conference transcript

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conference transcript


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The Vth International Conference





June 6-7, 2007

St. Petersburg


Address questions regarding participation in, presentations for,

and sponsorship of the VIth International Conference

Current Issues of Industrial Safety: From Designing To Insurance

to conference section of

G.C.E. group

Main Office in St. Petersburg:

Bukhareststkaya St 6.

Ph.: (812) 331-8353, 334-5561

E-mail: gce@gce.ru






CONFERENCE PROGRAM ............................................................................................ 4

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS ............................................................................................... 6

TRANSCRIPT ............................................................................................................. 8

COMMENTS .............................................................................................................87






June 6-7, 2007


Wednesday, June 6 2007

9:00-10:00 Registration for participants

10:00-18:00 Presentations

11:40-12:00 Coffee break

13:00-14:00 Lunch

15:40-16:00 Coffee break

19:00-21:00 Reception hosted by conference organizers

aboard the frigate Flying Dutchman (buses will depart from

Grand Hotel Europe at 18:30)

21:00-23:00 Boat cruise of Neva river and the canals

(departure from Flying Dutchman wharf, return to the boat

ramp at Moika 59, Gostinyi Dvor metro station)


MOSKALENKO ALEXANDER, Conference mediator,

the president of G.C.E. group


On the requirements of Russian regulatory

agencies in the field of ensuring industrial

safety, emergency containment, and recovery

Current requirements in the field of fire

prevention. Alexander Bondar, Deputy Chief of the

second firefighter troop of Fire Prevention Department,

Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) of Russia,

Directorate for St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast.

New developments in industrial safety laws and

regulations. Larisa Malikova, Chief of Division for

state oversight over facilities associated with explosive

hazard and facilities in chemical, petrochemical, oil

refining and metallurgical industries (Rostechnadzor).


Industrial safety practices abroad

On the state of industrial safety in Kazakhstan

and current objectives on improving safety.

Oglov Vadim, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for

State Emergency Management and Industrial Safety,

MEM of Kazakhstan.

Safety dimensions of large-diameter underwater

pipeline projects of Statoil Group. Sigurd Gaard,

transportation efficiency and systems design manager of

Statoil AS.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Ensuring labor safety in Ukraine’s coal mines.

Gennady Suslov, First Deputy Chairman, Ukrainian State

Committee on industrial safety, occupational safety, and

mining sector oversight.

Ensuring safety in hydrogen-based power

sector. Dino Lobkov, M.E., researcher at Hydrogen Lab

of Campinas University (UNICAMP).


Russia’s experience with ensuring industrial


Comprehensive approach to industrial and

environmental safety in the projects for new

trunk gas pipelines (case study of North-

European gas pipeline). Victor Rogalev, President

of International Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Human

and Environmental Safety; Alexander Babenko, expert

of Giprospetzgas - design institute of Gazprom.

Industrial and geodynamic safety issues in

working out Vorkutskoe coal field. Safonova

Lyubov, Senior mine surveyor, Directorate for engineering

oversight and occupational safety, Vorkutaugol.


Lessons learned from emergencies

Screening of International Atomic Energy

Agency video

The human factor in Chernobyl accident. Vladimir

Moskalenko, lead expert of G.C.E company, participant in

Chernobyl accident recovery effort, the author of Unknown

Chernobyl: history, events, facts, and lessons.

An assessment of environmental risks of

trans-boundary pollution in Amur river: the

consequences of and lessons from an industrial

accident in China. Lyubov Kondratyeva, Head of

Microbiology of Natural Ecosystems lab, Institute for the

Study of Issues of Water and Environment, Far Eastern

Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.

The steps taken to shield Amur river basin

communities from the consequences of a

chemical plant accident in Jilin, China, November

13, 2005. Nikolai Berdnikov, Head of laboratory

for physical-chemical research techniques, Institute of



Tectonics and Geophysics, Far Eastern Branch of Russian

Academy of Sciences; director of Khabarovsk Innovation

and Analysis Center.

On MEM of Russia requirements on fire safety.

Screening the video on catastrophic fire in

Vladivostok office center, January 16, 2006.

Alexander Politun, Head of Petrogradsky district section

of MEM Directorate for St Petersburg.


Thursday, July 7, 2007

10:00-18:00 Presentations

11:40 - 12:00 Coffee break

13:00-14:00 Lunch

15:40 - 16:00 Coffee break


Russia’s experience with ensuring industrial


On industrial and occupational safety

management system at Magnitogorsk

integrated iron-and-steel works. Boris Melnik,

head of production oversight department, Division

of Industrial and Occupational safety, Magnitogorsk

Integrated Iron-and-Steel Works.

