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

@article{a683c0c848c2404ba546a1f6a13db784,
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",
volume = "16",
pages = "487--500",
journal = "Journal of Risk Research",
issn = "1366-9877",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3 - 4",

}

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

U2 - 10.1080/13669877.2012.729530

DO - 10.1080/13669877.2012.729530

M3 - Article

VL - 16

SP - 487

EP - 500

JO - Journal of Risk Research

JF - Journal of Risk Research

SN - 1366-9877

IS - 3 - 4

ER -