractures are being made due to hydraulic
fracturing. Is this something t we should worry about?

It is known that shale gas has low
matrix permeability
so in order to produce gas in massive quantities we
need to create fractures to provide permeability. Moreover, these
extensive artificial fractures allow horizontal drilling of the wells instead
of the old fashion typical vertical drilling.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states
that, during the last ten years (from 2002 to 2012),  shale gas produced in the US has reached 22%
of U.S. gas production and 32% of total remaining recoverable gas resources in
the United States. EIA predicts that by 2030 shale gas will represent 14% of
total global gas supplies.

Shale gas is getting popular in
Australia as well. Local and foreign operators such as Cononco Phillips,
Mitsubishi Corporation, Beach Energy and AWE are showing a great interest.

To be more precise, both
ConocoPhillips and Mitsubishi Corporation have invested over 260 million
dollars (AS) in unconventional oil and gas exploration.

To sum up, the creation of
extensive artificial fractures has led to the increased shale gas production
and boosted the economy of many countries. We haven’t spotted any significant
cons yet, however this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take proper measures.

 

References:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Shale_gas

http://www.greenrock.com.au/assetsWAShaleGas.php

http://www.knoc.co.kr/ENG/sub06/sub06_2_n5.jsp 

Toby Stephen's picture

Whether crazy or not Dr Tan, I believe the willingness of the human race to go to such lengths as fracking is indicative of our requirement for energy. The world we live in is inherently dependent on oil and gas and as long as people want to turn on their tv's and charge their phones then this dependance isn't going to diminish. I think hydraulic fracturing is an issue that people (in general) love to hate, often due to poor understanding of the process.

 

With regards to the safety of the process, it's often highlighted that frac fluid is 99% water and sand and that the remaining 1% can be made with products from an average household kitchen (ie detergents, proppants etc) as a selling point for fracking. This doesn't fill me with a great deal of confidence given the huge amounts of water used in the process [1], therefore the 1% becomes very significant in terms of volume and potential for groundwater contamination. Added to this the potential for earthquakes (see other discussion) as well as the end CO2 emissions from the end combustion and the environmental damage certainly adds up. At present, however, in order to meet the world's continuously growing energy demands, fracking is just one of many techniques deployed as a short-term supply-side answer, although it will be very interesting to observe the retrospective views of fracking in years to come.

 

[1] http://www.dailycamera.com/energy/ci_20899000/report-volume-water-used-f...

--

Toby Stephen
MSc Oil & Gas Engineering

OKECHUKWU CHUKELU's picture

Yes. Most nuclear
plants in the western world operate using a ‘defence-in-depth’ approach with
multiple safety systems supplementing the natural features of the reactor core.
These safety provisions include a series of physical barriers between the
radioactive reactor core and the environment, multiple safety systems each with
a backup and designed to accommodate human errors. The design and operation of
nuclear power plants aims to minimise the likelihood of accidents occurring and
most especially avoiding any major human consequences when they do occur.(Culled from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html)

However in history
there have been three major reactor accidents, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and
Fukushima. The reactor accident in Three Mile Island was contained without any
harm done to anyone, the Chernobyl accident that is considered the worst
nuclear power plant accident killed 31 people and had significant health and
environmental consequences and the Fukushima which was caused by a huge tsunami
severely tested the containment allowing some release of radioactivity.

In the over 50 years
of operating nuclear power plants, no members of the public or nuclear plant
workers have ever died as a result to exposure apart from the Chernobyl
incident.

It is important to
know that a commercial type power reactor cannot explode as a nuclear bomb as
the fuel is not enriched beyond about 5%.

Nuclear power plants
are designed to safe in their operation and safe in the event of any
malfunction, although there is no industrial activity that is risk free. As in
the case of the Fukushima accident that was triggered by natural disasters
(Earthquake and Tsunami), it was a man-made disaster that could and should have
been foreseen and prevented. Wilful negligence left the Fukushima plant
unprepared for these natural events.

OKECHUKWU CHUKELU (51231798)

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

The two main areas where
nuclear power is dangerous are in the effective containment of the radiation
(beta and gamma rays) emitted within the containment cell during the energy
creation process and the later disposal of the spent rods. With today’s
technologies effective containment of the beta and gamma radiation is
achievable, albeit that ‘acts of god’ (Fukushima) can overcome even the best of
safety systems; while the issue of safely disposing of the spent fuel rods does
require further development and technological consideration, before even
remotely being considered safe. While the environmental impact most noticeable
is that created in the early stages of mining the uranium ore, which while
scaring the landscape during mining activities may be overcome fairly easily at
a later date.

Is nuclear power safe for
humans and the environment; definitely not! But in consideration to carbon
based power generation and the massive safety and environmental impacts this
generates, nuclear power offers far too many positives to be dismissed and greater
future emphasis needs to be applied to technologies to neutralize and ensure
permanent containment of harmful radiation, both during energy generation and
by-product disposal.       

Ekaterina Pavlichenko

Henry Tan's picture

1 mark to OKECHUKWU CHUKELU.

1 mark to Ekaterina Pavlichenko.

Aaron McKenna's picture

Following on from mention of the Fukushima incident, it is
interesting to note the reaction to the event. Although this is still one of
only very few nuclear related incidents, it sparked a world-wide fear in
nuclear energy. The subsequent reactions led to the major reduction of reliance
in nuclear energy. National Public Radio’s Richard Harris points out that Japan
went from harvesting 30% of its energy from nuclear to zero, which therefore
led to a much greater reliance on coal and natural gas (1). I do not feel it is
a coincidence that also following the event, the US has put on hold any future
development of nuclear energy facilities until more research has been made into
the correct and safe handling of nuclear waste (2). We must understand that
accidents are going to happen along the way. However why is it that one such
incident in Japan led to such a drastic reaction? Again I feel the media may
have had a part to play as well as the Japanese government who had to attempt
to look as if they were morally concerned by its dangers. Another question is
can we afford to keep returning to reliance on the fossil fuels when such a
failure occurs, or should we roll with punches and just correct mistakes we
learn along the way with regards to alternative fuels?

1.      
http://www.npr.org/2012/03/10/148351019/fukushima-starts-long-road-to-recovery

2.      
http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/09/news/economy/nuclear-plants-waste/index.htm

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

Long considered as a safe and
environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel based generation, solar
power is now becoming "demonized" as more and more people are coming to recognize
the harmful environmental impact associated with solar panels. This mostly
focuses on the manufacture of the panels themselves. The solar cell is mostly
comprised of silica, which (simply put) is produced by crushing quartz and
separating the crystalline silica. The danger here is that during this process
silica dust is produced; this could be seen as harmful as asbestos dust causing
similar side effects within humans. However the story doesn’t end there, the
silica is required to enter an electric arc furnace where it’s combined with
coke to produce metallurgical grade silicon; the process produces carbon and
sulfur dioxide, which is displaced into the atmosphere. Following this the
process is still further refined to change the metallurgical grade silicon to
poly-silicon, a process which involves combining with hydrogen chloride gas
using copper catalyst in a fluid bed reactor; all nasty stuff, utilizing a
process that uses many hazardous chemicals and products.

It would be good to say that
the process was complete, but not so the silicon needs to be cut into wafers,
which produces harmful dust and great care is needed otherwise the dust could
inhaled, with similar side effects to the silica dust described above.

Once inserted between glass
panels and sealed, baring a fire the solar panels should now be considered
‘safe’ and provide years of use.      

(chemical characteristics are taken from Wikipedia and "Introduction to Solar Electricity and Residential Solar Panels – AltE"

Ekaterina Pavlichenko

Henry Tan's picture

1 mark to Ekaterina Pavlichenko.

Richard Sedafor's picture

RS

Ekaterina,It is totally true that the perception that Solar panels is so clean and safe is not totally true when you look at the life cycle analysis of Solar panels. Silicosis, a lung disease associated with the production and other harmful by-products make Solar panels not so safe is previously thought. Other issues concerned with deaths and waste make it even more unpleasant compared with other energy sources.

Even though Solar panels produce less than one percent of the world's energy, it causes much more deaths than other sources like Nuclear. Available data indicates that the death rate for solar energy per KWh is 0.44 whilst that for Nuclear is 0.04. Simply put, Nuclear energy is about 10 times safer in the production of energy than Solar. 

There is also the concern of Solar panel waste and decommissioning. These wastes if they escape in to the environment could be very harmful. Currently, industry players are finding ways to recycle solar panels and other related products. Till safe production of solar panels are achieved and recycling of parts done effectively, the "clean and green" label associated with Solar panels will continue to be in doubt.

Regards,

Richard Sedafor

Msc Oil and Gas Engineering,

References:

1. http://www.nuceng.ca/refer/risk/risk.htm

2.http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/pdf/Solar_11.2.pdf

3.http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/oipp/docs/life-cyclehealthandsafetyconcer...

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

It would seem from all reports
and inquests that followed the Piper Alpha accident that errors were made in
almost every aspect of operation by Occidental Petroleum on Piper Alpha;
however following this accident the rule book was rewritten in nearly every
company operating off-shore platforms worldwide. Considering this the root
causes (identified as a maintenance error that brought about a fuel leak; a
result of poor training and poor maintenance procedures) that brought about the
Piper Alpha accident should not be evident today as the international operating
culture has changed from "Production First" to a culture of "Safety First"! As safety has become the priority for major world-famous industries.

As such, we would find that the
following would take place in the unlikely event of a similar occurrence;
initial checks would center on the operators observance of the Safety Case
Regulations and the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction,
etc.) Regulations 1996, Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management
and Administration) Regulations 1995, Offshore Installations (Prevention of
Fire and Explosion and Emergency Response Regulations 1995), which introduced
the requirements for Safety Critical Elements to be installed on Offshore
Platforms following Piper Alpha.

 

Henry Tan's picture

1 mark to Ekaterina Pavlichenko.

Adekola Obayomi's picture

The phrase - "Production First" to a culture of "Safety First" as mentioned above by Ekaterina Pavlichenko goes further to show that the importance of safety cannot be over emphasised because it is one of the major instruments that can be used to reduce the risk to the loss of life and property in line with the principles of ALARP (As Low As is Reasonably Possible).

An error on the part of the personnel who placed the permit to work report in a separate filling folder was identified as the major cause of the accident. However, since most of the world leading operators are using the goal-setting safety regulation as against the older inefficient prescriptive safety regulation, such a safety issue would have been identified during the regular tool-box and safety meetings carried out on offshore platforms.

Babawale Onagbola's picture


It goes without saying that Occidental Petroleum Corporation
would have faced a stricter, more robust legislative regime, more expensive
consequences in terms of financial and corporate costs if the Piper Alpha
disaster were to happen today.


The binding legislation as at the time of the disaster in
1988, the UK Health Safety and Wokplace act was initially drafted for only onshore
activities in 1974 and was only extended offshore in 1976 without creating
extensions for individual sets of regulations directly related to offshore
activities under the act


Today, regulations guiding offshore operations and
environment are more detailed. Firstly, the offshore installations regulations introduced
in 1992 which required organizations to draw up safety cases and submit to the
HSE for approval, began the revolution of increasing the responsibility placed
on companies involved in offshore operations.


Other detailed regulations developed over the years are the offshore
installations and pipeline works regulation – (1995) which set requirements for
safe management of offshore installations; PFEER – (1995) which ensures
protection of offshore workers from fire and explosions; the corporate
manslaughter and corporate homicide act – (2007) which assures organizations of
prosecution (including unlimited fines) if investigation into fatalities
offshore indicate management failures amounting to gross breach of relevant
duty of care (www.lge.gov.uk); the dangerous substances and explosive
atmosphere regulation – (2002) which ensures protection of employees at
workplace and any other individuals at risk due to the presence of dangerous
chemical and explosive materials offshore and the environmental protection act
– (1990) which ensures protection of the environment including air and water
resources from operational activities offshore.


I think it’s fair to say that the
legislative framework available today is more specific and detailed as regards
HSE responsibilities of organizations and employers and sanctions attached to
non-compliance.


Henry Tan's picture

1 mark to Babawale Onagbola.

Babawale Onagbola's picture


I don’t think we need to develop a “human activity integrity
management process” that would give us feedback on human impact assessment, it
already exists!!!


There have been sets of human factor analysis tools
developed and implemented in organizations to evaluate the human activity/inactivity
impact assessment.


One of the tools is of the premise that there are 4 stages
of human information processing and performance namely perception, memory,
decision making and action taken and ALL human errors leading to accidents
occur due to errors in any or all of the 4 stages. (Process Safety and Environmental Protection, IChemE
Part B, 2006) – (http://www.keilcentre.co.uk/Data/Sites/1/Process%20Safety)


Analysis of the Piper Alpha disaster;


Perception Error – Non-existence of proper procedural hand
over of shifts between day and night shifts resulting in critical information
not being exchanged.


Memory Error – Negligence of the day shift engineer not
informing the night shift custodian of the status of the faulty pump


Decision Error – The night shift custodian panicking under
pressure because of the failure of the second pump and deciding to switch to
the faulty pump without adequate enquiry as to the state of the pump


Action Error – Starting the faulty pump resulting in the
explosions and accident that followed.


There are two reasons why these errors occur; 1) performance
shaping factors such as workloads, inadequate training, and poor ergonomic
design of components; 2) Psychological errors such as antecedents and trends.


The process of identifying these errors and reasons for the
errors would create solutions that would prevent further occurrences thereby
ensuring all bases are covered.


Mark Haley's picture

I think Babawale has made some valid comments on the causes of the Piper Alpha disaster and has correctly identified the individual failings of the workers involved.

However, I feel that it is important to look at the bigger picture and look at the company and its attitudes.
The Human Factors were ultimately the cause of the accident on Piper Alpha and these Human Factors were a result of the poor safety culture and lack of leadership from Occidental's management.
The managements balance of safety vs cost was biased too far towards cost saving and achieving a strong bottom line. The final price for Occidental having inadequate maintenance and safety procedures was £1.7 billion, the worst offshore oil disaster in terms both of lives lost and impact to industry and also meant that Occidental ended up leaving a profitable operation in the North Sea.

It has been proven time and time again that if management bias more towards cost saving rather than safety it always ends up costing far more.
With today’s culture of austerity and cost cutting measures across most industries it is especially important today to spend time (and possible finance) assessing risks adequately to ensure the correct procedures and safety measures are put in place.

It is also equally important that the workers receive adequate Human Factors training to allow them to recognize and highlight deficiencies to the management before they (hopefully) become a problem.  This also means the management must have an open and honest safety culture and strong leadership to allow their workforce to report problems.

By educating both the workforce and the management through open and honest safety reporting, everyone can learn from small mistakes before they become big ones.

Mark Haley

Babawale Onagbola's picture


In my opinion, YES solar panels are safe to use. “Safe” here
is relative but compared to the other conventional fossil fuel technologies
(coal, crude oil and natural gas) studies have shown that solar panels generate
per kilowatt hour at least 89% fewer harmful emissions into the environment
(Brookhaven national laboratory research. The safety/pollution issues with
solar panels only arise in their MANUFACTURE (inhalation of hazardous
by-products when sawing polysilicon into wafers for the panels; ASSEMBLING THE
PANELS (risk of lead and other dangerous materials used in soldering the solar
panels together being released into the environment); INSTALLATION AND USE (in
the event of  fire, hazardous fumes can
be released into the atmosphere) and finally in DISPOSAL/DECOMMISIONING( risk
of exposing different hazardous substances from raw materials used in
manufacturing solar cells to leas used in soldering cells together).I believe
solar cells are most dangerous at the end of their useful life.


Dike Nwabueze Chinedu.'s picture

They are not just dangerous at the end of their useful life, I beleive that they are most dangerous during the production/manufacturing stage. The danger of inhalation of such hazardous substances such as lead and that of polysilicon are of a great safety concern as many persons are invoved. You will agree with me that the probability that people invovled in the production line will be faced with this risk is high. The actual nature and extent of this pollution is hidden from the final consumer. In 2010, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition conducted a survey of manufacturing and found that solar manufacturers were using lead (a powerful neurotoxin), cadmiuim(a known carcinogen), and greenhouse gas Nitrogen triflouride in the creation of their products. Further, the process of manufacturing silicon solar panels require enormous amount of energy, which generally are supplied by oil and coal power plant. Because of inefficiencies in solar power generation, it requires more energy to make a solar panel than the panel can produce in its operational lifetime, frequently resulting in a net energy loss per solar panel and associated pollution in the production line.

...Engineering Sustainably.

Babawale Onagbola's picture

I'm afraid I slightly disagree with you. In the context of imminent danger to human life, infrastructure and collateral damage, solar panels are more dangerous at the end of their useful life and not during manufacture.

Manufacturing of these panels are carried out in high tech factories situated away from residential areas, bearing in mind the dangers of inhalation of hazardous substances with state of the art equipment/training to protect factory workers from these hazards. On the flip side, Suntech, the third largest solar manufacturer in the world has produced over 20million panels in use in over 80 countries around the world.

When these panels reach the end of their useful life, disposal methods avaialble are either they are heaped and dumped as toxic waste(where the hazardous materials like polysilicane used in production and others used in welding like lead can seep back into the earth contaminating water resources, soil hazards which could lead to long term problems in food production) or they are incenerated (where these same hazardous materials would be released back into the athmosphere). This is why governments around the world today are clamouring for solar manufacturers to look for ways to produce using less hazardous components AND to take responsibility for disposal at the end of life of panels.

So you would agree with me that as compared to the 20,000 or more workers being exposed to production hazards by the largest solar manufacturer in the world, it is nothing compared to the millions of people that would be affected if panels are disposed or decommissioned carelessly. 

 

 

In recent
years, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the world.
Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar panels.

I disagree will Babawale post as at what human cost are solar panels safe
to install and the pollutants they produce to manufacture. Yes solar panels are
a renewable energy sector growing at a fast rate, with millions of panels being
installed worldwide. It’s a clean alternative from fossil fuels and coal, pollutant
free with no carbon monoxide being produced, an endless supply as long as there
is sunlight.

The pollution from manufacturing solar panels is an area of content in, a
small village in
East
China’s Zhejiang Province claim the pollutants from the factory have killed
large volume of swath of fish in a nearby river.

Chen Hongming, a deputy head of Haining’s environmental protection
bureau, said the factory’s waste disposal had failed the pollution tests since
April.

To produce solar panels requires the production of pollutants in the environment,
solar panels consists of rare materials that require to be mined and processed
causing damage to the environment so where is the benefit, it comes as a cost
to produce. Is it a short term loss for a long term gain?

A report by the European Commission Joint Research Centre has identified
five rare earth metals in danger of shortages. Two of these materials are
required for solar energy development. Reference: The
Hidden Truth about Solar Energy | Suite101.com
http://suite101.com/article/the-hidden-truth-about-solar-energy-a397269#ixzz27z8C13rs

Solar panels
and installed on roof tops and require men and woman to work at height, each
year 30 Australian workers have fell to their death, including people being
electrocuted when coming into contact with power lines, the statistics are
still fresh and roofing is becoming more dangerous than mining.

‘Because of our propensity to put
panels on roofs, solar is in fact, far more dangerous than many forms of power
generation,  three times more dangerous than wind power and more than 10
times more dangerous than nuclear power, by comparison to the amount of power
produced’.

Figures from
USA show 50 people have already died installing 1.5 million solar panels which
is more than Chernobyl. Solar power may be safer to the environment but it come
at a high human cost to install and this doesn’t included the maintenance
upkeep as it currently new technology. It’s more dangerous than nuclear, even
after the disaster at the Fukushima reactor plant in Japan.

Reference: http://asiancorrespondent.com/54571/green-deaths-the-forgotten-dangers-of-solar-panels/

 

Alan
Benedetti

sotlog's picture

I am afraid that i have to disagree with your statament about solar panels are safe.As a chemical engineer i can tell tou that the majority of solar panels are composed by the chemical element of silicon.Silicon's composition cancause pollution.If the panels are not properly maintained, a hazardous byproduct can result from the silicon.While the solar energy is green, the materials that are ussed are not.Solar industry must also be convinced to use more sustainable materials because the toxic waste of silicon panels can cause serious dangers.

SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

Dike Nwabueze Chinedu.'s picture


CONTINUES
ASSESSMENT.


Discussion topic 5:
In recent years, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the
world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar
panels.

The earth is in constant supply of solar power of up
to 100,000TW, this is enough energy to meet the energy needs of the earth’s
population every hour. The solar radiation thus supplied to the earth can be
put to meaningful use by applying the concept/technology of photovoltaics (PV)
– converting solar radiation into direct electricity using semiconductors (monocrystalline
silicon,  polycrystalline silicon,
amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium
selenide/sulphide) that exhibit the photovoltaic effect and illuminating them
by photons [1].

Even though PV systems have been known to offer
plentiful energy, the cost of solar energy technology (SET) along the
production line in terms of environmental, accident and associated risk issues
is still high [1].

ENVIRONMENT
IMPACT FROM SOLAR THERMAL HEATING SYSTEM.

Only little amounts of the large quantity of
materials used for production of solar thermal (ST) systems are consumed during
their operation [2]. At the operation stage of solar panels, the safety concern
and exposure to hazards comes as a result environmental pollution from changing
the coolant. A good organizational safety policy/work practice can address this
problem [2].

Leakage of the coolant system can cause fire and
gases released from vapourised coolant all constitute a major health and
environmental safety issues [2].

Loss and changes to an existing ecosystem can also
result when large-scale deployment of solar panels is required [2]. Installation
of solar panels can cause water to leak from the roof and at installation, the
workman is faced with the risk of falling from the top of the roof [2].

The cost components associated with the accident
that may occur are those incurred before occupational injuries, at occurrence
of the accident and that spent on its prevention if properly identified [3].

The pollution associated with the transport and
manufacture of SET are also of considerable significance. Large deployment of
SET proves to have effect on health because of the emissions involved in
material processing, the chemicals involved in the batteries that are used as
well as the raw materials needed for their production [2]. Heat transfer fluids
such as water, oil and liquid sodium are involved in SET, accidental release of
any of these fluids can cause occupational hazard [2].

The equipment for solar energy conversion requires
solar cells which in turn require the use of heavy and rare earth metals, and
the risk of pollution is inherent in their mining, manufacture, construction
and disposal after the useful life of these assets.

On September 19, 2012, a village in eastern china
rioted against a local solar panel manufacturing firm for dumping harmful and
toxic chemicals into its river [4]. Thus, the illusion of green, clean energy
only transfers/exports environmental ruin and damage to countries/places where
the panels are manufactured. This can be classified as a form of risk control
strategy –risk transfer [3]
 


REFERENCES

[1] Abdul, W.B. Aqeel, A. B. Gholamreza, Z. (2012)
Greener energy: issues and challenges for Pakistan-solar energy prospective,
Renewable and sustainable energy reviews [online] vol. 16, (pp 2762-2780)
Available from:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032112001372  [Accessed 29 september 2012]

 [2]
Theocharis, T. Niki, F. Vassilis, G. (2005). Environmental impacts from the
solar energy technologies, Energy policy [online] vol 33, (pp 289-296).
Available from:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421503002416  [Accessed 29 September 2012]

[3] Sue, C. Robin , T (1998). Safety, Reliability
and Risk management: an integrated approach. Second edition,
Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

[4] 500 chinese villages protest solar plant
pollution. [Online] Available from:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw2qlYxeSj4&feature=relmfu [Accessed 29 September 2012]


Tony Morgan's picture

 Sorry tried to keep the words down but the first one needs something to bite on?? via background info then onto the debate points as below...........

Sorry about spacing too - not got the hang of the word editor thing for copy paste etc...

Ive went for number 2 although i believe No. 1 is..... Anybody agree ?

 

Background For Info -

What:
Chernobyl Nuclear
Meltdown

Where:
Chernobyl, Soviet Union
(now Ukraine)

When:
April 26,
1986

What happened:
An
unexpected surge in power during a routine safety check caused a rupture in the
plant reactor's fuel elements. A large explosion resulted and the reactor's fuel
rod's melted;
the graphite
covering the reactor

ignited and burned for more than a week.

Large amounts of radiation were released,
causing the deaths of more than 50 people and the permanent relocation of more
than 350,000 others. To date, it is the only nuclear accident that has been
classified a "major accident" by the International Atomic Energy
Agency.

The longterm impact:
According
to the
World Health
Organization
around 4,000
cases of thyroid cancer have been linked to the incident and around 5 million
people in the former Soviet Union have been affected by radiation from the
accident.

In the years following the explosion at the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant, there was an increase in malformations of
newly-born children in the Ukraine and Belarus. Many of these children were
subsequently abandoned by their parents and left in special-care institutions.
(Photo: Igor Kostin/Sygma/Corbis)

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/chernobyl-disaster#ixzz27o1q9xSs

Debate -

(1)What
were the physical/technical circumstances that led to the accident?

http://atomicinsights.com/1996/04/accident-at-chernobyl-caused-explosion.html

(2)What
were the main underlying causes?

Initial
equipment Design errors, could and should have been better !!!

(3)
Why did the accident result in: (i) So many fatalities; initial explosion
followed by 20 years of radiation effects.....30-50 died pretty directly or
within the year although could end up around 4000 in reality.....some have been
disputed/difficult to attribute to the accident ‘’
A particularly sad effect of the accident was that some physicians
in Europe advised pregnant women to undergo abortions on account of radiation
exposure, even though the levels concerned were vastly below those likely to
have teratogenic effects. The foetal death toll from this is likely very much
greater than directly from the accident.’’

Ref
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/index.html

(ii)
So much harm to the environment etc.??????

(4)
What factors contributed to the escalation of the accident?

HUMAN
FACTORS !!!

Poor
controls in place at time of accident, controls did not meet the circumstances

Procedural
confusion and acceptance criterias

Inadequate
strength of operators to STOP the JOB and simply defer to procedures/
supervisors.

Management
/ Political pressure

These
draw so many parallels with Piper Alpha ( which for any Aberdonian will be close
to home)

(


(5)
What were the legal consequences of the accident?

6 men
jailed – 33 years between them all from the operations/ management side of the
power plant.

No
designers / installers etc.???

Ref =
http://accidont.ru/ENG/trial.html

No.3 – Macondo ?

Kind
Regards

Tony
Morgan

Henry Tan's picture

The links you provided do not work. Please make your presentation cleaner. Thanks.

Tony Morgan's picture


Topic 1: Rank top ten severe accidents in energy sector - No. 2 – Chernobyl ( Truths and Exaggerations ?) 

Background For Info -


What:

Chernobyl Nuclear Meltdown


Where:

Chernobyl, Soviet Union (now Ukraine)


When:

April 26, 1986


What happened:

An unexpected surge in power during a routine safety check caused a rupture in
the plant reactor's fuel elements. A large explosion resulted and the reactor's
fuel rod's melted;
the graphite covering the reactor ignited and burned for
more than a week.


Large amounts of radiation were released, causing the deaths of more than
50 people and the permanent relocation of more than 350,000 others. To date, it
is the only nuclear accident that has been classified a "major
accident" by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


The longterm impact:

According to the
World Health Organization around 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer
have been linked to the incident and around 5 million people in the former
Soviet Union have been affected by radiation from the accident.


In the years following the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,
there was an increase in malformations of newly-born children in the Ukraine
and Belarus. Many of these children were subsequently abandoned by their
parents and left in special-care institutions. (Photo: Igor
Kostin/Sygma/Corbis)


Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/chernobyl-disaster#ixzz27o1q9xSs


Debate -


(1)What were the
physical/technical circumstances that led to the accident?


http://atomicinsights.com/1996/04/accident-at-chernobyl-caused-explosion.html


(2)What were the main
underlying causes?


Initial equipment Design
errors, could and should have been better !!! You would like to think that today's FEMECA and Risk review processes may have captured some of the issues which could have presented this failure.


(3) Why did the accident result
in: (i) So many fatalities; initial explosion followed by 20 years of radiation
effects.....30-50 died pretty directly or within the year although could end up
around 4000 in reality.....some have been disputed/difficult to attribute to
the accident ‘’
A particularly sad effect of the accident was that some
physicians in Europe advised pregnant women to undergo abortions on account of
radiation exposure, even though the levels concerned were vastly below those
likely to have teratogenic effects. The foetal death toll from this is likely
very much greater than directly from the accident.’’


Ref http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/index.html


(ii) So much harm to the
environment etc.??????

(4) What factors contributed to the escalation of the accident?


HUMAN FACTORS !!!


Poor controls in place at time of accident, controls did not meet the
circumstances


Procedural confusion and acceptance criterias


Inadequate strength of operators to STOP the JOB and simply defer to
procedures/ supervisors.


Management / Political pressure


These draw so many parallels with Piper Alpha ( which for any
Aberdonian will be close to home)


              


(5) What were the legal
consequences of the accident?


6 men jailed – 33 years between
them all from the operations/ management side of the power plant.


No
designers / installers etc.??? If this was today in the UK then our corporate manslaughter laws would surely have held some other parties than the main operators to account. However Russia pre-1990 was a bit of a law unto itself.


Ref = http://accidont.ru/ENG/trial.html


No.3 – Macondo / Deepwater Horizon? what do you say ?

regards

tony morgan 


Maria Christou's picture

To my mind, one of the most severe
accidents in energy sector occurred in 1984 at
the 
Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal. Toxic
gases, such as methyl isocyanate, leaked from the chemical factory when a large amount of water got into the MIC storage tank
raising the temperature and pressure. This poisonous gas escaped into the air
spreading over the city. Hundreds of people and animals were killed while other
people suffered from swollen eyes, frothing at
the mouth and breathing difficulties. Another consequence was the defoliation
of trees and the contamination of soil and lakes. After the accident the Union
Carbide factory was closed and three senior members of staff arrested due to
poor
safety and maintenance measures. Even today, chemicals left in the factory continue to leak and pollute the groundwater.

 

References:

·        
http://www1.american.edu/TED/bhopal.htm

·        
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

·        
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/3/newsid_2698000/2698709.stm

 

 

Craig Donaldson's picture

I would also agree that Bhopal is one of the worst
Industrial disasters in history because of the initial deaths and even more so for
those effected by related diseases and disfigurations. I find it strange that despite
the severity of this disaster it is often overlooked and left to the wayside
even by lecturers!

Now that the cause and consequence have been considered it
is important to look at the multitude of human errors made during the design of
the plant itself. These included the location of the plant which was chosen to
be near its working population with no thought given to a release of dangerous
chemicals. Also, the decision to store large amounts of MIC (which is an
intermediate) on site. Instead, a continuous process where only the required
amount for the next part of the process is made should have been employed. Obviously
this is the design decision which had the most consequence since a continuous process
would have had a very low MIC inventory. Others included the decision to
manually operate large parts of the plant and wrongly sized relief valves which
could not cope with conditions produced in the storage vessels. Furthermore,
the lack of skilled and/or knowledgeable operators only added to the confusion
when the event began to unfold.

Maria Christou's picture

Mr. Paul Mitchell , professor of the Energy Technologies course, mentioned
at his lecture that nuclear energy had extremely low global consumption from
1986 to 2011 compare to other sources of energy such as coal and oil .Moreover   Mr.
Henry Than said that nuclear energy has average only 0.04 deaths per TWh. If
nuclear energy is said to be the safest source of energy then why it is not
used more often? Indisputably
nuclear energy has a lot of benefits, it produces very low greenhouse gas
emissions, it has the lowest impact on the environment and nuclear power plants require significantly
less land for operation than all other energy sources to produce a large amount
of electricity. However the use of nuclear energy leads to a lot of risks.
Radioactive waste releases harmful radiation as it decays. Plus, accidents such
as
the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, the Chernobyl disaster
in 1986 and the Fukushima
nuclear disaster
in 2011 released radiation which had an
enormous impact on the humans and the environment. Furthermore, nuclear energy
is linked to nuclear weapons. To my mind, the disadvantages outweigh the
advantages and nuclear energy is not as safe as people used to believe, at
least not yet.

 

References:

·        
Lecture note of Mr. Paul Mitchell and Mr.
Henry Tan

·        
Article from ‘New York times ‘posted Sunday, September 30, 2012

·        
http://www.fi.edu/guide/wester/benefits.html

Kevin K. Waweru's picture

In the context of Global Warming due to Greenhouse Gas (CO2) Emissions, nuclear generated
power emits much less CO2 compared to other energy sources.

It has been shown by Vattenfall (a Swedish
Energy Company) that nuclear contributes less than 1% of the CO2 emissions from
fossil fuels (cited 2012-09-30, http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/WebHomeGreenhouseEmissionsOfNuclearPower).
Furthermore, Vattenfall claims its CO2 emissions from nuclear are also LOWER
than from its renewable energy sources.

Therefore, the argument on the safety of
nuclear generated energy also needs to take into account the impact on the environment
of the various energy sources in order to arrive at a more objective view.

Kevin K. Waweru

sotlog's picture

I am going to agree with you Maria and i would also say that we should not forget the accident of chernobyl which was classified as a level seven event on the international nuclear events scales(INES).In the accident of chernobyl 28 people died from illness considered to have been caused or aggravated by radiation exposure and two workers died from other causes.It was estimated by scientists that around four thousands people are going to die or have already due to the radiation.Furthermore,we should not forget the political situation in Iran and the reasons for which they do not accept to be checked by their nuclear programe.Nuclear energy is linked with nuclear weapons.Should not the goverments think it more seriously?

SOTIRIOS LONGINOS 

Samuel Bamkefa's picture

While nuclear power plants are designed to be safe in their operation and safe in the event of any malfunction or accident, no industrial activity can be represented as entirely risk-free. Incidents and accidents may happen, and as in other industries, will lead to progressive improvement in safety. (World Nuclear News, Sept 2012, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html)


From 1969 and 2000, nuclear energy industrial accidents have led to 31 fatalities (immediate) as compared to 16,505 for oil (World Nuclear News, Risk Statistics on energy, http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=28325). On a comparative level based on statistics of fatalities, nuclear energy can be said to be safe with respect to other energy sources. Although nuclear energy has shown to be safe on the statistics side, it does not enjoy a good ‘feeling of safety’. This can be traced to the potential severity of accidents, limited layman understanding about the mechanics of radiation as well as the statistics of incidences and that the fact that the destructive agent is ‘invisible and impalpable’.


However, fatalities are not the only measure of safety. The detriment to the environment must also be considered. Among other impacts that it can have on the region, plant commissioning in a region causes impairment of aesthetic, recreational and natural conservation values and also significantly lowers the value of the surrounding property (M. Sprangler, "Environmental and Social Issues of Site Choice for Nuclear Power Plants," Energy Policy 2, 18 (1974)).


However, my view is that the usage of nuclear energy should be accompanied by well regulated systems to check external influences on power plants. This would include a high level of security in and around regions where nuclear plants are located, low susceptibility of those areas to natural disasters (Fukushima incident was caused by an earthquake), etc) and well as accident effect mitigation (e.g. emergency response system). These would serve to reduce likelihood and severity of accident. All these should be accompanied with proper education of people on the important things to note about the safety of nuclear power

 

Samuel Bamkefa


Showing fatal accidents in nuclear industry does not show
the overall relativity and impact of nuclear events on the environment and the
human’s quality of life. The number of incidents/ accidents/lost of life do
show is directly from a nuclear incidents but the illness and deaths that are
associated with nuclear energy are not.


Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have both far reaching
consequences from there incidents. Nuclear contamination of food and water and
can be effect the life of thousands people and far reaching areas and even
ecosystem with nuclear particles from Chernobyl disaster found in Wales and
U.S.A. The effects that nuclear accidents have had Cancer and other long term
illnesses associated with nuclear radiation which might not be considered in
these statistics e.g 4000 people have died from cancer due to Chernobyl.


When justifying the safety of an energy source a wide range
of information needs to be considered beyond the number of incidents, accident
and deaths because it can give misleading information about the full
consequences about safety and the environment about nuclear energy.