Ensuring industrial safety of hazardous industrial

facilities at MGUP Mosvodokanal. Alexander

Sidorov, Chief of industrial safety department, Division

of occupational and industrial safety, civil defense and

emergency response, MGUP Mosvodokanal.

On emergency prevention steps

On some engineering and organizational

steps to mitigate the risk of structural failure in

buildings and facilities. Grigory Belyi, Professor,

Chair of the Department of metalwork and testing of

structures, St Petersburg State University of Architecture

and Construction.

Engineering techniques for christmas tree

repair and replacement without interruption in

production. Ruslan Bakeev, director of G.C.E. group

office in Novyi Urengoi city.

An assessment of industrial safety levels in

operation of skull furnaces. Yuri Udalov, St

Petersburg State University of Technology, corresponding

member of Academy of Engineering sciences; Yankovski

Ivan Grigorievich, M.E., lead expert of risk assessment

department of G.C.E..


Current issues in industrial safety: laws,

economics, and individuals

On pressing issues arising out of implementation

of Russia’s industrial safety laws and regulations:

their practical application in industry. Galina

Paschinskaya, chief industrial safety engineer, Sovetsky


Economic aspects of industrial safety

management. Valentin Filatov, Assistant

Director for occupational and industrial safety, PO

Kirishenefteorgsintez, member of International Academy

of Sciences, Ecology, Human and Environmental Safety.

Employment of certified protective gear

as a means to prevent industrial injuries at

manufacturing facilities. Sergei Potrashkov, Sales

Director, Technoavia.

Ensuring industrial safety: from designing to

insurance. Galina Smirnova, Chief of Department of

industrial and occupational safety, Oil and Petrochemical

Industry Design and Research Institute.

Weather and climate-related safety aspects in

engineering. Nina Kolbysheva, Director of Climatology

for engineering lab, lead researcher of State Enterprise

The Main Geophysics Observatory.


Automated industrial safety control systems

Application of LOTO systems (blocking devices)

toward ensuring industrial safety. Dmitry

Naishuller, Director for Development, Unit Mark Pro.

Development and operation of fixed systems

for monitoring safety of railway and highway

bed crossings by trunk gas pipelines.

Roman Piksaikin, Director of design department,


Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




List of participants


Statoil ASA

Sigurd Gaard - transportation efficiency and systems design



Ravil Galleev - Safeprom.ru portal project director

St Petersburg city government

Vitaly Reut - Deputy Chief, Department of State Expert

Assessment, City of St Petersburg government oversight and

expert assessment agency


Andey Chernov – lead production oversight engineer

Angarsk polymer plant

Svetlana Mustafina


Mikhail Lyutin – assistant director of occupational and

industrial safety division


Nail Gimadeev– department director


Sergei Chernyh – chief production engineer

Atyrau Intergas Central Asia, Trunk gas pipelines division

Aisa Utepov– occupational and industrial safety department


Baltika brewery company

Viktor Gokinaev – deputy director for occupational and

industrial safety

Bashkir association of experts

Nail Abdrahmanov – director general

Buzachi Operating Ltd

Arman Telmanov - occupational and industrial safety team



Olga Dresvaynnikova – bureau director, capital

construction department

Olga Olhovikova – senior engineer, capital construction



Viktor Smirnov – industrial safety director


Galina Smirnova – deputy head, industrial safety


Vodokanal of St Petersburg

Galina Zadorozhnaya – deputy director general for

internal audit

Marina Khalizove – insurance department director


Lyubov Safonova – chief mine surveyor, division of

production oversight and occupational safety

Vyksum Metallurgical Mill

Ivanov V.I. – industrial safety division head

Gazobezopasnost (gazprom)

