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View Diary: Texas fertilizer plant was storing highly explosive ammonium nitrate (83 comments)

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  •  What exploded then? (1+ / 0-)
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    Mr Robert

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:33:48 PM PDT

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    •  The anhydrous ammonia storage tanks. (3+ / 0-)
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      lorell, PeterHug, DSPS owl

      There's a big difference between an explosion and a detonation, when you're talking explosives -- a detonation has a supersonic shock front, and an explosion has a subsonic one.  As far as I'm aware, BLEVs are almost always subsonic, while detonations of high explosives are always supersonic.  

      Both have shit blowing up, both can do extensive damage, but the detonation of a quarter-kiloton of AN would have a much larger blast.

      ... Actually, I did some research on just now and the ammonium nitrate may have spontaneously deflagrated, which adds to the blast but not to the extent that it would had it detonated.  See http://www.hse.gov.uk/... for more info.

      •  I see. Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:53:27 PM PDT

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        •  maybe that, maybe a railcar full of (0+ / 0-)

          ammonium nitrate. :(

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:49:43 PM PDT

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