Lists and discusses potential causes of accidental spills of liquefied natural gas and the hazards surrounding them. It also describes methods of estimating the probability of major accidents. Risk estimates are receiving increasing scrutiny as the demand for natural gas increases and plans proceed for importing large quantities from Alaska and foreign countries. Handling large quantities of this highly volatile cryogenic substance will involve unique hazards of a nature and scope not previously encountered in the transport of other hazardous materials. One of the major dangers: the liquefied gas, transported by ship, could spill in port or at sea, vaporize into a cold gas cloud, be carried inland by the wind, and ignite with tremendous explosive force and heat over a heavily populated area. As knowledge of the rate of vaporization and the way the vapor cloud interacts with the atmosphere is needed to determine what to do in the event of a spill, the report suggests ways to develop better models for the fluid mechanics and heat transfer of a pool of LNG on water and for atmospheric dispersion of the vapor cloud. To avoid serious accidents, at least until contradictions in safety data can be resolved and more can be told about the risks, the authors stress that it would only be prudent to locate all facilities for handling LNG at remote sites--not major port facilities, as is now anticipated.

  • Corporate Authors:

    RAND Corporation

    1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90407-2138
  • Authors:
    • Murray, F W
    • Jaquette, D L
    • King, W S
  • Publication Date: 1976-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 64 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00148194
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R-1845-RC
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 16 2003 12:00AM