Boris Dovbiya – director general

Yevgany Petropavlov – occupational safety department


Gazovaya promyshlennost magazine

Ivan Volodin – magazine analyst

Gazprom severpodzemremont

Ilia Zainashev – occupational safety and production

oversight over compliance with safety requirements for

hazardous industrial facilities department head


Marina Plotnikova


Roman Piksaikin – design division head

Great Britain Consulate General

Olga Makarchuk – senior expert on trade and investment


Viktor Chashchin – deputy director


Alexei Babenko - expert

Yevgany Fridrick - expert

GU Main Geophysics Laboratory

Nina Kobysheva – technical climatology lab director and

senior researcher

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007


Sergei Osadchii– industrial and fire safety department head

Yulia Nikolaeva – industrial and fire safety department


Andrey Lukin – head of occupational safety department

Alexander Mishnenkov– deputy chief engineer

Ukrainian State Committee for Industrial Safety,

Occupational Safety, and Mining Oversight

Gennady Suslov – first deputy chairman



Stanislav Krutenko – director of Ukrainian state inspections

authority for coal mines

Igor Bereslabsky – Cherkasy technical expertise support

center, director

Viktor Boychenko – Donetzk technical expertise support

center, director

Pavel Voronchagin – Kharkov technical expertise support

center, director

GT- TEZ Energo

Tatyana Zazhivihina – engineering department manager

Yekaterina Malysheva – bureau director


Yuri Diorditza – deputy director general for administrative


Eurocement Group

Yuri Kozlovsky – environmental and industrial safety

department head

The Urals power sector engineering center

Sergei Latunov – senior expert of engineering department

Institute for Water and Environmental Issues, DVO


Lyubov Kondratieva – director of laboratory for natural

ecosystem’s microbiology

Institute of Tectonics and Geophysics, DVO RAN

Nikolai Berdnikov – director of physico-chemical research

techniques lab, director of Khabarovsk Innovation and

Analysis center


Rustam Ilyasov – lead occupational safety engineer


Boris Chernyshev – senior technical manager for

occupational safety

Karelian Geologic Survey

Rustlan Yenikeev - director

Caspian pipeline Consortium-P

Sergei Mitin – deputy chief manager for occupational safety

and environmnetal assessment

Anatoly Ignatkin – fire safety consultant

Volga Caoutchuc

Tatiana Veprenzeva – department of production oversight



Valentin Filatov – deputy director for occupational and

industrial safety

Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company

Andrei Pidemsky– production oversight department

Krasnoleninsk Oil Refinery

Sergei Kornev – deputy director general and chief engineer


Sergei Ivashenko – director of gas distribution station

Latviyas Gaze

Yevgeny Roldugin – head of occupational and industrial

safety department


Vladimir Morozov - head of occupational and industrial

safety department

Sergei Komarov – assistant chief engineer

Magnitogorsk Iron-and-Steel Mill

Yuri Melnik – head of production oversight department,

occupational and industrial safety division

Maikann Zoloto

Kozguzha Zhumangazin – mining complex director

MANEB, International academy of sciences, ecology,

human safety and nature

Viktor Rogalev - president

Lyubov Rogaleva - expert

Meleuzov Ferroconcrete Structures Plant

Vil Timerbayev – director general

The Metallurgist magazine

Olga Novoselova – editor-in-chief

Elena Ivanova – assistant editor-in-chief

Mondi Business Paper – Syktyvkar Timber

Processing Mill

Alexander Kuznetzov – assistant director general for

industrial safety


Alexander Sidorov – head of department for industrial

safety, division of industrial and occupational safety and civil


Kazakhstan MEM

Vadim Oglov – deputy chairman of the Committee for State

Emergency Management and Industrial Safety

Russia MEM

Alexander Bondar – deputy commander of firefighters

troop two, state fire protection service for St Petersburg and

Leningrad Oblast


Dmitry Melnikov – lead occupational and industrial safety


Andrei Velichkin – assistant director, engineering


Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Day one of panel sessions




Grand Hotel Europe, St Petersburg, June 6-7, 2007


On the requirements of Russian regulatory

agencies in the field of ensuring industrial safety,

emergency containment, and recovery

Moskalenko Alexander –

conference mediator, the president of G.C.E.


Mediator: My name is Alexander Moskalenko. Provided

I haven’t terminally tired you in previous years, I will

mediate our conference over the next two days.

I am excited to welcome you in this excellent auditorium,

and in this great city to the V th International Conference

Current Industrial Safety Issues: From Designing to


A few words on our work schedule.

We’ll be working here for two days. The handouts

you’ve all received include this here program pamphlet. It

provides for coffee breaks and dinner, which will be served

right in this hall. The principal part of our activities at the end

of the first day is likely to be a reception hosted by organizers

and a brief but most exciting boat tour over St Petersburg’s

rivers and canals. I can assure you that viewed from

the water the city presents a very different aspect.

We have convened this conference not only in order

to listen to a raft of interesting presentations, but also to

exchange opinions, share our practices and vision of issues.

