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TX chemical plant owners lobbied for relaxation of safety rules (ibtimes.com)
29 points by anigbrowl on Aug 31, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

When flooding was imminent; all operations should have been shut down and all energetic (they manufacture organic peroxides) materials requiring refrigeration should have been removed from the site -- either by on-site destruction or by transport to another site. This is nowhere as challenging as Fukushima; it's really not hard to quickly transform organic peroxides into something inert/safe.

If they're fine with all their plant being ruined due to water ingress and don't care about flood protection, that's up to them, but if they're going to run away and leave unstable energetic materials, that's unacceptable.

At least their pressure relief systems seem to be somewhat working, per their spokespeople (https://twitter.com/keribla/status/903241791264215040), it's far better that the relief valves/discs open up and that the peroxides flare themselves off than they stay unburnt and explode later.

The plant is built on a flat piece of ground. They could and probably should be required to build a berm around the facility by pushing up dirt and created a 10ft/3m high wall. If they had a flood bladder they could of put it in front of the gate and basically kept the entire facility dry with the help of pumps running.

The couple of 100k it would have cost seems a small price to pay for flood insurance. I suspect they don't care and probably have the plant and it's equipment insured for 10 times the value. That's typically how these places operate. Now they can collect their insurance at 10 times the value of the loss.

And when the electricity went out, and then their generators were depleted, leading to the lack of refrigeration which caused the explosion. How would your solution have mitigated this situation?

The generators failed because they were flooded. Running out of fuel should not be an issue: you can easily have a couple weeks worth in the tanks, and deliver more by boat as needed.

There is a datacenter in the Netherlands – I couldn't quickly find out which one – of which the first floor is waterproof and has provisions for boat access on an upper floor, exactly for this scenario.

Although I can only speculate,they probably had the generator installed at ground level and no back up fuel supply. This is the problem with them and 100's of small plants in the region. There is hardly if any oversight nor is there any meaningful thought given to preventing a catastrophe. I am willing to bet a donut and coffee that they are celebrating at head office.

This is the result of decades of republican control. You reap what you sow.

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