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Beirut Explosion, so what was it?

Yokel

LE
I remember George Dubya getting roasted when there was something catastrophic in the Middle East. Red Cross offered this, OxFam offered that. Everybody offered something.

Dubya offered a visit from a nuclear carrier. Everybody asked wtf until it was explained that almost unlimited pure drinking water was a by-product of reactor cooling, it had a hospital as big as a small town and a crew of similar size, but all fit, strong and capable. Helicopters for MedEvac, etc, etc.

It was after the Indian Ocean Tsunami - December 2004 I think. As you say, lots of helicopters, medics, logistical support, manpower (she would had other ships with her as well).

Likewise the aid efforts in the Philippines in 2013 had a few flattops involved, including HMS Illustrious.

However the current situation requires urgent urban SAR, urgent medical support, and longer term recovery and rebuilding, including rebuilding the port.
 
Flat for sale, open plan great views.


AA8A29E0-B8F6-477D-B794-457600AF9202.jpeg
 

Oyibo

LE
The stuff bought by farmers in NI had to have a nitrate percentage below a set limit, I forget what that limit was. The fertilisers sold here had no additives really, just a different mix of chemicals to give less nitrogen, e.g. phosphorus or potassium nitrates instead of ammonium nitrate. As long as the percentage of nitrates was below the limit, all was good. It would still go bang though, e.g. Co-op mix.

All from memory so I’ll take any corrections.
Edit to add: The Co-op bombing may have been the trigger for the nitrate limit being imposed. Hazy memory.
15% I think.
 

Oyibo

LE
I wonder if the port was ISPS compliant?

Tends to be a bit irrelevant in some countries where the 'designated authority' doesn't give a toss. I did an audit in Ghana where they had all the ticks in the boxes - I drove in to the port (without being checked - it was a weekend) for quite a while and then asked to meet the PFSO. The security was non existent.
 
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Tends to be a bit irrelevant in some countries where the 'designated authority' doesn't give a toss. I did an audit in Ghana where they had all the ticks in the boxes - I drove in to the port and then wandered about for quite a while and then asked to meet the PFSO. The security was non existent.
I would have thought it would be certified as it would have a lot of visiting vessels but probably along the lines of Ghana, i.e. a stack of lies. They'd have a good excuse for not having the plan to hand as it would have been vapourised along with the port control building.....and the PFSO.
 

RBMK

LE
Was Flixborough a BLEVE?


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No. Flixborough was a Vapour Cloud Explosion.

At Flix, a pipe burst and a large cloud of flammable vapour escaped. This was then accidentally ignited. [Bluntly, if you release enough flammable vapour it will find an ignition source somewhere]
Without going into the mechanics of it, when the cloud is in a congested area (like a chemical plant) the rate of burning is enhanced and generates pressure.

MOABs use a similar effect but with enhanced ignition sources and highy reactive fuels.
 

Oyibo

LE
I would have thought it would be certified as it would have a lot of visiting vessels but probably along the lines of Ghana, i.e. a stack of lies. They'd have a good excuse for not having the plan to hand as it would have been vapourised along with the port control building.....and the PFSO.

Unless the PFSO was on holiday in BVI to deposit some of his 'earnings'
 

Oyibo

LE
No. Flixborough was a Vapour Cloud Explosion.

At Flix, a pipe burst and a large cloud of flammable vapour escaped. This was then accidentally ignited. [Bluntly, if you release enough flammable vapour it will find an ignition source somewhere]
Without going into the mechanics of it, when the cloud is in a congested area (like a chemical plant) the rate of burning is enhanced and generates pressure.

MOABs use a similar effect but with enhanced ignition sources and highy reactive fuels.
A good example of vapour finding an ignition source is the Permex gas plant in Mexico. Plenty of vids on Youtube that show it from many angles.

e.g.

 
Question for @Ortholith and @dingerr (and anyone else who might know) - can Ammonium Nitrate be madequate safe by adding other chemicals? I am sure I heard somewhere that during the troubles in Ulster farmers were unable to buy the pure stuff, but the additives not only made it less explosive but were good for soil.
Dingerr's already given the specifics for ammonium nitrate fertilisers, as far as I know dilution with inert substances is the only realistic approach to make ammonium nitrate in particular less hazardous. Ideally you want some other substance with similar properties to ammonium nitrate to avoid easy separation by naughty people.

Sodium chlorate weedkiller was sold with a fire retardant added (about 50:50 by weight if I remember correctly) but that was because chlorates tend to cause spontaneous combustion if they soak into materials and then dry. The weedkiller still burned fine if mixed with a fuel, it just reduced the risk of accidental fires.

The issue of replacing ammonium nitrate is that it's pretty much perfect as a fertiliser as it provides a large amount of biologically available nitrogen without affecting the soil pH. Any replacement tends to either still provide an oxidising / explosive hazard (sodium or potassium nitrate), change the soil pH (ammonium sulfate) or just be more expensive for the same effect (urea based fertilisers).
 
A good example of vapour finding an ignition source is the Permex gas plant in Mexico. Plenty of vids on Youtube that show it from many angles.

e.g.

We have a few structures like that on the low road to Bo'ness from Grangemouth.
My late F-in-L told me if they went up....the concussions would take out homes for a 4/5 mile radius.
No idea what is contained within but he did as he worked the marshalling yards in the middle of them.
 

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