Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003
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By Mahesh Vijapurkar
The Board had suspended its operation on November 20 last year pending inquiry into the reasons of a chemical explosion.
The explosion did not cause injury to or contamination of any plant personnel or cause radioactive releases into the environment.
A specialist investigation committee of the AERB confirmed that the explosion was due to what is known as "Red Oil Reaction" uncontrolled chemical reaction involving hot organic liquid and aqueous nitrate solution.
The committee observed that the necessary conditions such as presence of nitrate, organic liquids and temperature for causing the reaction existed in the evaporator at the wet section of the plant at the time of the incident.
It recommended that a hazard and operability study be carried out for all process plants of similar operation.
The Safety Review Committee for Operating Plants of AERB stipulated a limit on the plant capacity. If the capacity has to be enhanced, NFC must provide sufficient backup data along with the performance report of the plant.The NFC management has now modified the process to exclude the evaporation step.
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