Friday, February 04, 2005

LNG Risk Report

I’ve been remiss in not linking to this report on the dangers of importing LNG via ship. It was produced by Sandia National Laboratories for the Department of Energy. As far as I can tell the only inherent bias is that it assumes that there will be a continuing demand for LNG imports.

It concludes, among many other things, that the risks of and from an intentional spill – that is, terrorism – are far greater than the risks of and from an accidental spill. It also concludes that any damage from a spill will be confined to a relatively small area -- certainly not anything like the nine or 10 miles that Broadwater's proposed terminal would be from any structures on Long Island or in Connecticut.

Here are two conclusions from the executive summary:

11. The most significant impacts to public safety and property exist within approximately 500 m of a spill, due to thermal hazards from fires, with lower public health and safety impacts at distances beyond approximately 1600 m.

12. Large, unignited LNG vapor releases are unlikely. If they do not ignite, vapor clouds could spread over distances greater than 1600 m from a spill. For nominal accidental spills, the resulting hazard ranges could extend up to 1700 m. For a nominal intentional spill, the hazard range could extend to 2500 m. The actual hazard distances will depend on breach and spill size, site-specific conditions, and environmental conditions.

Which doesn't mean there aren't other good reasons to oppose putting an LNG terminal in the middle of Long Island Sound. Scroll through the archives here to see my thoughts on that.

Broadwater links to the Sanda report from their website.

Which reminds me, there’s a link on Sphere’s sidebar to Broadwater’s site. Isn’t it time for Broadwater to link to Sphere?


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