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RE: [cdn-nucl-l] " Gas-main rupture "
I remember that NM blast well.
Perhaps for us up here in the North, it may seem too far away.
For a more local perspective, you may regret looking at the following.....
Unveiling of a Commemorative Plaque
1956 and 1965 explosions at LaSalle Heights residential complex
Pierre Boulanger firstname.lastname@example.org
27 april 2006
Borough Council will be unveiling a plaque commemorating the two natural gas
explosions that occurred on August 28, 1956 on Jean-Milot Street and on
March 1, 1965 on Bergevin Street. These tragic events, which rocked LaSalle
Heights residential complex, cost the lives of 35 LaSalle residents, mostly
children, while injuring dozens more.
At the request of the residents directly affected by this disaster, Council
has decided to unveil a plaque, on behalf of LaSalle residents, to honour
the memory of the victims, to comfort the loved ones who bear the brunt of
these heartbreaks and to pay tribute to all those who took part in the
rescue operations and lent a hand to support the victims.
Council is inviting all those who feel concerned, to attend the unveiling,
which will be held prior to the Council meeting on Monday, May 1, at 7:30
p.m., at Borough Hall, 55 Dupras Avenue.
Dévoilement d'une plaque commémorative
Explosions 1956 et 1965 au complexe résidentiel LaSalle Heights
Par Pierre Boulanger email@example.com
Article mis en ligne le 27 avril 2006
Le conseil d'arrondissement dévoilera une plaque commémorant les deux
explosions de gaz naturel survenues le 28 août 1956 rue Jean-Milot et 1er
mars 1965 rue Bergevin.
Ces événements tragiques, survenus au complexe résidentiel LaSalle Heights,
ont coûté la vie à 35 LaSalloises et LaSallois, dont une majorité d'enfants,
en plus de faire des dizaines de blessés.
Le conseil a décidé, à la demande de citoyens touchés directement par ce
drame, de dévoiler, au nom des LaSallois, une plaque pour honorer la mémoire
des victimes, pour réconforter les proches touchés par ces tristes
événements et pour rendre hommage à tous ceux qui ont participé aux
opérations de secours et apporté leur soutien aux victimes.
Le conseil invite tous ceux et celles qui se sentent concernés à être
présents lors du dévoilement qui se fera avant la séance du conseil, le
lundi 1er mai à 19h30, à la mairie d'arrondissement au 55, avenue Dupras.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.McMaster.CA]On Behalf Of Rod Adams
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 7:08 PM
To: multiple cdn
Subject: Re: [cdn-nucl-l] " Gas-main rupture "
I would agree with you except for the fact that the standards for gas
pipeline inspections are not very high. In fact, I would venture to say that
there are no standards requiring continuing inspection for home piping after
it is installed. Over time, there are several different ways that piping can
be damaged or corroded in ways that can cause leaks and hazards. That is why
natural gas is distributed with an additive that gives a distinctive odor -
as long as people pay attention to that warning, they are probably going to
The damage would be limited in the case of a home leak - though some homes
(think about apartment high rises) are closer together than others.
There is a different and much larger scale issue, however, with regard to
natural gas transmission pipelines.
There have been a number of warning explosions that have already caused
human suffering and death, but the warnings have not been followed with the
kind of increased scrutiny that may be merited. Often, the gas pipeline
companies have been able to ward off inspection requirements by talking to
politicians and regulators about the high cost of implementing them.
These are high pressure, high capacity piping systems that occasionally get
dinged, corroded, eroded, etc. They carry a high energy gas that is quite
hazardous if allowed to accumulate to a certain concentration, especially if
exposed to a spark source.
I, for one, will never forget the plight of the family that was camping near
Carlsbad NM on August 19, 2000. A pipeline running near their riverside camp
site exploded, causing a huge crater and killing all twelve members of the
family - eventually. Two family members died very painful deaths after being
burned over a large portion of their bodies.
The damage to the pipeline (owned and operated by El Paso Natural Gas Co.)
was at least as big a culprit as Enron in the energy crisis experienced by
California that winter, since the pipe represented about 1/3 of the import
capacity for the state and it required about 6-9 months to repair/reroute
the pipe. The tight supplies are what allowed the market manipulation in the
However, you never find any anti-gas group saying something like "remember
Carlsbad" or commemorating the memory of the victims. You cannot also point
to any change in direction or regulation of the industry as a result of the
warning that was far more deadly to the general public than was TMI.
Here is a reference that I saved describing the accident: (It came off of
AOL's news service, and gives LCG as the original source. I no longer
remember what LCG stands for.)
Last Pipeline Victim Dies
LCG, Sept. 6, 2000—Twenty-five-year-old Amanda Smith, who lost her husband,
children and in- laws in a New Mexico natural gas pipeline explosion on
August 19, became the 12th fatality of the fiery blast when she succumbed to
burns yesterday in a Lubbock, Texas hospital.
Twelve members of two families on a fishing trip had camped along the Pecos
River, not far from Carlsbad Caverns, when a pre-dawn eruption of a pipeline
owned by El Paso Natural Gas Co. engulfed them in flame. Ten persons were
killed outright and Smith and her father-in-law were taken in critical
condition to University Medical Center in Lubbock. The father-in-law died
two days after the explosion.
El Paso Natural Gas said last month the pipeline had been inspected a year
ago and could not explain the cause of the rupture in the 50-year-old
conduit. "Pipeline doesn't have a life span as long as it's well
maintained," maintained company spokesman Mel Scott.
The federal Office of Pipeline Safety warned El Paso Natural Gas in a letter
dated March 27, 1997, that company technicians had not been properly
instructed in the operation of an anti-corrosion system that protects buried
pipelines from corrosion caused by natural electrolysis.
National Transportation Board investigators say they found corrosion inside
the killer pipeline that had eaten half-way through the pipeline wall in
places, but added that their investigation could take up to a year to
pinpoint the cause of the tragedy.
On February 11, 2003 the National Transportation Safety Board issued its
findings in NTSB report number PB2003-916501. If you are interested in
reading the report and following the actions that were actually implemented,
you can find some information by entering that report number in a Google
search. (The report itself is at
One of the more interesting documents that I found in my search was titled
Transmission Pipelines and Land Use Issues: A Risk-Informed Approach which
is available at
That report gives quite a few recommendations, but I have been unable to
determine if any of them were implemented.
Bottom line - all large scale energy systems are potentially hazardous and
need good design engineering, sufficient rules and operators with a safety
culture. Unfortunately, it often seems to me that the "cost be damned"
approach that is applied to nuclear power is generally not equitably applied
to other power sources, which leaves risk that is not adequately addressed
Editor, Atomic Insights
On Jun 2, 2006, at 12:07 PM, Bill Garland wrote:
I understand the sentiment but I don't worry about the gas line into my
house any more than I do worry about the other managed risks at my home. I
suspect there are more electrical related deaths than gas related deaths.
No one was hurt in the Montreal incident. So I assume we can manage the
risks of any of these technologies. If the overall cost gets too high
because of the safety features, then it won't be used. At any rate, the big
driving factor for using gas, oil, etc for heating is efficiency. My high
efficiency gas furnace is 97% efficient I think. Why not, given that heat
transfer can be 100% efficient in principle. But if you use a heat source
to do work (ie pump electrons up hill) the heat engine efficiency is
typically 30 to 40%. Using electricity is quite an inefficient way to heat
a house. It does make sense to use electricity to run a heat pump, though,
if the pipes can be economically installed in your back yard.
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