Experience and the unexpected: Risk and mitigation issues for operating underground storage silos for coal-fired power plant

J. Sipilä (Corresponding Author), Pertti Auerkari, Yngve Malmen, Anna-Mari Heikkilä

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Observed autoignition events and extinguishing the resulting smouldering fires in an underground storage system of a coal-fired power plant have provided insight into the array of contributing variables, and some experience on quantifying the risk with alternative scenarios of event initiation, progress and potential mitigation. Although the first attempts to quantify the risk suggest high sensitivity to the sequence of action taken after fire alarm, and no similar storage sites really exist, some recommended preventive, corrective and other mitigating activities can be at least partly defined and improved by using the cumulative experience and parallel efforts in other closed or underground storage sites. However, there are also so-called black (or at least grey) swans: unexpected events for which the facility may be poorly prepared for. In the case of the underground storage silos, such an event was experienced when incoming cold coal during a harsh winter season froze the sewer system that normally protects the stored coal from seepage water. With blocked normal bypass, the seepage water found its way to the coal silos and created large clumps of icy coal that blocked the coal conveyors. Although freezing weather is not unusual at high-latitude power plants, the common methods to combat freezing of coal are mainly useful for open storage sites and above-ground transport. Options for mitigation are discussed, as well as the event chain leading to an event that had never previously occurred. The case is discussed from the point of view of options to prepare for rare or unforeseen events.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-500
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Risk Research
    Volume16
    Issue number3 - 4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fingerprint

    power plant
    coal
    Power plants
    Coal
    event
    experience
    Seepage
    Freezing
    Fires
    water
    Conveyors
    Sewers
    Mitigation
    Power plant
    Water
    scenario

    Keywords

    • coal
    • fire
    • freezing
    • mitigation
    • risk
    • underground storage

    Cite this

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    title = "Experience and the unexpected: Risk and mitigation issues for operating underground storage silos for coal-fired power plant",
    abstract = "Observed autoignition events and extinguishing the resulting smouldering fires in an underground storage system of a coal-fired power plant have provided insight into the array of contributing variables, and some experience on quantifying the risk with alternative scenarios of event initiation, progress and potential mitigation. Although the first attempts to quantify the risk suggest high sensitivity to the sequence of action taken after fire alarm, and no similar storage sites really exist, some recommended preventive, corrective and other mitigating activities can be at least partly defined and improved by using the cumulative experience and parallel efforts in other closed or underground storage sites. However, there are also so-called black (or at least grey) swans: unexpected events for which the facility may be poorly prepared for. In the case of the underground storage silos, such an event was experienced when incoming cold coal during a harsh winter season froze the sewer system that normally protects the stored coal from seepage water. With blocked normal bypass, the seepage water found its way to the coal silos and created large clumps of icy coal that blocked the coal conveyors. Although freezing weather is not unusual at high-latitude power plants, the common methods to combat freezing of coal are mainly useful for open storage sites and above-ground transport. Options for mitigation are discussed, as well as the event chain leading to an event that had never previously occurred. The case is discussed from the point of view of options to prepare for rare or unforeseen events.",
    keywords = "coal, fire, freezing, mitigation, risk, underground storage",
    author = "J. Sipil{\"a} and Pertti Auerkari and Yngve Malmen and Anna-Mari Heikkil{\"a}",
    year = "2012",
    doi = "10.1080/13669877.2012.729530",
    language = "English",
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    Experience and the unexpected : Risk and mitigation issues for operating underground storage silos for coal-fired power plant. / Sipilä, J. (Corresponding Author); Auerkari, Pertti; Malmen, Yngve; Heikkilä, Anna-Mari.

    In: Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 16, No. 3 - 4, 2012, p. 487-500.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Experience and the unexpected

    T2 - Risk and mitigation issues for operating underground storage silos for coal-fired power plant

    AU - Sipilä, J.

    AU - Auerkari, Pertti

    AU - Malmen, Yngve

    AU - Heikkilä, Anna-Mari

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - Observed autoignition events and extinguishing the resulting smouldering fires in an underground storage system of a coal-fired power plant have provided insight into the array of contributing variables, and some experience on quantifying the risk with alternative scenarios of event initiation, progress and potential mitigation. Although the first attempts to quantify the risk suggest high sensitivity to the sequence of action taken after fire alarm, and no similar storage sites really exist, some recommended preventive, corrective and other mitigating activities can be at least partly defined and improved by using the cumulative experience and parallel efforts in other closed or underground storage sites. However, there are also so-called black (or at least grey) swans: unexpected events for which the facility may be poorly prepared for. In the case of the underground storage silos, such an event was experienced when incoming cold coal during a harsh winter season froze the sewer system that normally protects the stored coal from seepage water. With blocked normal bypass, the seepage water found its way to the coal silos and created large clumps of icy coal that blocked the coal conveyors. Although freezing weather is not unusual at high-latitude power plants, the common methods to combat freezing of coal are mainly useful for open storage sites and above-ground transport. Options for mitigation are discussed, as well as the event chain leading to an event that had never previously occurred. The case is discussed from the point of view of options to prepare for rare or unforeseen events.

    AB - Observed autoignition events and extinguishing the resulting smouldering fires in an underground storage system of a coal-fired power plant have provided insight into the array of contributing variables, and some experience on quantifying the risk with alternative scenarios of event initiation, progress and potential mitigation. Although the first attempts to quantify the risk suggest high sensitivity to the sequence of action taken after fire alarm, and no similar storage sites really exist, some recommended preventive, corrective and other mitigating activities can be at least partly defined and improved by using the cumulative experience and parallel efforts in other closed or underground storage sites. However, there are also so-called black (or at least grey) swans: unexpected events for which the facility may be poorly prepared for. In the case of the underground storage silos, such an event was experienced when incoming cold coal during a harsh winter season froze the sewer system that normally protects the stored coal from seepage water. With blocked normal bypass, the seepage water found its way to the coal silos and created large clumps of icy coal that blocked the coal conveyors. Although freezing weather is not unusual at high-latitude power plants, the common methods to combat freezing of coal are mainly useful for open storage sites and above-ground transport. Options for mitigation are discussed, as well as the event chain leading to an event that had never previously occurred. The case is discussed from the point of view of options to prepare for rare or unforeseen events.

    KW - coal

    KW - fire

    KW - freezing

    KW - mitigation

    KW - risk

    KW - underground storage

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    DO - 10.1080/13669877.2012.729530

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    VL - 16

    SP - 487

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    JO - Journal of Risk Research

    JF - Journal of Risk Research

    SN - 1366-9877

    IS - 3 - 4

    ER -