James Parry
MSc Subsea Engineering


Showing fatal accidents in nuclear industry does not show
the overall relativity and impact of nuclear events on the environment and the
human’s quality of life. The number of incidents/ accidents/lost of life do
show is directly from a nuclear incidents but the illness and deaths that are
associated with nuclear energy are not.


Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have both far reaching
consequences from there incidents. Nuclear contamination of food and water and
can be effect the life of thousands people and far reaching areas and even
ecosystem with nuclear particles from Chernobyl disaster found in Wales and
U.S.A. The effects that nuclear accidents have had Cancer and other long term
illnesses associated with nuclear radiation which might not be considered in
these statistics e.g 4000 people have died from cancer due to Chernobyl.


When justifying the safety of an energy source a wide range
of information needs to be considered beyond the number of incidents, accident
and deaths because it can give misleading information about the full
consequences about safety and the environment about nuclear energy.


James Parry
MSc Subsea Engineering

Babawale Onagbola's picture


In my opinion, wind energy possesses more “cons” than “pros”
as regards being one of the cleaner energy sources. I’ll explain. As against
the “pros” of wind energy which is basically its reputation as one of the cleaner
methods available to harness energy, its “cons” are countless. Firstly in the
transportation of the bulky components (blades, poles, high voltage equipment) required
to set up wind farms, many accidents have been recorded to public infrastructure,
homes, electricity poles. Another point is the nuisance the aerodynamic noise
from the blades and mechanical noise from machinery cause to individuals who
are unlucky to close to wind farms. In fact this has led some governments in
the world to set up policies forbidding wind farms to be set up in close
proximity to residential areas (Australia) or governments giving individuals
veto powers to influence setting up of wind turbines around them(New Zealand).
The most dangerous of the cons is a phenomenon known as” ice-throw” which
usually occurs in areas of harsh weather conditions where ice formed on wind blades
can be thrust at high speeds up to distances of 200metres and impact on humans
are usually fatal. Finally and the most common of the cons is the harm posed to
the bird species and in principle the ecosystem, rare and uncommon species of
birds are wiped out yearly due to wind turbine operations. In conclusion, while
I am a proponent for cleaner alternatives to harnessing energy, wind energy for
me has caused too many accidents/fatalities in relation to the meagre 6% of the
total electricity demands in Europe it provides (www.euobserver.com). Take a
look at the accident statistics for wind energy here - http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm


What do you think?


Olamide s Ajala's picture

Nothing is perfectly safe. Chasing perfection can cause us to ignore just improving and trading worse for a lot better. Non-roof installations of solar is safer than roof installation. Nuclear, wind, solar and hydro are a lot safer than coal and oil. Natural gas is safer but not as much as nuclear and those others. The focus needs to be on getting rid of the most dangerous energy sources which are coal and oil first.  Safety and improvements for all energy sources should be made as we go,meaning it is a continous process due to  technological advances day in day out.
from the link below, it can be seen that death/TWh of wind energy is very low despites its mentioned disadvantages[1].


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VyTCyizqrHs/R9rF7NuGzXI/AAAAAAAAAPw/KcnCX7ly6g...

One of the greatest advantages is that it is ample. Secondly, it is renewable. Some other advantages are that it is widely distributed, cheap, and also helps in reducing toxic gas emissions. It is also advantageous over traditional methods of creating energy, in the sense that it is getting cheaper to produce it. It may soon be the cheapest way to produce energy on a large-scale.
 With the continuous decrease in the natural resources of the world, wind energy, along with solar and water energy can very well be future sources of energy for mankind[2].

Simply put, renewable energy resources won’t run out while non-renewable resources will. Examples of non-renewable resources are oil, gas, coal and nuclear power. Once we’ve used up all the oil, coal and uranium stored in our earth they will not replenish, at least not for many thousands or millions of years. Renewable sources of energy often derive their power from the natural motions and phenomena on Earth, like currents, wind and sunlight and can therefore be used again and again without ever running out. .
Therefore, we should concentrate on developing technology that will utilize this renewable sources of energy to generate energy using ALARP principle.[3]

References
1 http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.htmhl
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/advantages-disadvantages-wind-energy.html
3 http://www.beluga.is/default

Olamide Sherifah Ajala
Student ID:51230562
Course:Sub sea Engineering
olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

Toby Stephen's picture

I agree with much of what was written by Olamide, particularly regarding placing an emphasis on the development of renewable energy solutions, but my question is where is this going to come from? Just look at our MSc class for example and how the number of Oil & Gas and Subsea student dwarfs the amount of Renewables students (six if I recall correctly). People love to appear in favour of renewable technologies (myself included albeit ironically given that I'm one of the aforementioned Oil & Gas students), but how many of these people actively 'practice what they preach' by using solar panels at home or walking/riding to uni or work?

If you were to ask the average person in the street if they were in favour of renewable energies then it wouldn't surprise me if 100% answered 'yes', although at what cost? There are already ways for people to actively reduce their CO2 emissions but if this means having to forgoe a certain lifestyle or luxury, then this would truly determine one's loyalty to renewable technologies. Herein lies the dichotomy, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone completely against renewables altough not many people are willing to make the required lifestyle sacrifices to accommodate it.

 

--

Toby Stephen

MSc Oil & Gas Engineering

Craig Donaldson's picture

Yes Toby I reckon you are probably right in that most people in principle would be in favour of renewables but this is where the term NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) has gained extra traction in recent years. Most people are supportive of renewables as long as they never have to see, hear or have anything to do with them. This wasn't as important for power plants even if they do tend to be an eyesore because not many are actually required, however to produce enough useable energy both wind and solar require large areas of land to be taken over for their respective technologies. I have to be honest here and admit that I don't think I would like a large wind turbine in my back garden but as long as it is out of earshot then I actually don't mind the look of them. However, a rather extreme case which is applicable to us here in Aberdeen and highlights some peoples dislike of wind farms is the wind farm proposal off the coast of Donald Trump's new golf course (1). Donald Trump strongly objects the wind farms and states that they would ruin the view from his golf course and even started a campaign against renewable energy in Scotland! As the article states this is a chance for the government to show us that they understand what really matters to this country.


1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/24/donald-trump-wind-tu...

Toby Stephen's picture

Completely agree but herein lies the problem - people are willing to throw their unequivocal support behind renewables (with the exception of Donald Trump) but don't want to see, hear, have anything to do with it nor pay for it. I think it will take a bold move, whether it be by the Government or private sector, to make a statement and really attempt to build impetus for renewable technologies. More and more small steps toward environmental compliance are becoming a reality, for example being able to 'buy' carbon offsets on a plane (which is rumoured to be a scam in [1]), yet nobody will fully commit to renewables at the expense of business.

Further, James Lovelock raises an interesting discussion point in [2] which feeds into the fracking discussion by stating that renewable technologies (wind turbines included) are at present "largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant" and that "fracking buys us some time, and we can learn to adapt". While this only demonstrates a short-term solution, the question must be asked: are renewables (whether now, in 10, 50, even 100 years) able to match our energy demands? If so, at what social and economic cost? If not, how do we effectively use them to subsidise our energy demands until a better solution is found?

 

[1] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/08/carbon-offsets-scam/

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/15/james-lovelock-intervi...

--

Toby Stephen
MSc Oil & Gas Engineering

leighmoreton's picture

Leigh Moreton
MSc Renewable Energy

Olamide s Ajala's picture

 safety consideration in wave energy system


Wave energy is rapidly
emerging as one of the best means of harnessing energy from the ocean.

Wave
energy is renewable energy source with completely free energy where no fuel is
needed and there is no problem with emissions and/or waste like with some other
energy sources.

Wave power has very big
potential, and can produce more than significant amount of energy (the useful
deep water wave power resources have been estimated to be greater than 2 TW).
Also, once wave energy projects are built they are not very expensive to
operate and maintain.

 Despite that there is no problem with emission
, There is a potential impact on the marine environment.

Noise pollution, for
example, could have negative impact if not monitored, although the noise and
visible impact of each design varies greatly. Other biophysical impacts (flora
and fauna, sediment regimes and water column structure and flows) of scaling up
the technology are being studied.

 In terms of socio-economic challenges, wave
farms can result in the displacement of commercial and recreational fishermen
from productive fishing grounds, can change the pattern of beach sand
nourishment, and may represent hazards to safe navigation. Waves generate about
2,700 gigawatts of power. Of those 2,700 gigawatts, only about 500 gigawatts
can be captured with the current technology.

Therefore,there is need to
but safety practices in place to monitor the generation and use of these system

 References

Olamide Sherifah Ajala
Student ID:51230562
Course:Sub sea Engineering
olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

Olamide s Ajala's picture

safety consideration in wave energy systems
Wave energy is rapidly emerging as one of the best means of harnessing energy from the ocean.
Wave energy is renewable energy source with completely free energy where no fuel is needed and there is no problem with emissions and/or waste like with some other energy sources [1].


Wave power has very big potential, and can produce more than significant amount of energy (the useful deep water wave power resources have been estimated to be greater than 2 TW). Also, once wave energy projects are built they are not very expensive to operate and maintain.


Despite that there is no problem with emission, there is a potential impact on the marine environment.
Noise pollution for example, could have negative impact if not monitored, although the noise and visible impact of each design varies greatly. Other biophysical impacts (flora and fauna, sediment regimes and water column structure and flows) of scaling up the technology are being studied.


 In terms of socio-economic challenges, wave farms can result in the displacement of commercial and recreational fishermen from productive fishing grounds, can change the pattern of beach sand nourishment, and may represent hazards to safe navigation. Waves generate about 2,700 gigawatts of power. Of those 2,700 gigawatts, only about 500 gigawatts can be captured with the current technology[2].


Therefore there is need to put safety practices in place to monitor the generation and use of these system.


References
1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power.
2) http://www.ehow.com/list_6960521_safety-concerns-wave-energy-systems.html By Debbie mcrill.

Olamide Sherifah Ajala
Student ID:51230562
Course:Sub sea Engineering
olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

oseghale lucas okohue's picture

Shale fracking is a secondary method of boosting the reservoir production. It opens up the pore spaces of the reservoir their by increasing  the permeability of fluid flow within the reservoir.Typically it entails pumping of 3 to 5 million gallons of water, mixed with sand and fractional amounts of chemical additives into the wellhead at high pressure, thereby creating cracks in the rock beds which open up the pore spaces. The hydraulic fracturing mixture is basically 95 percent water, 4.5 percent sand and 0.5 percent chemical additives formulated to promote gelling and cleaning.  Many of the additives used in fracturing fluids are ingredients in common household goods, such as candy, soaps, and ice-cream. These additives are mostly environment friendly. The only thing that needs to be properly documented by law here is the reservoir depth at which the fracking operation should be allowed to be carried out. I am of the opinion that shale fracking should not be banned since it aids production but a legislative regulation should be put in place to check ascertain the depth that could be fracked. i.e greater than 9000fts, without causing earth quake occurance or hazard to our future generation.

JOHN BOSCO ALIGANYIRA's picture


Discussion Topic 6: Discuss safety in wind energy.


Unlike fossil power sources, wind energy consumes
no fuel and does not  emit  air pollutants.  It  is
thus environmentally friendly.


There are however safety issues associated with
wind energy and a number of cases have been reported over the past years for
example the German turbine fire, catastrophic Danish turbine accident
(22/02/2008) and Ardrossen wind firm fire (8 December 2011) among others. Some
accidents have affected workers transporting, erecting and maintaining the
turbines. Wild life fatalities have also been reported. Collision of flying  Bats and Birds with wind turbines results in
many fatalities.


Wind turbines also emit noise as they rotate
(aerodynamic noise of blades) which may have severe impacts on the human ears
especially if the turbines are located near homes. The materials used for
making wind turbines like steel concrete and aluminium are at times heavy and
pose risks of the turbines falling off leading to death especially during heavy
winds. Wind power is also un reliable in freezing temperatures  because ice formation on turbines blades
could have a serious impact on the operation efficiency of the turbines thus it
is important to study the weather patterns of 
a given area before considering this technology. Metallic materials are
used during the manufacture of wind turbine blades hence there are risks of
lightning strikes leading to turbines shedding apart of the blade or the whole
blade (mechanical failure).


Oscillating shadows due to rotating blades leads
to optical disturbances of residents thus wind turbines/ farms need to be
isolated from houses, streets, roads where the population is high to ensure
safety. Wind turbines are also prone to fires especially if not well maintained,
overheating could occur due to expired lubricants and stressed bearings.


Offshore wind turbines may also pose some safety
risks to boats and ships thus proper safety measures need to be in place.


In conclusion, I think wind energy is a better
alternative as opposed to fossil fuels provided the above associated risks are
put in consideration while designing and installing wind turbines.


Regards,


John Bosco Aliganyira


Msc.Oil and Gas Eng.


 


References:


http://www.britishwindenergy.co.uk/ Add to e-Shelf           


Wind energy systems for electric power generation  by M. Stiebler , 2008  


Advances in wind energy and conversion technology Sathyajith Mathew; Geeta
Susan Philip; , 2011.


Abdulazeez Bello's picture


How safe are solar panels placed on the roof? 

The use of
Solar panels as energy source is one form of renewable energy that is fast
becoming an alternative to the way we generate electricity in our homes .It is
clean [1] and cheap [2].These solar panels can be rooftop mounted or ground
mounted. The panels on the roof themselves are safe. The risk or danger arises
when installing or maintaining them on the roofs. Available data has shown that
the number of deaths per year from roofers is on the increase [3]. Another source
of concern is hazards caused by electric shock [4].
The risk involved needs to be properly managed to reduce incidents. A detailed
risk assessment is needed and an updated legislation put in place.


 While pollutions attributed to solar panel
(PV) are mostly in the production of the photovoltaic cells but not in the use
of the panel itself [5]. These panels can be used for at least 20-30 years
without contributing CO2 emission to the environment.  And are recycled after decommissioning [6]

REFERENCE

[1]. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5448909


[2]. Ahammed, “Case Study Applications of
Solar PV on Rural development in Bangladesh,”    
Journal of Rural and Community Development, vol.3, pp.93-103, 2008
.


[3] http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hub/Most_Dangerous_Jobs


[4] http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/research/fftacticssolarpower.pdf


[5]http://www.civilsocietyinstitute.org/media/pdfs/091912%20Hidden%20Costs%20of%20Electricity%20report%20FINAL2.pdf


[6] http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/28331/ceres-and-pvc-recycling-to-offer-module-recycling-in-europe-and-north-america/


Menelaos Michelakis's picture

Piper Alpha disaster. Why so many fatalities ?Topic : Rescue men drowned trying to save others.I would like to initiate the talk about the Piper Alpha disaster although there are already posts. It is an accident that happened on a North Sea platform and costed the lives of many people not to mention that the platform was completely destroyed. I will examine the accident by the aspect of fatalities first, adding something that has not been discussed in the class. So i shall add information and try to judge the conditions that led to such losses. Death's toll was extremely high - 167 people. Here i will add a detail. These people were not all of them working on the platform. A small number of them was working on the rescue fleet that came to help those that had probably survived. No matter how many these people were they increase the number of fatalities. How can that be explained by the aspect of safety ? Probably those who came to help were not adequately trained for such a hard duty - North Sea is extremely dangerous in winter, five waves is not a rare phenomenon  - or were not experienced enough. Your comments please.

Ref : '' Offshore engineering - An introduction'' (Angus Mather)

oseghale lucas okohue's picture

 In recent years, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the
world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar
panels.
I am of the opinion that  solar energy is unsafe to the environment  here are my reasons . Firstly solar energy is generated by nuclear fusion within the sun. The process operates on the very same basic laws of nuclear physics used in nuclear power plants and atomic bombs. This source of energy is basically hydrogen, a highly explosive gas (remembering  the Hindenberg?) Hydrogen is also the active material in H-bombs, that are not only tremendously destructive, but produce dangerous fallout.Presently  we are already subject to a natural `background' radiation from the sun. We can do little about that, except to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. The evidence is already clear that too much exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer. But solar collectors would concentrate that sunlight (that otherwise would have fallen harmlessly on waste land), convert it to electricity and pipe it into our homes to irradiate us from every light bulb! We would then not even be safe from this cancer-producing energy even in our own homes!We all know that looking at the sun for even a few seconds can cause blindness. What long term health hazards might result from reading by light derived from solar energy? We now spend large amounts of time looking at the light from television monitors or computer screens, and one can only imagine the possible long-term consequences of this exposure when the screens are powered with electricity from solar collectors. Will we develop cataracts, or slowly go blind?Possible fire hazards of solar energy can also result. Sunlight reaching us directly from the sun at naturally safe levels poses little fire threat. But all one has to do is concentrate sunlight, with a simple burning- glass, and it readily ignites combustible materials. Who would feel safe with solar energy concentrators on their roof? Could we afford the fire insurance rates?Presently solar energy has the potential to release more than 2.4 million tons of lead pollution in China and India, countries heavily involved in lead mining, smelting, battery manufacturing and recycling. Lead poisoning can cause damage to the central nervous system, the kidneys, the cardiovascular system, and the reproductive system.

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/08/31/Solar-power-brings-lead-pollution-threat/UPI-81811314829387/#ixzz27zVuEHx2http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/08/31/Solar-power-brings-lead-pollution-threat/UPI-81811314829387/#ixzz27zVCOySFhttp://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/solar.htmName: Oseghale Lucas OkohueStudent ID:  51231724Course: Subsea Engineering

Babawale Onagbola's picture

I am afraid i disagree with your analysis on "cancer producing energy" as it related to light bulbs and displays of telvisions and monitors. The working phenomenon of an electric lightbulb is that it takes just enough electric current to make a piece of metal(tungsten filament) glow brightly enough to give out visible light yet not get so hot that it melts and breaks. What i am driving at is that the bulb just like any other electrical equipment TAKES IN ELECTRIC CURRENT to function. In order not to go into elctrical jargons, please look at http://www.imagesco.com/articles/photovoltaic/photovoltaic-pg4.html to see the how solar panels generate eletricity. My point is that regardless of the form of energy- solar,wind, fossil fuel etc, what happens is that it is electrons carrying charges that produce the electricity in lightbulbs or tv monitors therefore your point about solar powered lightbulbs and tv monitors being "more dangerous" is debatable. Individuals are exposed to equal risks from staring at tv screens or reading with lightbulbs rgardless of the means of electricity generation. The risks associated with solar panels have been summarized by many colleagues today, i do not think there is a "curse" or added risk associated with elctrical equipment powered by solar panels.

ikenna_ekekwe's picture

If the Piper Alpha disaster occurred today, discuss the current safety legislative regime that will apply

The public enquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster by Lord Cullen lead to a review of the existing prescriptive legislation of the 1971 minerals working act in which the DoE regulated offshore Health and Safety to a more goal setting legislative environment in which an independent Health and Safety executive had the responsibility for offshore Health and Safety.

The current offshore safety legislative regime (Safety Case Regulations) were introduced in 1992 as a result of the recommendation from Lord Cullen's report on the public enquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster with an objective of preventing major accidents. The recommendation stated that "the operator should be required by regulation to submit to the regulatory body a safety case in respect to each of iots installations...". By this, the operator of an offshore instalation had to compile a report that described the processes, identified hazards, risk evaluations ans stipulated ALARP measures on each of its installations. This new legislation allowed offshore installation operators to tailor the necessary risk reduction measures to the particular hazards on their installations whilst independently taking advantage of latest technological advancements.

The 1992 Safety Case Regulations have since been ammended because there was an agreement when they came into place that they would be reviewed every decade (10 years) taking into account, the lessons learned from that decade. The Safety Case Regulation is also supported by some other goal setting legislation such as: Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction) Regulations 1996; Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995; and Offshore Instalations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995. The current ammendment now includes a requirement for the verification of the safety critical elements of an installation by an ICP (Independent and Competent Person).

This current ICP verification of safety critical elements forms the Formal Safety Assessment studies in which the HAZID is a main element. in the HAZID sessions, risk levels for each identified hazard are determined using operator risk matrix while considering all proposed safeguards. Based on consequences, possible Major Accident Events are identified and where safeguards are not decided, recommendations are recorded.

Ekekwe Ikenna

michael saiki's picture

 

Dr Tan you have pointed out a critical part of this argument and that is that majority of the scare is  “feelings of safety rather than Statistics of Safety" Globally today, the most heated debate on the Energy sector is on Nuclear Energy

However, if we look at peoples fear critically, it is mostly on the potential danger facing humanity if Violent Terrorist organisation have access to harnessing this energy.

 http://nci.org/nci-nt.htm The September 11 Incident is a wakeup call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNNTcHq5Tzk Nuclear Terrorism is perhaps the greatest threat to global security http://nuclearterrorism.tv/wordpress/

So, Credible National and international Governments should develop Policies, Legislation and Control measures to properly utilize this immense Energy Potential

Michael Saiki

Henry Tan's picture

Safety engineering and risk management can be a global issue. This is an interesting topic.
Anyone want to elaborate more on this?

Olamide s Ajala's picture

Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives, whether positive or negative) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events[1] or to maximize the realization of opportunities.


Risks can come from uncertainty in financial markets, project failures (at any phase in design, development, production, or sustainment life-cycles), legal liabilities, credit risk, accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as deliberate attack from an adversary, or events of uncertain or unpredictable root-cause.


An example of risk management in engineering design is given in the link below:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/ISS_impact_risk.jpg


safety is  key to all engineering design in order to optimize the effeciency of the structure by containing failure.
Therefore,it is a common practice to plan for the failure of safety systems through containment and isolation methods.

For example,the use of isolating valves, also known as the block and bleed manifold, is very common in isolating pumps, tanks, and control valves that may fail or need routine maintenance. The goal of all containment systems is to provide means of mitigating the consequences of failure.


safety designs in engineering and risk management are inseperable,interwoven and are very crucial to the success of any project or system.


Global crises or issues such as Deep water Horizon(2010) disaster,Piper Alpha(1988),Flixborough(1974)  have been attributed to failure of safety engineering designs as well poor risk management techniques among other factors.


It will rarely be possible to eliminate risks entirely. All life involves some risk, and any innovation brings risk as well as reward – so the priority must be to manage risks better by ensuring safety designs in engineering in other to reduce global issues to as low as reasonable practicable.


Reference
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_management
 

Olamide Sherifah Ajala
Student ID:51230562
Course:Sub sea Engineering
olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

Babawale Onagbola's picture

I agree that the fear of this vast energy source being controlled by terrorists is what fuels the feelings of safety of the general public opinion, but I dont think this is the only arguement against nuclear energy. Simply put, the world is yet to find a suitable means of disposing nuclear waste (and this includes the security of this waste as wel as they can be used in production of nuclear weapons). Nuclear waste is hard to store,very expnsive to look after, hard to transport, stays around for thousands of years and because of its highly radioactiv nature, must be handled with extreme care. In addition to these dynamics, there's also the issue of the environment around where nuclear waste woud be stored which must be crefully considered. I read that the US has accumulatd over 50,000 metric tonnes of nucler waste currently being stored at individual reactor sites as the proposal to build a central repository (Yucca) pegged at over 90billion dollars was terminated by the present administration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository

My question is, if we consider the time frame for building a new nuclear reactor (between over 5years at least), the HUGE costs invoved (very capital intensive), the depletion of Uranium(main nuclear fuel used) and the headache of disposal of nuclear waste - it makes me wonder why the governments of the world bother. Should we not be focusing(funds and science) on developing renewable forms of energy  rather than dealing with the mind boggling headaches of nuclear energy.

FELIXMAIYO's picture

Discussion Topic 2: Is nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?

 

Despite the many negative effects nuclear energy has on
human and environment ranging from nuclear accidents e.g. Fukushima nuclear
plant that resulted in many fatalities and also the various wastes it releases
to the environment e.g. radioactive wastes.

On the positive side of using nuclear energy, Nuclear energy
is a clean burning source of energy. It has helped in reducing the amount of
carbon dioxide released into the ozone, helping to reduce global warming.
Nuclear energy is derived from the nuclear fission which can be used as
substitute for the use of the CFC’s. This is achieved by replacing carbon
emitting plants will nuclear power plants. This will reduce the amount of
carbon dioxide emitted to the environment hence reduction of the effect of
global warming on the environment.

“A report
by Manchester University claims nuclear power could contribute significantly to
reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the UK but not without consequences”. Read more:

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/energy-and-environment/news/research-claims-nuclear-power-could-help-to-reduce-emissions/1011168.article#ixzz27zUPVqOx

 

//www.freeinfosociety.com/images/science/nuclearenergy3.jpg

                                                

                                            
Carbon Dioxide Reduction

“This shows that if the world continues to produce carbon emissions at
the current rate, the climates around the world will be affected and many
problems arise due to the idea of Global warming.”

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/site.php?postnum=3115

FELIX MAIYO

 

Soseleye F. Ideriah's picture

 

Ocean waves provide a clean source of energy with many
advantages:  no pollution emissions,
decentralised production, energy independence, development of remote locations,
employment creation and much more.

Wave energy is an emerging clean energy source, with a
global theoretical energy production potential of over 100,000 TWh/year;
however, there are some safety concerns.

Impact on Marine Life:
Many marine species rely on Earth’s magnetic fields for migrating or searching
for food. Wave energy facilities are large-scale industrial projects containing
heavy structures placed on the seafloor, suspended in mid-water, and floating
on the surface, which can generate substantial electromagnetic fields. There is
a perception amongst environmental activists that these facilities have the potential
to affect marine life. However impact levels are currently unknown with research
still in early stages (for example, UK scientists will measure the effect on marine
environment and wildlife of devices that harness tide and wave energy using
sonar technology that has, for the first time, been successfully deployed on
the seabed). Also, the deployment of structures in a previously clear area
brings the risk of collision and/or entanglement of animals; primarily the
larger fish, the seabirds and the marine mammals.

Shipping Lanes Safety:
Because of their large nature, wave energy generators may cause problems with
commercial shipping and other boats in the ocean. To address this safety
concern, wave devices will be required to have warning equipment, such as
signals, radar, reflectors and lights.

Ecological Impact: Although
the generators cause no pollution once constructed, accidental hydraulic fluid
leaks can cause a major environmental problem. Also, when installing a wave
device or removing an old one, marine ecosystems may be impacted4.

 

References

·        
Ocean Energy; renewableenergy.no: http://www.renewable.no/sitepageview.aspx?sitePageID=1083

·        
Brian Tissot & Mark Hixon: Protecting sea
life: New marine reserves, wave energy a bad mix for Oregon (http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/12/protecting_sea_life_new_marine.html)

·        
Science Daily: First Seabed Sonar to Measure
Marine Energy Effect on Environment and Wildlife (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710132853.htm)

·        
Safety Concerns for Wave Energy Systems |
eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6960521_safety-concerns-wave-energy-systems.html#ixzz27zXaUKDk

 

chukwuemeka uzukwu's picture


For a technology to be widely accepted, it must be designed
to be economically feasible and environmentally friendly. The use of nuclear power
puts our environment at risk. Such risks can be attributed to the processing,
transportation and storage of radioactive nuclear waste. The nuclear power
technology can not only be used for energy generation but also for the
manufacture of nuclear weapons i.e. atomic bombs. This however can lead to
terrorism if this technology falls into the wrong hands.


They have been some serious nuclear accidents in the past
e.g. chernobyl disaster of 1986, the fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster, which
till date remains the worst nuclear accident. Though it can be argued that the
fukushima accident was largely caused by natural disasters (Tohoku earthquake
and the tsunami); nuclear reactors are very complex and should something
unnatural goes wrong, the outcome will be catastrophic.

http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0810/pdf/climate.2008.99.pdf


Angelos Hadjiantoni's picture

Taking in consideration the previous posts from my classmates, my opinion is that wind power (either offshore or onshore) can be a safe source of energy as long as
there is a constant development of new safety measures while learning from the past.

Many will argue that accidents have increased during the last decade as shown by Figure 1.

 Accidents in year

Figure 1: Annual accidents statistics

This is a fact but let us not forget that also the number of installed wind turbines has also increased.

Scotland, New Zealand and Australia are some of the countries that are working on rules to protect the public from possible wind turbines failures like blade failures.
By law the construction of wind farms will be allowed only if there is a minimum distance of 2km from houses and occupied areas.

Although this will be a very important safety measure it will not actually prevent mechanical failures from happening. Thus Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should create
new safety rules for the workers who work at the construction site and also regular service and maintenance schedules.

Laws that set a lower maximum noise level should be proposed like the Ontario Government in Canada did. They set the max noise level from 40db to 30-32bd for offshore
installations.

In this waymore research and development will improve the overall design and performance of the turbines.

Regarding the bird fatalities, research should be made whether the proposed location for a wind farm is on a route of migrating birds in order to minimize the risk of birds’
collisions.

Finally natural disasters are unpredictable and when they happen the consequences are unknown.  Maybe tougher test will make the structures more prone to extreme situations but this will result in higher costs.

Concluding, I believe that wind energy has potentials to become a safer energy source as long as there is constant research and control from organisations like HSE.

 

Source:

http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm

Angelos Hadjiantonis
Course: MSc Renewable Energy

leighmoreton's picture

I agree here with you Angelos, Wind energy, like all other forms of energy generation is currently under-development and is therefore due to have many reported incidents as they develop new and more efficient methods of energy production.  Compared to some technologies which have been around a lot longer, wind energy is fairly new to the 'mass market' of energy production, so there is not as much experience in the sector, there are bound to be a few 'teething troubles' at the start.  As I mentioned in an earlier post about achieving 100% safety, by mohamed.elkiki, the best way for us to achieve a high level of safety in ANY energy sector is to document any mistakes made in development of projects and develop plans to avoid or handle the issues that arise.

For example there used to be a lot of claims made by companies which had workers falling from heights, such as ladders.  As a result the Working at heights regulations 2005 have been developed, outlining the measures that people should take to avoid injuring themselves when working at heights[1].  Slightly off topic there I apologise.

Basically I feel that whilst developing/improving a technology there are going to be some issues and the safety as new methods are attempted, we can only develop plans to help avoid or reduce the consequenses that arise. 

Leigh Moreton
MSc Renewable Energy

ikenna_ekekwe's picture

Discuss safety in wind energy

With wind farms on the rise, there still isnt any conclusive evidence so far that they are responsible for health or safety problems associated with areas where they are situated. Wind farms have been touted for their ability to produse clean renewable energy.

However, despite the absence of hydrocarbon or chemical risks associated with the Oil and Gas industry, wind farms are begining to run into fierce opposition throughout the world as residents have cited the noise pollution from the swooshing of the blades as a factor in vestibular problems affecting the inner ear and balance. According to Dr. Christopher Nanning, the wind turbine syndrome also includes sleep problems, irritability, and depression. The variable audible noise results in frequent awakenings or arousals, which may not be remembered. The disruption of sleep prevents the proper laying down and storage of memory. It is also associated with an increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Arousals during slow wave sleep may trigger parasomnias (sleepwalking, night terrors).

According to the Energy Advocate, November 2010, the upper limits of allowable sound measured 100ft in front of a locomotive is 98 dB(A). The average 1.8 mW wind turbine generates 95.6 dB(A), 10m above the ground at the tower at a wind speed of 4 m/s. At wind speeds greater than 8 m/s, the sound level from the wind turbine rises to 103.5 dB(A). From the statistics, there should be no case of noise pollution associated with wind turbines, yet the noise from them is reported to be more annoying than noise from airplanes, roadways and railways. This is because the sound from wind turbines has very high levels of low frequency sound (infrasound) which is inaudible to the normal human ear. The assumption that humans are unaffected by sounds they can't hear is incorrect as the outer hair cells of the cochlea are stimulated by sounds as low in intensity as 40 dB(A). Infrasound has been developed and used in Sweden as a nonlethal weapon for crowd control during riots.

Technically taking a closer look at the structural design of wind turbines, there are possible hazards of construction errors, flaws and hitches. Due to the size of the rotor blades, basic concrete foundations could suffer from strains. Vibrations and load changes could also cause fracture. There have been incidents over the years of fragments of broken rotor blades landing on highways and the tall turbines folding due to wind.

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/wind-turbines-and-health-hazards/

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-08-24/the-dangers-of-wind-powerbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2011/07/05/health-hazards-of-wind-turbines/

Ekekwe Ikenna

ikenna_ekekwe's picture

Is nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?

Hello class

This discussion topic seems to be the hottest and most commented topic in this continous assessment blog. However, not many people have thrown real light on whether nuclear power is safe or not.

Before anybody can authoritatively state if nuclear power is safe or not, the person has to tell us the step by step process of generating nuclear power and also identify all the risks associated with each step while stating the impact of not mitigating such a risk properly. For e.g. you need a radioactive source...what happens if it is not transported securely or in the right containment. In nuclear power generation, you are dealing with high pressure steam. Somebody should compare what we have in a nuclear power plant with what we have in other plants. Imagine the impact of a blow-out. You can also take a look at the nuclear waste management aspect in the event that it is poorly managed.

This topic should be addressed from a perspective of environmental impact, health, injury to personnel, asset loss, etc.

Thanks

Ekekwe Ikenna

victor.adukwu's picture


Is nuclear power safe
for humans and the environment?


3. Nuclear power plants are
designed to withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, and other extreme events, but
attacks by large airliners loaded with fuel, such as those that crashed into
the World Trade Center and Pentagon, were not contemplated when design
requirements were determined. A taped interview shown September 10, 2002, on
Arab TV station al-Jazeera, which contains a statement that Al Qaeda initially
planned to include a nuclear plant in its 2001 attack sites, intensified concern
about aircraft crashes [Cited 2012 Oct. 1]. Available from
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/crs/rs21131.


In light of the possibility that
an air attack might penetrate the containment building of a nuclear plant, such
attack could lead to a meltdown of the containment and the exposure of radiation
to the workers and surrounding communities. I still maintain my view that
nuclear power is not say for humans and the environment since no known design
has been carried out to simulate large airliners loaded with fuel attack on a
nuclear power plant.  


I agree that the potential threat
of a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant has the potential for catastrophic
results. I also agree that steps should be taken to prevent terrorism from
taking place. However, I do not think that the risk of a terrorist attack
should be a reason to discard it as an energy source. Additionally, Dale Kelein
the Chairman of the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission states,  

“"Nuclear power plants are inherently robust structures that our
studies show provide adequate protection in a hypothetical attack by an
airplane. The NRC has also taken actions that require nuclear power plant
operators to be able to manage large fires or explosions - no matter what has
caused them.”

REFERENCE

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2007/07-013.html

mohamed.elkiki's picture

i think nothing in our life is 100 % safe. Also, most of major accidents in human history is because of people. However, i think experiance is the only thing that can decrease the percentage of risk in any project but in the same time not experianced people only who can do the job. Every project will include workers who may do something wrong. Therefore, even with the most experianced engineered, every project has high risk. It's human nature that can only control the degree of safeness in any project. On the other hand, we can not make projects without planning and take every precaution and in the end at all depends on the company and the Big Boss who take the decision at the end and i think most of big companies try to protect their reputation more than anything and taking care of people life and safty is part of their reputation.

leighmoreton's picture

I think that this is a GREAT idea for a topic and beleive that it will inspire a large response to the discussion.

I agree with you where you say that there is no way to ensure that there is 100% safety in the energy sector.

I believe that the best way for us to achieve the highest level of safety in the sector is to learn from our mistakes and make regulations to prevent them occuring in the future.  Assuming that people will follow the rules set out.

Similarly to the belief that if a child places there hand on a hot stove because they are curious they won't do it again if they burn themselves, not that I am suggesting that is the method we should take.

The best way that we can improve safety in the ever-changing energy sector is to ensure that past mistakes are documented and alternates identified.  This way we don't turn round and say "ahh well that didn't work lets give up", thinking that way we would never get anywhere. 

