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Dangers of LNG

  1. Apr 6, 2005 #1

    JasonRox

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    This is regarding...

    Liquified Natural Gas

    I need to know the facts about this. They are currently thinking about building large LNG Importation Facilities in my area, or pretty close to my house I guess.

    At the moment, they will have a Public Hearing before doing anything.

    As of now, there are "wackos" going around sending flyers on how dangerous it is and stuff. It doesn't explain why though.

    It says that the only thing more dangerous is a Nuclear Power Plant, which in my opinion isn't that dangerous. Sure you don't want to live around it, especially when the plant is unionized and filled with incompetent workers, which is the norm for unionized companies. Enough about unions though.

    I came here because I know some of you know about it, and can direct me to trustworthy information sites. I searched a bit, but it seems flooded with companies and what not.

    Any information will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2005 #2

    cronxeh

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    If the plant ignites.. run.

    Ahh finally dug up the MSDS

    http://seweb2.phillips66.com/hes%5CMSDS.nsf/MSDSID/US791815/$file/Natural+Gas+Liquid+(English).pdf
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2005
  4. Apr 6, 2005 #3
    There is a LNG facility that may go in in my city too. From this site there were two LNG accidents that involved major loss of life, one in 2004 in an uninhabited area and one in an inhabited area in 1944, as well as a number of lesser failures that did not involve loss of life.

    http://www.nolng.org/facts.html

     
  5. Apr 6, 2005 #4

    Unions aside, if they claim that nuclear plants are more dangerous, then i wouldn't be worried at all, because contrary to public idiocy nuclear power plants are incredibly safe. Eyesores maybe.

    Heck, three mile island leaked less radiation than the natural levels from the environment there. Further, all the safety measures at 3 mile functioned properly, IIRC, making it more a testament to the safety of nuclear power.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2005 #5

    JasonRox

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    It doesn't seem like they get that many accidents.

    I have no clue what to think.

    I guess I have to let the public decide.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2005 #6

    cronxeh

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    Jason did you read that MSDS? Its pretty toxic stuff, and if it ignites my concern wont be getting cancer from this stuff - it would be getting burned alived.

    There hasnt been major accidents in the US in past 40 years, but I guess if managers assume its safe and cut back more and more eventually there will be a big spill. Personally I'd put this thing at least 10 miles away from my house.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2005 #7

    JasonRox

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    I did see that too.

    I'm e-mailing them right now, not to do it. Besides its in another city, so it doesn't affect our economy. :D
     
  9. Apr 6, 2005 #8
    That article just sounds like common NIMBYism. If that's the worst they could come up with I wouldn't worry much about it. Based on that article, plus a bit of googling on the Algeria incident, in 61 years about 150 or 160 people were killed worldwide in accidents involving LNG. And 128 of those were killed in 1944. Meanwhile, over the past decade US imports of LNG have averaged nearly 3 trillion cubic feet per year.
     
  10. Apr 6, 2005 #9

    russ_watters

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    Well, since no nuclear power plant anywhere, ever, except in the USSR (Chernobyl, with a major, unique design flaw) has had an accident that hurt some civilians - and in normal operation they are perfectly safe, I'd say that they are arguing for LNG and just don't know it! :rofl:

    In all seriousness, the only thing to worry about with LNG (they are thinking of building a terminal here in Philly) is terrorism. If terrorists hijack one of these ships, that'd be bad (though not as bad as 9/11).
     
  11. Apr 7, 2005 #10
    Russ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_accidents

    Seems like quite a few nuclear accidents, many of them fatal. Moreover, the only possible serious terrorist attack is nuclear (assuming they don't get their hands on a dangerous new disease, which is unlikely) so the material inside nuclear plants represents one of the very few truly dangerous targets by terrorists.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2005 #11

    cronxeh

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    The only thing you should be afraid of is fear itself
     
  13. Apr 7, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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  14. Apr 7, 2005 #13

    Moonbear

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    The vast majority in that link had nothing to do with nuclear power plants. Of those that did, other than Chernobyl, which Russ already mentioned, the rest involved employees.

    I think the main thing to consider for such a plant would be the distance from large storage tanks to the surrounding neighborhoods. Is there a sufficient buffer zone should there be an explosion that it would be contained within property owned by the plant? I agree with the others that if the best anyone can argue against it is that a nuclear power plant is more dangerous, I wouldn't worry a bit.
     
