Chemical Engineering: Bhopal Disaster - Assignment Example

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The paper “Chemical Engineering: Bhopal Disaster” seeks to evaluate the Bhopal accident, which involved the release of methyl isocyanate gas from a manufacturing facility in India. The disaster culminated from the introduction of water into the Mythyl isocyanate tank…
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Chemical Engineering: Bhopal Disaster
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Chemical engineering assignment Bhopal disaster Initiation step The Bhopal accident involved the release of methyl iso cyanate gas from a manufacturing facility in India (Miller 403). The disaster culminated from the introduction of water into the Mythyl iso cynate tank, leading to an exothermic reaction. The exothermic reaction triggered release of heat and MIC in the gaseous state (Miller 403). Presence of water in the MIC holding system was a major cause of the accident because of reactive nature of MIC with water. There were immense damages including the death of animals, destruction of plants and people. The presence of water in the holding tank may have been a human error (Miller 403).
Propagation step
Although the presence of water in the vessel culminated to the Bhopal incident, the effects of the reaction were controllable. The plants scrubber systems were not in operation, released gas from the tank moved freely to the surroundings. If the flare plus the scrubber system were operating, release of gas would have been minimal (Miller 403). The refrigerating system was to contain temperatures to minimize any possible reaction in the tank. These conditions propagated the accident.
Termination step
Termination step involved evacuation of people from the region in order to prevent further accidents resulting from consumption of plants plus animals (Miller 403). Concerned persons removed the MIC that remained in the tanks.
Chernobyl, Russia
Initiation steps
The Chernobyl disaster occurred due to an explosion of steam plus fires. There was a rise in temperature plus pressure in the reactor. The process culminated to the discharge of radioactive substance into the surroundings. The impacts of substance release were evident; there was damage of plants and death of people and animals (Onishi et al. 4).
Propagation steps
The design of the reactor did not meet safety requirements hence operations were challenging, especially with little expertise and training of workforce (Onishi et al. 4). Because the operators of the plant lacked adequate training, they made various mistakes while operating on the reactor. There were mistakes in the design of rods intended for power control (Onishi et al. 5).
Termination steps
Reactors that were in the process of construction stopped after orders from concerned persons. To prevent further radiations, there was sealing of the destroyed reactor and region by use of concrete wall (Onishi et al. 5). Following an occurrence of a fire in 1991, country regime decided to close other reactors that were producing electricity for the country. The regime enhanced construction of a facility to control waste resulting from reactor units (Onishi et al. 6).
Space Shuttle Challenger accident
Initiation steps
The accident resulted from the failure of the solid rocket booster O rings to perform their function. The O rings were to perform desired sealing to prevent leakages. The leaking combustion gases burned via the peripheral fuel vessel, causing changes in pressure that culminated to the explosion (Evans 231).
Propagation stages
The flawed design of rocket boosters caused the failure of O rings. There were inadequate tests on the vehicle before takeoff (Evans 232). The O ring desired proper testing by incorporating low temperature tests. Proper communication between different persons of management was lacking. Launching pressures resulting from political and economic factors existed (Evans 235).
Concerned persons authorized the search for the remains of rocket boosters in order to determine the cause of the failure. There was a commission for investigation of the disaster and prevention of future occurrence (Evans 235).
Suggestions and lessons
The accidents occurred due to human error, and failure to embrace the concepts of safety in the design of vessels plus operation of plants. To prevent future accidents, plants should incorporate safety plus loss prevention procedures. This will aid understanding of hazards and means to eradicate them. Failure to recognize hazards can cause accidents that lead to immense losses.
Works cited
Evans, Ben. Space Shuttle Challenger: Ten Journeys into the Unknown. Berlin: Springer, 2007. Print.
Four major plant incidents: industrial safety. Washington, DC: Florida institute of technology, Chemical Engineering Department. 1990. print
Miller, G T. Environmental Science: Working with the Earth. Belmont: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2005. Print.
Onishi, Yasuo, O V. Voĭt︠s︡ekhovich, and Mark J. Zheleznyak. Chernobyl -- What Have We Learned?: The Successes and Failures to Mitigate Water Contamination Over 20 Years. Dordrecht: Springer, 2007. Print. Read More
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