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Explosion at ball-bearing plant in Germany injures 13 people 16 May 2017

Thirteen people were injured, four of them seriously, in an explosion on May 15 at a German factory operated by ball-bearings manufacturer Schaeffler, local police said. The blast at a cleaning facility for industrial salts at the plant in Eltmann, Bavaria, caused a fire that was fought by 120 firefighters as well as police and a large contingent of rescue staff....

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Four killed in Mexican pipeline explosion 15 May 2017

Four people were killed in a pipeline explosion on May 13 in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Local authorities said the blast was caused by the theft of fuel from the Minatitlan-Mexico pipeline belonging to state oil company Pemex in the town of Tierra Blanca....

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Ghana road tanker explosion hospitalises more than 150 15 May 2017

On May 9 a road tanker near the Olam Oil depot in Takoradi, south-western Ghana, caught fire and exploded. More than 150 were injured in the blast and were taken to the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital and the Takoradi Government Hospital. Some of the injured are said to have suffered second-degree burns with a few referred to the Cape Coast Hospital....

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Ship fire in Sharjah kills one, injures four 15 May 2017

One crew member was killed and four others suffered burns after a fire broke out on a vessel transporting a petroleum products at Al Hamriyah port on May 13, Sharjah Civil Defence said. A massive explosion started the fire and the vessel broke into two, Gulf News reported, with 16 evacuated from the crippled vessel.  The explosion also damaged buildings nearby....

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Emergency declared at US nuclear site after waste storage tunnel collapse 10 May 2017

Hundreds of workers at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington State were forced to take cover on May 9 after a tunnel collapsed at the giant nuclear weapons and waste facility. Developed in 1943 as a nuclear reactor and processing plant, Hanford is considered to be the most contaminated nuclear site in the USA....

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Mexico oil theft reaches crisis proportions 09 May 2017

In Mexico, thieves are now stealing gasoline and diesel fuel from pipelines at record rates, usually by drilling taps into pipelines. Such activities have resulted in the deaths of dozens of people in recent years, both from gang involvement and explosions at the tap sites, and are diverting more than a billion dollars a year in revenues from the federal government....

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Chemical factory explosion in Spain injures 36 08 May 2017

A fire and several explosions at a Spanish facility that handles hazardous waste and solvents injured 36 on May 4, three seriously, according to local news sources. The incident at the Requimsa facility in Argando del Rey east of Madrid, broke windows and caused damage to neighbouring buildings....

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US federal prosecutors sue ExxonMobil for more information on refinery explosion 08 May 2017

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil seeking answers to questions raised by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) in its final report into the 2015 explosion at its Torrance oil refinery in Southern California. The CSB report, published on May 3, said Exxon had failed to respond adequately to a number of its requests for information....

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Spain abandons offshore gas storage project due to earthquake risk 04 May 2017

The Spanish Minister of Energy, Álvaro Nadal, said on May 3 that the Castor offshore gas storage field and facilities will be dismantled after final confirmation from a team including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University experts that gas injection into the field was causing tremors and minor earthquakes....

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Coal mine explosion in northern Iran kills at least 35 04 May 2017

The Iranian Fars news agency said on May 4 that the death toll in a coal mine explosion the previous day at Azadshahr in Golestan province in northern Iran had reached at least 35. The provincial director general of disaster management said 22 dead bodies had been recovered, and that some of the dead were rescuers who had gone into the mine to help victims of the initial explosion....

Features

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New threats to ICS/SCADA systems and practical protection

The cyber world has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. Cyber attacks on ICS/SCADA networks and breakthrough research discoveries have made investment in top level cybersecurity an absolute priority for companies, argues Phil Neray of CyberX, while Tim Ricketts of M.A.C. Solutions provides advice on improving the security of ICS networks. ...

Case Studies

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Quantification of valve gas losses using acoustic emission

Originally developed for estimating leakage rates through valves to flare in oil refineries and offshore platforms, acoustic emission technology is also finding use in other process industries such as power generation, nuclear, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, says Tim Bradshaw, General Manager, MISTRAS Group, UK operations. ...

Comment

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Trump budget would eliminate US Chemical Safety Board

The Trump administration's budget blueprint would scrap the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent federal agency that investigates major chemical and oil industry incidents. The CSB has no regulatory power but is influential because its recommendations are often adopted by industry and government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)....

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