Therefore, as an organizer I will have no objections

to people stepping outside for conversations, we have two

more rooms at our disposal for that. The presentations will

be piped into those rooms via video, so one will be able to

both talk, sip a coffee maybe, and follow the presentations

as well.

Having said that, as mediator I will strictly stick to our

points of order. Please, don’t take that amiss, esteemed


I would like to introduce Tatiana Gutovskaya to you.

Should any problems arise, with your return trips for instance,

she is your person, approach her and you won’t

want for assistance. Similarly, you may ask anybody with

such a blue badge for assistance – those are worn by personnel

from G.C.E.

We also have here representatives from Motion Tour

company, which is responsible for your accommodations. I

know that some of you have had small difficulties – they are

the ones to assist you.

We have two microphones in this auditorium, on the right

and on the left, and you’ll be handed one should you have

a question. Don’t forget to introduce yourself then. Besides,

there are earphones on your tables since the conference is

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

conducted in two languages, English and Russian. Channel

1 is English, Channel 2, accordingly, is Russian.

I would like to express special gratitude to our sponsors

and cite their worthy names. First of all, it is SOGAZ

insurance group that has been with us all these years, and

also our respected sponsor on the information side – Industry

Weekly – we’ll see and hear more of them yet, and the

company TechnoAvia, that has been our companion for

more than one year too.

We found new friends as well; they are Chaikovski Textiles,

and Unit Mark Pro companies. Overall information

support sponsor is Interfax company.

Information support sponsors include The Metallurgist

magazine, Gas Industry, Oil and Gas Vertical, Chemistry

and Business, Moscow’s Echo radio station, and

SAFEPROM Internet portal.

So, tremendous thanks to them all for their part in making

this conference possible. Well, now to the business at


You see a vacant chair at the presidium table. Our plans

called for Mr. Pulikovski to occupy it. Yet, just today he was

summoned to the Duma, probably due to the aftermath of

those two mine explosions, and he will be reporting there

on how Rostechnadzor improves our collective safety.

Nonetheless, Mr. Pulikovski called me and asked to

convey the following to you, and I quote: It is unfortunate

that my plans had to be adjusted and keep me in Moscow. I

fully welcome and support the deliberations of your conference.

Industrial safety is no longer a domestic matter for an

individual nation. Accidents and emergencies don’t recognize

state boundaries or nation-states. Let us then learn to

counter them jointly as well.

And I appeal separately to participants from Russia to

study existing international practices, for that accumulated

experience is priceless. Once again, I welcome you and

wish you to have a rewarding experience!


Mediator: I would like to invite to the podium Mr. Stolnikov

Valery, editor-in-chief of Industry Weekly

for a brief word of welcome.

Valery Stolnikov:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

It gives me a pleasure to be the first speaker at this conference.

We are here not for the first time, and we remain

convinced that this is the central event in the field of industrial

safety in our country. And the most professionally accomplished

one as well.

I would like to express my special appreciation to the

G.C.E. that has been persistent and consistent in setting up

this event, while broadening its scope and subject matter

with every next year.



What do I want to tell you on my own behalf as the

representative of Industry Weekly, and as a representative

of mass media at large? I would yet again appeal to

all of you safety professionals to pay more attention to

interacting with the media. However unfortunate it is, one

has to admit that our domestic media covers the issue of

safety only in the wake of an emergency, when something

happens somewhere. Accordingly, our broad reading audience

doesn’t have the awareness of efforts applied to

maintaining safety during normal operation, as opposed

to emergency response efforts. You may approach the

media, including Industry Weekly through any channel

and in any format, and we’ll try to respond and develop

your factual material. That aside, I would like to announce

that Industry Weekly, which you all have been introduced

to today, has launched the project named An anthology

of industrial safety. We envisage a series of articles on the

topic of activities that go into maintaining or creating safe

operational environment for facilities in various industries

of Russian manufacturing and power sector as part of their

daily nominal operations.

We will yet appeal to all of you individually through letters

to make a contribution to our project. It goes without

saying that participation will be entirely on a pro bono basis.

Eventually, in a year or so, all those contributions compiled

into topical sections will be published as a separate

volume. We expect that G.C.E. will emerge as one of its

principal characters, since its efforts in this field are beyond


I would also like to seize this opportunity to briefly promote

some of our projects. Your handouts include two modest

pages stapled together. One of them lists all on-going

special projects of Industry Weekly that have some bearing

on the issues of safety or present some industry-wide reviews

of this general area. Take a look at them, and contact

us should you find something of interest. We’ll be always

happy to involve you in developing one or another topical


Another project that I am preoccupied with right now is

called Angels and Children. Only yesterday, in Uglich we

opened the first exhibit coming out of that project.

