Safety standard changed after gas explosion

NFPA 56 covers cleaning and purging of flammable gas piping systems after the explosion at the Kleen Energy Power Plant in 2010


There is a new safety standard designed to prevent the type of explosion that occurred at the Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, CT, last year.

The new National Fire Protection standard, NFPA 56, covers the cleaning and purging of flammable gas piping systems.

The explosion at the Kleen Energy Power plant on Feb. 7, 2010 killed six workers and injured 50 others.

The investigation determined the explosion at the Kleen Energy Power plant was the result of a process known as a “gas blow,” in which highly pressurized natural gas cleans debris from pipes. The explosion occurred when the highly pressurized natural gas discharged into the atmosphere without the proper controls.

NFPA 56 (PS) prohibits using a flammable gas as a cleaning agent to clean out pipes. The new standard will also address a broad range of gas process activities such as pipe cleaning, repair, replacement and removal procedures conducted at power plants and industrial, institutional and commercial applications.

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Plant Engineering, 

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