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  • Firefighters among seven hurt in Scottish wood dust explosion

    24 April 2014

    Seven people – including three firefighters - have been injured after a fire and explosion at a sawmill on an industrial estate in Moray, northern Scotland. An air ambulance was called to the scene and took the worst injured to hospital....

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  • IAEA publishes third peer review of UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)

    22 April 2014

    ONR has welcomed the issuing of a third peer review report into its regulatory framework and processes from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The final report identifies many areas of good practice and evidence of ONR’s implementation of international standards and highlights the considerable progress and improvements made by the office in the past few years....

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  • UK Government publishes review of refining sector

    22 April 2014

    On April 9 the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published its review on the state of the downstream oil & gas sectors entitled ‘Review of the Refining and Fuel Import Sectors in the UK’. This publication confirmed that, as the UK progresses toward a low carbon economy, oil products will continue to be crucial to the economy and consumers. ...

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  • Poland calls for EU energy union to end dependence on Russian gas

    22 April 2014

    The European Union must create an energy union to secure its gas supply as current dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote in an article in the Financial Times on April 21. Russia, which provides around one third of the EU's oil and gas, is facing sanctions after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March....

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  • Esso shuts UK pipeline after suspected fuel theft

    22 April 2014

    On April 21, ExxonMobil UK subsidiary Esso said it had shut one of the country's main underground fuel pipelines after police found a stash of diesel they believe was siphoned off by thieves. Police arrested two men in connection with the theft, with more than 30,000 litres of diesel allegedly involved....

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Leeds chemical storage site fire covers city in pall of smoke 22 April 2014

A huge fire on a Leeds industrial estate on April 21 caused a series of explosions and a large plume of smoke up over the city. Up to 80 firefighters tackled the blaze at Tradpak, a chemical packaging and recycling firm in Armley.  The fire was brought under control later that morning....

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US Coast Guard calls BP's spill cleanup claim premature 17 April 2014

BP announced an end to the “active cleanup” of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 17. In a statement, the UK-based oil giant said work has finished on a final 5 km stretch of Louisiana coastline, leaving no more contaminated sites to clean. From now on, BP and the USCG will be responding to specific reports of oil washing ashore rather than actively seeking it out....

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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....

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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