Leigh Moreton
MSc Renewable Energy

Elle Allswell David's picture

 

Sustainability: Is nuclear energy sustainable? 

  • Both the nuclear waste as well as retired nuclear plants are a life-threatening legacy for hundreds of future generations. It flagrantly contradicts with the
    thoughts of sustainability if future generations have to deal with dangerous waste generated from preceding generations. 
  • Uranium, the source of energy for nuclear power, is available on earth only in limited quantities. Uranium is being consumed during the operation of the nuclear power plant so it won't be available any more for future generations. This again contradicts the principle of sustainability. [http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability]

Is nuclear power renewable energy?
Nuclear energy uses Uranium as fuel, which is a scarce resource. The supply of Uranium is expected to last only for the next 30 to 60 years (depending on the actual
demand). Therefore nuclear energy is not a renewable energy. [http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability]

Conclusion

The world is talking about sustainability of the environment and Renewability of natural resource. It is neither Sustainable nor Renewable it will be a source of more problems.

 

 

Menelaos Michelakis's picture

Discussion Topic 1 : Piper Alpha Disaster  Why so many fatalities ? Why so much harm to the environment ? Why so much economic damage ? How did the accident, affected the design of offshore installation and pipeline network ? I shall commence this topic trying to explain why the financial damage was so big and the material damages so heavy. The main reason was the fact that although there were safety valves connecting the oil platform with the production wells, there were no safety valves on the pipeline network that was connecting the platform with other installations. This had a tremendous effect, after the control on the platform was lost, because oil and gas were coming in large quantities and this completed the destruction. What happened after when the engineers studied the problem ? Safety valves were installed on the pipeline network connecting platforms between them, and/or the coast installations, and this was enforced soon by law. This was the important change in my opinion, which affected the legislative regime too, the installation of safety valves that could completely block the row of fluids between installations. And it is the most important because we are engineers and we ought to understand the significance of such changes. Ref : '' Offshore engineering - An introduction '' (by Angus Mather)

Elle Allswell David's picture

As a result of the current interest on how further global warming could be prevented or at least mitigated, the revival of nuclear power seems to be in everybody's - or at least in many politicians - mind. It is interesting to see that in many suggestions to mitigate global warming, the focus is put on the advantages of nuclear power generation, and its disadvantages are rarely mentioned. [http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability].
From the statements that will follow it will be determined if Nuclear energy is safe for humans and the environment. The advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear power will be a determining factor.
Advantages
· The contribution of nuclear power plants to global warming is relatively little or even Zero.
· This technology is readily available; it does not have to be developed first.
· Huge amounts of electrical energy can be generated from a single plant.
 
Disadvantages
· Nuclear plants are more expensive to build and maintain.
· The problem of radioactive waste is still an unsolved one.
· High risks: Despite a generally high security standard, accidents can still happen. It is technically impossible to build a plant with 100% security. [http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability].
· Proliferation concerns.
· The energy source for nuclear energy is Uranium. Uranium is a scarce resource.
From the above statements it is clear that the risk involved in nuclear power usage is high. It is evident that it is risky to humans and the environment on the part of waste disposal and as such the use of Nuclear power should be discouraged.

Mykola Mamykin's picture

As Ukrainian, I have first hand experience with Chernobyl accident and just couldn't miss the opportunity to write a couple of words about nuclear power «safety» the way I, and majority of my compatriots see it. None of the people I know back in Ukraine thinks it is safe, and here’s why.

 

We know that Risk can be approximated as Probability of accident times Consequences [1]. We also know about statistics for global percentage of energy, produced by nuclear power [2] and better safety record then, say, coal mining industry [3], yet there are certain long term consequences to be accounted for.

While probability of failure is low, nuclear accidents, when they happen, awaken the world. No surprise German and Italy, for example, are phasing out their reactors [2].

Here’s personal example. I was 6 years old when Chernobyl disaster happened. My own uncle was one of the so called «liquidators», emergency response team gathered from firemen, policemen and military. He died two decades after the accident from numerous cancers in every possible internal organ of his body. I, myself and more then half(!) of my peers have cystic nodules in thyroid gland. There is a proven correlation between their occurrence and Chernobyl’s outcome as referred to in [4].

 

Furthermore, there is a number of other concerns, such as very high cost of power plants, nuclear terrorism , limited civil rights in case of a direct threat to facilities and, of course radioactive waste management [5]. The latter is a very sensitive in Ukraine and absolutely undisclosed to general public. In fact, a reporter was murdered recently while trying to unveil major violations in the procedure of nuclear waste management [6].


Thus, though there is not much safety data for renewable energy sources [3], and they are yet to take their place in the top of the list of the energy supply chain, but probably a combination of careful, safety-oriented design of Oil and Gas production systems, along with renewable energy sources is the way world should be turning to.

 

REFERENCES

[1]. Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts, 2012/2013 by N. C. Renton, M. J. Baker and H. Tan

[2]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

[3]. Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts, 2012/2013 by H. Tan and M.J. Baker

[4]. MASAHIRO ITO, SHUNICHI YAMASHITA, KIYOTO ASHIZAWA, HIROYUKI NAMBA, MASAHARU HOSHI, YOSHISADA SHIBATA, ICHIRO SEKINE, SHIGENOBU NAGATAKI, and ITSUZO SHIGEMATSU. Thyroid. October 1995, 5(5): 365-368. doi:10.1089/thy.1995.5.365.

 

[5]. Brian Martin. Opposing nuclear power: past and present, Social Alternatives, Vol. 26, No. 2, Second Quarter 2007, pp. 43-47.

 

[6]. http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/13014-ukrainian-environmentalist-brutally-beaten-to-death


Toby Stephen's picture

I think that Mykola Mamykin brings up some very interesting points here - moreover the fact that incidents such as Chernobyl lead to a deeply entrenched resentment towards the particularly technology in question. The social impacts of these tragedies cannot be understated and the enduring lessons of Chernobyl are well explained here [1].

 This is why nuclear technology and safety will always be a contentious issue; people have borne witness to the devastating effects it can have and, while this extends across the board to all facets of the energy sector, nuclear remains a very socially rejected issue. As Aaron McKenna touched on, I think that in general the media presents a very imbalanced argument (as it does with most debatable oil and gas issues (like hydraulic fracturing)) and that this certainly doesn't improve people's views. The fact remains, however, that the stigma attached to nuclear power remains (and will continue to do so) and that a better understanding of the psychology behind this resentment could provide grounds for further discussion.

 

[1] http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/statements/2005/ebsp2005n008.html 

 

--

Toby Stephen

MSc Oil & Gas Engineering

Mykola Mamykin's picture

To my amusement and disbelief, I recently read an article on rigzone.com stating among other things that Ukraine is going to build another two nuclear reactors and a facility for production of nuclear fuel.

It looks like we are not learning much from the history. Proper sarcophagus is not even completed over what used to be Chernobyl's No4 reactor yet we are expanding Nuclear Power plant in Ukraine.

The tricky part here is that is going to be done under the logo "we pay too much for Gas to Russia", however the perspective construction is going to be a joint venture between Ukrainian and Russian Governments. Isn't it strange?

In theory, Russia wouldn't be interested to invest in construction of power plant in Ukraine thereby limiting the amount of gas they can sell, unless they simply do not want nuclear power plant on their territory. And that is something to think about.

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

Any machine that stands out in
the open with exposed spinning blades just has to be dangerous and while I’m in
full agreement with the dangers highlighted by Babawale Onagbola and John Bosco
Aliganyira, I would take issue with John’s conclusion; ‘I think wind energy is
a better alternative as opposed to fossil fuels

provided the above associated
risks are put in consideration while designing and installing wind turbines’.
John hasn’t mentioned that fossil fuel fired power stations are constantly
running on stand-by (spinning reserve) to cover for the periods when the wind
drops or fails to blow altogether. This means that even if the wind powered
generators are producing and meeting demand, the fossil fired power stations
are still running, still creating the same environmental impact as if they were
producing; just no production of electricity! This makes a mockery of the
concept of Wind Energy and really this has to be seen as a fringe form of
energy in meeting our power needs.

I would also wish to reiterate
the importance of regular maintenance of wind powered generators, because of
the variable strengths of the wind driving the blades, the speed governing
system and automatic voltage regulator will be exercised far more than similar
powered governors where the load is fairly constant; breakdown of these systems
will result in overheating and failure of the generator.      

Ekaterina Pavlichenko

Adekola Obayomi's picture

 

Nuclear power has both advantages and disadvantages for human and the environment and it depends on which side of the divide individuals stand.
 
Media reports which suggests political governments’ cover-up on extents of radiation leak which
cause damage to human and the environment could be one of the major reasons
humans deem nuclear power as unsafe.  Examples of reoccurrence of such cover-ups are evident in the Chernobyl nuclear power
plant, Windscale reactor and Fukushima power plant nuclear accidents [1][2]. A typical example of this was seen in the
Chernobyl accident. “Only after radiation levels set off alarms at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, over one thousand kilometers from the Chernobyl Plant, did the Soviet Union
admit that an accident had occurred “ [3][4].Humans will continue to advocate that the use of nuclear power plants be discontinued and a better alternative be considered
until governments restore confidence by telling the truth immediately these disasters occur.


Immediate human fatality in a nuclear accident which is one of the major measurements of the scale of a disaster is relatively small and it is not immediately present; however, the long term
effect of terminal deaths associated with such disasters is still in contention till date [3].  It can be seen that the number of death estimates (even though in contention) associated
with such disasters are often in hundreds or thousands.


I think the safety issue of primary concern with nuclear power plants is how effective are the emergency response plans that are put in place when such disasters occur?  How soon can we control the extent of affected areas when such extent is determined majorly by nature – wind and water?  Until the accident at Fukushima, we never knew what the load combination of earthquake and water could have on
our engineering designs.

 


REFERENCES

 

[1]    http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/28/cnn-nuclear-coverup-japan-shit-107762/


[2]    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ4vtUzG6sQ&feature=fvwrel


[3]    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster


[4]    http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9604/26/chernobyl/230pm/index2.html

Menelaos Michelakis's picture

Why so many fatalities ? Why so much harm to the environment ? Why so much economic damage ? How did the accident, affected the design of offshore installation and pipeline network ? I shall commence this topic trying to explain why the financial damage was so big and the material damages so heavy. The main reason was the fact that although there were safety valves connecting the oil platform with the production wells, there were no safety valves on the pipeline network that was connecting the platform with other installations. This had a tremendous effect, after the control on the platform was lost, because oil and gas were coming in large quantities and this completed the destruction. What happened after when the engineers studied the problem ? Safety valves were installed on the pipeline network connecting platforms between them, and/or the coast installations, and this was enforced soon by law. This was the important change in my opinion, which affected the legislative regime too, the installation of safety valves that could completely block the row of fluids between installations. And it is the most important because we are engineers and we ought to understand the significance of such changes. Ref : '' Offshore engineering - An introduction '' (by Angus Mather)

Henry Tan's picture

Invite more discussions about redundancy for engineering safety. The importance of redundancy is achieved here by safety valves.

mohamed.elkiki's picture

Definition of "Redundancy"  is a system principle that introduces
duplicate components to provide fault tolerance. To illustrate more,  when a component in the system
fails, a backup takes over to ensure
the system still performs as designed. Introducing redundancy enables a
system's overall
reliability to be enhanced without
needing to increase the reliability of individual components.When adding more defences, errors are more likely to be caught.

For example, redundant gas valve is a two or three valves connected in parallel by wire but located in series. This valves ensure the safety of the system as either the main valve or the pilot valve can shut the flow of gas to burner and this redundancy creates more option and ensure safety.

 

Refrences:

http://www.ehow.co.uk/facts_7745285_redundant-gas-valve-definition.html

http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/19/5/1.45.full

 

Redundancy is
of vital importance when considering safety engineering especially when discussing
nuclear power plants. An emergency core cooling system (ECCS) is one method of
redundancy used in nuclear plants. Under normal operating conditions the heat
produced by the reactor will be removed by circulating a coolant past the
reactor to absorb heat that can be carried away and in turn used to generate
steam. In the event of an accident or system failure the ECCS is used to safely
remove residual heat from the reactor. As a result emergency cooling and a good
level of functional safety can be achieved via redundant design.

REFERENCE

http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/e/emergencycorecoolingsystem.htm

http://www.nucleartourist.com/systems/eccs.htm

Babawale Onagbola's picture

I believe the importance of redundancy in safety engineering cannot be over emphasized. In my opinion, catastrophes and major accidents would continue to occur if engineers don’t take advantage of emerging technologies to improve and INCREASE redundancy in systems. I am more for INCREASING redundancy because in my light reading on redundancy, I believe redundancy is achieved by having duplicate and even triplicate safety systems in place to provide several last lines of defence, I believe this increases the chances of preventing major accidents. An example; we know that on offshore installations, blowout preventers (containing powerful shear rams designed to cut through the drilling rigs’ steel pipe and shut off a well that has gone out of control) are installed to provide redundancy if all else fails. In 2001, the Minerals Management service, commissioned a study that revealed over 100 failures in the testing of blow out preventers and were advised by experts to enforce the operation of TWO SHEAR ARMS in blow out preventers for all offshore installations - (. Historically as with enforcement agencies (Energy department) ignored recommendations to apply offshore, the CIMAH regulations already in place onshore) they ignored the advice and one wonders if this second shear ram was present, maybe, just maybe the deep water horizon accident would have been avoided.
Increasing redundancy in systems, improves accident prevention.

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

Wave energy has tremendous potential;
however this is still to be realized, with many prototype and experimental
schemes in place the technology still has to be developed further. The main
areas of concern with respect to safety are noise and possible pollution due to
hydraulic leaks, also dangers of collision between shipping and the installed
energy system, but perhaps most important safety foreboding is the possible
negative impact on marine life.


In my opinion there isn’t really a
significant amount of concern relating to the safety aspects of wave energy
that cannot effectively be managed other than the impact on marine life and
wonder how we really would be able to quantify and successfully manage this to
all but eliminate the risk and possibility of causing irreversible damage to
our planet. Wave energy systems produce electromagnetic fields from wave
generators erected at different levels from the sea floor that could affect the
inherent navigation systems of fish and marine mammals, forcing them to abandon
their normal migration routes; also due to the noise and disruption forcing
them to leave their traditional habitats.
 


To work towards the safety of marine life,
conservation areas would need to be set up in areas of known marine habitat in
which no tidal or wave energy systems could be installed; near shore ecosystems
identified for protection would also be off limits to shipping.


Our survival depends on our fishing stocks
and if we allow an irresponsible thirst to install wave energy machines at every
prime location would really be self-defeating; what good an abundant energy
source to a staving population!

Ekaterina Pavlichenko

michael saiki's picture

As part of our core module we are aware that Corrossion, Fatigue and  Fracture are major threats to subsea Assets integrity.

 Are there new innovations aimed at minimizing these threats

I am convinced that safety and Integrity are two inseparable concepts especially as we discuss safety of Energy sources.

We can see that people are much more interested in the integrity of the process of harnessing the Energy even though they dont have handy safety concerns

Please share with us

Michael Saiki

Henry Tan's picture

I am editing a book with others on “Corrosion and Materials in the Oil and Gas Industries” that will come out next year.

Uko Bassey's picture

 

List of the top ten (10) accidents in
the energy sector are:

1.   
The coal fire below
Centralia, PA has which been burning for 50 years since 1962 and has enough
fuel to burn for another 250 years. It's a real life horror story with no
immediate end in sight. The exact cause of the fire going out of control has many
controversies. However it started, it is agreed that the fire remained burning
underground and spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal
mines beneath Centralia.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania)

2.   
The Transocean Deepwater Horizon (an ultra-deepwater)
built in 2001 in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries
dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore oil drilling
rig.  
Hyundai Heavy Industries. The rig was
commissioned by R&B Falcon, which later became part of
Transocean registered in Majuro, Marshall Islands, and leased to BP from 2001
until September 2013. In
September 2009, the rig drilled the deepest 
oil well in history
at a vertical depth of 35,050 ft (10,683 m) and measured depth of
35,055 ft (10,685 m)
 in
the 
Tiber Oil Field at Keathley Canyon block 102, approximately 250 miles (400 km)
southeast of 
Houston, in 4,132 feet
(1,259 m) of water. On 20 April 2010, while drilling at the 
Macondo Prospect, an explosion on the rig caused by a blowout killed 11
crewmen and ignited a 
fireballvisible from 35
miles (56 km) away. The
resulting fire could not be extinguished and, on 22 April 2010, Deepwater Horizon sank,
leaving the well gushing at the 
seabed and
causing the largest offshore 
oil spill in U.S. history. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon)

 

Henry Tan's picture

What is the criterion you used for ranking severity?

Uko Bassey's picture

There are several parameters for this ranking; Looking at the case of 
Centralia, Pennsylvania, the massive injury and death toil carried by this disaster, reducing the population of city to about 8 in 2010, the poisonous discharge into the atmospheres, also the potential of the fire continuing for the next 250years. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania). 

Ekaterina Pavlichenko's picture

Most of us have assessed the criteria for
listing the top ten accidents as; death toll, loss of property and
environmental impact in this order. However, I’d argue that the measurement for
environmental impact should be of greater significance, as the long term
statistics are often overlooked and total death toll and total financial cost
following an accident and after the initial (usually dramatic) media coverage
is complete could in nearly all cases be far greater after a major accident
than that initially reported, due to environmental related issues!

Accidents in the energy sector, while usually
being dramatic and attracting media coverage, are often of less impact than
environmental disasters resulting from misplaced political decisions such as,
‘The Great Sparrow Campaign’ were sparrows were eliminated from Chinese farms,
which resulted in the death of 38 million people or the ongoing mismanagement
of the Aral Sea. However, this should never be allowed to trivialize the
environmental impact of accidents in the energy sector.  

 Media
coverage directly following a major accident, while focusing on potential
environmental impact usually places the emphasis on loss of jobs, food
shortages even relocation of the local people, but fails to revisit these
accidents, perhaps years later to determine the true loss of life associated
with the accident relating to effects and changes in the local environment; one
should consider perhaps that the model under which we quantify a major accident
is flawed!

In our blog most of us have been quick to
list or mention those accidents that were dramatized by the media due to their
sensational nature. As an alternative I’d suggest that we consider the
following based on their long term environmental impact, they are not in any
order due to the fact that the long term environmental impact has not been
fully assessed in most cases:

Chernobyl disaster in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine, "killed at least 4056 people and
damaged almost $7 billion of property".
[1] Radioactive fallout from the
accident concentrated near Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and at least 350,000
people were forcibly resettled away from these areas. After the accident,
"traces of radioactive deposits unique to Chernobyl were found in nearly
every country in the northern hemisphere".
[1]

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: Following an earthquake, tsunami,
and failure of cooling systems at
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and issues concerning other nuclear facilities in Japan on March 11, 2011, a
nuclear emergency was declared. This was the first time a nuclear emergency had
been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20 km of the plant
were evacuated.
[2] Explosions and a fire have resulted
in dangerous levels of
radiation, sparking a stock market collapse
and panic-buying in supermarkets.
[3]

Bhopal disaster (December 3, 1984, India), The leak of methyl isocyanate that took place
in 1984 resulted in more than 22,000 deaths (and counting) and the various
genetic diseases that will continue to be seen for generations to come among
the newly born, caused by the negligence and corruption, ignoring safety
standards in India by Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide, a US company now a
subsidiary of Dow Chemicals.

Release of 20,000
gallons of lethal chemicals (metam sodium, tradename Vapam) into the
Upper Sacramento
River
near Dunsmuir, causing the death of all marine life within a 38 mile radius.

Release of cyanide, heavy metals and acid into the Alamosa River, Colorado from the Summitville mine, causing the death of all marine
life within a 17 mile radius.

The Exxon
Valdez
oil spill, this
occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when
Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels (41,000
to 119,000 m3) of
crude oil.[1][2] It is considered to be one of the
most devastating human-caused
environmental disasters.[3] The Valdez spill was the
largest ever in U.S. waters until the 2010
Deepwater
Horizon
oil spill, in terms of volume released.[4]

The Deepwater Horizon oil
spill
(also referred to as the
BP oil spill, the BP oil disaster, the Gulf
of Mexico oil spill
, and the Macondo blowout)
[5][6] is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and may be continuing to
seep.
[7][8] It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the
petroleum industry.
[9][10][11] The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the 20 April 2010 explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others.[12]

Environmental Issues in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, which relate to its petroleum industry are best sumerised in a 1983 report issued by the NNPC, long before popular unrest
surfaced:

We witnessed the slow
poisoning of the waters of this country and the destruction of vegetation and
agricultural land by oil spills which occur during petroleum operations. But
since the inception of the oil industry in Nigeria, more than twenty-five years
ago, there has been no concerned and effective effort on the part of the
government, let alone the oil operators, to control environmental problems
associated with the industry'.
[1]

Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion, (Chelyabinsk, Soviet Union, 29 September 1957), 200+ people
died and 270,000 people were exposed to dangerous
radiation levels. Over thirty small
communities had been removed from Soviet maps between 1958 and 1991.
[4]

The Jilin chemical
plant explosions
were a series of
explosions which occurred on November 13,
2005, in the No.101 Petro
chemical Plant in Jilin City, Jilin Province, China, over the period of an hour. The explosions killed six, injured dozens,
and caused the
evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

 

The blasts created an
80 km long
toxic slick in the Songhua River, a tributary of the Amur. The slick, predominantly made up
of
benzene and nitrobenzene, passed through the Amur River over subsequent weeks.

For
the events chosen I used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_disasters


 

Angelos Hadjiantoni's picture

Hello everyone,

 

This is a new discussion topic about hydropower.

According to some studies (link provided at the end), the trees and other material that
are decaying in the dams during floods, decompose at the bottom of the dam
without oxygen. As a result methane is produced and when the water passes
through turbines the gas is released.

Carbon dioxide is also released from dams and the amount differs from dam to dam. Sometimes
as the article suggests dams produce more carbon dioxide than some fossil fuel stations.

In this article I am not stating my personal opinion just introducing the topic.

What do you think about this issue?


For more information: 

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7046


Best regards,

Angelos Hadjiantonis


Course: Msc Renewable Energy


Kobina Gyan Budu's picture

Dear Dr. Tan,

While
pondering over this exercise, I notice an ambiguity with the topic “Is nuclear power safe for humans and
the environment?” In the energy industry, the power generated,
regardless of the source has its own safety considerations.

I believe the understanding
is that we are looking at the Safety of the entire process of Nuclear power
generation (I stand for correction). As
the topic stands now, it could be taken as though we are considering the safety
of the final product (the power) that comes out of the whole nuclear generation
process, and therefore answering it the way we are expected to might mean a deviation. 

The topic
therefore could be more clearly worded to suit the expected response. Can I
suggest that the topic ‘Is nuclear
power safe for humans and the environment?’ be reframed to “Is
the nuclear power generation process safe for humans and the environment?”

Regards

Kobby

Harrison Oluwaseyi's picture

 

Due to growing concerns about the environmental impact such as release
of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, water and air contamination by coal
ash etc. of burning fossil fuels like coal, liquid petroleum or natural gas
etc., engineers and scientist have sort out better means of providing the
energy requirements for the survival of man. Other means of energy generation
have been introduced such as use of wind turbines, nuclear power plants, solar
cells, solar panels etc. These other forms also have their advantages and
disadvantages, but this piece talks about the safety in wind energy industry.

Just like every other sector the wind energy needs to be safe and
environmentally friendly. Wind energy is obtained from wind by strategically
placing wind turbines in windy areas, these wind turbines majorly consist of a
long pole, 3blades and a mechanical motor. The energy is obtained by
transforming the kinetic energy as the blades rotate into mechanical energy and
this energy is used to produce electricity. This process seems to be very
simple and straight forward but there are dangers involved from the process of
clearing the land for installation to the decommissioning stage.

Although, recent surveys by the Department of Labour (U.S.) reported
about 75 wind turbine accidents since 1972, these values don’t involve death or
injury. These numbers might seem very small, but the probability is relatively
high compared to other energy industries. The wind energy industry is
associated with industrial risks as a result of its workers operating under
hazardous conditions involving:

1) Hazardous weather conditions.

2) Working at heights greater than 100m.

3) Lightning strikes causing fire.

4) Overheating of generators and transmission lubrication

5) Handling heavy equipment

6) Tower Collapse

7) Vehicular access

8) Impact on wildlife (birds, bats)

9) Climate change

10) Life span

11) Ice shedding

Many of the accidents
that occur in this energy sector occur as a result of ignoring safety standards
and adopting shortcuts instead of the safety standards set. Before this research I
used to think wind energy was the safest way to produce energy with zero
fatality, I will still say it is safe but the safety regulations associated
with it the installation, maintenance and decommissioning should be strongly
adhered to.

 

michael saiki's picture

If we look at Energy disasters in terms of cost or volume of money lost. I will Rank disaters as below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVMbNQQKjiA

 1.0 Chernobyl Disater(1986) $ 200 Billion Dollars

2.0 Space Shuttle Columbia (2003) $13 Billion Dollars

3.0 Prestige Oil Spill (2002) $12 Billion Dollars

4.0 Deep Water Horizon Spill (2011) $6 Billion Dollars

5.0 The Challenger Explosion (1986) $5.5 Billion Dollars

6.0 Piper Alpha Oil Rig (1988) $3.4 Billion Dollars

7.0 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989) $2.5 Billion Dollars

8.0  B-2 Bomber Crash $1.4 Billion Dollars

9.0 Metrolink Train Crash(2005) $500 Million Dollars

10. Tanker Truck VS Bridge (2004) $385 Million Dollars

Michael Saiki

 

Henry Tan's picture

But this seems not make sense if human lose is not counted.

Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

as much as we count human loss as a major factor when an accident happens, i am not of the opinion that this (human life) should be the sole measurement for quantifying safety and its effect. loss of revenue to the company involved should also be a major factor as this companies some times find it difficult to recover from major accidents, share prices fall and people are forced out of work. this are also serious reasons why safety should be a serious issues. i am not of the opinion though that human life is not important but human lives can also be affected in so many other ways when major accidents occur which i  think has been over looked in the past. people just talk about casualties. how about the effect it has on survivors and employees. (supporting the economic lost) 

Dr tan we should not limit ourselves to just the casualties in an accident 

Uko Bassey's picture

 

The picture below further give a
clearer insight into the severity of the Deepwater Horizon

800px-Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9d/Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg/800px-Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg

 

Another classic situation is the Flixborough
(Nypro UK) Explosion which occurred on 1st June 1974. This explosion was
severe, about twenty-eight workers were killed and a
further 36 suffered injuries. It is recognized that the number of casualties
would have been more if the incident had occurred on a weekday, as the main
office block was not occupied. Offsite consequences resulted in fifty-three
reported injuries. Property in the surrounding area was damaged to a varying
degree.

Prior
to the explosion, on 27 March 1974, it was discovered that a vertical crack in
reactor No.5 was leaking cyclohexane. The plant was subsequently shutdown for
an investigation. The investigation that followed identified a serious problem
with the reactor and the decision was taken to remove it and install a bypass
assembly to connect reactors No.4 and No.6 so that the plant could continue production.

During
the late afternoon on 1 June 1974 a 20 inch bypass system ruptured, which may
have been caused by a fire on a nearby 8 inch pipe. This resulted in the escape
of a large quantity of cyclohexane.
(http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/caseflixboroug74.htm

 

xenios.ze's picture

As I have read in US articles such as NBCNEWS.com and in
REUTEURS the possibility of causing earthquakes through hydraulic
fracturing is very small. Special reports such as the National Research Council
indicates that in more than 90 years of monitoring, human activity has been
shown to trigger only 154 quakes, most of them moderate or small, and only 60
of them in the United States. That’s compared to a global average of about
14,450 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater every year.  Most of those are caused by gas and oil
drilling, damming rivers, deep injections of wastewater and purposeful
flooding.

 

Of course, those are studies made by US government reports that
took place after some earthquake incidents reported in some states like
Arkansas, Ohio and Texas. The reports may vary from country to country but
those reports are supposed to cover any concerns about the possibility if the
hydraulic fracturing is causing earthquakes or not.

 

Source by:

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47835612/ns/us_news-environment/t/report-dont-worry-much-about-quakes-fracking/#.UGl5Y03R4qI

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/15/us-usa-earthquakes-fracking-idUSBRE85E14K20120615 

 

Henry Tan's picture

The problem may not be with the current status, but with our future. With the increasing interests, and increased scale in developing shale oil and gas, what will be the future earth like?

Michail.Sevasteiadis's picture

Hydraulic fracturing is a method used during drilling process in order to stimulate a well and make possible the recovery of gas which is trapped into an underground shale formation.


There are many environmental concerns relating to this process and some of them are related with the increased seismicity of the field’s surrounding area. Firstly, the fracking procedure itself may increase the number of earthquakes because of the charges’ detonation used to open holes in order to get the reservoir and the well connected. Second and more significant is the use of particular wells to dispose the unwanted used drilling fluid at a depth which overcomes the 9000 feet. The continuous disposal of waste water there increases the local pressure to the bedrock notably with the result of earthquake generation.


In addition, considering the fact that the demand for energy worldwide is increasing rapidly, the retrieval of the approximately 6,622 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas worldwide seems inevitable. In correlation with the previously referred effects of fracking in seismicity, it is obvious that a wide range use of this technique will increase the earthquakes at a point with inestimable consequences for human safety.

References:

http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/content/does-gas-fracking-cause-earthquakes

http://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/shaleGas/environmentalImpacts.html

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3068

http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/injection-well/

FELIXMAIYO's picture

Discussion Topic 6: Discuss safety in wind energy.

A few of us will agree that turbines
are a major threat to public safety (most fatalities result from handling of
the turbines)
In the last five years there have been some 1,500 reported
accidents/‘incidents’ in the UK resulting in 4 deaths and a further 300
injuries to workers. In most of the cases the industries play down some
accidents resulting from wind energy e.g. in Cornwall in 2006 “Part of a
wind turbine blade weighing more than half a ton snapped off and crashed into a
field during high winds. Operators Cumbria Wind farms said the site has been
running since April 1993 and nothing like this had happened there before.”[1]

They are also situations where wind
turbines cause damage members of the general public: A situation where the
turbine might shade off a blade, it’s a rare occurrence; another occurrence is
due to ice forming on the turbine blades and when they are started they are
forced to shed off the ice and this can cause damage to humanity and anything
around it during starting.

The other common problem is noise
pollution to the environment, although noise wind turbine is less than from
many other everyday activities it has to be recognised that it still produces
noise pollution, they are two types of noises produced by the turbines:
aerodynamics (from the blades) ;mechanical noise(from rotating machinery). Despite
the demerits of noise wind turbine a careful design and operation
should ensure that this is minimal.

The other common problem resulting
from wind energy is the interference of the television reception like any other
structure e.g. power pylons, silos and any tall structure.[2]

Source

1.      
http://www.windbyte.co.uk/safety.html

2.      
http://www.portsmouthriedc.com/documents/wt%20safety%20uk.PDF


 


FELIX MAIYO


 

Maria Christou's picture

Wind energy is considered to be a ‘clean’ and inexhaustible source
of energy.

Through
wind energy we can operate applications such as windmills that provide energy
for milling/grinding grains, wind pumps that pump water and for drainage and
wind turbines
that generate electricity.

These
applications mentioned above, have a variety of benefits. They don’t produce emissions
of carbon dioxide, they don’t release toxic pollutants, such as mercury and
they don’t release conventional air pollutants such as smog-forming nitrogen
dioxide. Plus, wind energy in general does not affect climate change.

 EPA estimates that
if you run a 1 MW wind turbine for a year then you reduce the following
pollutants:

·        
1500 tons of
carbon dioxide

·        
6.5 tons of
sulfur dioxide

·        
3.2 tons of
nitrogen oxides

·        
 60 pounds of mercury

http://wiki.uiowa.edu/download/attachments/75542169/life+cycle+emission.png?version=1&modificationDate=1336598964827

 

 

However wind turbines cause a lot of
bird accidents. According to a 2007 National Academy of Sciences study
, 20,000 to 37,000 birds are being killed
every year in the US from turbine blades.

Despite this fact I strongly believe
that wind energy in one of the safest sources of energy for both environment and
humans and it takes less risk than other resources.

 

 

References:

http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en/environment/chapter-2-environmental-impacts/

http://wiki.uiowa.edu/display/greenergy/Wind

http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/positive-negative-wind-energy-2715.html

 

 

sotlog's picture

I am sorry Maria but i have to disagree with your statement that wind power is one of the safestsources of energy especially for humans.The summary of wind accident data says that from 1970-june 2012 became 94 fatal accidents from which there were 123 fatalities.There were more fatalities than accidents as some accidents have caysed multiple fatalities.This is the crucial point.An accident in wind power industry usually causes multiple fatalities.Foe example in Brazil in March of 2012 were killed 17 bus passengers in one single accident.

SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

Ber_Mar's picture

Furthermore i would have to say that
since the dB scale is non linear any 6 dB increase will actually
mean a double Sound Pressure value (SPU). Therefore this increase are
in fact very relevant, as 103,5 will actually configure a sound
equivalent to a Rock Concert. (1)

Infrasounds can travel big distances
without loosing many energy due to their big wavelenght, this also
means that they are dificult to detect and dumpen. Since they induce
vibration in some type of structure this should also be taken into
account when evaluating this topic.

Another interesting topic is the fact
that these type of noises are often described as being more annoyant
than roads or airports, this is due to two different factores. When
evaluating environmental noise one has to take into account not only
the intensity but the sound duration.

In wind energy the duration of the
noise can be quasi permanent (at least when there is wind blowing),
as for roads and airports the ammount of SPU is much bigger but the
total exposition time much lower.

The second is the noise configuration,
since infrasound is very hard to perceive by humans, one can get
confused if in fact the noise is actually there or sometimes if it is
just a product of imagination (ghost noises), while in other sources
the noise such as roads or airports the sound is clearly
distinguished from background noise. The lower the background noise
is the bigger problem with this type of ghost noises becomes. But
this topic is more into psycoacoustics, so i will not go there.

As for the intensities described above
there are some doubts that the A filter (db(A)) is in fact
appropriate to measure infrasound noise, since this filter passes
infrasounds very low. As for proper methods of evaluating this kind
of noise and impacts on human body i will come back to the topic
after further research.

(1)-http://www.nonoise.org/library/envnoise/index.htm

Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture



Nuclear power is a technology that was created to satisfy
people’s needs, facilitate people’s life and solve certain problems. However,
people have been noticing that while this technology solves some problems, more
new problems emerge, threathing and damaging the quality of life.  The question then is whether technology is
altogether considered beneficial or detrimental?


The most pertinent question here is not whether Nuclear
energy is beneficial, important or needed in our world but whether it is safe.
The simple answer to this question is NO.


Nuclear energy is a limitless source of power
with an extensity of danger to human life. Irrespective of the fact that
nuclear power plants provide a huge fraction of the total world energy, but its
vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis,tornado, and also terrorist
attacks on nuclear power plants (Hiroshima and Nagashaki come to mind) makes it
unsafe because of its capacity to cause genetic disorders, carcinoma,
environmental contamination etc . Therefore I opine that anything capable of
wiping off the human race can outrightly be categorised as unsafe

Babawale Onagbola's picture

What i have done is to rank the most severe accidents in history on the basis of fatalities recorded(in the case of nuclear accidents, we know that ALL fatalities cannot be recorded at once, and for some accidents, fatalities are still being recorded) as severity is directly related to grieviances recorded. Therefore the fatalities profiles below represent official fatality figures available.

