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  • Fatal blast reported at Tennessee ammunition factory

    17 April 2014

    One person was killed and three injured in an explosion at the Accurate Energetic Systems plant near McEwen, Tennessee. One man is in critical condition, while two others remain in stable condition, Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman Craig Boerner said....

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  • Australian chemicals company CEO calls for common onshore safety standards

    17 April 2014

    Yara Pilbara chief executive Mark Loquan has said onshore mining and processing companies should take a leaf from the offshore sector and introduce a minimum safety code for operations in Western Australia (WA), according to a report in Mining Australia....

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  • Vietnam steel plant explosion injures 13

    15 April 2014

    Police said human error caused a crucible containing some 150 tons of molten steel to spill, setting off an explosion at a factory in the southern Vietnamese province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau on April 11. Workers operating a massive crucible at the Pomina 3 Steel Factory in Phu My Industrial Zone, Tan Thanh District, were late to close its lid, according to police....

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  • Opponents of Canada's Northern Gateway pipeline win first victory

    15 April 2014

    Residents of Kitimat, located in NW British Columbia, voted against the proposed Enbridge gas Northern Gateway pipeline project on April 12, with 58% of residents opposed in the non-binding poll. The town is where the terminal facilities for the C$7.9 billion pipeline would be built....

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  • China sets new thorium reactor project deadline for 2024

    15 April 2014

    According to an article in the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government has brought forward by 15 years the deadline to develop a nuclear power plant using the radioactive element thorium instead of uranium. The SCMP says the team of Shanghai-based researchers working on the project  has now been told it has 10 instead of 25 years to develop the world's first such plant....

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Two killed in Indian chemicals plant blast 14 April 2014

Two industrial chemists were killed and 16 workers injured in an explosion that ripped through the reactor of the Deccan Fine Chemicals plant in Payakaraopeta near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on April 12. Two of the injured are said to be critical, while the remaining 14 are stable. ...

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Japanese government approves nuclear restart 11 April 2014

The Japanese government has approved an energy plan that backs the use of nuclear power. The plan reverses an earlier decision to phase out nuclear power by a previous government following the Fukushima disaster three years ago. The decision sets the stage for the reactivation of nuclear power plants that have met tough new regulatory standards....

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Canadian sawmill owner to appeal BC fatal explosion fine 09 April 2014

Babine Forest Products has  announced it plans to appeal a C$1 million penalty, the highest ever levied by WorkSafeBC, for a fatal explosion and fire at its Burns Lake sawmill in British Columbia in January 2012. The company had been found to be in violation of the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation....

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Survey shows optimism in UK chemical industry 08 April 2014

In the latest survey of business prospects for the UK’s number one manufacturing exporter – the chemical industry, optimism remains high. Over half of the companies expect sales to increase and there is a renewed appetite for investment. The survey was carried out in March by the industry’s trade body, the Chemical Industries Association....

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Welsh gas firm to pay £90,000 in fines and costs after worker explosion injury 08 April 2014

Gaspack  Services of Pontypridd  in South Wales was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 in costs after it pleaded guilty to a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This Cardiff Crown Court ruling on March 31 followed an investigation by the HSE into the explosion of a faulty cylinder at Guardian Gas of Bridgend which severed the leg of a worker....

Features

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The use of safety cases in certification and regulation

Nancy G. Leveson, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics/Engineering Systems at MIT, takes a sceptical look at the use of safety cases in the certification and regulation of complex systems, and proposes an alternative approach. ...

Case Studies

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Case Study: LED lighting at a Marcellus Shale production site

Horizontal Well Drillers operates a number of rigs in the Marcellus Shale in the north-eastern USA, one of which is situated near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Requiring a Class I Div 1 and Class I Div 2-compliant solution to light the derrick, cellar, mud pit and shaker areas, the original T8 fluorescent lighting was functional but not optimal, with lighting maintenance causing serious problems at the site....

Comment

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Ukraine crisis strengthens EU interest in US gas

EU efforts to persuade the USA to agree a framework to allow imports of US LNG into the European Union via a transatlantic trade pact have acquired a new urgency following Russian moves in Ukraine. The existing framework for the EU-US trade negotiations does not cover energy issues, but the crisis in Ukraine has exposed the EU's dependence on Russian gas imports....

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