  15. Apr 7, 2005 #14

    JasonRox

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    It's right next to the city. Maybe 1km away from the first house... and another 2km for the rest of them.

    Note: I'm talking about the storage tanks and the facility itself is close.

    Note: If you know what a canal is... well the plan is on the other side of the canal from the city, so technically it is probably less than 1km. That seems a little close.
     
  16. Apr 7, 2005 #15

    russ_watters

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    They're contemplating putting a terminal in Philly - it'll be well isolated (they always are, for safety reasons).
    This is a bit like the nuclear issue: in cases where safety is an issue, the public very often decides wrong because they let their fear cloud their judgement.
    I hate pointing out the obvious. Thanks for saving me the trouble. :smile:
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. Terrorists getting a nuclear bomb doesn't have a whole lot to do with nuclear power (you can't use nuclear power plant fuel in a bomb without enriching it). Also, terrorists could hit a nuclear plant, but as tests have shown, its unlikely they could do significant damage to a reactor even if they flew a large plane into one.

    :rolleyes: - indeed. :uhh: , :bugeye: , and :rofl: too.

    Gawd, I love anti-nucclear fear-mongering: While no civilian has ever died because of nuclear power in the US, coal power kills twenty thousand people a year. As entertaining as the fear-mongering is, its destructive (fear-mongering kills people and costs a ton of money) and mind boggling.
     
  17. Apr 7, 2005 #16

    cronxeh

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    Do you think Georgy uses word 'nucular' instead of 'nuclear' to draw a parallel in the herd between the mushroom 'nuke' cloud and anything he wants to make them believe?


    Oh and I remember the dihydrogen monoxide scare :rofl:

    How it kills thousands of people every year.. an odorless, colorless liquid :rofl:
    More fun for today: http://www.dhmo.org/truth/Dihydrogen-Monoxide.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
  18. Apr 7, 2005 #17

    russ_watters

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    Yeah, And while nimbyism doesn't directly kill anyone, it does cost a lot of money.
     
  19. Apr 7, 2005 #18

    russ_watters

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    No, my guess would be that that's a backhand shot at George Bush, who pronounces it that way.
     
  20. Apr 7, 2005 #19
    Since when are employees not civilians? Many of those nuclear power plants are not military run.

    Additionally there are plenty of examples on that page of radioactive material released into the environment.

    From the 1980s alone, and _not even counting_ Chernobyl:

    February 11, 1981 – A new worker inadvertently opens a valve and more than 110,000 US gallons (420 m³) of radioactive coolant liquid leaks into the containment building of the Tennessee Valley Authority Sequoyah 1 nuclear power plant in rural Tennessee. Eight workers are contaminated with radiation.

    April 25, 1981 – More than 100 workers are exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Japan.

    June 1981 – a 3,000 US gallon (11 m³) leak of radioactive water occurs at the Salem Nuclear 2 reactor in Salem, New Jersey.

    February 1982 – A 3,000 US gallon (11 m³) leak of mildly radioactive water contaminates 16 workers at a nuclear power plant in Salem, New Jersey.

    August 1983 – 3,700 liters of tritium contaminated heavy water leaks into Lake Huron and Lake Ontario from Canadian nuclear power stations.

    January 6, 1986 – At the Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Gore, Oklahoma, a cylinder of nuclear material bursts after being improperly heated. One worker dies, 100 are hospitalized.

    1986 – The US Government declassifies 19,000 pages of documents indicating that between 1946 and 1986, the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington released thousands of US gallons (several m³) of radioactive liquids. Of 270,000 people living in the affected area, most received low doses of radiation from iodine.


    And a few selected incidents:
    December 12, 1952 – The first serious nuclear disaster occurred at the NRX reactor in Chalk River, Canada. A massive power excursion destroyed the core, resulting in a partial meltdown. A series of hydrogen gas explosions threw a four-ton gasholder dome four feet (1.2 m) into the air, where it jammed in the superstructure. Thousands of curies (several terabecquerels) of fission products were released into the atmosphere, and a million US gallons (3,800 m³) of radioactively contaminated water was pumped out of the basement into shallow trenches not far from the Ottawa River. The core was buried. Jimmy Carter, then a nuclear engineer in the US Navy, was among the cleanup crew.

