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The company that owns a flooded chemical plant in Crosby where refrigeration of explosive, heat-sensitive chemicals failed says workers are still on site but have been moved away from the hazard.
The chemicals were moved to diesel-powered refrigeration cars, which the company is still monitoring, Arkema spokeswoman Janet Smith wrote in an email.
READ ALSO: Explosion, fire at building in downtown Houston amid flooding
A wife of one of the workers had previously reported that Crosby firefighters evacuated a group of about 12 employees overnight. But Smith said the workers were given the option of leaving with rescue crews, and only one chose to do so.
"Arkema does not believe that the situation presents a risk to the community or the ride-out crew, due to the distance between the refrigerated cars and any people," Smith said.
Chemical Plant that makes ammonia in Crosby is in danger of fire/explosion. The local area is being evacuated. Stay out of area. #Harvey
Arkema Statement: Status of Plant in Crosby, Texas
3:30 pm est., August 29, 2017
The situation at the Crosby site has become serious. In order to ensure the safety of our ride-out team, all personnel have been evacuated from the site at this time.
We are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Texas to set up a command post in a suitable location near our site. Refrigeration on some of our back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, which is unprecedented in the Crosby area. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.
originally posted by: loam
a reply to: jadedANDcynical
Are you sure it isn't this plant off Hwy 90?
The main hazard related to organic peroxides are their fire and explosion hazards. Organic peroxides may also be toxic or corrosive. Depending on the material, route of exposure (inhalation, eye or skin contact, or swallowing) and dose or amount of exposure, they could harm the body. Corrosive organic peroxides can also attack and destroy metals.
... The peroxy group is chemically unstable. It can easily decompose, giving off heat at a rate that increases as the temperature rises. Many organic peroxides give off flammable vapours when they decompose. These vapours can easily catch fire.
Most undiluted organic peroxides can catch fire easily and burn very rapidly and intensely. This is because they combine both fuel (carbon) and oxygen in the same compound. Some organic peroxides are dangerously reactive. They can decompose very rapidly or explosively if they are exposed to only slight heat, friction, mechanical shock or contamination with incompatible materials.
Arkema Statement: Status of Plant in Crosby, Texas
6:50 pm est., August 29, 2017
The site lost refrigeration to all of its cold-storage warehouses when electrical power was lost and back-up generators were flooded. Our team then transferred products from the warehouses into diesel-powered refrigerated containers, and continued to monitor the situation.
At this time, refrigeration on some of our back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, rising to levels that are unprecedented in the Crosby area. Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.
We have no higher priority than the safety of our employees, neighbors and the environment. We have been working without pause to keep our materials safe.
Three groups—Beyond Nuclear, South Texas Association for Responsible Energy, and the SEED Coalition—are calling for the immediate shutdown of the South Texas Project (STP) which sits behind an embankment they say could be overwhelmed by the raging flood waters and torrential rains caused by Hurricane Harvey.
“We’ve got significant rain but flooding has not been an issue here,” spokesman Buddy Eller said in a phone call about the reactors, located 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Houston.
Eller said 250 “storm crew” workers were running the plant and did not have to venture out into the storm after work shifts because there are beds on site.
The reactors, 44 percent of which are owned by NRG Energy Inc, provide 2,700 megawatts of power to 2 million customers in Texas. The rest of the reactors are owned by the city of San Antonio’s CPS Energy utility, with 40 percent, and the city of Austin’s Austin Energy, with 16 percent.
Personnel from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are also at the plant, assessing storm conditions.