Keywords: ammonium nitrate, fertiliser safety
Accidents which involved ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers and related ammonium nitrate (AN) products such as AN solution and which took place over the period 1991 to 2007 are reviewed in this paper. Porous grade AN is not covered. The potential hazards of ammonium nitrate are briefly described. Eighty accidents, which are judged to be significant, are listed with their brief particulars such as the type of product, type of accident, activity and description. The type of product includes solid AN (fertiliser grade), AN solution or melt; AN-based NPK fertiliser and liquid fertiliser. The accidents are categorised as explosion, decomposition, fire and other (e.g. loss of containment causing injury). The relevant activities are grouped as production, storage, transport and maintenance. Relatively more serious events such as the AN neutraliser explosion at Port Neal (USA) and the explosion in Toulouse are discussed in more detail with their probable causes, consequences and impact on the industry and legislative controls. Groups of similar accidents are identified and their main characteristics described. Main messages and learning points emerging from this review are presented.
K D Shah MBE, Shah4SHE, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, UK.
32 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, 28 references.