1. Bhopal gas leak disaster, India - 12,000 fatalities

2. Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine - 4056 fatalities

3. Benxihu colliery disaster, China - 1549 fatalities

4. Courrieres min disaster, France - 1099 fatalities

5. San Juanico LPG plant disaster, Mexico - Over 500 fatalities + Over 5000 STILL suffering from burns sustained

6. Petrochina Chuandongbei natural gas explosion, China - 234fatalities

7. Kyshtym nuclear waste explosion, Russia - 200 fatalities + over 270,000 people exposed to radioactive hazards

8. Vila Soco Oil spill fire, Brazil - Over 200 fatalities

9. Piper Alpha disaster, North sea - 167 fatlities

10. Abefran colliery disaster, Wales - 144 fatalities

While i am aware that there are many industrial accidents that have occured in recent times with higher fatality profiles like the texas city disaster and the Banquio dam disaster, I believe these are the top 10 most severe accidents with respect to energy generation, transmission , use and disposal.

Samuel Bamkefa's picture


A biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases [1]. The main catch in the use of biofuels is that they do not produce greenhouse gases that cause global warming and that they help reduce dependence on foreign oil for some countries. However, it would be a little reckless to thing that biofuels (and biomass generally) do not come with their own share of concerns. Some of them I discuss below


Personal health impact:  

An example of negative health impact can be drawn from biodiesel. Biodiesel production commonly uses some potential lethal chemicals including methanol, caustic soda and concentrated sulphuric acid. Methanol exposure on a small daily dose causes cumulative damage to the body, possibly leading to blindness and death. It is also explosive, similar to petrol, and when mixed with caustic soda it is poisonous, explosive and caustic. [2] This can be a particular issue related to non-commercial production

Food prices:

Expanded production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel has a strong effect on prices because biofuel production draws largely on agricultural products. Increased biofuel demand in 2000–07 is estimated to have contributed to 30 percent of the weighted average increase of cereal prices. [3]

This effect on food prices will be more profound as governments give subsidies for agricultural production for biofuels. The lucrativeness of the biofuel production will make less focus to be on food production

Environmental Impact:

Environment impacts are a particular concern with solid biofuels. A problem with the combustion of raw biomass is that it emits considerable amounts of pollutants such as particulates and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Even modern pellet boilers generate much more pollutants than oil or natural gas boilers. Pellets made from agricultural residues are usually worse than wood pellets, producing much larger emissions of dioxins and chlorophenols. [4]

Reccommendation

Steps should be taken to regulate the production of biofuels, especially non commercial production. In addition, governments should ensure that agricultural subsidy for food is not relegated for biofuel production. Lastly, increased awareness should exist on the inherent dangers in the production and use of biofulels

References:

1. Demirbas, A. . (2009). "Political, economic and environmental impacts of biofuels: A review". Applied Energy 86: S108–S117.

doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.04.036

2. Using vegetable oil as diesel fuel

http://vegetableoildiesel.co.uk/healthandsafety.html

3. International food policy research institute. High Food Prices: The What, Who,and How of Proposed Policy Actions.

http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/foodpricespolicyaction.pdf

4. Biofuel. Wikepedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofuel



Samuel Bamkefa

Kingsley ENEM's picture

Rank top ten severe accidents in energy sector and investigate their causes and consequences.

1 - BHOPAL DISASTER

The Bhopal disaster happened in India and is considered as one of the world’s worst disaster.Bhopal factory plant (Union carbide India Limited) was built in 1969 at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh for the production of pesticide sevin using Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). The parent company of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) that had a stake of about 50.9 per cent share.

On the night of December 2-3, 1984, a serious leak occurred due to a chemical reaction in the Union Carbide factory when a huge amount of water entered into the MIC tank 610. The reaction generated a significant increase in temperature and pressure, thereby venting a large volume of toxic gas into the air. The plant safety systems such as a caustic soda scrubber (for neutralization), flare tower (for burning of excess gas) and refrigeration unit (for cooling the system) were malfunctioning due to lack of routine maintenance. More than 27 tons of poisonous gas escaped into the atmosphere, spreading over the shantytowns of about 900,000. 

The severe irritant effects of MIC initiated fear, anxiety, nervousness and confusion, and it caused people to run out of their houses into the gas mist, the consequence of which was increased dose of the gas substance. More than 600,000 persons were exposed to the gas cloud and thousands of people died. The Government of Madhya Pradesh estimated the death at 3,787 while others estimated 8,000 deaths. Furthermore, 558,125 injuries including 38,478 permanent disabling injuries were recorded.  

Immediately after the disaster, UCC endeavoured to segregate itself from obligation for the gas leak. Its prime approach was to shift liability to UCIL, stating the plant was solely built and operated by the Indian subsidiary. On 7 December 1984, the first lawsuit was filed by the American attorney in a U.S. court. In March 1985, the Government of India enacted the Bhopal gas leak disaster ACT as a way of justifying that claims arising from the disaster would be dealt with quickly and equitable. The ACT also made the Government to represent the victims in legal proceedings in both within and outside India. The settlement was mediated by the Indian Supreme Court and UCC accepted moral obligation and settled to pay $470 million to the victims.

The Bhopal accident has given warning signs to other industries to increase attention to health, safety and environmental policies when operational or when choosing a site for hazardous industry. The hazardous industry should create awareness to the local communities and embark on environmental related projects.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

http://www.eoearth.org/article/Bhopal%2C_India

 

 Kingsley Enem

Henry Tan's picture

The Banqiao dam disaster in China (1975) caused more than 20,000 deaths in just one failure. Should this be ranked as the No.1 accident historically?

xenios.ze's picture

Once you have mentioned about the Banqiao
Dam I took the opportunity to make a quick search about this huge disaster. The
chronicle of the disaster is spectacular, only if we consider how fast the mother
nature took another large creation of man and destroyed it in only 24hours.

The Banqiao Dam was built in the early
1950s as party of a huge project to control flooding and produce electricity in
central China.

Despite warnings from
hydrologist Chen Xing, the dam was built with only 5 sluice gates. Xing warned
that it needed at least 12, although officials disagreed.

Almost as soon as the dam was
completed, tiny cracks started to show in the sides. However, these were
patched up by engineers, and the structure was not only considered safe, it
also earned itself a safe nickname – the ‘Iron dam.’

Although there were problems with the
construction of the dam, it was never predicted that it could fail as
spectacularly as it did in August 1975. It had been built to withstand
flooding, and could have coped with a huge amount of rainfall.

However, typhoon Nina smashed
many records, as well as the dam itself. One night in August 1975, Typhoon Nina
dropped more than a year’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.

The dam collapsed in the
oncoming flood, and other dams further along the river collapsed too. A 10 km
wide wave devastated the surrounding areas, causing more than 25,000 deaths.
Hundreds of thousands more were affected by the epidemics and famine which followed
the disaster.

Although it is difficult to prepare for
something unexpected, such as Typhoon Nina, the damage at the time could have
been minimised.

The sluice gates, designed to
vary the water flow in case of heavy rainfall, were blocked by sediment. This,
coupled with the fact that there were too few of them, meant that water built
up at a much faster rate than it should have done in the dam basin.

 

On top of this, the gates should have been
opened earlier than they were, as water from dams further upstream rushed
towards the Banqiao. Unfortunately the order to open the gates did not reach
the Banqiao in time, and the water broke the dam before the gates could be
opened.

 

Now, the question that I believe that we
will face in our lives, if we are able to participate in large projects, is  : “Is this person talking right or wrong?’’ In
many disasters individual scientist know what was the right decision to make
but at the end they were ignored. In this case it was the hydrologist,  Dr. Chen Xing who said that the designers
should put 12 sluice gates, but they put only 5. That cost the dam to fill a lot
of water in its reservoir in very small time in result to failure.

 

Source for Banjiao Dam : http://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/engineering/real-world-engineering/engineering-disasters-banqiao-dam

Source for Dr. Chen Xing : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Xing

 

Xenios Zenieris

Msc Oil and Gas Engineering

Menelaos Michelakis's picture

Adding information to Hadjianestis Angelos post.

According to statistics (Angelos has posted a  diagram) , there is a significant icrease in accidents related to wind energy over the last 15 years. This augmentation in accidents that closely related to wind turbines installation, has to do mostly with the fact that there is a great increase in the number of installations around the world. This increase in the number of wind farms, onshore and offshore, results mostly in the increase of injuries and/or deaths.

Things that could be done to reduce fatalities and serious injuries, by the aspect of fundamental safety engineering are : 1) Better training for workers employed for the installation of wind turbines with educating seminars, 2)Increased safety measures when the installation of wind turbines takes place - in situ. What is your opinion ?

More posts plz from people that are doing a Msc at Renewable energy, because their opinion matters, and i believe that wind energy shall be even more important during the next decades.

I am facing problems with internet explorer, try to post this like 1 day ...! 

Henry Tan's picture

When you have difficulty with posting comments, read http://imechanica.org/node/3132

leighmoreton's picture

I like the idea of holding discussions about these topics in a virtual manner, however am getting slightly confused about what topics people are actually commenting on.

 

As I am reading through the topics being discussed I am trying to find out what has already been mentioned for the different topics to prevent any repetition.  

I have been getting confused as I read further and find that the topics appear to be jumping around a lot on the page, as one moment someone is talking about the safety of nuclear energy and the next the topic of safety in wind energy is being discussed, with peoples comments on previous topics being mixed in everywhere.  

 

Is it at all possible to get some 'sub-categories' arranged for the main blog page so that each topic can be placed onto a different page and allow a clearer viewing format of the points being made by us to prevent confusion.

 

If this is not possible I am quite happy to just 'muddle' through I have just been finding it difficult to identify the topic for which some people are refering to or commenting on.

Thanks

Leigh Moreton
MSc Renewable Energy

Henry Tan's picture

Leigh, you are right. I believe we are pushing the boundary of iMechanica’s capability in dealing with a blog containing many posts. I don't know of any better solution for this. I am contacting Harvard IT staff for this.

Kingsley ENEM's picture

Safety Implications of Landfill Gas

Permit me to digress a bit from the topics listed above and discuss on another renewable energy source, LANDFILL GAS. With the constant increase in the percentage of energy derived from renewable sources in the UK (from 4.3% in 2005 to 9.4% in 2011, as per the DECC renewable energy periodic publication), more significance is now being placed on the discreet safety hazards associated with this seemingly harmless sources of energy. Statistics reported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK from 2011 show that while Onshore Wind constitutes about 35% of total renewable energy source, landfill gas follows with 23%. With the advantages associated with this source of energy also come a number of demerits. I will only discuss one of such demerits, and that is the asphyxiation hazard.

Exposure to landfill gases could either be at the landfill or in the community when these gases migrate through the landfill surface to the ambient air. The presence of any of its components in an enclosed space in concentrations high enough to create an oxygen-deficient environment could pose a problem. Though the presence of odours could prove useful in detecting some of these gases like sulphides and ammonia, some are odourless and thus more difficult to detect. Headaches and nausea are some of the most common health effects reported by families living close to landfills, in addition to its unpleasant effect on day-to-day life. Studies are still being carried out on the impact of landfill gases on sensitive population, such as people with pre-existing respiratory illnesses.

The UK government recently tightened the laws governing landfill operators in a bid to drive home the need for integrated risk management of all aspects of their operations particularly their safety systems.

Kingsley ENEM

Abiaziem Davidson's picture

Fracking is the process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Enough water, sand and chemicals are used in the production of shale gas. [1]

Fracking for shale gas operation goes with damage to community environment and most of the arising issues include contamination of underground (acquifer) by fracking chemicals, accidental chemical spill, waste disposal, air quality, the land footprint of drilling activities, pipeline placement and safety, and the amount of water used. Shale gas production is highly controversial in part because of environmental concerns, fear of drinking water contamination. [2]

Fracking for shale gas can be safely managed provided there is best practice observed and provided its enforced through strong regulation. The risk water contamination in fracking is very low provided fracking takes place at a depth below the level of acquifers and that the wells are properly constructed. [3]

The boom in shale gas production is not likely to be banned because of the amount of resources spent in the development, more employment opportunity it is creating and the amount of money to be made from the production. Gas fraking will mean economy growth to the western world, china and Israel, and it will crash oil price to the less developing countries and troubled unstable economy of middle- east nation. [2]

Reference

  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512003382
  2. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401 
  3.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18611647 
  4.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512003382

Davidson Abiaziem

    Alabi Ochu Abdulraheem's picture

    SAFETY ENGINEERING AND RISK MANAGEMENT CAN BE A GLOBAL ISSUE

    Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). [1]. Risk management is a process of identifying, quantifying and managing the risk that an organisation faces. [2].

    Safety is the relative freedom from danger, risk, or threat of harm, injury or loss of personnel and/or property, whether caused deliberately or by accident. [3]. Safety in engineering management is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. [4]

    In the early decades of the 19th century, inadequate risk and safety management has led to severe consequences from disasters of various kinds. This has led to the evolution of various legislature guiding risk and safety management of the different organisations involved by various concerned governments.


    The scope of the nature of different accidents and of their places of occurrence has made risk and safety management a global issue as could be seen in the below examples of accidents.

    Aviation accidents includes the following

    1) Japan airlines flight 123 (Japan 1885). [5]

    2) Mexicana flight 940 (Michoacan, 1986). [5]

    3) Dana air flight 992 (Lagos, Nigeria 2012). [5]

    4) Spanair flight 5022 (Madrid, Spain 2008). [5]

    5) Vasp flight 168 (Ceara, Brazil 1982). [5]

    6) 1960 New York air disaster (New York city 1960). [5]

    7) Pan am flight 103 (Lockerbie, UK 1988). [5]

    Coal mine disasters includes:

    1) Coal brook, South Africa 1960. [5]

    2) Benxihu Colliery explosion China 1942. [5]

    3) Oaks Colliery (Barnsley, England 1966). [5]

    4) Hillcrest mine disaster (Hillcrest Alberta Canada 1914). [5]

    5) Amaga Angelopolis, Antioquia, Colombia july 15 1977. [5]

    6) Secunda, Mpumalanga, east Transvaal, South Africa, May 13, 1993. [5]

    Explosion accidents in the past includes:

    1) Silver town explosion (London 1917). [5]

    2) Halifax explosion (Nova ScotianCanada,1917). [5]

    3) Lagos Armoury Explosion (Lagos Nigeria 2002). [5]

    4) Explosion of a dynamite depot, Brazil February 27, 1925. [5]

    5) Ryongchon disaster (North Korea 2004). [5]

    Industrial disasters include the following:

    1) Bhopal disaster (India 1984). [5]

    2) Piper Alpha oil rig disaster (North sea july 6, 1988) . [5]

    3) Texas city disaster (Texas city, Texas April 16 and 17 1947). [5]

    4) Vaal Reef gold mine elevator failure, Orkney, Klerksdorp, South Africa 1995). [5]

    5) BP deep water horizon explosion (Gulf of Mexico April 20, 2010). [5]

    6) Vila Soco oil spill fire (Cubatao Sao Paulo, Brazil February 25 1984). [5]

    7) Flixborough disaster (England june 1974). [5]

    8) Aberfan landslide disaster (Wales 1966). [5]



    Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture

    Nuclear power is a technology that was created to satisfy people’s needs, facilitate people’s life and solve certain problems. However, people have been noticing that while this technology solves some problems, more new problems emerge, threathing and damaging the quality of life.  The question then is whether technology is altogether considered beneficial or detrimental?

    The most pertinent question here is not whether Nuclear energy is beneficial, important or needed in our world but whether it is safe. The simple answer to this question is NO.

    Nuclear energy is a limitless source of power with an extensity of danger to human life. Irrespective of the fact that nuclear power plants provide a huge fraction of the total world energy, but its vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis,tornado, and also terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants (Hiroshima and Nagashaki come to mind) makes it unsafe because of its capacity to cause genetic disorders, carcinoma, environmental contamination etc . Therefore I opine that anything capable of wiping off the human race can outrightly be categorised as unsafe

    Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture

     

    Nuclear power is a technology that was created to satisfy people’s needs, facilitate people’s life and solve certain problems. However, people have been noticing that while this technology solves some problems, more new problems emerge, threathing and damaging the quality of life.  The question then is whether technology is altogether considered beneficial or detrimental?

    The most pertinent question here is not whether Nuclear energy is beneficial, important or needed in our world but whether it is safe. The simple answer to this question is NO.

    Nuclear energy is a limitless source of power with an extensity of danger to human life. Irrespective of the fact that nuclear power plants provide a huge fraction of the total world energy, but its vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis,tornado, and also terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants (Hiroshima and Nagashaki come to mind) makes it unsafe because of its capacity to cause genetic disorders, carcinoma, environmental contamination etc . Therefore I opine that anything capable of wiping off the human race can outrightly be categorised as unsafe

    Henry Tan's picture

    Looking back at the history, I believe nuclear power was originally developed as a weapon, not for solving energy demands.

    Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture

    It is correct that nuclear power plant from 1939-1945 was focused on developing atomic bomb but this view point changed from 1945 when attention was given to harnessing this energy in a controlled fashion for naval propulsion and for making electricity and since 1956 ,the prime focus has been on the technological evolution of reliable power plant.

    The fact that the history of nuclear power plant started with the growth of science in Europe, blossomed in the United Kingdom and the USA with the technological might of America, the prevalent surge in East Asia, consequent test of international might through the use of force and armed hostilities owning solely to the volume of nuclear power possessed by each sovereign states supports the fact that the Nuclear power plant is largely unsafe for the human race and its attendant environment.

    I think with the unrest in the middle east and their delving into the acquisition of more nuclear power, we just might witness another Hiroshima soonest

    Alabi Ochu Abdulraheem's picture

    SAFETY ENGINEERING AND RISK MANAGEMENT CAN BE A GLOBAL ISSUE

    Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). [1]. Risk management is a process of identifying, quantifying and managing the risk that an organisation faces. [2].

    Safety is the relative freedom from danger, risk, or threat of harm, injury or loss of personnel and/or property, whether caused deliberately or by accident. [3]. Safety in engineering management is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. [4]

    In the early decades of the 19th century, inadequate risk and safety management has led to severe consequences from disasters of various kinds. This has led to the evolution of various legislature guiding risk and safety management of the different organisations involved by various concerned governments.


    The scope of the nature of different accidents and of their places of occurrence has made risk and safety management a global issue as could be seen in the below examples of accidents.

    Aviation accidents includes the following

    1) Japan airlines flight 123 (Japan 1885). [5]

    2) Mexicana flight 940 (Michoacan, 1986). [5]

    3) Dana air flight 992 (Lagos, Nigeria 2012). [5]

    4) Spanair flight 5022 (Madrid, Spain 2008). [5]

    5) Vasp flight 168 (Ceara, Brazil 1982). [5]

    6) 1960 New York air disaster (New York city 1960). [5]

    7) Pan am flight 103 (Lockerbie, UK 1988). [5]

    Coal mine disasters includes:

    1) Coal brook, South Africa 1960. [5]

    2) Benxihu Colliery explosion China 1942. [5]

    3) Oaks Colliery (Barnsley, England 1966). [5]

    4) Hillcrest mine disaster (Hillcrest Alberta Canada 1914). [5]

    5) Amaga Angelopolis, Antioquia, Colombia july 15 1977. [5]

    6) Secunda, Mpumalanga, east Transvaal, South Africa, May 13, 1993. [5]

    Explosion accidents in the past includes:

    1) Silver town explosion (London 1917). [5]

    2) Halifax explosion (Nova ScotianCanada,1917). [5]

    3) Lagos Armoury Explosion (Lagos Nigeria 2002). [5]

    4) Explosion of a dynamite depot, Brazil February 27, 1925. [5]

    5) Ryongchon disaster (North Korea 2004). [5]

    Industrial disasters include the following:

    1) Bhopal disaster (India 1984). [5]

    2) Piper Alpha oil rig disaster (North sea july 6, 1988) . [5]

    3) Texas city disaster (Texas city, Texas April 16 and 17 1947). [5]

    4) Vaal Reef gold mine elevator failure, Orkney, Klerksdorp, South Africa 1995). [5]

    5) BP deep water horizon explosion (Gulf of Mexico April 20, 2010). [5]

    6) Vila Soco oil spill fire (Cubatao Sao Paulo, Brazil February 25 1984). [5]

    7) Flixborough disaster (England june 1974). [5]

    8) Aberfan landslide disaster (Wales 1966). [5]

    References

    1)

    http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/risk

    2)

    http://lexicon.ft.com/term?term=risk-management

    3)

    www.businessdictionary.com/definition/safety.html

    4)

    www.skybrary.aero/index.php/safety _ management _ system

    5)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list _ of _ accidents _ and _ disasters _ by _ death _ toll

    JOHN BOSCO ALIGANYIRA's picture

     

     

     

    Discussion Topic 5

    Submitted by oseghale lucas ... on Sun, 2012-09-30 21:41.

    In recent years, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar panels.

    I disagree with  Oseghale Lucas Okohue  when he says that solar energy is generated by nuclear fusion just like the way Atomic bombs and Nuclear Power Plants operate.

    Solar panels are made of a semi conducting material forexample silicon and when light energy in form of Photons strikes a solar panel,it breaks up electron hole pairs in the material rendering

    electrons free i,e the electrons become excited and move to a higher energy level and it is this flow of electrons that results in electric current/energy.

    For Nuclear fusion ,two lighter nuclei join together to form a larger nuclei and for a solar panel,there is nothing like this however it should be noted that the photons are created by a nuclear fusion

     reaction and this takes place  in the sun and not the solar panel.

    Regards,

    John Bosco Aliganyira

    Msc.Oil and Gas Engineering

    References:

    Association for Applied Solar Energy.; Solar Energy Society.; International Solar Energy Society. , 1958-

    http://www.solartechnologies.com/cm/About-Solar-Power/how-does-solar-power-work.html

    Solar energy conversion the solar cell,Richard C. Neville , ScienceDirect (Online service) , 1995

    Cleaning up the grid Solar thermal electricity development in Australia David R. Mills, Anthony Monger and Bill Keepin,1994.

    Plant Engineer's Reference Book (Second Edition) Copyright© 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved Edited by:Eur Ing CEng, MIMechE,HonFSOE, HonFIPlantE, HonFIIPE ISBN: 978-0-7506-4452-5

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/solar-cell1.htm;

    Henry Tan's picture

    Thanks for clarifying this, although this is not a safety related post.

    Ber_Mar's picture

       Hi Dr. Henry Tan,

     

    Wouldnt it be better to organize this into threads for each topic, or even inside each topic each discussion should have one thread and eventually a moderator.

     Just my opinion, hope it is usefull.

    p.s- This website as well as the mht files, dont seem to work very well on mac. Could you or anyone please send me the direct link to class website, thanks. 

    Mark Haley's picture

    Dear Dr Tan, 

    At the moment we seem to be repeating previous comments made by other members as it is quite difficult to find all the comments/arguments for a particular topic and then form a reply or new point of view.
    I therefore second Ber_Mar's idea on separate threads as this would clearly organise each discussion topic into one flowing argument that can be easily followed and debated.
    We can even suggest new topics for which a moderator or yourself could open a new thread in which a new discussion could flow logically.
    Also, is it possible to cut and paste the comments already made into the seperate threads so we do not loose them, or is this a step too far??

    Mark Haley

    Henry Tan's picture

    Thanks. Done as suggested.

    OKEKE FRANCIS's picture

    Nuclear
    power is the use of nuclear fission, a radioactive decay which releases
    a large amount of energy. it accounts for about 7% of the world's energy.

    No
    technology can be 100% safe and nuclear power is not an exception. There is an
    on-going debate on the safety of nuclear power. The proponents argue that it is
    a sustainable source of energy and reduces carbon emissions while the opponents
    believe it poses a threat to humans and the environment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

    Nuclear
    power can be harmful to humans and the environment if not properly managed. I
    want to believe the pros out-weigh the cons. Most of the nuclear accidents
    recorded are due to operator or human error and natural disasters. It can be
    avoided to the barest minimum with proper safety and risk management.

    The
    Chernobyl disaster (1986) is the worst nuclear power accident in history
    claiming about 30 lives. The cause of this accident was first thought to be
    totally an operator error but a latter report considered it incorrect but there
    was a breach of safety regulations on the part of the operator.

    Nuclear
    power is the safest source of energy as it accounts for the lowest accidental
    death per unit of energy generated. 

     OKEKE FRANCIS N.

    OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING

    sotlog's picture

    Sorry my friend Okene but i totally disagree with your statement that nuclear power is the safest energy.Have not you heard about chernobyl disaster where more than 30 people died in a few months due to radiation.In a study which was published in 2006, in the international journal of cancer the total number of deaths not only in the region of Russia-Ukraine but also in the western Europe was pegged at somewhere between 6000 and 38000 people.Moreover how can we say clean an energy which an average reactor produces 20-30 tons of nuclear waste.In my opinion nuclear power must be forbidden the soon as possible and we must try to find real clean energy.

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    OKEKE FRANCIS's picture

    Hello Sotirios, like I said no technology is 100% safe. I mentioned the number of deaths in the Chernobyl disaster. You mention nuclear power must be forbidden? Really? France presently generates 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Is one of Europe's powerhouse taking the wrong direction? 

    As Engineers, we should constantly aspire to solve problems rather than shying away from them and using the word "impossible". France has being active in developing nuclear technology and is the world's largest net exporter of electricity. Nuclear energy has its safety concerns and constant modifications are being applied to the technology.

    please read: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html 

    OKEKE FRANCIS
    OIL AND GAS ENGR.

    Ber_Mar's picture

     

     

    It is well known and discussed that
    nuclear power is one of the most valid forms of energy. If well used
    its potential is incomparable to other sources, and even the residues
    can be well dealt if well treated. I believe that the problem is just
    this small – BIG IF, as Dr. Henry Tan and industrial experts have
    described, even if machines are perfect we always have the human
    factor to take into account.

    In the first phase mainly high end
    technological countries developed nuclear power, but with it's
    democratization it started becoming available to many countries. So
    if even Japan where the Kaizen culture is clearly imbed into the
    mentality, had Fukushima event, how can we expect to avoid eventual
    further problems in other countries were the attitude is more
    relaxed. I speak here not of any country in particular, but could
    even give the example of my own.

    I believe this to be a risk that we
    cannot take, even small amounts of radiation can create mutations,
    and the long term effect of this mutations in siblings cannot be
    foreseen. In the end I believe nuclear to be very valid source of
    energy but just for specific high-end uses, like submarines or deep
    space vessels, where other source is almost impossible to use. I
    believe the future of energy to be in the efficient use as well as a
    strong mix from short term renewable and long term renewable (yes
    even oil is eventually renewable, we will just no be here to see it).
    And if we think well all of this comes from the SUN.

     

    Kobina Gyan Budu's picture

    Mikesaiki,

    Much as I agree with you on some facts, I
    still will not vote nuclear energy generation the safest.

    Safety we
    define as freedom from danger and danger is the threat of adverse events. The
    extent of an undesired consequence may move from one level to the other with
    time.  In the major nuclear plant accidents
    so far recorded, humanity may have been fortunate to have kept the consequences
    to perceived low levels. That is not to say the system is safer. In assessing
    the impact of the undesired consequences, immediate fatality, even though the
    most highly weighted, is not the only components that deserve the most
    attention. The after-effect on human health and the environment as well as the
    associated financial implications are equally very important.

    It is worth
    noting that in the Fukushima accident, one worker died suddenly while carrying
    equipment during the clean-up exercise (
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents, cited September 29, 2012 ), the
    cause of death not reported and so we can assume not yet known (a latent consequence
    that might affect a lot more people).  It
    also came with, and still incurring huge financial losses. Also, even though
    the Fukushima accident has not yet caused many fatalities (no official
    information yet), it is worth noting that the International Nuclear Event Scale
    (INES) rated it level 7 based on expected effect on humanity, same as that of
    Fukushima (
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Nuclear_Event_Scale, cited September 29, 2012).

    The Chernobyl (Ukraine 1986), Three Mile Island (USA 1979) and Windscale (Britain
    1957
    ) accidents have all
    left more serious indelible scars on humanity than other energy related
    accidents have done to date.

    The nuclear
    power generation process cannot be rated safer than the other energy sources.

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

    Adding some information as a Mineral Resources Engineeer to what you have already written, and i have read, i would like to make a comparison of nuclear energy, and nuclear plants to fossil fuels and renewables. Nuclear power is safe enough for humans as well as for the environment - besides humans are part of the environment - and i shall prove this with comparisons and some examples.

    When fossil fuels are excavated, such as coal or peat, huge quantities of overburdens occur, that are placed on special places or dumps. Beyond the overburdens ore poor in useful minerals is sent there, because it is not economically expoitable. This is translated to pollution. Also when fossil fuels are burnt, including oil and gas, large quantities of harmful gases occur that change the synthesis of the atmosphere such as CO2, CO, SO2 and NOx.

    Compared to all fossil fuels, nuclear energy is much safer and cheaper, if a state has technology and resources to do the proper ore procesing, and construct nuclear plants. Nuclear wastes, are stored in specially designed barrels or boxes, and then stored inproperly designed places, so they don't affect the environment, such as fossil fuels, and many many years later they stabilize and become harmless.

    A full comparison with renewables won't ne made in this post, for many reason but i shall mention two, so everyone understands why. Firstly, nuclear plants provide so much energy compared to a wind farm or a solar park that a comparison would look funny, and secondary would need uncounted solar farms and/or wind farms in order to producethe same amount of energy, that we would produce from a single power plant.

    Which means in simple mathematics not just more money but uncounted resources spended, such as metals and minerals that are not 100% recoverable even if we would recycle them. It also means that too many hectares of land will be occupied, that could produce food, for instance.

    My next post will be in the same discusiion topic, but will focus more on safety. Noise hunts me everywhere and i cannot concentrate properly to write the way i want. I also don't like to make enormous posts so everyone can read easily, agree/disagree or add things. 

    Comments please.

    sotlog's picture

    I am going to disagree with my friend Menelaos who is a mineral resources engineer that nuclear power is safe.As a chemical engineer i would like to remind him two elements,Caesium and Strondium.Strontium looks like calcium.Strontium is incorporated inthe bones and the teeth and is radiating for a long term.In the strontium is owed tha appearence of leukemia.Moreover,there is Caesium which causes a lot of healthy problems.Caesium performs like phosphorous in the organism.It is not cannected stable like Strontium in the tissue of the organism but it is removed from the urines and it causes cancer of pancreas,kidney and liver.Menelaos are you stiil agree with your statement that nuclear power is safe?

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Andreas Kokkinos's picture


    Accidents
    related with the energy industry exist since the first industrial revolution
    but the top ten most severe of them, have occurred at the late 19
    th
    century and still happen today.


    1.    The most severe of all of them
    happened in August 1975, the Banqiao Dam disaster in China due to the poor or inappropriate
    construction of the dam and also is considered the worst energy related disaster
    ever. Due to the intense rainfall that day combined with the low construction
    standards of the dam, the structure failed which as a result killed 26,000
    people from flooding and another 145,000 people died later due to subsequent
    epidemics and famine.


    2.    Another notable and severe disaster occurred
    in San Juanico, Mexico when an LPG tank exploded killing approximately 500 –
    600 people and injuring with severe burns another 5000 – 7000 citizens. The
    explosion took place due to gas leak which ignited by a waste-gas flare.


    3.    The nuclear disaster in Chernobyl on
    26 of April 1986 is among the most famous since Ukraine, Belarus and Russia
    were affected by that event. The disaster occurred during an experiment in a reactor
    during a normal shutdown. 31 people killed instantly from the explosion but the
    long term effects due to the large amounts of radioactive contaminations still
    are present to the area.


    4.    Piper Alpha disaster at 6 of July
    1988, is still considered the worst offshore oil disaster since 167 people
    killed and 61 injured during an explosion due to gas leakage.


    5.    A more recent disaster which combines
    both human loss and huge environmental damage is the Gulf of Mexico oil split
    which took place on 20 of April 2010. The disaster counts 11 fatalities, 17
    injuries and 4.9 million barrels of crude oil spitted in the gulf. The disaster
    is caused due to an explosion on the well due to the company’s multiple safety
    violations in order to save significant time and money.


    6.    Texas City refinery explosion is
    another severe disaster which resulted in 15 fatalities and over 170 people
    injured. Bad well maintenance and the age of the refinery was to blame since it
    was constructed in 1934 and the investigation concluded to over 300 safety
    violations.


    7.    The accident in Norco, Louisiana on 5
    of May 1988 when an explosion in an oil refinery took the lives of 7 people and
    injured another 42 is listed among the most severe accident in the recent
    history. The explosion was caused due to a corroded pipe which ignited and
    resulted to a 706 million dollar disaster.


    8.    In 7 of February 2010, an explosion at
    the Kleen Energy System power station killed six people and injured 50. The cause
    of this accident wasn’t quite clear but he authorities blamed criminal negligence
    since totally 371 safety violations were discovered.


    9.    The most recent catastrophic event was
    the Fukushima Nuclear disaster which occurred on 11 of March 2011 due an
    earthquake who released a tsunami as well. Despite the magnitude of the disaster
    no fatalities were counted but only 37 injuries.


    10.  The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in
    Alaska on 24 of March 1989 when an oil tanker on the way for Long Beach, California
    struck onto Bligh Reef Island. This particular disaster is entirely an
    environmental catastrophe since no lives were lost but due to the spilled
    260,000 – 750,000 barrels of crude oil in the sea destroying almost entirely
    the sea life.


    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_industrial_disasters)


    The majority of these disasters are
    caused either by human error or safety violations which conclude to
    environmental disasters and human life losses. If the right procedures were
    followed some of these disasters may be prevented.


     


    Andreas Kokkinos


    MSc Oil and Gas Engineering


    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    Marinos Ioannou

    ''
    How could government's careless act killed 13 people and destroyed the biggest
    energy supply station of Cyprus''
     

     

    Firstly I would like to mention the fact that in
    Cyprus, there are only three main Energy Supply Stations that mainly relied on heavy
    fuel oil that is currently imported due to lack of raw material in the island.
    The total Installed Capacity in all three stations is 1118MW, with Vasilikos
    Power Station having the biggest part of the power generation with 3x130MW
    Steam units and 1x38MW Gas Turbine installed [1]. Moreover, Government’s officials
    announced the creation of an Energy Centre that will be near the Vasilikos
    Power Station. At this Energy centre will be installed terminal stations of
    natural gas, as has decided by the Government’s Council of Ministers
    (No.20/2011) due to their conviction that the introduction of Natural Gas in
    the island’s energy section will positively affect the economy of the whole
    country [2]. On the other hand, in 2009 98 dangerous containers with explosives
    were seized by the authorities from a ship travelling from Iran to Syria. With
    careless and hasty moves, the officials put the nasty containers into a
    nautical military base ‘’Evangelos Florakis’’ that is located next to the
    Vasilikos Power Station. The explosives were held there upon breach of numerous
    safety standards and also they were exposed to high temperatures with a result
    a huge and catastrophic explosion on 11th of July 2011 that killed
    13 people and destroyed big part of the Energy Station [3].

    [1] http://www.eac.com.cy
     

    [2] http://www.mcit.gov.cy

    [3] www.EandTmagazine.com ‘’Power-Cyprus
    over the worst of power Crisis’’, by Lorna Sharpe

     

     

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    Explosive gases that were formed by deterioration and decomposion of the
    gunpowder led to self ignition. The blast left behind a crater of 60m across
    and 15m deep with the shock wave generating irreparable damage to the Military
    Base and to the Energy Supply Station as well [1]. Moreover 13 fatal and heroic
    people died that day, among them military officers, sailors and fire-fighters
    [2]. Additionally disaster spread to a 5km ratio. That day as I remember the
    electricity network collapsed and none knew what was going on. Who could
    imagine that authority’s negligence would cause a fatal disaster to the power
    supply network? After that day, Electricity Authority of Cyprus announced that ‘’Due
    to severe damage to the production network of the Electricity Authority of
    Cyprus, the consumers must end the use of air conditioners and minimize the use
    of other electrical devices until further notice". For those who don’t
    know how the weather likes in the midsummer period in Cyprus, I want to inform
    you that the temperature reaches more than 45C°. So the only thing that someone
    can do in order to avoid medical conditions like heat-stroke or sunstroke, is
    to avoid the sun and stay somewhere cool and drink much water. So if someone
    does not have the privilege of a cool place to stay in the really hot summer in
    Cyprus then they will be lucky to survive. Concluding, it would be more
    accurate and proper if the authorities tried to prevent the blaster from
    happening not only for the energy matter but firstly for the 13 victims.

