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  • UK Government announces surprise review of Hinkley Point C nuclear project

    29 July 2016

    The plan to build a new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset suffered an eleventh-hour delay late on July 28 when the UK government said it would hold a new review hours after EDF, the project’s French developer, gave it the go-ahead. Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary, said that the Government would carefully consider the project before making a final decision in early autumn....

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  • Three dead in explosion and fire in Siberian oilfield

    28 July 2016

    Three people have died in an explosion and fire at an oilfield in the Irkutsk Region in Russia's Siberia, TASS news agency reported on July 27. The accident at Rosneft's Verkhnechonskoye oilfield injured three others, with two in critical condition, it said. The accident was caused by a snapped fuel gas receiver, the report said....

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  • Two killed in Azerbaijan munitions plant explosion

    28 July 2016

    Authorities in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku said two employees at the Araz munitions plant in the town of Shirvan were killed in an explosion on July 26. A spokeswoman for the national health ministry added that 20 people had been taken to a local hospital with various injuries. Early indications were that the blast involved a stockpile of old ammunition being prepared for disposal. ...

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  • Twenty-six people killed after bus carrying tourists explodes in Taiwan

    28 July 2016

    On July 19, a coach travelling to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport crashed into a roadside barrier and exploded, killing everyone on board. The coach was carrying 24 tourists on an eight-day tour organised by a travel agency in China's northeastern province of Liaoning, authorities said in a statement. The driver and the tour guide, both from Taiwan, also died. ...

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  • UK offers new cut-price offshore oil and gas licenses to boost exploration interest

    27 July 2016

    On July 25, the UK Government launched its latest tender for oil and gas licenses on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) at a significant discount to past prices in a bid to stimulate exploration. The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) will reduce license rental fees in some cases by up to 90% per square kilometre and allow explorers more flexible development programmes. ...

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Fishing vessel that sank off Shetland narrowly missed BP gas pipeline 27 July 2016

A report by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) established that the Lerwick-registered creel boat Majestic, which foundered 8km off the island of Yell in the Shetlands on 21 January 2016, ended up on the seabed only two metres from a major gas pipeline. The crew of the vessel were rescued by another nearby fishing vessel....

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Vietnam fertiliser plant director gets three years in prison for fatal blast 27 July 2016

According to Thanh Nien News, the director of a fertiliser plant in Ho Chi Minh City was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for his role in an explosion that killed three workers in 2014. The People's Court of HCMC convicted Huynh Van Hai, 46, of violating regulations on workplace safety and hygiene and endangering a densely populated residential area....

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Canada to phase out older crude oil tanker cars early due to explosion risk 26 July 2016

Canada will take older crude tanker cars out of service much earlier than originally planned, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on July 26. Accident investigators have said the older tanker units, called DOT-111 cars, tend to puncture easily during derailments, sometimes causing fires. The train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic and killed 47 people in 2013 consisted of DOT-111 units....

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China could extend ban on new coal-fired plants to end of 2018 26 July 2016

Chinese-language news site Economic Information Daily, part of the official Xinhua news agency, said that the forthcoming 13th Five-Year Plan, which will be released this year, will extend the ban on new coal plant construction nationwide at least to the end of 2018 in a bid to rein in overcapacity and boost renewable energy....

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Explosions heard in Argentine town caused by meteor 25 July 2016

On the afternoon of July 20, a series of powerful explosions were heard in the town of General Roca in central Argentina. Police, firefighters and emergency workers rushed to the scene, but found no evidence of a gas leak, bomb or other calamity....

Features

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Safety Intelligence and Chronic Unease

What makes a good manager for industrial safety? Psychologists who study hazard management have long been interested in this question. In this article for Hazardex, Rhona Flin, Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, examines some new approaches to this perennial puzzle, particularly in relation to senior managers.  ...

Case Studies

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Drone operations in hazardous areas

A recent report by consultancy group PwC estimates that the use of drones could lead to disruption in $125bn worth of traditional industries. Drones are expected to replace those humans who have previously climbed ladders or dangled from ropes to assess everything from industrial inspection to insurance assessment. Now, a French company is offering ATEX-certified drones for use in potentially explosive environments....

Comment

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An industrial strategy that might actually help industry

Greg Clark, the UK’s new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, seems to be taking the final element of his title seriously. His surprise announcement that the UK government will conduct a new review into the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project shows that Theresa May’s new cabinet understands that joined-up thinking in industrial policy will be vital in securing the country’s economic future post-Brexit....

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