    October 8–12, 1957 – Windscale Pile No. 1 at Sellafield north of Liverpool, England began an annealing process to release Wigner energy from graphite portions of the reactor. The reactor that burned was one of two air-cooled graphite-moderated natural uranium reactors at the site used for production of plutonium. Technicians mistakenly overheated the reactor pile because poorly placed temperature sensors indicated the reactor was cooling rather than heating, leading to failure of a nuclear cartridge, which allowed uranium and irradiated graphite to react with air. The nuclear fire burned four days, melting and consuming a significant portion of the reactor core. About 150 burning fuel cells could not be lifted from the reactor core, but operators succeeded in creating a fire break by removing nearby fuel cells. A risky effort to cool the graphite core with water eventually quenched the fire. The air-cooled reactor had spewed radioactive gases throughout the surrounding countryside. Milk distribution was banned in a 200 mile² (520 km²) area around the reactor. Over the following years, Pile No. 1 and neighboring Pile No. 2 were shut down, although nuclear decommission work resumed in 1990 and continued at least through 1999. The incident, similar in scale to the Three Mile Island meltdown, was later blamed for dozens of cancer deaths.[22] (http://www.nucleartourist.com/events/windscal.htm)[23] (http://www.lakestay.co.uk/1957.htm)[24] (http://www.british-energy.com/media/factfiles/mn_item57.html)[25] (http://www.bellona.no/en/energy/nuclear/sellafield/wp_5-2001/21663.html)

    November 19, 1971 – At a nuclear power plant operated by Northern States Power Company in Monticello, Minnesota, a water storage facility overflows, releasing 50,000 US gallons (190 m³) of radioactive waste water into the Mississippi River. Some radioactive substances later enter the downstream St. Paul water system.

    March 1972 – Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska submits information to the Congressional Record indicating that a routine check of a nuclear power plant showed radioactivity in the building's water—including the plant drinking fountain—which had been cross-connected with a 3,000 US gallon (11 m³) tank of radioactive water.

    May 28, 1974 – The Atomic Energy Commission reports that 12 "abnormal events" in 1973 released radioactivity "above permissible levels" at nuclear power plants.

    September 29, 1979 – Governor Bruce Babbitt of Arizona orders the National Guard to clean up American Atomics' Tucson plant, which he believes has been leaking. (Reports of problems by the Arizona Atomic Energy Commission had been stalled by a commissioner, who was also a vice-president of American Atomics.) At the kitchen for the public school system across the street from the plant, $300,000 of food is found contaminated by radioactive tritium; chocolate cake had 56 nCi/L, 2½ times the "safe" standard. A nuclear official accuses Babbitt of "greed for publicity."[37] (http://prop1.org/2000/accident/facts4.htm)[38] (http://www.ratical.org/radiation/KillingOurOwn/KOO10.html)

    August 9, 2004 – An accident in the nuclear power plant of Mihama, in the Fukui prefecture 320 km northwest of Tokyo causes five deaths and seven injuries becoming the deadliest nuclear power plant accident in Japan. The cause of the accident was a leak of non-radioactive steam in the reactor number 3 building. The power plant's operator recognized a defect of control procedures in its installations. The broken pipe did not meet the security norms. Local authorities announced that no radioactive leaks occurred outside of the building.


    So both you and Russ are in factual error; there have been many nuclear power plant accidents besides Chernobyl that harmed civilians, both civilian employees and civilian non-employees.
     
  21. Apr 7, 2005 #20

    Moonbear

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    I'll just pull out the first few of your examples here, because they all have similar problems. First, in all those large volumes of water, how much actual radioactivity was contained in it? A few mCi of radioactive material diluted into 3000 gallons of water isn't even going to be detectable.

    Also, stating that a handful of employees were contaminated doesn't mean much either. Was it on their clothing, their skin, or ingested? And at what levels? As an example, I work with radioactive materials in my lab. One of my students somehow managed to contaminate the lab floor with radioactivity, and stepped in it before identifying the problem (how she managed to spill onto the floor is a separate issue). The contamination was contained to a small work area and the soles of her shoes. Because we detected the contamination on an article of her clothing, and because it had spread to the floor (i.e., beyond the area where it should be contained), this was a reportable incident, we had to call up our radiation safety office and have them do additional surveys and file an incident report. This gets recorded as personnel contamination, although the student in question did not have any contamination of her body, just her shoes.

    Also, compare those incidents at nuclear power plants to the incidence and severity of industrial accidents at any other type of power plant or large manufacturing facility.

    I also think Russ' meaning for civilians in this case is similiar to mine...non-employees, meaning injuries to those living around the plant, not those working in the plant.
     
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