    [1] www.EandTmagazine.com ‘’Power-Cyprus
    over the worst of power Crisis’’, by Lorna Sharpe

    [2] http://portal.kathimerini.gr 

    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    As revealed by the Cypriot press, orders to cool down the hazardous
    containers with water by the fire-fighter special unit were given by the
    government authorities. My question is who was in charge to take such an
    immature and dangerous decision? Why someone from the Government’s authorities
    would suggest firstly the placement of 98 ready-to-blow containers near the
    biggest Energy Supply Station of the island and secondly, why someone would
    give orders to cool down with water the deteriorated and decomposed explosives?
    As the press reported, the orders from the Government to cool down the
    containers were given in order to delay the explosion so the containers to be
    moved to a place where deminers would cause a safe explosion to the hazardous
    content [1].

    [1] http://offsite.com.cy 

    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    As a matter of fact, someone who had the proper knowledge and experience
    wouldn’t decide 4-5 days before the catastrophic explosion to take action and
    cool down, then transfer and blow the explosives. As the press published, the commander
    of the Nautical Base informed several times the Ministry of Defence and some
    other associates about his worries about the containers condition. As his letters
    report, the containers since the first time that they were arrived in the
    Military Base were active as several facts could prove that. Anyone, he said,
    can notice the outer wear of the containers caused by its contents [1]. As you
    can see from the picture taken before the explosion and published by a Cypriot
    newspaper ‘’POLITIS’’, the outer surface of the containers seems really
    distorter.
     

    [1] http://www.sigmalive.com 

    As I was not able to upload a picture for the containers, this are the links for pictures that show exactly the situation of the ready-to-blow explosives: 

    http://www.politis-news.com/politispics/20110711_zygiblast_container.jpg

    http://www.politis-news.com/politispics/CONT.jpg 

    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    What I am
    really worried about is that there are some political interests hidden behind
    the whole disaster, as some reporters claimed. How is it possible a disaster like
    this could take place that specific time at the very specific area were the
    main Energy supply station allocated and the future natural gas end point will
    developed? Additionally, the recent discoveries of natural gas at the South-East
    coast give to the island an opportunity to upturn its economy through those
    difficult days of the economic crisis. More specific, the worth of the natural
    gas reserves fluctuates between 50 and 80 billion US dollars according to the Energy
    Director of Cyprus Mr Solon Kassinis [1]. Moreover the total disaster on 11 of
    July 2011 cost the government around 700million. But the reality is that after
    the 11/08 the half power supply network of Cyprus collapsed and every company
    and every simple worker were forced to buy gas-electric generators in order to
    cover their basic working and home needs. It worth to be mentioned, that fuel
    and electricity prices reached phenomenal prices, which led to a crisis to the
    whole country.  Why the only
    Semi-Government organization didn’t have a plan for this kind of occasions? Why
    a country that has 80% of the year sunshine is relied only to gas or petroleum
    energy sources? How safety legislation will apply for the natural gas when it
    will reach the shore? Are there reliable organisations in Cyprus that can safely
    deal with oil and gas transportation and storage? Does the legislative system
    of Cyprus contain clear legislations about oil and gas transportation and
    storage or it has to be modified?

    [1]http://www.inews.gr/89/metaxy-50-kai-80-dis-dol-to-oikopedo-12-stin-aoz-tis-kyprou.htm 

    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    Many people characterise the disaster of 11/08/11 as Cyprus second
    biggest. The responsibilities and negligence were divided into 4 parts by
    the Research Committee [1].

     -The first three parts refer to political and diplomatic issues, mainly
    to explain why the load alighted and saved to Cyprus, why authorities chose the
    nautical military base to host the dangerous containers and which political
    people have took those decisions.

    - The Fourth part which is the most
    important for me, talks about the managing stage of the hazardous load. It
    starts just after the inflation of two containers from total 98 and after that
    Fire Service was notified about the situation.

    It was then that someone with experience
    in such situations to demand from any responsible authority to remove immediately
    the containers (at least the two) to a safest place and blow them, instead of
    just trying to cool them down with throwing water on them. Anyway, the disaster
    could be prevented from very early on since the load arrived in the island.
    Specialists should checked the content and act accordingly.

    [1]http://www.politis-news.com/cgibin/hweb?-A=210587&-V=articles 

    Marinos Ioannou

    Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture


    There must be a new purposive approach in viewing risk
    management in relation to occupational hazards, health and welfare. Safety
    precedes health, much focus is on health, with safety wheeled to the ground.
    There is an urgent need to critically evaluate the probability of risk, the
    impact, freguency of accidents and the inability to detect foreseable
    occurences in relation to preparedness and action.


    There is certainly a growing disparity between the
    prevalence of risk in some risk-prone procedures, processes, facilities and
    some less risk-prone procedures and there is possible tendency of
    generalization of principles in risk management. Thus, a painstakingly thorough
    procedure-specific  risk management
    procedure, a safety focus prevention process must be consciously adhered to,
    giving regard to variables such as prevalence, weather, fatique, compensation
    and the regulatory framework for the victims of potential hazards.


    Emmanuel Mbata's picture

    The safer the better

    Is nuclear power safe for humans and the environment?

    Nuclear power energy has been proposed as an answer to the need for a clean energy source as opposed to CO2 producing plants. Considering the effects nuclear energy have on the environment that propositon in not entirely true.

    For instance;

    Carbon dioxide; Nuclear power plant has been called a clean source of energy because the power plants

    While this is true, it is deceiving. Nuclear power plants may not emit carbon dioxide during operation, but high amounts of carbon dioxide are emitted in activities related to building and running the plants, the process of minning uranium releases high amounts of CO2 into the environment and also transport of radioactive waste also causes CO2 emmisions.

    Radioactive Waste; Radioactive waste is a huge concern. waste from nuclear power plants can remain active for hundreds of thousands of years. Currently, much of the radioactive waste from nuclear power plants has been stored at the power plants. Due to space constraints, eventually the radioactive waste will need to be relocated. There is no current solution to deal with the issue of radioactive waste. The idea of building more nuclear power plants and worrying about dealing with the waste later has the potential of a dangerous outcome.

    Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4566966_nuclear-energy-affect-environment.html#ixzz2853uguUp

    I would argue
    that a nuclear power plant is a clean source of energy with respect to CO2
    emissions. The fact that high levels of CO2 emission occur in the building of a
    plant and when mining and transporting  uranium
    should not be taken into account when discussing if nuclear power plants are safe
    for the environment. Almost all large scale industrial activities result in
    some form of CO2 emissions and as a result a clean method of energy generation
    must be employed in an attempt to cut CO2 emissions across the board. I believe
    that nuclear energy has the potential to be that method of clean energy production.
    However, I do strongly agree with the problems related to the disposal of
    radioactive waste. Consequently, a safe and reliable solution must be found for
    the disposal of radioactive waste before we start to heavily rely on nuclear
    power.  

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Subsequent to the Piper Alpha Oil disaster
    the British Government introduced changes to safety laws relating oil platforms
    and the general culture of the industry. Nowadays, organisations run the risk
    of substantial fines and a bad reputation when the Health and Safety regulations
    are not followed. At the outset, an organisation can be guilty of corporate manslaughter
    when a failure in the management of a company’s activities may lead to a person’s
    death. This new legislation rests responsibilities directly to the senior
    management department.  Subsequently, a
    company may be prosecuted under the Act 2007. This can extensively damage the
    image and reputation of a company and have a negative influence relative to share
    value, profit and market share. Therefore managing health and safety in
    industry is a vital aspect in order to achieve legal compliance.

    Frixos Karletides


    http://www.turnerandtownsend.com/FullStoryWithTouts.aspx?m=603


    Frixos Karletides's picture


    The failure resulted essentially from an accumulation of management errors. Bearing in mind the findings concluded
    related to the Piper Alpha disaster, they allowed us to have a better
    understanding of the risks involved before other accidents occurred. Subsequent
    to the disaster exceptional regulations were conducted:
    The Offshore Installation and Pipeline Works (Management and
    Administration) Regulations 1995 for the safe management of installations
    involved in a project; The Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and
    Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (PFEER) to provide the
    protection of workers from an offshore fire or explosion; The Offshore
    Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996 to
    provide the safety of offshore working environment; The Offshore Installations
    (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations, which came into
    force in 1989, also provided a voice to the offshore engineering.

    Frixos Karletides


    http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/cmsfiles/modules/publications/pdfs/HS048.pdf


    victor.adukwu's picture


    Discuss safety in
    wind energy


    In any engineering design and installation, safety is of
    paramount importance. In the case of wind energy, the height of installation of
    the wind turbine and intensity of the wind direction should be adequately
    designed for.The height of a wind turbine places it at risk for lightning
    strikes, which can damage and destroy the turbine's circuitry and structure.
    Turbines must have some sort of grounding and surge protection system in place
    in order to withstand the strikes. The magazine "North American
    Windpower" published an article in 2007
    detailing new surge-protection device standards issued by the Underwriters
    Laboratory and noted that not only can surges spread from the hit turbines to
    transformers, but fires caused by strikes can start inside the turbine. These
    internal fires are difficult to put out[Cited 2012 Sep. 30]. Available from
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/157216-wind-turbine-safety-issues.


    Also wind turbines must be sturdy and able to withstand
    strong wind and storms, as well as regular motion when in use, especially if
    near populated areas. Unfortunately, sometimes they're not built as well as
    they should be. The "Guardian"
    newspaper in the UK reported in 2008 on a number of turbines that broke and
    threw blades onto houses, farms and even back into the turbine tower itself.
    The article noted that a â turbulent atmosphere
    may cause cracks to form in a turbine's structure[Cited 2012 Sep. 30].
    Available from
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/157216-wind-turbine-safety-issues.


    Given the large expansion planned in wind turbine
    construction it can be expected that thepotential for accidents will increase
    and that some of these will involve workers and the public.


    Engineering safety on Nuclear power

    Nuclear energy is one of the most
    important discoveries institutionalised by human. The spontaneous energy generated
    by nuclear energy is derived from the radioactive decay or fusion of photon and
    neutrons (radioactive element).

     This energy source is an exothermic reaction
    that releases a large amount of energy inform of electromagnetic and kinetic
    energy [1]. Major concern about this category of energy is more driven towards
    the waste produced, disposal method (transmutation and deep burial) and the
    political abuse of such power driven energy.

    The United State nuclear waste
    policy act of 1982 explains the full process that must be undertaken before
    radioactive waste is disposed. The classification of low level and high waste
    material (section 2 of Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982) explains further that
    radioactive waste material must not be disposed (buried) unless the radioactive
    elements are totally decayed with time [2].

    The Environmental Protection Agency
    (EPA) state on their website that ‘’  An
    operating nuclear power plant produces very small amounts of radioactive gases
    and liquids, as well as small amount of direct radiation. An average radiation
    dose of 0.01 millirem per year will be received by a person staying 50 miles of
    a nuclear power plant’’ [3]. The EPA statement elaborates more on the human
    medical safety, especially on the radioactive effect on human health (cancer
    disease).

    The proposed safety culture
    policy statement (SECY-12-0008) for the nuclear plant operators has implemented
    plans to sensitise and educate the public on the activities of nuclear power
    plants [4]. With such development, the public will be able to appreciate the
    efficacy of nuclear energy produced and gradually eliminate the extreme fears
    created due to health and political issues.

    With the safety policies and
    regulations put in place for human health purposes, I strongly believe that
    Nuclear power is a brilliant source of energy that should be used, effectively
    monitored   and developed with a sole aim
    of improving the citizen’s livelihood.

     

    References:

    1. Wikipedia.org

    2. Nuclear Waste Policy Act of
    1982 (P.L. 97-425). A NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT OG 1982 AS AMENDED, 96
    Stat.2201; page 441. Accessed on 29/09/12. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr0980/v1/sr0980v1.pdf#page=417

    3. www.nrc.gov.
    Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about radiation protection.  Accessed on 29/09/2012.

    4. Implementation plan for the safety
    culture policy statement; 19/01/12. http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1133/ML11334A103.pdf
    Accessed on 29/09/2012.

    Abdulazeez Bello's picture

     
    The Health safety and Environment, HSE legislations
    especially in the United Kingdom has over the years being shaped by level
    playing ground and major incidents like the Piper Alpha [1]. One begins to
    wonder if they are no such disasters in the third world countries [2] and why
    have they not being reported and studied. How has issues pertaining to safety
    shaped the laws of such countries especially in the exploration and production
    sector with high risk tendencies. This and many more questions beg for an
    answer.


    Let’s take Nigeria as
    a case study

    there exist a culture of denial by the operators most of whom are International
    Oil Companies, IOCs. An example is the recent oil spillage in Qua Iboe Terminal,
    QIT [3] another happened in Bayelsa  early
    this year where fire was left burning for more than 40 days due to a gas kick incidents
    in one of the fields[4] and many more to use as examples.
    Findings
    Weak legislations in place: Rules, Regulations and Enforcement.
    Lack of Access to data and Information as to the remote cause of the incident,
    making difficult analysis of lesson learnt.
    The politics of denial by parties involved.
    Inconsistency as to how they apply the notion of “International best practices”
    as spelt out in the US and EU countries regarding HSE.
    Bottlenecks involved in passing bills in
    the legislative Assembly. A good example is the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.


    References

    [1]
    http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/cmsfiles/modules/publications/pdfs/HS048.pdf


    [2] http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world.htm


    [3] http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120816-706688.html


    [4] http://www.thenigerianvoice.com/nvnews/84436/1/finally-46-day-bayelsa-gas-well-inferno-ceases.html


     


    Aaron McKenna's picture

    I recently read into the Valero Refinery fire which occurred
    on February 16th 2007 in Sunray, TX. In this event a propane leak
    from a disused pipe was ignited by a source in the same vicinity. The resulting
    fire subsequently spread causing considerable damage to not just the deasphalting
    unit where the gas leak began but surrounding units (1). I feel that this case
    is of considerable mention since lessons were learnt not just from the
    consequences that did occur but also from potential hazards that were
    accentuated and brought to life by the fire. The US Chemical Safety Board, among
    the tangible conclusions, also raised the issue of nearby located butane
    storage spheres and the deluge systems operated to control them. In this case a
    butane sphere was damaged by the fire but luckily did not fail, which was a
    spot of good fortune since the deluge system valve was too close to the fire
    for it to be manually operated (2). Thus in this instance extremely useful
    conclusions were able to be drawn about safety on such facilities without the
    hazard actually occurring. If it had of occurred the injury/fatality number
    would have been considerably more than the 3 injuries that were sustained. Spotting
    prematurely the hazards and taking steps to prevent them from happening is of
    course much more beneficial than learning from the consequences of reality.

    (1.)  http://www.csb.gov/investigations/detail.aspx?SID=12

    (2.)  http://www.csb.gov/assets/document/CSBFinalReportValeroSunray.pdf

    Mark Nicol's picture

     

    I would like to expand on the lessons learned from the Valero
    refinery fire.

    If we first look at one of the reasons that caused the accident
    and look at one of the lesson’s that can be learnt from it. In 1992 work was
    carried out at the refinery to shut down the redundant Propane Deasphalting
    (PDA) Unit. In order to achieve this, six inch valves were closed to isolate
    the redundant PDA from the system.

    As there was an unknown blockage that prevented the valve seat
    from closing properly there was now a leak path introduced into the system. As
    can be read in reference 1, water passed through the defective valve seat over
    time and settled in the pipework. This water froze over a period of four days
    and cracked the pipework, then eventually thawed and let propane pass just
    underneath the flange (Ref1).

    Inevitably the ensuing propane vapour cloud found an ignition
    source that resulted in serious burns for three workers and an estimated bill
    for 50 Million Dollars.   

    Lesson
    Learned:

    One lesson that can be learned from the accident is that there
    wasn’t a pressure test completed on the dead leg system once the valves were
    closed. If a leak test was completed to 110% the MAOP (maximum allowable
    operating pressure) Ref 3, Section 11.5.4 the leak would have been detected as
    the test would have failed. This would have instigated further investigations
    that could possibly have averted the accident.  

    References:

    1.     
    nsc.nasa.gov/SFCS/SystemFailureCaseStudyFile/Download/137/

    2.     
    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/86/i28/8628notw6.html

    3.     
    PD
    8010-1 2004 Code of Practice for Pipelines – Steel Pipelines on Land

     

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

     

    Adding comment to : ADEDEJI, KoBina, Ber_Mar, (Topic : How to reduce human error)

    I have already maden a post comparing fossil fuels and renewables with nuclear power, explaining their energy relationship - (contrast), and how safe these energies are. I wrote nothing about accidents and how these could be avoided. (For these i shall make 2 posts, and here is the first, having to do with human error). A nuclear accident is much more important than a leekage or an oil spot, and cannot be compared to pollution that comes from any type of renewables. Increased safety is the target of this course, for all kinds of installations, and this can be translated as reduced probability of the failure event, which in this case would be a nuclear accident.

    Two factors are to be examined seperately, both having to do with the safety of a nuclear plant. Firstly, the human factor, and secondary, the probability of material failure, or machinery failure or design failure. Considering that technology has advanced, and problems in desigh and/or material failure can be adequately solved by today's engineers, i shall focus on :

    1) The human factor (error possibility), 2) The probability of a Nuclear accident caused by a natural catastrophe. (My next post that follows just after this)

     The human factor : There is always possibility of human errors. How can this possibility be reduced ? Answer : The more people you use for a task, the more chances of sucess you have, not exceeding a critical limit of course. So, more people in certain critical tasks, reduce the probability of failure.

    sotlog's picture

    Considering the availiability of fuels,fossil fuel would last keeping in mind the rate of usage ,would last not more than 50 years from now.Whereas the nuclear fuels would be usable for more than 200 hundread years.Uranium-235 that is used in nuclear reactors produces 3.7 million times more energy than the same amount of coal.As an example 7 trucks which can carry 6 cases of 2 to 12 foot high fuel assemblies,can fuel a 1000 Megawatt-electrical(Mwe)reactor for 1.5 years. During this period 2 metric tons of Uranium-235(of the 100 metric tons of fuel-Uranium dioxide) would be consumed.To operate a coal plant of the same output would require 1 train of 89-100 tons coal cars each every day.Over 350.000 tons of ash would be produced and over 4 million tons of carbon dioxide,carbon monoxide,nitrogen oxides would be released to the enviroment.On the contrary there is no emission of any exhaust gas as oxygen is not required for the fission reaction.

    REFERENCE:

    Kwi-Joo Lee & Jung-Sun An,Thesis on The Nuclear Power Vessels(2008) Department of Naval A rchitecture and Ocean Engineering,Chojun University,Korea.

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

     

    Continuing my previous post ... ( Topic : Reducing the probability of a Nuclear accident - A geologist's scope )

     
    Nuclear accidents may also occur, due to a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. These could also produce enormous waves (example : tsounamies), that are possible to destroy the nuclear plant. The relatively recent accident in Japan, was caused by such enormous waves.

    Being a mineral resources engineer i have studied enough geology. So how would a geologist think ? Taking into consideration the tectonic plates theory, as well as the volcanic activity of a place (volcanic arches), he would never construct a nuclear power plant, in territories close to tectonic plate borders or near volcanic arches. Taking this parameter seriously, the possibility of a nuclear accident related to natural causes approaches null (0).

    Studying a world map that includes tectonic plate borders  and volcanic arches, and also taking as granted that electric power is easily with cables almost everywhere some observations can be maden. ( I won't upload a map, but i studied one carefully).

    Nuclear plants sould not be constructed in territories/ countries such as : Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Central America, because noone can predict the magnitude of an earthquake or a sudden volcanic erruption.

    Studying the same map ideal places for the construction of a power plant would be : East South America, East North America, West Africa, North Europe, Siberia or Australia.

    What is your opinion ?

    Ref : Manoutsoglou Emmanuel, (2003). Introduction to Geology

     

    Toby Stephen's picture

    Following on from M.Michelakis, I think that's a very interesting point, although I think that not building a nuclear plant on tectonic plate borders and volcanic arches would be one of the first considerations when selecting a site. I'm unsure as to the exact design requirements of modern nuclear power plants but following on from what you said, another major factor would have to be to consider the effect of rising sea level and how this could potentially amplify the effects of a storm surge.

    As suggested in [1], this, coupled with coastline subsidence, could have severe implications for a power plant in New Hampshire. Another major design requirement would have to be the proximity to a water source (for cooling) which could explain why Fukushima and the Seabrook Nuclear Plant described in [1] are closely located to the ocean. I think you're right about Australia being a good location as there is no shortage of water or empty space and as an Australian I'd love to see it but I think I'm in the minority there.  

     

    [1] http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/sea-level-rise-in-seabrook-could-cre...

    --

    Toby Stephen
    MSc Oil & Gas Engineering

    sotlog's picture

    The Chernobyl disaster is the worst nuclear power-plant accident in the history and it was the only one(until the accident of Fucisima) which was classified as a level seven event on the international nuclear events scales(INES).The level seven is equivalent with the major aaccident.Two hundread thirty seven workers werw taken to the hospital while 134 of these cases were confirmed.Twenty eight cases from the above 134 were lead to death while about 20 workers have since died from illness considered to have been caused or aggravated by radiation exposure.Moreover,two workers died from other causes at the time of the accident.It was also estimated by scientists that arount four thousands people are going to die or have already dieed due to the reaction.(1)

    In another study which was published in 2006 in the international journal of cancer,the total number of deaths not only in the region of Russia-Ukraine but also in the westerv europe was pegged at somewhere between 6000 and 38000 people.(2)

    All the above facts were created due to a wrong conduct of some engineers in an old reactor.From all the above it is obvious that nuclear power is not safe and shoul be discouraged.

     REFERENCES:

    (1)www.state.com/articles/health-and science/new

    (2)www.onearth.org/article/chernobyl-25-years-last-its-not-one

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    Subsea integrity and reliability management is" the management of a subsea system or asset to ensure that it delivers the design requirements, and does not harm life,health or the environment, through the required life."

    ( Energy Institute Guidelines for the Management of Integrity of Subsea Facilities)

    The major drive for a significant change in any industry is a major incident, for example the major incidents that lead to the introduction of goal setting legislation a successor of prescriptive legislation in offshore health and safety is the Pipher Alpa disaster 1988.

    It is very vital to carry out integrity and reliability management of subsea structure in other to reduce technical risk, maximize system uptime, help maintain life-of-field integrity, protect the environment and protect health and safety.

    The reliability of a component or system can be defined as the probability that the component or System will not fail in some specified period of time

    Therefore, in the design and manufacture of offshore equipment, it very vital to design structures which have high redundancy and requires less intervention to ensure the reliability and integrity of the equipment is maintained.

    The standard way of maintain the integrity of subsea equipment is to implement required goal setting legislation which ensure safety and proper integrity as well as risk assessment of all subsea equipment in the design and installation phase by the duty holder or organisation.

    The integrity management process for all subsea assets includes;

                                      Define an integrity management(IM) programme

    Implement an (IM) programme

    Assess the performance of an (IM) programme


    Lesson learnt and improvement


    Review all process


    Reference

    An Industry Perspective on Subsea Integrity Management By Mark Wilson Structural Technical Authority, CNR International

    Subsea Integrity Surveillance Systems by Schlumberger





    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Soseleye F. Ideriah's picture

     

    The capture and concentration of any form of energy is
    inherently dangerous and wind energy has its own shortcomings. Cracks and
    fractures may cause breakaway of rotor blades and overheated propellers have
    been known to cause fires [1]. Vibrations and load changes may cause fractures
    in concrete foundations leading to water seeps and subsequent rust of the
    reinforcing steel. Also, with turbulent wind, large wind turbines produce very
    low frequency sounds below 20Hz (infrasound). Infrasound cannot be heard and is
    unrelated to the sound heard from the wind turbines. However it is detected by
    the human ear and may have negative effects [2]. Construction workers face the
    hazard of drowning, with fatalities and serious accidents reported in the past [3].

    A report compiled by Caithness Windfarm Information Forum is
    said to present information of all documented cases of wind turbine related
    accidents which could be found and confirmed through press reports or official
    information releases up to 30 June 2012 [4]. The report details an expected
    upward trend in number of accidents recorded over the period due to an upward
    trend in the number of turbines built. 94 Fatal accidents have been captured since
    the 70’s, with 123 fatalities; 74 of which were industry or direct support
    workers and 49 public fatalities or workers not directly dependent on the wind
    industry. A total number of 1258 accidents were recorded.

    Also, the Daily Telegraph reported statistics released by
    Renewable UK, of 1500 accidents and incidents in the 5 years leading to
    December 2011 [5] (Statistics cover UK region only). These statistics include 4
    deaths and a further 300 injuries to workers.

    Statistics on serious accidents and fatalities for wind
    energy should not be analysed in isolation but should be compared to statistics
    for other sources of energy. Wind energy is responsible for 0.15 deaths per
    TWh. Only Nuclear energy causes fewer deaths per TWh (0.04 deaths per TWh)[6]. It
    should be noted that coal, oil and biofuel are responsible for 161, 36 and 12
    deaths per TWh respectively.

    References

    1 Spiegel Online: “The Dangers of
    Wind Power” (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wuthering-heights-the-dangers-of-wind-power-a-500902.html)

    2 Alec N. Salt, Ph.D: “Wind
    Turbines can be Hazardous to Human Health” (http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wind.html)

    3 “Killer Offshore Windparks – 3
    Dead, 80 Serious Accidents …More Have Died” (http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/22/killer-offshore-north-sea-windparks-3-dead-80-serious-accidents-more-have-died/)

    4 Caithness Windfarm Information
    Forum: Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 30th June 2012 (http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm)

    5 The Telegraph: “1,500 accidents
    and incidents on UK wind farms” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8948363/1500-accidents-and-incidents-on-UK-wind-farms.html)

    6 http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

     

    sreehariprabhu's picture

    It is very important that we should have good safety systems for the oil and gas industry. This is because even if a small thing goes wrong, it can really cost much. There are a lot of things that one should consider for safety in an oil and gas industry. When it comes to safety, it has to do with both human factors and equipments on the rig. When we consider the human factors, we can tell that one must be careful while operating on a rig and also the height factor, handling of different equipments etc. But its time now that more focus is to be given on the rig construction, the mechanical and electrical machines used on the rig and also the pipelines. The reliability of these equipments really matters a lot.

    When we design a rig, we should consider almost all the factors which can cause risk. In this comment, I will be concentrating on the environmental challenges. It includes environment, climate etc. We have oil platforms running for more than 10 years and the reliability of these must be checked and safety should be ensured. The best examples for this is the 'Re-evaluation of risk in the Gulf of Mexico'. In Gulf of Mexico, the aging infrastructure, fierce seosonal hurricanes and increased demand for deep water development leads to operational risk managemant. Since most of them are deepwater, one should also try to ensure safety in HPHT condition. Also for offshore platforms, we should be ready to face environmental challenges like hurricanes. For example, Katrina hurricane destroyed 47 platforms in Gulf of Mexico. The figure below shows Shell's Mars TLP after Katrina hit.

     

     When it comes to environmental challenges it will be unexpected. So we as Safety engineers should now do our best way to ensure safety for rigs from these environmental challenges. The best way is to learn from the incidents which happened before. From theory, Risk= Probability x Consequence. Even if the probability of an environmental challenge is less, the consequence is huge. So the risk is also more. Thus it would be better if we learn the properties of materials and analyze the kind of force and impact that can cause the structure fail. So by improving these factors, we will be able to resist the environmental challenges and  can thus ensure safety of the rigs.

    Reference: Offshore Update 2010 publication

     

    Sreehari Ramachandra Prabhu

    Abiaziem Davidson's picture

    The energy sectoris known as one of the major contributors to man-made disasters. Top severe accidents in energy sector are as listed below and my focus will be on the cause and consequence of Piper Alpha accident.

    List of Accidents and disasters by death toll

    1. 12,000-Bhopal disaster (India, 1984)

    2. 1549- Benxihu Colliery explosion, (China, 1942)

    3. 568+ - Texas City Disaster (Texas City, Texas, April 16 & 17, 1947)

    4. 512 - Sumitomo Besshi Brone mine area, landslide with debris flow disaster, Niihama, Shikoku, 1899

    5. 500+ - San Juanico Disaster (Mexico City, November 19, 1984)

    6. 319-Marie iron mine fire, Pribram, Czech Republic, May 31, 1892

    7. 300+ -2012 Pakistan garment factory fires, Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan, September 11 2012

    8. 300+ - Nambija mine disaster, landslide destroying several mines and buildings, Ecuador, May 9 1993

    9. 254 - Illegal Tashan mine collapsed with mud-rock flow at Xiangfen, Linfen, Shanxi, China (September 2008)

    10. 245 - Kogushi sulfur mine collapse, western Gunma, Japan, 1937

    11. 234 - Petrochina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, kai County, Chongqing, China,2003

    12. 220 - El Cobre tailing dam and copper mine failure by earthquake in Chile on March 28, 1965.

    13. 202 - Bolevec ammunition factory explosion, Plzen, Czech Republic, May 25, 1917.

    14. 200+ -Vila Soco oil spill fire (Cubatao Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 25, 1984)

    15. 177 -General Mining Union Kinross gold mine fire, Transvaal, south Africa, on September 16, 1986.

    16. 167 -Piper Alpha oil rig disaster (North Sea, July 6, 1988)

     Reference

    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_disasters_by_death_toll

     

    Henry Tan's picture

    Banqiao Dam disaster (20,000+ fatalities) is not listed here?

    Abiaziem Davidson's picture

    Banqiao Dam collapse which happened in Henan Province of China in August 1975 is listed under flood disaster.

    See link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_disasters_by_death_toll (list of flood by death toll)

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Wind energy is
    the wind’s kinetic energy that is used to produce mechanical energy and
    electricity using special implements called wind turbines. It is mostly used in
    offshore or onshore conditions where there are wind flows on a large scale.
    Relative to alternative methods of producing energy this process does not emits
    harmful gases or generates destructive waste products to the environment.
    Conversely, the construction of both an offshore and an onshore wind farm embraces
    noise and vibration, soil erosion, habitat alterations and an effect to wild
    life. The noise is primarily produced by the mechanical and aerodynamic sources
    in the nacelle of the turbine. The installation of wind turbines requires a
    large proportion of excavation.


    Instead of environmental impacts, the construction of a wind turbine
    may include physical hazards like working at heights, working in confined
    spaces, working with rotating machinery, falling objects and working over
    water. Technicians working over in wind towers may be aware of confined space
    hazards that include unsafe oxygen levels and toxic gases. Toxic fumes may be developed
    from heat or electrical spark. Wind turbines must be stiff in order to
    withstand strong winds and storms as well as regular motion when in use near
    populated areas. Another safety problem that can be stated is that during icy
    conditions wind turbine blades can ice over. This affects the safety of anyone
    or anything in range since large pieces of ice can be thrown off the blades
    into the surrounding area. 

    Frixos Karletides

         


    http://www1.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/3af2a20048855acf8724d76a6515bb18/Final%2B-%2BWind%2BEnergy.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&id=1323162509197

    sotlog's picture

    It is an undeniable fact that the disaster in Foucosima is going to create a lot of problems in the next few years.From the plant of Foucosima escaped four different chemical elements of dangerous radioisotopes such as iodine-137,caesium-137,strontium-90 and plotonium-259.The most dangerous is iodine because it is one of the main causes of cancer of thyroid to people even if exposed for a little term.Following, in terms of danger is strontium which is similar to calcium.Strontium is incorporated in the bones and the teeth and remains radioactive for a long term.The appearence of leukemia is mainly caused by strontium.On the other side caecium causes a lot of health problems.Caecium performs like phosphorus in the organism.It is not withholdlike strontium in the tissue of the organism but removed from the urines.It causes cancer of pancreas,cancer of kidney and cancer of liver as well.Last but not least, is plotonium which is extremely toxic.The exposure of plotonium becomes with inhalation and for that reason,plotonium is causing lung cancer.For all the above healthy reasons nuclear power safety measures have to be upgrated.

    (1)www.slideshare.net/xpapas/55-12194341-150k

    (2) NTUA Publications ,Professor A.Anastasopoulou,(2011)

    Sotirios Longinos

    Abiaziem Davidson's picture

    Piper Alpha Accident

    The major physical/technical circumstance that lead to Piper Alpha accident are Design decision,
    Production and expansion decisions, Personnel management and safety awareness,
    Inspection, maintenance and correction of detected problems.

    The mainunderlying causes of the accident was lack of communication among the personnel,
    incompetence, lack of accountability and commitment to work, lack of training,
    planning, total failure of safety defence, and permit to work system.

    The accident resulted in so many fatalities because many of the workers followed procedures, the
    platform management failed to provide a safe workplace, most of the personnel
    onboard at the time of the accident were not experienced to man the platform
    and the loss of the Operation Installation Manager (OIM) led to a tragic
    increase in the number of casualties.

    On harm to the environment, the UK Government and the owners of Piper alpha played down the
    impact of the disaster on the marine environment, more than 5.5tonnes of toxic
    chemicals were injected into North Sea contaminating the aquatic life and most
    of the very resistance to chemical and biological decomposition found their
    ways into the food chain.

    Human actions, structural failures and poor engineering design contributed immensely in the
    escalation of Piper Alpha accident.

    Legal consequences: It led to reforms in the North Sea safety procedures; it brought reorms on the way
    health and safety is managed in UK offshore waters, introduction of the
    offshore installation regulation and it gave Health and Safety Executive power
    to enforcing safety in the North Sea and changes to safety rules. Loss of
    capital and investors; Insurance claim in Piper Alpha accident was about US$1.4
    billion and it brought about reforms in the insurance industry.

    Reference

    1.http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=80465

    2.  
    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1562743

    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha_disaster

    4. http://engineeringfailures.org/files/Learning%20from%20the%20Piper%20Alpha%20Accident.pdf

    5.    
    H.Tan and M.J Baker (2012/2013), Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concept,
    available on Aberdeen Blackboard, accessed on 1st October 2012.

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    Safety is relative freedom from danger, or threat of harm, injury, or loss to personnel and/or property, whether caused deliberately or by accident.

    The word safety therefore involves two concepts. The first is that of a safe state in which one needs to be in, in order to feel or be safe. The second concept is related to the notion that the chance or probability or transferring from the safe state to an unsafe state should be reasonably small

    Some historical accidents that have influenced industry’s thinking about safety and how it should be managed is highlighted below;

    Aberfan colliery disaster

    Led to major changes in the coal industry in the management of safety, giving responsibility to civil engineers for waste tips and is the Major influence on the 1972 Robens Report and on the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

    Flixborough Nypro Plant Disaster-

    Was one of the main drivers for the on the introduction of the Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1984.

    Challenger Disaster-

    Major impact on safety management, but not clear that these lessons were learned in view of the loss of the space shuttle .

    Piper Alpha Disaster –

    Major impact on UKCS legislation which led to Safety Reps and Safety Committees Regulations, Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulation, PFEER Regulation

    Pipeline Regulations (etc) .

    Bruncefield Oil Storage Depot Fire-

    Led to two HSE reports and establishment of a COMAH Competent Authority/Industry Standards Task Group .

    In other to mitigate incident detailed risk assessment of all operation in oil and gas industry needed to be carried out by implementing standard risk assessment procedures.

