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Review of vapour cloud explosion incidents
Major incidents worldwide have involved large vapour cloud explosions, including the Buncefield explosion in 2005. It is important to learn from historical incidents to understand the risk profile of installations. Following the Buncefield explosion, a large body of published research has improved scientific understanding of the release event, the flammable cloud formation and the explosion. This report describes work done by HSE with US safety regulators to consolidate previous research and to incorporate recently published analysis into a single, systematic review of historical incidents. Important...
Risk assessment for VCE scenario in an aerosol warehouse
In 2006, Dr Graham Atkinson of HSL was asked by HSE to review the risks from fires in large aerosol stores (Atkinson, 2007). Atkinson reviewed incident statistics and reports and concluded that the greatest risk to people from such fires was from explosions, not from the fire itself. He postulated a vapour cloud explosion (VCE) mechanism, whereby a fire of material elsewhere in the warehouse from the aerosols could give rise to a hot air layer close to the ceiling. Aerosols stored close to the ceiling could then fail and release their flammable contents, but not be immediately ignited by the fire...

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