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TECHNO-LEGAL IMPACT OF BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY Dr. Asit K Patra Disaster Management Institute Bhopal email@example.com
The MIC Accident (BGT) 41 T MIC release Cold winter midnight of 2nd – 3rd December 1984 Between 00:40 and 02:30 AM approx. At 30m (100ft) height Moved as a 10m (30ft) high wall Covered residential areas, main hospitals, railway station, 65 sq. km. area (25 sq. miles) Approx. 8000 immediate deaths, over 200,000 suffered Over 12000 more died since, over 120,000 still suffering UC continued to deny any long-term effects
The MIC Accident (BGT):Technical Reasons *Protective equipment which should have prevented or minimised the discharge was out of action or not in full working order* The Refrigeration System which should have cooled the storage tank was shut down. *The scrubbing system which should have absorbed the vapour was not immediately available.* The flare system which should have burnt any vapour which got past the scrubbing system, was out of use.*The high temperature and pressure on the MIC tank were at first ignored, as the instruments were poorly maintained. High temperature alarm did not operate as the set point had been altered and was too high.
After-Effects: Changes ushered in by Bhopal Accident New paradigms used are: • Inherently safer design • Clean technologies • Green chemistry • Green technology • Process intensification BRITEST (Best Route Innovation Technology Evaluation and Selection Techniques)
After-Effects: Changes ushered in by Bhopal Accident Research Areas Researching in process safety management • Good science based legislation instead of ‘knee-jerk’ reactions • Getting chemists and chemical engineers together in the early stages of developments. • Increase in student numbers and research funding • Active research in universities and industry • CFD modeling of fire, explosions and gas dispersion • Explosion Prevention and suppression
Legislation • Dramatic changes since Bhopal • EU, India, USA, most other countries enacted numerous laws • Encouraging inherently safer practices Third world countries accepting transfer of technology
Actions by Industry • Reduced storage inventory significantly •Process Hazard and Risk Assessment • Standards of safety uniform across a corporation regardless of plant location • Vigorous training, including of top bosses
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