     

    Risk is defined as the product of a probability (which is a dimensionless quantity) and a consequence (human consequence, commercial losses, environmental damage etc)

    The benefit of risk control are but not limited to elimination of hazard, reduction of magnitudes of hazard, better control of event to reduce consequence as well as mitigation of consequence (e.g use of adequate PPE) .

    Implementation of the safety legislation in oil and gas industries has greatly reduce the fatality rates over the years compared to the early nineteen centuryusing UK historical statistics) (from 17.5% in 1901 to 0.8%in 2006/7).

    Reference

    Hse lecture note.

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Alternative to the power
    supplies generated from coal, natural gas and oil, some countries use nuclear
    power as the primary source of energy. The significant advantage of using
    nuclear power as a form of energy is that it can generate electricity without
    emitting any air pollution. It is argued that one pound of enriched uranium can
    provide the same energy as 3 million pounds of coal or 1 million pound of
    gasoline. The main concern  a nuclear plant has, is that it is believed to
    produce radioactive gases and liquids as well as small amounts of direct
    radiation. This radioactive waste is believed to cause cancer to humans, kick
    off birth defects and spawn mutants. As Chernobyl demonstrated accidents in a
    nuclear plant may cause widespread disease, since nuclear waste remains radioactive
    for thousands of years. It has been proven that throughout the 430 nuclear
    reactors in the world there have been only two accidents where in one of those
    accidents the radiation released was less than the radiation that can be
    absorbed by a human naturally. These natural sources of radiation consist of
    radiation coming from the sun, the walls of a building, bricks or concrete and
    even the TV. In contrast, the production of nuclear power may possess
    alternative problems to radiation such as mining of uranium that destroys
    natural habitats. Due to the fact that nuclear plants need a lot of water they
    are mainly constructed near rivers. This fact possibly can influence aquatic
    life since the water is heated to temperatures where some fish might not be
    able to survive. Additionally, a rise in water temperature establishes an environment
    for algae to be produced and initiate epidemic diseases. It seems to me that
    all these arguments concerning the safety of nuclear plants are basically a big
    propaganda from the media and the environmentalists.  In recent years it has been decided that the
    benefits of using nuclear power worth the risks. Therefore, nuclear power
    plants have been the safest power supply available in history.  

    Frixos Karletides 


    http://voices.yahoo.com/nuclear-power-safe-environment-141308.html?cat=5

    http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001270

    http://www.howitworksdaily.com/science/is-nuclear-power-safe/

    http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/np-risk.htm



    sotlog's picture

    Do you think that building a nuclear plant will not cause serious problems?First of all nuclear power produces nuclear waste.An average reactor produces 20-30 tons used fuels annualy.Further usage of nuclear energy will increase the unsolved risks of used fuels and radioactive waste.Secondly nuclear power can be used for nuclear weapons.One ton of used nuclear fuels contain approximately ten kilos of plotonium enough for the creation of nuclear bomb.Experiments of U.S.A goverment have shown that one country is able to create different types of nuclear weapons within weeks, with ordinary used nuclear fuels when possessing a basic infrastraction.Furthermore there are terrorists attacks.Non limitary reactors and transfer of nuclear waste can become targets of terrorists organisations.None existing nuclear reactor is able to face the collision of a hudge aeroplane.(1)

    The most crucial drawback of nuclear power is that can not be obliterated the posibility of a big accident which may be owed to the operation of the reactor.It can not be compared the fossil with the nuclear accidents.The consequences of a fossil accident can be estimated easily while the consequences of nuclear accident can not(2)

    REFERENCES:

    (1)www.green.org/greece/new/nuclear-power-is-not-theanswer

    (2)Thesis:The contribution of education in energy,Dimitrios Bouradas,NTUA,2010

    Sotirios Longinos

    sotlog's picture

    Nuclear energy is a clean energy.Nuclear power is the cleanest of all ways of generating electricity.Taking into account all the steps of the production of nuclear such as uranium mining to decommissioning and waste management.Nuclear power emits half the carbon dioxidefrom wind power,a hundread times less than gas and two hundread times less than coal.Using more nuclear energy gives additional flexibility in coplying with clean-air requirements.The more nuclear energy is used the more reduction of green house and gas emissions ,we succeed in the enviroment.Moreover,nuclear power is vastly more economical in terms of land neccecity and does not cause vision disturbances such as wind power and solar energy parks.(1)

    The most crucial advantage of nuclear energy is that every country can predict the cost of the production which is very significant in such big investments.As a result the country that has invested in nuclear power will be independent from any international energy cricis.(2)

    (1)www.nei.org/-14k

    (2)Thesis:The contribution of education in energy,Dimitrios Bouradas,NTUA,2010

    Sotirios Longinos

    Elle Allswell David's picture

    The offshore platform Piper Alpha, which was located in the British sector of the North Sea oil field and operated by Occidental Petroleum, was engulfed in a catastrophic fire on July 6, 1988.Piper Alpha received and sent to the shore the oil and gas production of a group of platforms. The disaster caused the death of 165 men (out of 226) on board the platform itself, and two men on board a rescue vessel. From this disaster, much learnt for future risk management, on other offshore platforms as well as in other industrial sectors [ 1].
    The Alpha Piper accident has actually changed the HSE legislative regime in the oil and gas industry in the UK to be precise. Before the Piper Alpha disaster the legislative Regime that was in operation was the Prescriptive legislation and after the disaster a committee headed Lord Cullen made 106 recommendations which was totally accepted by the government. Responsibility for the regulation of the offshore industry transferred to HSE and the pre-existing suite of regulations (so-called prescriptive regulations because they set specific requirements on duty holders) were replaced by goal setting regulations.
    The corner stone of the current regime is the creation of a safety case for each installation that demonstrates how major accident hazards are adequately controlled and that the management system is suitable. HSE must accept the safety case before the duty holder can bring his installation into use in the UK offshores.
     
     
    References:
     
    1. M. Elisabeth PatC-Cornell' Learning from the Piper Alpha Accident: A Postmortem
    Analysis of Technical and Organizational Factors.
    J. S Munro Lecture Material in HSE [ November 2008 ] University of Aberdeen.

    Alabi Ochu Abdulraheem's picture

    SAFETY AND RISK IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

    Risk can be defined as the effect of uncertainty on objectives. (ISO Guide 73). The level of risk associated with an operation could serve as a means of measuring the safety of that operation.


    An industry whose operations involve the production (upstream) and/or refining of crude oil (downstream) is said to be an oil and gas industry.


    There is a continuous concern for safety in oil and gas operations, the impact that new projects have on surface environment, the possibility of oil spill and the effect of pollutants such as CO2 on global climate and air quality.


    The risk associated with the above mentioned concerned issues of the industry has been a great challenge as this tries to overshadow the importance of the industry, which is the provision of the 6.9 billion population of the world with 60 percent of their daily energy.


    Over the years, emphasis has been on the risk associated with production activities of oil and gas industries as those mentioned above. Other kinds of risk that pose challenges to the industry includes: growing human capital deficit, worsening fiscal terms, inability to control cost, competitions for reserves by NOCs (National Oil Companies), political constraints on access to reserves, uncertain energy policies, demand stocks maybe resulting from global economic crises, climate concerns, sudden and unexpected disruptions to global energy supplies (supply stock), energy conservations.


    Finally I would recommend that impact of the above mentioned risk on the oil and gas industries should be worked on.


    References


    1)

    www.petroleumonline.com/content/overview.asp?mod=1


    2) Rob Jessen, (2008 July) 'Top ten Risk for the Oil and Gas Industry' Mark of M-I.

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    CAN WE HAVE ABSOLUTE SAFETY? Am sure we all know the answer to that.

    from my vantage point, critical root analysis of the cause of these major disasters such as Pipher Alpha,Flixborough, Banqia dam and off course the fukushima as well as the chernobyl diaster can be attributed to loss of integrity of these processes or plant as a direct result of misguided or adequate human intervention(for example, Three Mile accident USA) as well as indirect human intervention say long term inadequacy of design which was beyond the thought process of the designer because it has never happened before, for example the fukushima and chernobyl nuclear disaster had almost common flare and explosion when the reactor tripped simultaneously due to power surge or loss and the deep water horizon drilling rig faced the challenge because there has been no much improvement in technology in emergency shutdown recovery situation among other factors.

    Despite, the fatality rate in the various major incident/disaster in health and safety sector, more technology are being deployed towards that area in other to reduce the hazard and consequence to ALARP.As human beings and in life as a whole we face serious challenges but we do NOT quit because of this issue, each major incident/disaster we encountered is a major driver for new technological innovation that will help to mitigate the hazard.

    I think what we should be thinking of how to harness this energy safely by investing in high integrity systems and management procedures rather than questioning the safety of this energy sources because NOTHING IS COMPLETLY SAFE and the major cause of this unsafe condition that leads to incident is Human.

    My standpoint on safety of nuclear energy despite its vulnerability

    to natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis, tornado, and its epidemiological effects is that it could be safe if proper integrity management of the process throughout its life cycle is implemented as well as maintained.

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Aaron McKenna's picture

    I wish to continue a little on the point made by Olamide. I
    understand and 100% agree with the essence of the point made. This argument
    being that we should put our focus and attention on developing better
    processes, technologies, legislation etc. that mitigate the chance of accidents
    occurring again that have happened in the past. However, I wish to perhaps
    clarify the point made by Olamide since I feel the post suggests that we
    disregard the safety issues of a given energy source completely. I feel that we
    still have to gather the information on the safety and possible risks of a
    facility and have such discussions in order to try and prevent an accident from
    happening. If we sit back, wait for an accident to happen and then just work on
    technologies to avoid that happening again it is a very reactive stance to
    have. I feel we should always strive to be proactive and hopefully spot dangers
    before they cause damage. This is the importance of discussing safety. I do
    however, agree that this discussion then should lead into approaches to
    mitigate the risks and that nothing ever will be “absolutely” safe. We
    definitely should not waste our time looking to achieve this but we should do
    our best to bring the probability of failure to a minimum or as Olamide noted to
    ALARP.

    ZHANGYANAN's picture

    With the rapid development of shale gas industry in the global, the hydraulic fracturing method which is used in the development process has also been promoted quickly. Well, the potential risk of the underground water to the environment cannot be underestimated.
    First of all, the process of fracking must be known clearly and be given an accurate definition. Fracking always has the meaning of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, which uses ground high-pressure pump-units to inject fracturing fluid into wells with a much higher capacity of displacement than the reservoir absorption ability, in order to produce a high-pressure at the bottom of the well. Then, the veins form in the layer rock at the time when the pressure exceeds the natural internal stress and tensile strength near the wellbore. After that, the diversion ability of oil and gas can be improved due to the proppant taken by the sand-carrying fluid. As a result, fracking may largely increase the production of resource.
    In this process, we can see some hazard easily, such as the shock and the chemical materials and liquid, while people could not ignore the potential problems and risk during the process of fracking. The excessive pressure may cause the strata disintegration. When people use the fracturing in the engineering of oil and gas exploiting, some partial strata disintegration will give rise to reduce the permeability for oil and gas. Moreover, the high-pressure liquid can erupt out under the high pressure in fracking that may cause a major accident by sliding the layer; as well, some damage can result in leaking the methane that may cause fires and explosions. Furthermore, the proppant and fluid in the process of fracking may cause some serious pollution in natural environment especially the underground water. The process needs a great quantify of chemical solution, the detrimental pollution transmit with the facilities which move between ground surface and underground. Previously, hydraulic fracturing has caused controversy in many countries, the French government even published a ban of fracking. Consequently, fracking has some potential dangers and people should develop some other technology to replace the hydraulic fracturing, also, people could not ignore the damage to the environment when recieve benefits from nature. Our government should enact a law to control the use of fracking properly.

    Reference:

    Vaughan V. (2012). "Fracturing 'has no direct' link to water pollution, UT study finds". http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/02/16/ut-study-fracturing-itself-not-connected-to-water-pollution/. Retrieved 3 Mar 2012.

    Hydraulic Fracturing. University of Colorado Law School. http://www.oilandgasbmps.org/resources/fracing.php. Retrieved 2 June 2012.

    Harvey F., environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 April 2011 18.19 BST.

    Beckwith. R., (2010).Hydraulic Fracturing, JPT/JPT Online Staff Writer, JPT. DEC. 2010.

    OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING                        

    ZHANG YANAN

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Fracking is the known term of hydraulic fracking, the
    process that is used to extract natural gas from deep beneath the earth’s
    surface. This process involves blasting of ground air voids with water, sand
    and chemicals in order to force the gas to reach the top of the ground surface.
    American Shale Companies have drilled 20,000 holes, providing thousands of jobs
    for people and provide a low-cost shale gas for use. Therefore, fracking is
    encouraged to be by the industry as a significant alternative method of energy
    in order to escape from the reliance on foreign oil. On the contrary, producing
    shale gas by fracking is believed to require a lot of water and energy, and can
    cause pollution in several ways. One way is that fracking produces methane, a
    greenhouse gas that can pollute the aquifers or it can be emitted to the
    atmosphere. In 2011, 50 tiny tremors were experienced in Northern England and it
    was linked that fracking may also stimulate the start of earthquakes. It appears
    to me that, shale gas and fracking pose a direct threat to our drinking water,
    health, air and climate since the risk of air and water pollution with harmful
    chemicals is high. This alternative method of producing energy must be banned
    for these health and environmental reasons. The Greens/EFA Group in the
    European Parliament wants to expose all these tribulations that fracking can
    cause, and appeal for instantly ban of shale gas fracking in Europe and the
    rest of the World.    

    Frixos Karletides


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/20/natural-gas-fracking-fires-protest

    http://www.economist.com/node/21556249

    http://www.foeeurope.org/shale-gas-unconventional-and-unwanted-200912


        


    Maria Christou's picture

     

     

    Prompted by the speech of the HSE
    representative yesterday, I decided to make a research about the Sea Gem
    disaster. Sea gem rig was the first off shore drilling platform in the UK.
    Located 67 kilometers off the coast of Lincolnshire, this rig was supported on
    ten steel legs 50 feet above the sea. On 27 December 1965, while the crew was
    trying to move the platform to another location, two of the legs crumpled and
    broke .In addition to this, the rig tilted
    sideways and sunk
    into the freezing water. A British ship called Baltrover saw
    the accident and went there trying to rescue the crew. Unfortunately, 13 people
    lost their lives that day and only 19 people were taken ashore.

    To my mind, although the Sea Gem disaster caused a
    lot of harm, it had a positive effect; in order to prevent this kind of
    accidents from happening again, changes were made to increase the safety of oil
    rigs. For example, we now use stand-by boats to provide help in case of an
    accident. Moreover an Offshore Installation Manager
    has arisen in part from the Inquiry into the 1965 Sea Gem disaster
    and it has been adopted by many offshore operators.

     

    References:

    BBC News : http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/27/newsid_4630000/4630741.stm

    http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/seagem.htm

    http://www.dukeswoodoilmuseum.co.uk/offshore%20history.htm

     

     

     

    Fungisai N Nota's picture

    1. The Banqiao Dam Disaster August 1975
    The Banqiao Dam Construction began in April 1951 on the Ru River this was with the help of Soviet consultants. The Dam was part of a project to control flooding and electrical power generation. The construction was a response to severe flooding in the Huai River Basin in 1949 and 1950 and the dam was completed in June 1952.
    There were some flaws in the design and construction of Banqiao Dam. There were cracks in the dam and sluice gates soon after completion as a result of engineering and construction errors. At the time hydrology data were absent and the design standard was lower than usual and after the great flood of 1954 Huai River, Banqiao Dam was increased in height by three meters. China's foremost hydrologists Chen Xing was involved in the design of the dam. He was also a vocal critic of the government dam building policy, which involved many dams in the basin. He had recommended 12 sluice gates for the Banqiao Dam, but this was scaled back to five. He was removed from the project and later brought back but removed again. With advice provided by Soviet engineers the Banqiao Dam and the Shimantan Dam were reinforced and expanded. The Soviet design was called an "iron Dam," a dam that could not be broken.
    The underlying causes were poor engineering and construction but Officially, the dam failure was a natural as opposed to man-made disaster. The government has placed emphasis on the amount of rainfall. The People's Daily has maintained that the dam was designed to survive a once-in-1000-years flood (300 mm of rainfall per day) but a once-in-2000-years flood occurred in August 1975, following the collision of Super Typhoon Nina and a cold front. More than a year's rain fell in 24 hours (new records were set, at 189.5 mm rainfall per hour and 1060 mm per day, exceeding the average annual precipitation of about 800 mm), which weather forecasts failed to predict. China Central Television reported that the typhoon disappeared from radar as it degraded. According to Xinhua, the forecast was for rainfall of 100 mm by the Beijing-based Central Meteorological Observatory.
    The dam failures killed an estimated 171,000 people; 11 million people lost their homes. It also caused the sudden loss of 18 GW of power. At the time the chinese government was ill prepared for such a disaster.
    1.      Communications to the dam was largely lost due to wire failures. On August 6, a request to open the dam was rejected, because of the existing flood in downstream.
    2.      The sluice gates were not able to handle the overflow of water, partially due to sedimentation blockage. On August 7 at 21:30, the People's Liberation Army Unit 34450 (by name the 2nd Artillery Division in residence at Queshan county), which was deployed on the Banqiao Dam, sent the first dam failure warning via telegraph. On August 8, 0:30, the smaller Shimantan Dam, designed to survive a 1-in-500-year flood, failed to handle more than twice its capacity and broke upstream of Shimantan Dam, only 10 minutes after Unit 34450 sent a request that would open the Banqiao Dam by air strike. A half hour later, at 1:00, water at the Banqiao crested at the 117.94 m level above sea level, or 0.3 meters higher than the wave protection wall of the dam, and it too failed. This precipitated the failure of 62 dams in total. The runoff of the Banqiao Dam was 13,000 m³ per second in vs. 78,800 m³ per second out, and as a result 701 million m³ of water were released in 6 hours, while 1.67 billion m³ of water were released in 5.5 hours at upriver Shimantan Dam, and 15.738 billion m³ of water were released in total
    3.      Evacuation orders had not been fully delivered due to weather conditions and poor communications. Telegraphs failed, signal flares fired by Unit 34450 were misunderstood, telephones were rare, and some messengers were caught by the flood. While only 827 out of 6,000 people died in the evacuated community of Shahedian just below the Banqiao Dam, half of a total of 36,000 people died in the unevacuated Wencheng commune of Suipin County next to Shahedian, and the Daowencheng Commune was wiped from the map, killing all 9,600 citizens

    The death toll and the information were classified 2005 and no legal consequences until. After the disaster of the Banqiao dam failure, the Chinese government became very focused on surveillance, repair, and consolidation of reservoir dams. China has 87,000 reservoirs across the country; most of which were built in the 1950s-1970s using low construction standards. Most of these reservoirs are in serious disrepair, posing challenges to the prevention and control of flood-triggered geological disasters in areas with a population of 130 million or more. China's medium and small rivers are considered to be the Achilles' heel in the country's river control systems. According to statistics from the Ministry of Water Resources, China has invested CN¥ 64.9 billion (US$9.72 billion) since the 1998 Yangtze River floods in repairing and consolidating the country's 9197 degraded reservoirs, of which 2397 are large or medium sized, and 6800 are key small reservoirs. All of the above projects should be finished before the end of 2010.

    References:

    http://english.people.com.cn/200510/01/eng20051001_211892.html 

    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/aug1975.htm

    http://engineeringfailures.org/?p=723

    Fungisai Nota BEng(Hons) MIET

    sotlog's picture

    Although wind power is a friendly and clean energy it has some drawbacks like safetry.According to the telegraph the wind power industry in United Kingdom had admitted that 1500 accidents and other incidents have taken place on wind farms.The Health and Safety Executive(HSE) depicted four fatal accidents from 2007 to 2010 and a total of 53 major or dangerous incidents in the same time.The one death was happened when a workerhad become tangled with the driveshaft of a turbine while the other three deaths took place during construction of onshore and offshore wind farms.The main reasons for of all these accidents were the wrong calculations about the speed of the wind or the place that wind farms had been built.Another disadvantage from chemical side is that technicians may be aware of confined space hazards that include unsafe levels and toxic gases.Toxic fumes may also be developed from heat or electrical sparks.It is obvious that some parts in spiecific regions are too windy and too hot for turbines.

     Reference

     1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8948363/1500-accidents-and-incidents-on-UK-wind-farms.html

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    sotlog's picture

    Wind power blessing or curse?Here there is the rhetotical question where my ancestors Greeks would say about wind power.Apart from clean is wind power safe?The summary of wind turbine accident data contributes all the other theories.From 1970 until 30 june of 2012 have occured 94 fatal accidents from which there were 123 fatalities.There were more fatalities than accidents a ssome accidents have caused multiply fatalities.For example in Brazil in March of 2012 were killed 17 bus passengers in one single incident.The total number of accidents were were 1258.By far the biggest number of incidents was happened due to blade failure,about 224.Fire is the second common accident cause with 190 facts.Then follows the structure failure wiyh 129 incidents and after that the ice throw follows with 34 incidents.Moreover,there were 103 reporter incidents due to transportation and 110 cases of enviromental damage.(1)In my opinion the legislation about safety in wind power industry must very severe.Profit should not be above humans lives.

     Reference

    1. http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    sotlog's picture

    It is nearly unknown that wind turbines have affects in the navigation aids and impairing the national security of each country.According to lots of studies from the military services,the large scale of industrial wind turbines have the potential to negatively affect to military iastallation radars and navigation aids.Since radar technology is designed to detect moving objecys,spinning turbine blades create interference which degrades the signal.Wind turbines carry a signal strengthgreater than a boeing 747.So when the radar repeatedly sees the large return it can not detect actual aircraft in the same area.This fact happens due to the radar mitigation which does not yet exist as the lead radar engineer Peter Dake supported.Should not any goverment and especially U.S.A. goverment think more careful about the safety of their citizens?

    Reference

    1. http://www.windaction.org/news

    Sotirios Longinos

    Andreas Kokkinos's picture


    Coal mining industry,
    historically, has been a very dangerous activity since the late 19th
    century and up to date is considered the deadliest occupation in the energy
    industry. Coal mining workers face daily multiple risks regarding their health
    and safety as the history has shown as, such as:

    ·        
    Collapse of shallow mine working

    ·        
    Coal mining subsidence

    ·        
    Collapse of mine entries such as elevator shafts
    and adits

    ·        
    Gas emissions from mines such as methane and
    carbon dioxide (CO)

    ·        
    Spontaneous combustion of dust coal due to
    underground heating

    ·        
    Poisonous gases

    ·        
    Explosion from natural gases which result to collapsing
    of mines

    ·        
    Mechanical errors

    (http://coal.decc.gov.uk/en/coal/cms/services/safety/safety_risks/safety_risks.aspx#)

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_accident)

    Around the world hundreds of
    mining accidents occur killing thousands of mining workers and also affecting
    the people who live in coal mining communities. According to a research of the
    West Virginia University (WVU) in the United States people who live in coal
    mining communities have:

    ·        
    70% increased risk for kidney disease

    ·        
    64% increased chronic obstructive pulmonary
    disease (emphysema)

    ·        
    30% increased blood pressure

    (http://www.energyjustice.net/coal)

    Some notable accidents from the
    Coal industry:

    ·        
    Benxiha Colliery, China, 26 April 1942 where
    1549 miners were killed due to coal dust explosion.

    ·        
    El Teniente, Chile, June 1945. In this accident
    355 people were killed while they inhale Carbon Monoxide.

    ·        
    Courrieres Mine Disaster, France, 10 March 1906.
    In this accident 1099 miners were killed due to coal dust explosion. Up to date
    is still the worse mine disaster in Europe.

    ·        
    Blantyre Mining Disaster, Lanarkshire Scotland,
    1887. 207 fatalities

    ·        
    Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, Wales, 1913. 439
    people killed due to gas explosion.

    ·        
    And more others…

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_accident)

    Andreas Kokkinos

    MSc Oil and Gas Engineering

    xenios.ze's picture

    In the following topic we will discuss about the important
    steps that should lead before a project takes place. Those steps ensure that
    the minimum risks are taken in order to save lives and finish the project with environmentally
    friendly terms.

     

    Land Disturbance: In best practice, studies of the immediate
    environment are carried out several years before a coal mine opens in order to
    define the existing conditions and to identify potential problems.

    Mine Subsidence: Mine subsidence can be a problem with
    underground coal mining, whereby the ground level lowers as a result of coal
    having been mined beneath. A thorough understanding of subsistence patterns in
    a particular region allows the effects of underground mining on the surface to
    be quantified.

    Acid mine drainage: Acid mine drainage (AMD) can be a
    challenge at coal mining operations. AMD is metal-rich water formed from the
    chemical reaction between water and rocks containing sulphur-bearing minerals.
    There are mine management methods that can minimise the problem of AMD, and
    effective mine design can keep water away from acid generating materials and
    help prevent AMD occurring.

    Dust: Dust at mining operations can be caused by trucks
    being driven on unsealed roads, coal crushing operations, drilling operations
    and wind blowing over areas disturbed by mining.

    Dust levels can be controlled by spraying water on roads,
    stockpiles and conveyors. Other steps can also be taken, including fitting
    drills with dust collection systems and purchasing additional land surrounding
    the mine to act as a buffer zone. 

    References: http://www.worldcoal.org/coal-the-environment/coal-mining-the-environment/

    Xenios Zenieris

     

    MSc Oil and Gas Engineering 

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

    GREED, POVERTY AND POLITICS - HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR SAFETY (THE NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE)

    Its worth noting first that Nigeria is Afrca's largest petroleum exporter and the fifth largest source of United States oil import. despite its oil riches, Nigeria's almost 160million population remain impoverished and people often tap into pipelines crossing their farmland in search of fuel for domestic and economical purposes.

    on May 13 2006, between 150 and 200 people where roasted alive when a gasoline pipeline exploded in Southern Nigeria. this blast happened on a length of pipe 30 miles north of the city of Umuahia. according to repporters from the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation, the pipeline had been ruptured by ''vandals''. witnesses said  the villagers had been scooping fuel from the pipeline for about six weeks since it first ruptured by unidentified ''saboteurs''. let me stop here for a while and make a point, six weeks of exposed pipeline carrying ''FUEL''crossing through residencial villages and the goverment saw nothing wrong with it. this is the level of negligence practiced by the Nigerian Goverment on a daily basis.

    the pipeline carrying fuel from the Port Harcourt refinery to Enugu 140 miles to the North.

    pipeline vandalism also known as ''BUNKERING'' or ''SCOOPING'' is common in Nigeria despite the risk involved

    this is not the first major pipeline explosion in the country killing in hundreds and thousands but it is often not heard of because it did not happen in the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. in 2004, 50 people where killed in a pipeline explosion in Lagos and in 1998 over 1000 people died due another pipeline exposion in the Niger Delta region of the country.

    the question is '' how safe are we in the mist of greed, poverty and a brutal political environment''

    Kii Cajetan Barisi 

    sources

    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-185648/105-dead-Nigeria-fuel-pipe-blast...

    article.cnn.com/2006-05 -12/world/nigeria.blast_1_pipeline-nigeria-officials-oil-output

    xenios.ze's picture

    As Andreas mentioned on his post we can observe clearly that
    coal mines are the deadliest way to extract natural resource in order to produce
    energy. On my research I have found that the safety in the coal mines has
    improved over the years in the USA and that I will show you in the next chart.

    I have managed to extract some very instructive information
    about the number of workers in coal mines and the number of fatalities over the
    years 1900-2011 in the USA. America is the number two in coal production. I
    couldn’t do the same for China which is ranked first in coal production in the
    world, but the only information I could extract it was how many fatalities happened
    in china’s coal mines in 2007, and that was about 20,000.

    A chart that I have made indicates the improvement of the
    safety in the US. The data are provided by the United States rescue mine association:

     

      

    References :

     

     http://www.usmra.com/saxsewell/historical.htm 

     

     If anyone finds something similar for china it would be ideal to compare the safety in coal mines in the two countries

      Xenios Zenieris

    Msc Oil and gas Engineering 

     

    sotlog's picture

    It is an undeniable fact that a lot of solar panes have placed all over the world according to the green policy that countries must implement.How safe is solar energy?In Australia every year die 30 workers who have fallen from heights.In California of U.S.A. where solar panels have been embraced, there was a rash of deaths due to the policy of solar energy.Because of the propensity to put panels on our roofs ,pannels are far more dangerous than many forms of power generation.For example the solar energy is three times more dangerous than wind power and more than ten times more dangerous than nuclear power by comparison to the amount of power produced.Is not time for the goverments implement more strict legislation in solar energy industries?

    Reference

    1. http://asiancorrespondent.com/54571/green-deaths-the-forgotten-dangers-of-solar-panels/

    Sotirios Longinos

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

     

    Ranking of Top disaster in energy sector

    This rating can be looked at from the severity of the consequence be it commercial loss, human consequence, environmental damage and reputational damage

    From my point of view the rating will be based on highest number of fatality and cost of the disaster which is listed below;

    1 The Banqiao reservoir dam- 171,000 fatality

    2, Chernobyl disaster-official number of fatality accounted for by soviet union is 31 but A report published by the

    New York Academy of Sciences concludes that based on available medical data, 985,000 people died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. And is also estimated at $ 200 Billion Dollars.


    3. Bhopal disaster India-The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the

    government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release Others estimate 8,000 died within two weeks and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.


    4. San Juanica disaster -500-600 people died another due to gas leak from a pipe rupture the facility’s waste-gas flare pit.

     

    5.

    The piper Alpha disaster - 167 fatalities estimated at $3.4 Billion Dollars

    6. Ocean ranger oil rig accident-84 crew member perished

    7. Gulf of Mexico (deep water horizon rig)-11 fatalities and it is estimated at $6billion

    8. Space Shuttle Columbia – 7 fatalities and it is estimated at $13 Billion Dollars

    9. Space shuttle Challenger- 7fatalities and it is estimated at $5.5 Billion Dollars

    10. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: 37 physical injuries

    Reference

    http://bigthink.com/blogs/big-think-top-5

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Henry Tan's picture

    985,000 people died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster? Are you sure of this death rate?

    Ahmed_Abdelkhalek's picture

    I presume that assessing the cosequences of nuclear disaster is a very controvetial subject. I made some internet research to try to answer Dr. Tan's question and i was struck with the amount of inconsitent figures that I came across.

     NIRS website summarized the issue "Ask
    ten scientists to describe the consequences of Chernobyl, and you'll likely get
    twelve different opinions"

    NIRS/WISE is the information and networking center for citizens and environmental organizations concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation, and sustainable energy issues.  

    Although people may see NIRS as a group of anti nuclear power activists whose opinions may be biased, but the fact is the assessment of of the consequences of nuclear power accidents is very difficult. The long term effects are hard to quantify, giving in to the difficulties in proving that they are related to a specific nuclear accident.

    This made me think, if the evaluation of the consequnces of an actual accident is that hard, how can you really quantify the consequnces in the risk analysis of a new nuclear plant project ?

    How can one make use of the widely contradicting figures of the actual accident?

    Any thoughts?

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    The fatality rate from chernobyl nuclear disaster is alarming,offically the soviet union realeased the death rate to be 31 (immediate death resulting from the disaster).

    A report published by the New York Academy of Sciences concludes that based on available medical data, 985,000 people died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster.

    Different findings into chernobyl disaster came up with diferent values based on total death toll due to epidemological effect of the radiation.

    The report also looks into the ongoing health impacts of Chernobyl and concludes that radiation from the disaster has had a devastating effect on survivors; damaging immune and endocrine systems, leading to accelerated ageing, cardiovascular and blood illnesses, psychological illnesses, chromosomal aberrations and an increase in foetal deformations among others

    References

    http://bigthink.com/big-think-top-5/the-worst-energy-disasters-of-all-time

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/chernobyl-deaths-180406/

    http://www.nyas.org/publications/annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

    (Topic : What sea snakes are ? Sea snakes as wave energy collectors. Safety considerations ...)

    I shall try to develop a relatively virgin topic in this debate, safety considerations in a wave energy system.

    At first, where waves come from ? Sun makes wind and wind makes waves ! So simple it is. From this, it is extracted that european countries such as Ireland, United Kingdom, France and portugal can be greatly benefited because of the ocean. Secondarily, how this kind of energy is collected ? Well, an obstacle against waves, generates energy for us that is the basic concept.

    A wave energy collector such as a sea snake, can produce significant amounts of energy, which is renewable and non-polluting. Trying to be more scientific and accurate, i shall set an example. A pelamis wave energy collector is a sea snake made of four sections. It faces nose-on towards the incoming waves. The waves make the snake flex, and these motions are resisted by hydraulic generators. This is how energy is produced. Not many sea snakes have been constructed and Pelamis, is one of the prototypes, so when investments come, development in wave technology will come too. Such a snake, like the one described above, needs about 700 tons of steel to be constructed, including 350 tons of ballast. (350t + 350t = 700t).

    A sea snake, like the one described above, is completely friendly to the environment and humans. The installation of a sea snake does not have the danger that the installation a of solar panel and/or a wind turbine. Sea snakes are not creating any kind of pollution and are completely safe for marine life and environment. I do not think that there can be comparison of any kind to fossil fuels, regarding emmissions.

    Comments please.

    Msc Oil and Gas Engineering

    Reference : David JC Mackay (2008), sustainable energy without hot air.

    sotlog's picture

    What about silicon?The majority of panels are composed of silicon cells because these have the highest efficiencies ever achieved about 22 percent.The silicons composition of the panels can cause pollutrion.If the panels are not properlt maintained, a hazardous byproduct can result from the silicon.While the energy used to power the panels is green,thematerials that are used are not.According to PaystoLiveGreen.com the toxins are a danger to people and similar toxinshave resulted in deaths.The serious byproducts of silicon are significally more of a problem and it is a growing concern for the solar industry[1].The companies should give a lifetime guarantee that they are going to recycle the panels they sell.Furthermore,the Silicon Valley Toxicws Coalition recently released a report to encourage the industry to persue more sustainable materials to built their products to ensure that solar energy is trully as green as advertised.[2]

    REFERENCE:

    1. http://www.ehow.com/list_6152498_dangers-silica-solar-panels_.html

    2. http://www.paystolivegreen.com/2009/01/solar-panels-dangers-to-the-environment/ 

     SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Duo Wu's picture

    The problem generated from the hydraulic fracturing process of producing natural gas. It is a stimulation treatment routinely performed on oil and gas wells in low-permeability reservoirs. Specially engineered fluids are pumped at high pressure and rate into the reservoir interval to be treated, causing a vertical fracture to open. After that, shale gas would flow to well be drilled and could be produce to the surface.

    According to a report from The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the exploitation of shale gas has three negative effects to environment.

    1.       Land occupied. Shale gas sometimes reserve in the area has huge population, like china. The shale gas exploitation would meet the land struggling with people. The areas colored by pink and yellow are China shale gas rich pay zone.http://f.hiphotos.baidu.com/zhidao/pic/item/bd3eb13533fa828b4baf6bb5fd1f4134960a5adc.jpg

    2.       Water pollution. Hydraulic fracturing needs lots of water, over 10 million liter water costed in one hydraulic fracturing process in the United States. The massive amounts of polluted wasted water generated from hydraulic fracturing threaten the health of our drinking water supplies, rivers, streams, and groundwater."Flowback" (fracturing fluid injected into a gas well that returns to the surface when drilling pressure is released) and "produced water" (all wastewater emerging from the well after production begins, much of which is salty water contained within the shale formation) contain potentially harmful pollutants, including salts, organic hydrocarbons.

    3.       Gas pollution. During the producing, some methane and volatile oraganic compounds would get to the air. Furthermore, as a petro-guy  from a China oil field, I know that we do have hydrogen sulfide which is very dangerous under Chinese feet.

    As I said above, the fracturing for shale gas is not safe and it is with damage to community environment.

    But should we stop it? From my perspective, circumstances alter cases.

    I think it is up to geological condition. First, the natural gas price is still at valley. The cost of shale gas extraction is two to three times of its price in the United States. And the US has the best technology and the EASIEST producing condition. In China and Europe, we would spend more than American did.

    On the other hand, in some place, water is valuable resource too. After discharge the waste-water of fracturing, almost one million people aside river have to move to another place, that has happened in the US. The Vermont State (VT, United States) has banned hydraulic fracturing by law already.

     

    [1]  <<RECENT ADVANCES IN HYDRAULIC FRACTURING>>   John L. Gidley, SPE Volume 12

    [2]  http://www.nrdc.org/energy/gasdrilling/

     

    Duo Wu

    Mostafa Tantawi's picture

    Mostafa Tantawi
    Masters Of Subsea Engineering, University of Aberdeen


    A
    Question just came to my mind, Is there a direct relation between the Quality
    system and the Safety System, or does an error in the Quality system could
    cause a hazard.


    My
    initial opinion is YES, and a small example on that is Piper Alpha.


    As
    our colleagues stated the main cause of Piper Alpha is that failure in
    preserving proper documentation for a pump caused this tragic accident, so just
    a simple quality documentation issue caused this disaster. If there was a
    signed end of shift report, and a toolbox meeting between the two shifts. This quality
    issue could have saved the Piper Alpha. Subsequently saving 167 men


     I think this is a clear example on the relation
    between Quality and Safety.


    I
    propose further research in this topic, just to prove that safety must be integrated
    in the system, and should be our main focus.


    xenios.ze's picture

    Mr. Mostafa indicates the relation between Quality and Safety. I
    kind of disagree because the one of the two terms, I believe, is not right. 

    I would say: interest and safety - the interest on safety matters
    that the chief engineer or even the last employee, demonstrate at the time of
    their duties.

    Consistency - Safety: consistency on the safety regulations

    Development – safety : development on equipment that needs update
    either that is inside the coal mines or in a simple small factory.

     

    Xenios Zenieris

    MSc Oil and Gas Engineering

    mohamed.elkiki's picture

    As we all know, risk can not be eliminated but it can be decreased by certain percentage. Risk management is to see if you have taken precautions against any harm that could be found in work so that the workplace can be safe. there are five steps to follow to be safe:

    1-Hazards Identification , 2- To know who gets harmed and how , 3- Risk evaluation and precaution , 4- Record the result , 5-Review and update the risk assessment

    the first step can be done by many ways such as walk around the site, check up for workers and check for accident record.

    the second step is important as to identify the hazard, you need to know who are the people who can get harm and it doesn't mean to look for each one but as a group such as group working in storeroom...etc.

    the third step as after you knew the hazard, you need to get rid of it as law will charge you if you don't do everything you can to protect the people in place. Therefore, two questions should be asked: can the hazard be eliminated?  , and if not , how to decrease the chance of risk to happen?

    the fourth step is sharing the result with the stuff so a solution can be reached. Also, try the record to be simple and easy to read.

    the last step, no workplace stay constant, there must be new equipment or workers come. Therefore, a checkup and update is very important to keep the workplace always safe.

     

    Reference:

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/fivesteps.html

     

    Harrison Oluwaseyi's picture

    Prior to World
    War II nuclear technology was used for defence purposes only, after the war
    more research was carried out on the peaceful uses of this technology. Nuclear
    energy is majorly obtained by splitting isotopes of some certain elements (e.g.
    uranium, plutonium) which gives of energy. This splitting is known as fission. The
    energy obtained from this process can be used to generate electricity.

    Nuclear energy
    has been considered as one of the cleanest forms energy generation solely due
    to the fact that during and after the process little or no greenhouse gases
    likeCO2, SO2 etc. are given off. Many other reasons are the
    availability and cheapness of the raw materials, amount of energy obtained from
    small quantities of raw materials, economics of running a reactor is cheaper
    than that of fossil powered plant.

    Recently, there
    has been a decline in the quest for this energy source due to safety concerns and
    fears about radiation hazards from weapons. e.g Wind scale Military Plutonium
    Production plant (U.K),three mile Island accident (U.S.), the Chernobyl
    accident (Ukraine). Nuclear power plants generate nuclear waste; the problem of
    disposal is a very big issue. This has nothing to do with the economics but the
    location of long-term disposal.

    I won’t classify
    the nuclear energy generation as safe yet but I believe there is still room for
    improvement. Better generation methods like the use of the fusion process (using
    the international thermonuclear experimental reactor), using underground
    structures for disposal, development of safer nuclear power stations.

    REFERNCES

    1)       B Everett,
    G Boyle, S Peake & J Ramage (2012). Energy systems and sustainability – 2nd
    edition. Oxford University Press.

    2)       www.wikipedia.org

    3)       U.S.
    Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology, The
    History of Nuclear Energy.

     

     

     

    a.bhardwaj.12's picture

    Mumbai High

    The Mumbai High Field was discovered in 1974 and is located in the Arabian Sea. The field is divided into two blocks, North and South. It had the capacity of 180,000 barresls per day. It is operated by state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), and is protected by one private company and Indian Navy.  

    On July 27,2005, 160km West of Mumbai Cost (India), 11 people were killed & 11 missing. 362 people were rescued by Offshore Vessel, Helicopters, Indian Navy and Coast Guards. The fire was triggered when a vessel collided with one of the four platforms. The platform was destroyed within 2 hours of fire. The property loss faced by ONGC is 300Million USD. In the acciddent one was the Multi Purpose Support Vessel (MPSV)  caught fire and later sunk on August 1, 2005,12 Nautical mile from the coast. 

     In order to control the further loss and hinderance to environment, the subsurface safety valves were closed.

    a.bhardwaj.12's picture

    In
    a media talk ONGC :

    1. It is effective and vibrant system
    2. Top management is committed
      for maintaining the HSE standards
    3. HSE Committee board members
      include people from ONGC and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
    4. A dedicated HSE  website is maintained by HSE to make
      employees aware
    5. ONGC runs Institute of
      Petroleum Safety Health and Environment Management [IPSHEM] which deals
      with all HSE trainings

     

    In
    my opinion: IPSHEM is a very far fetched effort made by ONGC. These sort of
    institutes are not popular effort in Global Industry. The presence of  experts from industry in HSE Committee
    assures that ministry and safety norms are effectively forced.

     

    As
    Proclaimed by Oil and Natural Gas Corp. India, their HSE Policy is as follows
    (language reduced by removing sensitive information):

    1. Committed to maintain highest standard of Occupational
      Health Safety and Environment Protection
    2. We shall comply all
      applicable codes and requirements to promote  Occupational Health Safety and
      Environment Protection
    3. We shall remain alert,
      occupied and ready to respond to emergencies.
    4. Take all necessary actions to
      protect the integrity of the system in order to avoid accidental release
      of hazardous substances.
    5. We shall enhance awareness
      and involvement in promotion of occupational health safety and environment
      protection where ever we work. 
    Maria Christou's picture

    We all have seen the ocean waves; but do we really know what
    powerful force is hiding in the waves?

    Water in general covers almost 75% of the earth’s surface.
    However wave energy is still an undeveloped and not so popular source of
    energy.

    How does wave energy work? Waves are divided into two
    categories: offshore waves and onshore waves. As a result there are different
    devices for each category.

    Offshore floating devices are made up of large metal tubes
    attached to the bottom of the sea using cables. These tubes are connected together by hinges
    which are connected to a pump. As the wave passes underneath these tubes, they
    start moving repeatedly up and down. Then, oil is pumped through a hydraulic
    motor which spins around and generates electricity.

    Attenuator Wave Energy Device

    http://ocsenergy.anl.gov/images/photos/OP_Illus3_full.jpg

    In contrast, onshore devices are attached to the coastline
    near the waves. These devices trap air inside a concrete chamber that is half
    sunk in the water.  When the wave moves
    in the chamber the air goes out and passes through a spinning turbine which generates
    electricity.

    Point Absorber Wave Energy Farm

    http://ocsenergy.anl.gov/images/photos/wave.jpg

     

    References:

    http://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/geography-and-environment/features-and-resources/copy_of_wave-energy

    http://ocsenergy.anl.gov/guide/wave/index.cfm

    Maria Christou's picture

     

     

    Now, having already mentioned how wave energy works, I would
    like to discuss the potential dangers behind this energy.

    First, let me just say that wave energy of course has a lot
    of benefits. It is a reliable renewable source of energy with minimal impact on
    the environment, when it’s properly placed, since it doesn’t produce greenhouse
    gases. Another advantage to wave energy is that it has low operation cost and
    it requires very little maintenance. Finally, wave energy devices are capable
    of high efficiency, almost 80%.

    Despite all these benefits wave energy has, there are also
    some risks. Wave energy plants can be damaging to the marine ecosystem and the environment
    (due to the submerged surfaces,
    above-water platforms, and changes in the seabed). Moreover, a potential leak
    of liquids used in those systems, can pollute both sea and coastline. Last but
    not least, offshore devices may conflict with other ships and boats putting
    them in danger.

    So the question is:
    Is wave energy safe? Yes wave energy is safe however it is our duty to use it wisely
    and carefully in order to keep us and the environment safe in the future.

     

    References:

    http://www.ecozone.in/wave-energy-advantages-disadvantages.html

    http://renewableenergyindex.com/hydro/advantages-disadvantages-wave-power

    http://www.exploregreenenergy.com/wave-energy-advantages-and-disadvantages

     

     

    a.bhardwaj.12's picture

    Maria, Indeed Wave energy is a developing area. I have studied R&D projects of EWP,Israel (http://www.ecowavepower.com/). 

    The thing I am concerned about the technology is that "Is it cost effective?" Since so many reciprocating or rotating links operate in the environment which will support the corrosion rate. Mechanically speaking protecting the dynamic parts in acidic environment is not possible and material with less corrossion tendency is very costly. Also these plants have less production capacity. 

    I believe these systems will be more effective and safe if huge investment plans are drafted for them with long pay back liberty and they are planted in areas with abandoned costs, Hence solving the problem of interference with ships. My discussions with EWP's engineers highlighted the thought that these facilities have long pay back duration of 7-12 years and their life is of 15-20 years. So is it cost effective to moveahead with these plants?

    sotlog's picture

    Maria for another time i am going to disagree with tour statement that wave energy is safe.First of all wave energy generators  cuase serious and not potential damages.According to the U.K department for business innovation and skills wave generators cause serious noise pollution and can also be unsightly for those who live close to them.Moreover according to the  OCS Alternative Energy Program wave generators cause disturbunces in the sea floor and to marine ecosystems.Green Peace and other non govermental organisations try to bring to the surface these ecological problems.For that reasons wave energy is not safe for the environment

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    sotlog's picture

    Nowadays,it is said that solar energy is an investment that can reduce one of the most crucial problems,the pollution of our planet.But is solar energy clean and mainly safe?Unfortunately the building and maitaining of solar panels can be vary hazardous.The workers  in solar energy are exposed to a variety of hazards such as arc flash burn and blast hazards,electric sock,falls and thermal burn hazards that can cause not only injury but also death[1].Furthermore it should not be forgotten that two of the most dangerous jobs have direct relatrion with the solar industry.These jobs are roofers and electrical installers.[2].Should not we think more about the safety of the workers in solar industry?

    REFERENCE:

    1. http://www.osha.gov/dep/greenjobs/solar.html

    2. http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/03/01/top-10-most-dangerous-jobs/

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

    (Topic : Tide-pools, and how safe they are)

    Tidal energy is something different than wave energy, yet sea water helps us generate electric power in both cases, so a post about tide is essential to my view. What is tide ? Tide is the movement of sea water masses mostly caused by gravitational forces between moon and earth. The moon's mass affects water masses on the surface of earth. This periodical movement of water masses is called tide, and is also affected by earth's rotation.

    And how do we get tidal energy ? A physical or artificial tide-pool can be used. The pool is filled at high tide, and empties at low tide. We let water out through an electricity generator that turns the water's potential energy into electricity.

    How safe tide pools are ? Well, for sure there is no pollution occuring for humans and the environment. No emissions of any kind, no overburdens, no wastes like other kinds of energy. It is also cheap, as a form of energy, since the tide pool is constructed, we get energy for many years without effort. The only environmental disturbance i can think, is that in case of a non artificial tide pool, where the pool ecosystem is isolated. For example a North sea gulf will be partially isolated from the Atlantic Ocean. The environmental damage caused this way is not significant, taking into consideration other types of energy, such as fossil fuels. Dynamite fishing or industrial pollution of any kind are much more dangerous for the environment.

    How much energy can we generate from a tide-pool ? Well, this depends on many factors so i will not give you numbers - although i sould as an engineer. The most important factors are : 1) The volume of water that can be stored inside the tide-pool, 2) the shape of the tide-pool, 3) how fast the water comes out and of course 4) the generator's properties.

    Ref : wwww.withouthotair.com 

     

    Maria Christou's picture

     

    On
    previous comments Mostafa suggested a topic about the relation between quality
    and safety. To my mind, quality and safety are linked and equally important.
    You can’t have safety without quality and you can’t have quality without safety
    as well. Plus, I would like to add that if quality and safety don’t meet the
    necessary standards then there will be costly consequences.

    During
    oil drilling, workers are facing some risks such as leakage of oil and
    explosion. Although industries spend millions of dollars for an oil drill,
    there are also some costs associated with these risks. In case of an accident,
    companies give a large amount of money
    to clean up the mess.

     For example, BP spent more than 2 billion dollars
    to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    So, to sum up, industries must provide both safety and quality
    otherwise they will pay the price!

     

    References:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/21/news/companies/bp_oil_spill/index.htm

     

     

     

     

     

    a.bhardwaj.12's picture

     

    To add-on
    to that information I would like to throw some light on term quality. Quality
    is a very generic term. It can either be in terms material, cost, structural,
    mechanical, operational and so on. Where as safety runs only on one road. If I
    talk specifically of Oil and Gas Industry, the product is safe if "IT WILL
    NOT BREAK?". You can hear this line from the designer to the VP of the
    company. 

    In terms
    of relation between safety and quality. When any product is developed it is
    commissioned by either of the agencies. The codes they follow to validate the
    structure may be as per API,DNV, ASME, API, SAE etc. But never forget that the
    clever minds who draft the codes also mention a relation between safety and
    quality.

    I would
    explain the idea using an example of mechanical quality & safety from
    Industrial Standards point of view. Say for example the lifting eye of any
    offshore structure, it follows DNV 2.7.3 as well which clearly states that if
    yield strength of the material will fall the factor of safety will increase for
    acceptance. The prescribed values are not proportional. The value of safety
    factors increase in a steep fashion as compared to declination in yield values.
    Say if Yield is 40 ksi then FOS if 2 but if Yield is 20 then FOS is 5 (not 4).
    This increase exists because it is a function of various other considerations.

     To
    sum up, The quality and safety are always interlinked and present group of
    design engineers, analysts and commissioning agencies are very specific about
    safety relations with quality. 

     

    sotlog's picture

    Although wave power is aclean energy with little to no pollution and a large energy output,has a lot of disadvantages.First of all the unpredictability.Wave power generators flow of powerful waves in order to create a consistent energy output.So the generators need wind.Nearly all the areas have unreliable wave conduct.Secondly wave power creates ecological problems.Wave energy generators cause disturbances in the seafloor and to marine ecosystems according to the ocs Alternative Energy Program.According to the U.K. department for business innovation and skills, wave energy generators can cause noise pollution and can also be unsightly for those who live close to them.Last but not least wave generators may cause problems to the commercial shipping and other boats in the ocean.Boats not able to see the generators could cause a potential collision hazard and rose problems for the safety of both those on board and the wave energy generator.

    REFERENCE:

    http://www.ehow.com/list_5974568_advantages-_amp_-disadvantages-wave-energy.html

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

     

     

    below is the list of pipeline accidents around the world. this list is not a complete but it gives an insight to the safety issues in the oil and gas sector.

    summing up the casuaties in the various accidents reminds us of the danger of pipe failures and its devastating effect.

    1. Belgium(2004) - the major natural gas pipeline exploded in Ghislenghien, Belgium near Ath (50 kilometers Southwest of Brusels) killing 24people and leaving 122 wounded,this occured on july 30, 2004.
    2. Cina(2010) - the explosion of two petroleum pipelines and subsequent fire in the port of Dalian, in the northern China's Liaoning province on saturday, on july 17, 2010 caused falalities, damages and an ecological disaster, realising 11,000 barrels of oil into the yellow sea and covering up according to different sources, from 50 to 430km sq of the sea coast lines
    3.  Kenya(2011) - the Nairobi pipeline fire kills approximately 100 people and hospitalised 120
    4. Mexico: a) 1959 on july 1, a petroleum pipeline exploded and burned for 7hours in Coatzacoalcos. 12 people were killed and 100 more injured               b) 2010 saw an explosion on december 19, 2010 on an oil pipeline at a petroleos mecicanos (pemex) pumping station in san Martin Texmelucan de Labastida in central Mexico, killed at least 27 people and injured more than 50. the explosion is believed to have been caused by attempts to punture pipe to steal oil
    5. Nigera(1998) - at jesse in the Niger Delta, a petroleum pipeline exploded killing 1200 villagers, some of whom were scavenging gasoline. the worst of several similar accidents in the country. this happened on october 17, 1998. other cases includes the july 10, 2000 pipeline explosion killing 250 people, the July 16, 2000 ruptured pipeline explosion in warri killing 100people, the November 30, 2000 pipeline explosion killing 60 people in Ebute near Lagos, the june 19, 2003 explosion caused by oil thelf killing 125 people in Umuahia, Abia State, the May 12, 2006 explosion at the Atlas Creek Island in Lagos killing 150people, the december 26, 2006 explosion that took the lives of 500 people and the 2008 Ijegun explosion on may 16 that killed scores of people still not known till date.
    6. Russia(1989) - the Ufa train disaster: sparks from two passing trains detonated gas leaking from an LPG pipeline near Ufa, Russia. workers with the pipeline noticed dropping in the line, but they increased pressure in the line instead of searching for a leak. Trees up to 4 kilometers away were felled by the blast as well as 2 locomotives and 38 passengers cars on the trains. up to 645 people were reported killed on june 4, 1989

    refernces

    Samuel Bamkefa's picture

    In an effort to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, an agreement formalised at the Kyoto Protocol gave rise to the carbon credit trading. Explained in simple terms, companies that produce (or intend to produce) carbon dioxide above their allocated quotas are required to pay for the excess quantity that they are emitting. On the other hand, companies that engage in environment-friendly processes will have carbon credit units to sell, getting paid indirectly by those who pay for the emissions that they generate. For trading purposes, one credit is taken as equal to one metric ton emissions of CO2.


    In principle, this system provides a good means of discouraging emissions through financial penalties while rewarding reduced emissions by allocation of credits which in turn holds financial potentials.


    Not too much can e said as drawbacks to the initiation but it is suggested the price for a carbon credit should be make high enough to really make whatever profit may be realised from using increased emissions to be lower than the amount to be paid for buying credits.

    Carbon offsets (variant of carbon trading) have their own drawbacks, which reflect a fast-growing and unregulated market [1]. Hence, more regulation needs to be put in the market to provide a level playing field

    Lastly, companies have to be monitored to ensure that they do not indiscriminately pass the cost of the carbon emissions to their customers and make outrageous profits based on this.

     

    References
    1.    Jessica Stillman. What is carbon credit?  Moneywatch, Feb 5, 2008. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-51187036/what-is-carbon-credit/
     

    Samuel Bamkefa

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

     (Topic : Tidal stream farms and their safety)

    One way to extract tidal energy would be to build tide farms, just like wind farms. The first such underwater windmill, was installed near Hammerfest, at Norway (2003). The electric generator installed near Hammerfest was a 300kW turbine. Noone yet has built a tidal stream farm, with more than one turbine, so this technology is still in experimental stage. Accurate numbers for the amount of electric power produced, cannot be provided, yet the energy produced, is to be analogic with the knots.

    What knots are ? One knot equals to 1 nautical mile per hour, which equals to 0.514m/s. So efficiency is related to wind velocity, which affects tides. A medium estimation, for a turbine such the one described above is about 6W/m2 , taking into consideration the wind around the British Isles, which means that such a turbine will be much more effective than a wind turbine. A big advantage : No installation limitations, because there are too many spots for such installations, especially in waters around the UK.

    Safety considerations : I hardly believe that technologies more environmental friendly, than these are existing, and are as safe for humans as for the environment. As time passes more investments and research will come, perfectizing this technology, something that will improve technical characteristics. 

    No accidents have been reported of course till now, but i do not believe that danger exists during the installation of such turbines.

    Have you read anything relative ?

    Reference : JC MacKay (2008), Sustainable energy without hot air

    sotlog's picture

    The search for clean and renewable energy lead the engineers to the oceans.Capturing the power is challenge.The size of waves can fluctuate widely.If the waves are too big, they will overwhelm the equipment and can damage it.If the waves are too small,they are not going to be cost effective.Moreover,wave energy has a bad impact in the enviroment.The fishers and the crabbers worry that all that projects will hurt their livelihoods.The wave energy is going to render an area of the ocean and there will be no fish zones.[1]Furthermore the construction cost is very expensive.Wave power stations are expensive relative to other structures according to the professor Antonio Sarmento of politechnic school of Lisbon.The foundation often must be engineered and there are also additional expenses such as the construction of the enviroment which is added to the overall expanse of wave power[2].

    REFERENCE:

    1. http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/wave.htm

    2. http://www.flowmagazine.gr/article/view/A_wave_of_positive_energy/category/environment

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Mostafa Tantawi's picture

    Mostafa Tantawi
    Masters Of Subsea Engineering, University of Aberdeen


    Indeed Maria, In my opinion/ experience the quality System in any organization
    if complying with the ISO should have an insight of the HSE of the company and
    the procedures it takes to insure that, so sticking to the quality standards of
    the company will directly reflect the enhancement of the HSE System, I worked
    for a couple of companies here in the UK and back in Egypt, and there was a
    post for QHSE manager. So the personnel responsible for quality are
    subsequently responsible of Safety. I think what we should do is to find
    examples of this (Like the Piper Alpha), accidents that was one of its route
    causes not sticking to quality.


     


    Frixos Karletides's picture

    In view
    of the fact that photovoltaic solar panels produce energy for electricity
    without using fossil fuels, it can be considered that these panels do not emit
    toxic and greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, as for all energy sources, solar
    panels can breach health and safety regulations during their manufacturing
    process, since harmful chemicals are being used to assemble them. The primary
    chemical that is used to form solar panels is crystalline silica that can be
    extracted from mining. As crystalline silica is processed, it forms crystalline
    silica gas that is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency
    for Research on cancer, and can produce a lung disease called silicosis. This disease
    takes place when scar tissue forms in the lungs of a person and reduces his
    ability to breath. Safety measures are also needed when these solar panels are
    disposed at their end of their lives. Other safety issues that can be detected
    with the use of solar panels are during their battery charging process since
    hydrogen gas is produced and is highly flammable. Solar panels are commonly
    installed on the roofs of buildings in order to absorb the maximum available
    amount of sunlight. This statement can reflect safety considerations for people
    working at heights since falls are the leading cause of construction fatalities
    accounting for one third of the deaths in construction industry all over the
    world.

    Frixos Karletides

     

    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/The_building_process/Solar_panels.html

    http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/oipp/docs/life-cyclehealthandsafetyconcerns.pdf


     

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    In my previous post I illustrated safety problems
    regarding the manufacturing process of solar panels. An additional aspect
    concerning the safety of solar panels that must be examined is their long-range
    safety of their utilization. The solar energy absorbed by solar panels is
    produced by fusion in the sun’s nucleus. This means that concentrated sun
    energy will be absorbed by the solar panels and used to produce electricity so
    that every bulb can irradiate people in each house. This fact can strongly be
    related to skin cancer. Another aspect that can be noticed is the fact that all
    people know that watching sun with naked eyes can cause blindness. No studies
    has yet been addressed that illustrate the long time effects when people read a
    newspaper or watching television with energy produced by solar light.  

    Frixos Karletides

    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/The_building_process/Solar_panels.html

    http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/oipp/docs/life-cyclehealthandsafetyconcerns.pdf


            


    sotlog's picture

    I would like to agree with my student-mate Frixos and to add two very crucial statistics data.First of all solar energy is three times more dangerous than wind power and ten times more dangerous than nuclear power.Furtheremore it should not be forgotten that two of the most dangerous jobs have direct relation with the solar industry.These jobs are roofers and electrical power installers.In Australia every year die 30 workers who have fallen from heights while in California in USA trere was a rash of deaths due to the policy of solar energy.Solar energy is not safe and the companies must invest in the security of their workers.

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

     

    Topic 4 if the piper
    Alpha disaster occurred today, discuss the current safety legislative regime
    that will apply.

    There are
    several steps engineers have to follow nowadays regarding safety on onshore and
    offshore platforms. History taught us enough.

    There are
    some of the most recent safety legislative regimes that are being applied.

    ·        
    Compliance

    Monitor and
    enforce, investigate

    ·        
    Improvement

    Promote,
    advice

    ·        
    Governance

    Co-operate,
    report

    ·        
    Operations

    Offshore
    petroleum operations

    Offshore
    greenhouse gas storage

    ·        
    Scope

    Occupational health
    and safety at facilities

     Environmental management of petroleum
    activities

    ·        
    Legal
    framework

    An
    independent safety and environmental management authority

    http://www.nopsema.gov.au

     

     

     

     

     

     

    First of all, I would like to express my opinion about this kind of assessment which seems to be a very good way to start sharing opinions or new ideas with academic people or even others interested in safety engineering. Actually, I would like to discuss something which relates to safety engineering but it is not included in proposed topics.

    As we know the half of major industry accidents rely on human error. For this reason most of industries perform regular safety trainings and examinations. These are usually performed on dates established in advance. Thus employees informed in advance have the opportunity to refresh and improve their knowledge and skills by studying safety guides just before that day. But industry demand is much more than just trying to answer properly. This leads to a conclusion that employees are not always standing by the unpredicted situations and they have to update their skills.

    To get to the main point, in my opinion these tests, trainings and examinations of skills should be performed unexpectedly in order to avoid well prepared answers, examining the understanding of employees related to the dangers and determining their weak points. Probably this kind of tests would affect negatively the estimated costs of many companies, but if this activity could avoid unforeseen circumstances and reduce average fatalities per year it would be a success. Otherwise the costs of disasters are much higher and companies definitely would prefer the cheaper and safe choice.

    In conclusion, there could be fines and even contract losses for the employees in order to make the working environment safer, in case they have not been applied so far.

    Sergios Salavasidis 

    OKEKE FRANCIS's picture

    Wind energy is the process by
    which the kinetic energy in the wind is used to generate mechanical power or
    electricity. It is a free, clean, renewable source of energy.

    Wind energy is very safe compared
    to other sources of energy. It emits little or no air, land or sea pollutant,
    thus the environmental impact is relatively low. The only potentially toxic or
    hazardous materials are relatively small amounts of lubricating oils, hydraulic
    and insulating fluids.  As we all know,
    all forms of energy conversion system presents its own safety hazards and wind
    energy is not an exception.

    Safety issues in wind energy are
    mainly associated with their construction, operation and maintenance.
    Thousands of industrial sized wind
    turbines have been installed and more are on-going. There have been fatalities
    recorded due to these constructions. In operation, issues of turbine brake failure
    can occur, which results to the blade spinning freely until it disintegrates
    and catches fire. Most old turbines lack automatic fire extinguishing system
    and cannot auto-detect ice formation and excess vibration posing safety
    concerns to both the turbines and the environment.

    Safety in
    wind energy has improved significantly with the introduction of advanced
    technology in the construction, operation and maintenance of the turbines.  Noise due to the rotation of the turbine has
    diminished due to improved technology with more of the wind converted into
    rotational torque and less into acoustic noise. The issue of wild life habitat
    and aesthetic (visual) impacts have also improved. Bird and bat mortality is
    minimal. Several large wind facilities have operated for years with only minor
    impacts on these animals

    References

    1.       http://windeis.anl.gov/documents/docs/WindFAQ21Jun05.pdf

     

    2.       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power#Impacts_on_people 

    OKEKE FRANCIS N.

    OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING

    Igwe Veronica Ifenyinwa's picture

    The ten top energy disasters should not be ranked solely on the assets lost because human loss is indeed a very important consideration in every natural or unnatural disaster because when money, property or asset is lost, something is lost, but when human life is lost, all is lost. Losses are not really painful and of tremendous concern until human lives have been lost.

    I have also noticed that in every establishment safety level cannot be measured or determined without first considering fatality rate. Thus, I am not of the opinion that energy disaster should solely be ranked on the basis of money or asset lost

    michael saiki's picture

    Dr Tan, Veronica,

    I absolutely agree with you that fatality is more important than cost.

    but for the basis of this discussion i think there should be room for different criteria for measuring the impact of accidents and I just wanted to provide a bit of a perspective to the accidents as a lot of people have done their assessment based on fatalities i think it does not make sense repeating what others have already said

     I am sure it would give us a bit of an idea not just the fatalies which is certainly the most significant but also the amount of financial loss by the satkholders

    Thanks

    Michael Saiki

    Menelaos Michelakis's picture

    (Topic : Tidal barrages and thei use, safety considerations)

    Adding comments to : Sotirios Longinos, Segrios Salavasidis.

    The search for clean and renewable energy lead the engineers to the oceans. True. Also, human factor is responsible for many accidents in the industry sector, energy sector sould not be excluded. Keep these two things in mind while you read this post.

    This post provides information about tidal barrages and their safety. Tidal barrages are already a proven technology. Famous barrages have been built in many countries such as France. Barrages can also be constructedin the UK, in places such as the Severn Estuary. Why there ? What is an engineer seeking in order to build a barrage that will produce electricity ? Answer : A natural tide pool, with as much space as possible and a relative small entrance/exit - (the place where the tide pool communicates with the sea).

    How it works ? The water is let in, in a single pulse at the peak of high tide, and let out in a single pulse at low tide. Some characteristics of tidal barrages are : High costs of construction, satisfactory amounts of energy produced and prevention from flooding, most of the times - depending on the are they are built.

    Safety considerations : Tidal barrages are environmental friendly as the other ocean related energy systems, and there is no danger for humans involved with the usage of a barrage. How safe is it during the phase of construction ? Well, as stated in the beggining human factor is responsible for many accidents in the industry and energy sector. Statistics are not provided in this post, although someone could add with an extra post, helping our debate. There is always danger during the construction of a barrage and the engineer who is responsible for the safety of the workers sould be 24/7 on foot, and take care as accidents could destroy the fame of the company, not mentioning the financial part.

    The danger of constructing a barrage cannot be compared with the installation of a water sea snake, or a tidal stream turbine. It is much greater, because of the nature of the construction. Such constructions, require many experienced workers, and very careful surveilance. I searched for statistics on the Internet but i could not find, so if someone finds make an additional post please, and help this debate.

    Electronic references : www.withouthotair.com , www.wikipedia.org 

    Book reference : JC MacKay (2008), sustainable energy without hot air

    leighmoreton's picture

    Source: http://gabe.web.psi.ch/research/ra/pdfs/ENSAD_Overview.pdf

    The Paul Scherrer Institut(PSI) developed a database in 1998 which stores records for accidents occuring in the energy industry.  This database is called the Energy Related Severe Accident Database (ENSAD), It cover accidents and incidents recorded in the fossil fuel, hydropower and nuclear energy insustries.  These incidents are not just limited to the power plants for the energy chains, later development of the database allowed companies to have access to incidents reported in their chain, a view of the costs incurred in the accident and is used to aid companies in development of their safety policies.

    The Database has a list of 7 criteria which classify an accident as severe.  Only one criteria is needed to be met in order to make the accident meet the classification of a severe accident.  

    These criteria are:

    1. There must be at least 5 deaths

    2. There must be at least 10 injuries

    3. The accident results in at least 200 evacuees

    4. There must be a large scale food consumpiton ban

    5. There is a release of hydrocarbons, over 10,000 Tonnes

    6. The company is placed under and enforced clear-up of the land or surrounding environment

    7. The company makes an economic loss of at least $5 Million (USD)

    This database however is not the only method of storing a record of serious accidents which occur in the energy industry.  There are also; the casualties and demolition database, minerals management service accident database, acute hazardous events database, SONATA, the VARO database, OSH-ROM, HSELINE, NIOSHTIC, CISDOC and the ETDE energy database are just a few.

    Following the definition of a severe accident I would like to suggest that the Aberfan Colliery Disaster is a suitable candidate for being on of the top 10 disasters in the energy industry as I feel that it fits into more then one of the criteria illustrated above.  I will discuss the Aberfan Disaster in my next post. 

    Leigh Moreton
    MSc Renewable Energy

    sotlog's picture

    Everyday the oil and gas industry should contend with an array of health,safety and enviromental concerns.In the face of increasing regulatory oversight companies need to implement effective safety management systems to protect their workers,the general public and the enviroment.All the companies in the oil and gas industry must establish specific systems and processes to manage and monitor activities that affect their safetyperformance[1].First off all chemical industries must implement security measures regarding technological accidents of high dangerous range.Secondly the industry must put into practice continous security fault controlling as well as risk analysis with the HAZOP method.Furthermore the industrys design should be in a such way in order to prevent the diffusions fire.The modification of a producing process should be designed and constructed in a way able to be controled and maitained according to the speciments of the prior study.[2]

    REFERENCE:

    1. http://earthsky.org/featured/safety-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry 

    2. http://www.firesecurity.gr/bibliothiki/biomat.htm 

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Ocean waves can
    provide 13% of the electricity demand worldwide. The major advantage of using
    wave energy to produce electricity is that it is a renewable form of energy and
    cannot be depleted. Consequently, it can replace the process of fossil fuels
    that are used to produce electricity. Wave system is a comparatively clean form
    of energy and does not produce any greenhouse gases. On the contrary, a faulty wave
    system may experience toxic fluid leakage directly in the water, since such a
    system is installed at sea. This would directly damage ecosystems and marine
    life. Another drawback of this system is that it needs to be constructed very
    rigid since it must be able to endure violent storms and huge waves. Designing and
    building a sustainable machine that can last for years is a difficult and very
    costly task. It appears to me that this form of energy source needs further
    developing and people nowadays cannot rely directly on this system. This is
    because wave power is very expensive and inefficient to produce. It is an
    unproductive energy method since it cannot process any power on sunny days when
    there are no waves.   

    Frixos Karletides

    http://www.ehow.com/list_6960521_safety-concerns-wave-energy-systems.html

    http://www.ehow.com/list_7155045_pros-cons-wave-energy.html

    http://www.inverter-china.com/blog/articles/green-energy/the-future-and-problems-of-wave-power.html


     




    sotlog's picture

    After several years of reseach the number one risk for the oil and gas sector is the access to reserves.Although the previous years there were areas which were too expensive or too politicaly unstable to justify operations,nowadays they have become more economicaly viable due to high energy demands and advances in technologies and business process.It is also recognised that the definition of risks varies from company to company and from sector to sector depending on demands of the consumers.Furthermore, companies have to face other risks such as health and enviroment especialy nowadays where they must compete the renewable energy which is more clean and friendly to the enviroment.Another crucial risk is the lack of qualified personell which arrives up to 22 percent in the oil and gas companies.Last but not least as a risk is price volatility.The unrest in the Middle East and in North Africa in 2011 lead the prices of oil high standars.An investment in an oil and gas industry is not  always the easy way.

     REFERENCE:

    1. http://gcaptain.com/oil-gas-industry-risks/

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    The Mumbai High North (MHN) platform, a 30 years old 7-storey steel structure, was an oil and natural gas processing complex which had a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day of crude production which was completely destroy in fire On 27th of July 2005 with 11 fatalities.


    A vessel collided with the offshore Mumbai high North(MHN) platform, due to a very high heave. This resulted in rupture of  one or  more gas export riser on the MHN Jacket.

    The resultant gas leak ignited within a short time. The subsequent fire engulfed the platforms MHN.The close proximity of other risers and lack of fire protection caused further riser failure causing the complete destruction of the MHN.

    My major concern with this incident, is that it occurred after the offshore installation regulation PFEER was enacted in 1995.I would have expected that measures would have been put in place to mitigate the effect of fire explosion.


    Another point of note is that the riser guards as the name connotes was not effective, the design of the riser guards should have covered the impact effect of that weight of vessel given the operating environment of the MHN in other to adequately carry out the task it was design for.


    Furthermore,

    Emergency shut-down valves (ESDVs) were in place at each end of the risers, but still was unable to prevent the release of gas,probably if ESD Valves where placed at reasonable distance along the risers, it might have controlled the release of gas.


    Reference


    http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/mhn.htm

    http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/new/features/pdfs/safety8.pdf

    http://www.guycarp.com/portal/extranet/pdf/RISK-i/GC_PF_INDIA_27_JUL_2005.pdf



    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    sotlog's picture

    The accident of oil and gas natural corporation oil-driling platform occured when a vessel for some reasons which are yet not known,lost control and collided to the platform.This mishap caused a serious oilleakage and immediately the platform got fire.The workers of the platform together with the crew of the vessel tried to douse the fire but the situation was out of control.Although the platform was on fire till the morning the oil spill had been brought under control[1].In this accident 11 people died while 11 still reported missing.This accident as Dr Mandira Aggarwal of the faculty of HSE supported ,it was caused for 4 reasons.Firstly due to robustness of risk assessment process,secondly for poor safety culture and then for riser and vessel issues.This incident must reinforce the need for thorough risk assessment and develop the implementation of associated risk management measures.Furthermore the adoption of collision avoidance and protective measures as described in UKOOA.Last but not least the management arrangements must ensure that risk management measures are effective in practice[2].

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    REFERENCE:

    1. http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/jul/28ongc3.htm

    2. http://www.slideshare.net/MuzahidKhan/ongc-mumbai-high-accident

    Maria Christou's picture

    As my classmates mentioned above, on 27 July 2005, a fire occurred
    on Mumbai High North platform which was located in the Arabian Sea, west of
    Mumbai coast. The fire broke out when a multipurpose support vessel hit one of
    the platforms causing 22 fatalities.

    The Mumbai High field, the
    largest oil and gas field in India, was consisted of four linked platforms: MHF
    platform where the workers were sleeping, NA, MHN and MHW platforms where the
    workers were working.

    Three months after the accident Oil & Natural Gas Corporation
    (ONGC), the company that operated the field, invested 2 billion USD on safety
    measures in order to rebuild the platform.

    Why do we always have to put people in danger first and then
    consider increasing the safety measures? 
    I believe in most of the projects, companies overestimate the safety
    factor.

    Before starting a project, companies need to examine all the
    potential causes and consequences of damage, then develop effective safety
    measures and observe in practice.

     

    References:

    http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/mhn.htm

    MUMBAI HIGH NORTH ACCIDENT presentation of HSE http://www.npchse.net/safety/pdf/useful%20information/Mumbai-north-Blow-outreport.pdf

    http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/ongc-invests-362-blnbombay-highs-safety-measures_186413.html

     

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

    There three main issues that influences the human factors in safety relaibity and integrity management( SRIM), which are the job, organisation and personnel factor.

    These 3 mention above are directly affected by the system of communication within and organisation and training systems and procedures in the operation. They are necessary to mitigate human error.

    characteristic of each : An Organisation has to have a good safety system of work (SSOW) to control the risk from the organisations operation taking into account of human capabilities. committement to achieve higher standard shown from the top of the organisation and cascaded down through successive levels.

    The Job can be done using technics like JSA HAZOP, HIRA which are designed to reduce ergonomic risk to the human carrying out the task and operation. Considerations to be clearly given to the indentification and comprehensive analysis of task expected to be done by individuals. Evaluating the required decision making and the balance between human and automatic contributions of safety factors, design and presentation of procedure or operating instruction.

    Personnel factors such as attitude, training, perception and motivation could impact the the health and safety processes as well as integrity of jobs. earned value management as well as Leading by example has proven to be best motivating factors in health and safety and this could easily allow room for free understanding as changing attitude of a worker is quite difficult.

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

    HOW SAFE IS OUR WORLD.
    A GOOD AT THE TOP TEN DISASTERS AFFECTED OUR WORLD

    10. Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (1979)
    Most Deadly Biological Accident
    105 Confirmed Casualties:
    The closed city of Sverdlovsk, located 1450 km east of Moscow, has been a major
    production center of the Soviet military-industrial complex since World War II. In
    1958, a major nuclear accident occurred in this region. A military reactor was damaged,
    resulting in the release of radioactive dust. The contamination covered an area of
    1,000 square kilometers.

    9. Tenerife airport disaster (1977)
    Most Deadly Aviation Disaster
    583 Fatalities:
    The Tenerife airport is located on the Spanish island of Tenerife, which is one of the
    Canary Islands. On March 27, 1977 two Boeing 747 airliners were maneuvering
    around the Tenerife airport. The airport had one single runway. It was an extremely
    foggy day, which compromised the visual ability of the pilots and the air traffic control
    center. Air traffic control directed Pan Am Flight 1736 to backtax across the runway at
    the same time KLM Flight 4805 was taking off. The KLM Flight stuck the top end of
    the Pan Am flight at high speed. In fact it was briefly air born. Both airplanes were
    destroyed.

    8. Xinjiang Theatre Fire (1977)
    Most Deadly Structural Fire
    694 Fatalities:
    Satellite View of Xinjiang
    Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, which is also
    claimed by the territory of the Republic of China. In February of 1977 the area was
    celebrating the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, which is the most important of the
    traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year. On this day,
    hundreds of children loaded a theatre in Xinjiang to watch an afternoon show. During
    the production a fire started in the lobby. It rapidly spread and engulfed the exits
    trapping hundreds of people. In total 694 people were killed that day, with 597 of them
    being children.

    7. Modane Train Disaster (1917)
    800-1000 Casualties:
    In the middle of the 19th century the government of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont)
    began building a railway through the valley of Susa, with the hope of building a tunnel
    through the Alps. The line from Turin to Susa was inaugurated on May 22, 1854.
    Work on the tunnel began on August 31, 1857 and it was completed in September of
    1871. The line was originally a single track, but was doubled in 1908 between many
    other locations. In 1917, the Fréjus railway line was the scene of one of the world's
    most deadly train accidents. The horrible accident began when between 800-1000
    French soldiers loaded the train in hopes of returning home after fighting in North East
    Italy.

    6. Courrières Mine Disaster (1906)
    1,099 Fatalities:
    Courrières is an area of France, which is located in the department of Pas-de-Calais and
    the region Nord-Pas-de-Calais. On the morning of March 10, 1906 a large explosion
    was heard coming from the Courrières mine. First responders quickly discovered that
    the area was completely devastated. An elevator cage at Shaft 3 was thrown to the
    surface, many pit-head workings were damaged, windows and roofs were blown out.
    Like most coal mine disasters during this time in history. It was thought that the
    majority of the destruction was caused by an explosion of coal dust which swept through
    the mine.

    5. Al-Ma'aisim Tunnel Stampede (1990)
    Most Deadly Peacetime Stampede and Human Crush
    1,426 Fatalities:
    In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral
    significance. Buddhism offers four sites of pilgrimage: the Buddha's birthplace at
    Lumbini, the site where he attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, where he first
    preached at Sarnath, and where he achieved Parinirvana at Kusinagara. The Holy Land
    acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism,
    Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. Throughout history there have been many
    serious incidents during the Hajj, which is the Muslim pilgrimage to the city of Mecca.
    There are an estimated 1.3 billion Muslims living today, each of whom is expected to
    visit Mecca during the Hajj at least once.

    4. Halifax Explosion (1917)
    Most Deadly Accidental Explosion
    1,950 Fatalities:
    In 1917 the SS Mont-Blanc was chartered by the French government to carry munitions
    to Europe, around the same time the Norwegian ship Imo was chartered by the
    Commission for Relief in Belgium to carry relief supplies. On the morning of December
    6, 1917 the two ships met in Halifax Harbour, which is a large natural harbour on the
    Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It should have been a casual pass by, but as
    accidents go the two ships had a mass collision causing major damage to the SS Mont
    Blanc. Immediate attention was paid to the threat of fire, but ten minutes after the crash
    the vessel was engulfed in flames.

    3. MV Doña Paz (1987)
    Most Deadly Peacetime Ship Disaster
    4,375 Fatalities:
    The MV Doña Paz was a Philippine-registered passenger ferry. On December 20, 1987,
    the Doña Paz disembarked from Tacloban City, Leyte for the Philippine capital of
    Manila with a stopover at Catbalogan City, Samar. The ferry was traveling along the
    Tablas Strait, near Marinduque when it collided with the MT Vector, an oil tanker en
    route from Bataan to Masbate. The Vector was carrying 8,800 barrels of gasoline and
    other petroleum products. The weather that night was clear but the sea was choppy.
    During the accident most of the passengers were asleep. Upon the collision, the
    Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire that spread onto the Doña Paz. Flames quickly
    engulfed the ferry. There were no life vests on the Doña Paz. It was later said that the
    life jacket lockers had been locked.

    2. Bhopal disaster (1984)
    Most Deadly Industrial Accident in History
    25,000+ Fatalities:
    Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It houses the Union Carbide
    pesticide plant. During the evening of December 3, 1984, a large amount of water
    entered a tank containing 42 tonnes of methyl isocyanate, which is an intermediate
    chemical in the production of carbamate pesticides. The chemical reaction increased the
    tanks temperature to over 200°C, subsequently releasing a large amount of toxic gases
    on the city. Many citizens awoke with an intense burning sensation in their lungs and
    they began to choke to death. Panic ensued on the streets of Bhopal with many people
    being trampled. More then half a million people were exposed to the toxic gases.


    1. Chernobyl Disaster (1986)
    Most Deadly Nuclear Reactor Accident
    Millions Affected:
    The incredible expansion of nuclear weapons and power in the last 70 years has
    created dangers. Of course the possibility of a rogue country starting a nuclear war
    exists, but some of the most direct danger exists in the hudreds of nuclear
    processing and storage facilites in the world. Nuclear energy is a productive form
    of energy and and nuclear accidents are limited, but the threat of human error
    always exists. There is no single event that would be more devastating to a nation
    then having a nuclear explosion or accident expose its own people to a nuclear
    fallout. This was made abundantly clear in 1986 with the Chernobyl disaster. The
    Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident that occurred on April 26, 1986,
    at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which was then part of the
    Soviet Union. After a massive power excursion, reactor number four at the
    Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat, exploded.


    The nuclear chain reaction grew out of control, similar to the initial stage in the
    detonation of a nuclear weapon. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume
    of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical
    area. Four hundred times more fallout was released than had been by the atomic
    bombing of Hiroshima. It was equivelant to a barrage of nuclear bombs being dropped
    on the area. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern
    Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe, with some nuclear rain falling as far
    away as Ireland. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated,
    resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. According to
    official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus.

    The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear power industry as
    well as nuclear power in general. It is difficult to accurately quantify the number of
    deaths caused by the events at Chernobyl. The World Health Organization attributed 56
    direct deaths, which is a joke. Millions of people's health was affected by this incident.
    The Chernobyl disaster is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in history and the
    only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The Soviet Union's
    collapse into independent nations began early in 1985. The Chernobyl incident greatly
    impacted the Soviet governmen

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

    HOW SAFE IS OUR WORLD.
    A GOOD AT THE TOP TEN DISASTERS AFFECTED OUR WORLD

    10. Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (1979)
    Most Deadly Biological Accident
    105 Confirmed Casualties:
    The closed city of Sverdlovsk, located 1450 km east of Moscow, has been a major
    production center of the Soviet military-industrial complex since World War II. In
    1958, a major nuclear accident occurred in this region. A military reactor was damaged,
    resulting in the release of radioactive dust. The contamination covered an area of
    1,000 square kilometers.

    9. Tenerife airport disaster (1977)
    Most Deadly Aviation Disaster
    583 Fatalities:
    The Tenerife airport is located on the Spanish island of Tenerife, which is one of the
    Canary Islands. On March 27, 1977 two Boeing 747 airliners were maneuvering
    around the Tenerife airport. The airport had one single runway. It was an extremely
    foggy day, which compromised the visual ability of the pilots and the air traffic control
    center. Air traffic control directed Pan Am Flight 1736 to backtax across the runway at
    the same time KLM Flight 4805 was taking off. The KLM Flight stuck the top end of
    the Pan Am flight at high speed. In fact it was briefly air born. Both airplanes were
    destroyed.

    8. Xinjiang Theatre Fire (1977)
    Most Deadly Structural Fire
    694 Fatalities:
    Satellite View of Xinjiang
    Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, which is also
    claimed by the territory of the Republic of China. In February of 1977 the area was
    celebrating the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, which is the most important of the
    traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year. On this day,
    hundreds of children loaded a theatre in Xinjiang to watch an afternoon show. During
    the production a fire started in the lobby. It rapidly spread and engulfed the exits
    trapping hundreds of people. In total 694 people were killed that day, with 597 of them
    being children.

    7. Modane Train Disaster (1917)
    800-1000 Casualties:
    In the middle of the 19th century the government of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont)
    began building a railway through the valley of Susa, with the hope of building a tunnel
    through the Alps. The line from Turin to Susa was inaugurated on May 22, 1854.
    Work on the tunnel began on August 31, 1857 and it was completed in September of
    1871. The line was originally a single track, but was doubled in 1908 between many
    other locations. In 1917, the Fréjus railway line was the scene of one of the world's
    most deadly train accidents. The horrible accident began when between 800-1000
    French soldiers loaded the train in hopes of returning home after fighting in North East
    Italy.

    6. Courrières Mine Disaster (1906)
    1,099 Fatalities:
    Courrières is an area of France, which is located in the department of Pas-de-Calais and
    the region Nord-Pas-de-Calais. On the morning of March 10, 1906 a large explosion
    was heard coming from the Courrières mine. First responders quickly discovered that
    the area was completely devastated. An elevator cage at Shaft 3 was thrown to the
    surface, many pit-head workings were damaged, windows and roofs were blown out.
    Like most coal mine disasters during this time in history. It was thought that the
    majority of the destruction was caused by an explosion of coal dust which swept through
    the mine.

    5. Al-Ma'aisim Tunnel Stampede (1990)
    Most Deadly Peacetime Stampede and Human Crush
    1,426 Fatalities:
    In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral
    significance. Buddhism offers four sites of pilgrimage: the Buddha's birthplace at
    Lumbini, the site where he attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, where he first
    preached at Sarnath, and where he achieved Parinirvana at Kusinagara. The Holy Land
    acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism,
    Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. Throughout history there have been many
    serious incidents during the Hajj, which is the Muslim pilgrimage to the city of Mecca.
    There are an estimated 1.3 billion Muslims living today, each of whom is expected to
    visit Mecca during the Hajj at least once.

    4. Halifax Explosion (1917)
    Most Deadly Accidental Explosion
    1,950 Fatalities:
    In 1917 the SS Mont-Blanc was chartered by the French government to carry munitions
    to Europe, around the same time the Norwegian ship Imo was chartered by the
    Commission for Relief in Belgium to carry relief supplies. On the morning of December
    6, 1917 the two ships met in Halifax Harbour, which is a large natural harbour on the
    Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It should have been a casual pass by, but as
    accidents go the two ships had a mass collision causing major damage to the SS Mont
    Blanc. Immediate attention was paid to the threat of fire, but ten minutes after the crash
    the vessel was engulfed in flames.

    3. MV Doña Paz (1987)
    Most Deadly Peacetime Ship Disaster
    4,375 Fatalities:
    The MV Doña Paz was a Philippine-registered passenger ferry. On December 20, 1987,
    the Doña Paz disembarked from Tacloban City, Leyte for the Philippine capital of
    Manila with a stopover at Catbalogan City, Samar. The ferry was traveling along the
    Tablas Strait, near Marinduque when it collided with the MT Vector, an oil tanker en
    route from Bataan to Masbate. The Vector was carrying 8,800 barrels of gasoline and
    other petroleum products. The weather that night was clear but the sea was choppy.
    During the accident most of the passengers were asleep. Upon the collision, the
    Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire that spread onto the Doña Paz. Flames quickly
    engulfed the ferry. There were no life vests on the Doña Paz. It was later said that the
    life jacket lockers had been locked.

    2. Bhopal disaster (1984)
    Most Deadly Industrial Accident in History
    25,000+ Fatalities:
    Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It houses the Union Carbide
    pesticide plant. During the evening of December 3, 1984, a large amount of water
    entered a tank containing 42 tonnes of methyl isocyanate, which is an intermediate
    chemical in the production of carbamate pesticides. The chemical reaction increased the
    tanks temperature to over 200°C, subsequently releasing a large amount of toxic gases
    on the city. Many citizens awoke with an intense burning sensation in their lungs and
    they began to choke to death. Panic ensued on the streets of Bhopal with many people
    being trampled. More then half a million people were exposed to the toxic gases.


    1. Chernobyl Disaster (1986)
    Most Deadly Nuclear Reactor Accident
    Millions Affected:
    The incredible expansion of nuclear weapons and power in the last 70 years has
    created dangers. Of course the possibility of a rogue country starting a nuclear war
    exists, but some of the most direct danger exists in the hudreds of nuclear
    processing and storage facilites in the world. Nuclear energy is a productive form
    of energy and and nuclear accidents are limited, but the threat of human error
    always exists. There is no single event that would be more devastating to a nation
    then having a nuclear explosion or accident expose its own people to a nuclear
    fallout. This was made abundantly clear in 1986 with the Chernobyl disaster. The
    Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident that occurred on April 26, 1986,
    at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which was then part of the
    Soviet Union. After a massive power excursion, reactor number four at the
    Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat, exploded.


    The nuclear chain reaction grew out of control, similar to the initial stage in the
    detonation of a nuclear weapon. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume
    of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical
    area. Four hundred times more fallout was released than had been by the atomic
    bombing of Hiroshima. It was equivelant to a barrage of nuclear bombs being dropped
    on the area. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern
    Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe, with some nuclear rain falling as far
    away as Ireland. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated,
    resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. According to
    official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus.

    The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear power industry as
    well as nuclear power in general. It is difficult to accurately quantify the number of
    deaths caused by the events at Chernobyl. The World Health Organization attributed 56
    direct deaths, which is a joke. Millions of people's health was affected by this incident.
    The Chernobyl disaster is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in history and the
    only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The Soviet Union's
    collapse into independent nations began early in 1985. The Chernobyl incident greatly
    impacted the Soviet governmen

    References
    www.litsblog.com
    http://bigthink.com/blogs/big-think-top-5
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    The Mumbai High Filed is India’s
    largest offshore Oil and Gas field and is located in the Arabian Sea about 160
    km west of the Mumbai Coast. It has been operating by Oil and Natural Gas
    Corporation (ONGC) since 1974 and accounts for 40% of India’s domestic
    production. On July 2005, a multi-purpose support (MPS) vessel collided with
    the North steel structured platform which had a capacity of 80,000 barrels per
    day of crude oil. This had a set off of a major fire and crude oil started
    leaking. The oil caught fire and an explosion occurred. In only two hours the
    whole platform collapsed into the sea causing the death of 22 people. The rest
    362 personnel were rescued by helicopters and boats. This incident shows how the
    unlimited supply of oxygen and fuel can result to a hasty progress of fire and
    explosions. Subsequent to this accident two matters were detected for
    examination:


     


    ·        
    The
    efficiency of failures in the risk control system


    ·        
    The
    efficiency of collision avoidance process


     


    After about one month the
    production of oil at Mumbai High Field had been restored to normal levels.

     

    Frixos Karletides 


     


    http://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/project/research/structures/strucfire/CaseStudy/HistoricFires/Other/default.htm


    http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/mhn.htm


    Frixos Karletides's picture

    Health and safety in oil and gas industry is becoming progressively a significant aspect. This is due to the fact of changing legislation and the need for greater efficiency. Consequently, there has been a great deal of work done and investments in risk management in the oil and gas industry in order to meet future demands and deliver projects in terms of quality, safety and sustainability. A typical method to assess hazards in industry is to identify risks associated with each project and then eliminate them accordingly. Awareness of hazards can be increase by investigating and understanding past accidents. Some common factors of major accidents are:
    Lack of commitment to safety by project leaders is considered to be the major factor of accidents; a large amount of accidents occurred when there are sudden changes to the management of a project where standard procedures are not followed; inadequate hazard analysis since a lot of companies investigate hazards after they occur; Failing of people in the company to communicate with each other and report possible hazards in an efficient manner to prevent accidents; inadequate learning from past events.
    In order to eliminate hazards, industries over the years changed their policies and standards. These standards may include detailed steps of how industrial operations should be performed safely. Concerning the risk safety management aspect, hazard analysis and identification must be executed before each project start and people must show exclusive concerns on the causes of past accidents throughout the world. It appears to be that the most significant method to increase safety is by training the workers. According to Deepwater Horizon accident, investigations showed that workers had minimal training and experience to work in an oil platform. Karletides

    Frixos Karletides

    http://www.oswindia.com/articles/oct_nov2010/Dr_kowshik.pdf

    http://www.spe.org/jpt/print/archives/2008/07/JPT2008_07_07GuestEdit.pdf

    http://mitei.mit.edu/news/risk-management-oil-and-gas-industry

    Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

    TOPIC 5

    In recent
    years, millions of 
    solar panels have been placed on roofs around the
    world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hidden pollution caused by solar
    panels.

    Solar energy
    is the most common and famous energy source at present. With the use of the
    solar panels, we can convert sunlight into power. Solar energy can be converted
    to thermal energy and electricity.

    People prefer
    the solar energy because is the cleanest and as a result millions of solar
    panels are installed around the world. Some of them on rooftops and some of them
    in the fields

    For all of
    these panels there must be a manufacturing process. The manufacturing process
    can pollute the environment. Pollutions can be produced also by the
    transportation.

    Solar panels
    have expiry date. When panel’s life time comes to an end must be recycled. If they
    left somewhere, toxic chemicals contained inside them will pollute the
    environment.

    Now regarding
    the safety of solar panels, there are some multiple potentially hazardous
    materials that we must bear in mind and without the proper safety regulations
    they can be dangerous to the environment and also in humans. Hydrogen chloride
    is toxic and highly explosively with water. Chlorosilane and silane are also dangerous
    and can be explode. Silicon which is used most commonly can cause skin burns.

       

    http://www.our-energy.com/energy_facts/solar_energy_facts.html

    http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/oipp/docs/life-cyclehealthandsafetyconcerns.pdf

     

    sotlog's picture

    It is an undeniable fact that the accidents in energy sector have been identified as one of the main contributors to man-made disasters.These disasters have not only ecological but also social-economic impacts.According to the referrence scenario of the World Energy Outlook(IEA 2006) oil is and will remain the single largest fuel mix until year 2030.When looking at severe deadly accidents in the energy chain,seven out of the ten most deadly accidents are attribute to the oil sector.In the case of injured damages, six out of the ten most expensive accidents have taken place in the oil sector.In the ENSAD database an accident is considered to be severe if at least one of the following  criteria is fullfield:at least 5 fatalities,at least 10 injuries,at least 200 evacuees,extensive ban on consumption of food,release of hydrocarbons exceeding 10000 metric tons,enforced clean-up of land and water over an area of at least 25kmm and economic loss of at least $5 million USD.Generaly fatalities are the most reliable indicator concerning completeness and accuracy of the data,superior to injured or evacuated persons[1].In my opinion what really means severe accident must be re-examined in the direction that even though  one fatality is equivalent with severe accident.Life is the most important wealth....we should not forget this.

    REFERENCE:

    http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?ots591=0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8c7060233&lng=en&id=48287

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Olamide s Ajala's picture

     

    I partly agree with babawale, that these statically tools have been widely use by various establishment to have a rough estimate or idea on the frequency of fatality prevalent to some activities in the industry. Although

    their statistical uncertainty due to in-homogeneity of data and limited sample set make industries question their adequacy. So they are definitely not absolute measures of risk present and should be used with other tools like the F-N Curve in order to have a reasonable measure of risk present to ensure safety.


    However implicit in this societal and individual risk measures, is the factor of human because Humans are very complicated species and generally unpredictable.

    Vast majority of the disaster recorded have been directly or indirectly attributed to human integrity loss such as the Piper Alpha disaster which can be attributed to inadequate maintenance safety procedure or the Machando disaster which can be summed up to loss of design integrity and operational integrity among others.

    Therefore, as long as humans continue to be humans, it will be very difficult to pre-empt disasters or be proactive in safety measures or approach. We can only work on previous history statistics of disaster to promulgate new laws to mitigate the consequence or risk to ALARP

    Olamide Sherifah Ajala
    Student ID:51230562
    Course:Sub sea Engineering
    olamide.sherifah.ajala@aberdeen.a.uk

    sotlog's picture

    What are biofuels?Biofuel is atype whose energy derived from biological carbon fixation.Biofuels contain fuels derived from biomass convertion as well as solid biomass,liquid fuels and various gasses[1].First of all biofuels cause ecological problems.The production of some biofuels leads to more green house gas emittions.The techniques also do not take into account other gasses emitted such as nitrous oxide which sometimes is more prominenet after the use of biofuels.Furthermore soil erosion is going to grow due to the other plants that are going to be replaced.Moreover,biofuels will cause loss of habitat for animals and for indigenous people living in areas such as South America and South Eastern Asia because of the deforestation.Apart from enviromental problems biofuels cause social economic impacts.Biofuel may raise the price of certain foods which are also used for biofuels such as corn and sunflower.New technologies which are going to be developed for example in vehicles will increase the prices of them dramatically.Last but not least biofuels development and production is dependent still on oil[2].In my opinion there is a long way and much more research until biofuels will be characterised safe.

    REFERENCES:

    1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofuel

    2.http://www.spartansaving.com/alternative-energy/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-biofuel/

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

    concerns, expressed by non-governmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth and Oxfam, is that government-subsidized large-scale production of biofuels could increase food prices in developing countries. In a recent report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Joachim von Braun writes:
    In general, subsidies for biofuels that use agricultural production resources are extremely anti-poor because they implicitly act as a tax on basic food, which represents a large share of poor people's consumption expenditures and becomes even more costly as prices increase…. The trade-offs between food and fuel will actually be accelerated when biofuels become more competitive relative to food and when, consequently, more land, water, and capital are diverted to biofuel production."
    Such concerns have led researchers and businesses to look for more earth- and people-friendly biofuels. Businessweek reports that General Motors is investing in Coskata, an Illinois company that claims to have found a process to make a better kind of ethanol.
    "GM and Coskata say that the company's highly efficient methods for making ethanol can take away many of the problems that have kept the fuel on the back burner. First, they plan to use agricultural waste and household garbage to make ethanol, which means fuel production wouldn't push food prices up. And second, Coskata claims its production will be so efficient that it won't give back all the oil savings just making the stuff."
    That's none too soon for some parts of the country pressing ahead to mandate ethanol as part of the fuel mix. Starting this week, Oregon state law requires that all gasoline retailers in counties around Portland pump fuel with 10 percent ethanol. The Oregonian reports:
    "By fall, all gas stations in Oregon must sell the blend. Just a handful of states demand the use of ethanol, and Oregon officials trumpet the transition as proof of the state's green ambitions."

    http://vegetableoildiesel.co.uk/healthandsafety.html

    Kii Cajetan Barisi's picture

    Biodiesel Safety - These chemicals are dangerous: learn how to use them.


    As long as you are safety conscious you will have no health problems producing biodiesel. Biodiesel safety is very important.

    Fact: once biodiesel is made it is classified as totally safe and is less toxic than table salt. There are no restrictions on storing it.

    However, the methanol which goes into making biodiesel is very dangerous and must be treated with respect. Each of the chemicals that you will use in the production of biodiesel are in common industrial use. Each of them has a MSDS (material safety data sheet) which specifies storage, poison categories, treatment of exposure, exposure limits etc.

    sotlog's picture

     As a chemical engineer i am going to agree with you Kii and i would like to add some other concerns.Does ethanol use more energy than it yields?Does ethanol emits more greenhouse than gasoline?Does ethanol's production influence food prices?How much land is used every year for the production of biofuels and what impact has to corns or wheat prices?How much water is used for biofuels while in that moment people die from thirsty?Biofuels are not so clean as some companies try to convince us.People is above the profits.First must be sure that nobody is hungry in  Africa and then we will invest in the fuels which are made by food.

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Siwei Kang's picture

    Is fracturing safe for shale gas? My answer is positive. With the development of horizontal drilling and fracturing, shale gas has been fundamentally transfromed from uneconomical energy to an emerging and economical resource worldwide, especially in USA. However, pulic concern about the safety and environmental impact of shale gas also increased. As far as I am concerned, these worries are unnecessary.

    One of the main concern is that hydraulic fracturing could result in the contamination of the aquifer due to leakage of fracture fluid or gas during shale gas operation. But the reality is that generally the depth of shale gas well is far below the aquifer. The distance is quite large, arranging from hundreds to thousands meters. Besides, so far there is no documented evidence that contamination by fracturing fluids occurs. The strict regulation of shale gas drilling and production makes it safe.

    Another is hydraulic fractuing would consume excessive and unsustainable freshwater. Compared with conventional gas production, shale gas indeed requires more water. Nevertheless, if we further look at the entire lifecycle, shale gas-fired power only uses around half amount of water, compared with that in conventinal energies, like coal and nuclear power. In fact, displacing coal-fired power with shale gas-fired one is the fastest and most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emission in power sector.

    Therefore, I believe that the shale gas development should not be banned, but encouraged.  

     

    Reference: O. Arogundade and M. Sohrabi, A Review of Recent Developments and Challenges in Shale Gas Recovery

    Frixos Karletides's picture


    Biofuel is a renewable product that can be
    composed of waste vegetable or virgin vegetables oils and animal fats. This
    alternative source of energy has been growing due to an interest in future
    environmental concerns. It can also result to a significant decrease in the
    manufacture and use of fuel. Alternatively, as with every source of energy
    there are some drawbacks in this form that can cause harm to people or the
    environment unless special precautions take place. In order to produce biofuel,
    certain lethal chemicals such as methanol, caustic soda and concentrated
    sulphuric acid are used. Methanol can enter body as a vapour through breathing and
    as a liquid through direct skin contact. It can cause nausea, blindness and
    affect other fundamental body organs. Sulphuric acid and caustic soda are both
    corrosive and can penetrate skin. They even produce toxic vapours like methane
    on reactions with other chemicals that are harmful to the environment. When handling
    chemicals it is important to wear personal protection equipment (PPE) such as
    protective gloves, and special goggles. The workspace shall be systematically
    ventilated in order to keep out harmful gases.  

    Frixos Karletides 

     


    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/agrs103.pdf


    http://vegetableoildiesel.co.uk/healthandsafety.html


    http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/442/442-885/442-885.html


    sotlog's picture

    As a chemical engineer i totally agree with my fiend Frixos and i would like to add that apart enviromental problems there are and economical-social problems.Biofuels may raise the price of certain foods which are also used as biofuels such as corn and sunflower.Moreover new technologies which are going to be developed for example in vehicles will increse the prices of them dramatically.Last but not least biofuel's development and production is dependent still on oil.

    sotlog's picture

    The worst industial accident in U.S history occured April 1947 in Texas city,Texas.The French Liberty ship Drandcamm suddenly got fire.The master or the captain of the ship told that he did not want to put out the fire with water  because it would ruin the cargo(peanuts,votton,tobbaco,drilling equipment).After an hour from the begining of the fire,flames erupted from the open hatch and the ship disintegrated in a prodogoius explosion heard as far as 150 miles distant.Ahudge mushroom like cloud billowed more than 2000 feet,the stockwave knocking two light planes overhead out of the sky.Blast over pressure and heat killed immediately the fire fighters and the cre members.Moreover,buildings and oil storage tanks nearby the refineries got fire.After that another ship the High Flyer which was loaded with sulphur and ammonium nitrate got fire.Nobody understood the significance of the situation.The High Flyer was exploded evan more powerful than Grandcamp.Crude oil oil tanks burst into flames and a chain reaction spread fire to other structures.The Red Cross and the Texas Department of Public Safety counted 405 identified and 63 unidentified dead.Another 100 persons were classified believed missing and the injured people was about 3500 persons.Lets hope that we are not going to live such a hudge accident due to the negligence or the unknowledge  of some people.

    REFERENCE:

     http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html

    SOTIRIOS LONGINOS

    Giorgos Hadjieleftheriou's picture

    Topic
    6

    Discus
    safety in wind energy

     

    Wind energy is produced most commonly by the known wind
    turbines. The turbines themselves are the danger because of the large diameter
    of the turbine and the very long tower supporting it.

    A lot of accidents occur during transporting, erecting,
    installing and maintaining the turbines.

    In some cases, when there is a lot of wind, turbines
    might start spinning without control. That can create several problems like
    malfunctions at the rotor. Rotor malfunctions could create fire and taking it
    out is difficult because of the height of the tower. In some other cases the
    turbine may be destroyed and debris to be thrown to a long distance.

    Wind turbines creating high voltage when in use and
    workers have to be very careful and prefer working at sunny days.

    When the weather is cold and snowy, ice might fall from
    tower and turbine.

    http://www.cleanenergyinsight.org/nuclear-news/how-safe-is-wind-energy/

     

    Marinos Ioannou's picture

    Last week, while I was trying to sleep in the noise of
    City of Aberdeen the fire alarm started around 3am. I first thought that I was
    dreaming but then I realised that it must be something serious if it is in the
    middle of the night! I then went with my flat mates out of the accommodation
    that we live and we were waiting for the security guy to appear in order to see
    what is happening. The alarm was applied only in my block and that made me
    curious about something really serious and at the same time dangerous; why fire
    alarms are independent in a big accommodation that hosts more than 300
    students. Well, in some case it is like this way because you have to specify
    the location of the fire early enough in order to extinguish it before it is
    too late. Anyway I know systems that are installed in other locations (e.g.
    industries) that every fire detector that detects fire informs the system
    manager that the fire or a possible fire situation is located in this specific
    room.
     

    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture


    So, what I was trying to say above it is that in my
    opinion It is safer in a big accommodation or a big building the fire alarms to
    be connected all in one system and not independent. Just imagine a fire taking
    place in the centre block of total 3 blocks (the 3 blocks are jointed together
    like 1 big building). The centre fire alarm will ring and the residents of this
    block will get out of it. Until the sensors of the other buildings to detect
    the upcoming fire and the security guards to notice the fire’s exact location
    the fire will spread so fast that the other two block’s residents will be lucky
    if they make it to leave the building.


    Marinos Ioannou

    Marinos Ioannou's picture


    Well, I must say that I am not in knowledge of what
    are the safety measures and how they apply in here, but I am only express what
    I believe accordingly to what I already know about safety measures and about
    what I noticed during this alarm. Anyways, after going upstairs and try to way
    to sleep after the fire alarm, when I finally reached the 6th floor
    from the stairs I noticed one other thing. On my block there are safety windows
    in the halls, one on each floor. When the fire alarm is on then the windows are
    automatically opened. Well, fire triangle gives the 3 things that needed in
    order to start or keep a fire alive. The three parameters are:


    -heat


    -oxygen


    -fuel


    In order to extinguish a fire you have to eliminate at
    least one of the three parameters.


    Marinos Ioannou

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