The project seeks to help children in orphanages to

acquire, let us say living guardian angels in the world of

adults. In formal terms, the project is as follows: children in

orphanages make pictures of angels as they imagine them,

and then the pictures are collected by the organizing committee

that sets up diverse exhibitions, events, forums, etc.

Exhibited pictures are up for sale. Thus, on June 14 – and

you are all invited – we open two such exhibitions in Moscow,

one in Moviemakers house (Central Culture House),

and another at Phoenix gallery, Kutuzovski Boulevard, 3.

Orphanages exist in all of your provinces, and that pains

all of us. We all desire for Russian orphanages to go out

of business for lack of need. And in this fashion, through

pictures, we may help children find guardian angels in the

adult world. I seem to repeat myself.

Well, this is all I have. One more thing though, let us all

put our hands together to thank G.C.E. for all of its efforts

and preparatory work! Thank you.


Mediator: Thank you. I liked your elegant transition

from industrial safety to children’s issues in our country.

Remark: I’ve been trying.

Mediator: I would like to note how prompt and efficient

Industry Weekly is. We have only just started, yet their

page four already carries a huge spread devoted to our

activities. Many thanks for that!

I invite to the podium Alexander Bondar from MEM

of Russia, he is an associate professor with a doctorate in


Alexander Bondar:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to welcome all participants on behalf of

Maxim Biryukov, chief state fire inspector of St Petersburg.

I am hopeful that the [grim topics of] sessions to be held in

this hall will not take away from the joys of socializing that

will occur outside its walls.

The state of affairs in fire safety in Russian Federation

gives cause for serious concern. Annual number of fires in

Russia stands at about 300 thousand, with a casualty toll of

about 16 thousand.

Industrial facilities are no exception to this chain of tragic

events. In the year 2006 alone, Russia had 7453 industrial

fires, which amounts to 3,5% of their overall number.

Combined damage from these fires inches toward 50% of

Russia’s total though.

St Petersburg alone had 3084 fires in the first five months

of this year, 151 of them at industrial facilities, which sustained

damages to the amount of over 27 million rubles. These fires

left two dead and five injured. These are the statistics for just

five months of 2007 in St Petersburg alone.

Primary causes of the fires include careless handling of

fire, faulty electrical equipment, faulty household electrical

appliances, failures of industrial equipment, and a number

of other reasons. It would suffice to turn on the TV to see

that the country is indeed burning. A regular sequence of

mass tragedies with losses of 15, 30, 50, 57 lives shakes

the whole country.

In five months of this year alone, St Petersburg had a

number of industrial facility fires with human casualties. I’ll

elaborate on some of them as examples.

On February 16, 2007, carelessness with fire caused

a conflagration in the manufacturing shop located in Balttrade

– Good Wheels building on Sophiiskaya Street 91,

that left one injured and caused damage to the tune of 100

million rubles.

On May 16, 2006, design faults and mistakes during

electrical equipment installation caused a fire on production

facilities of Medtechnika (Petrodvoretz, Fabrichnaya canal

1), which sustained over 12 million rubles worth of damage.

Only three days ago, fleet repair and maintenance

wharf (Remeslennaya Street 17) suffered a fire aboard a

floating restaurant under construction, with losses exceeding

2 million rubles. The cause was in violation of fire safety

regulations during operations involving open fire.

That same reason, namely violation of fire safety regulations

during operations involving open fire, caused the

fire on a military ship under construction at Almaz shipyards

this year. And on it goes. I could cite many more such


All the cases I’ve cited testify to the importance and

priority nature of issues of fire safety at industrial facilities.

Overwhelming majority of such fires occur during routine

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




operations. Violations of fire safety embedded at the facility

design and construction stage are frequently the reason

why a trivial ignition escalates into a major conflagration

and becomes a tragic event involving loss of life and significant

material damage.

Certainly, fires do also occur in structures built without

violations of fire safety requirements and building codes.

But then it should be noted that fire safety rules are often violated

in daily operation and maintenance of buildings and

facilities, or else such rules have never been established in

the first place. Other reasons may include changes in layout

of certain premises, changes in production process, and

breakdowns of fire suppression systems, all of which the

managers wink at.

The following considerations contribute to rapid escalation

and difficulty of putting out fires in industrial facilities:

- Large square footage of such structures, and high and

extensive spaces within;

- Coexistence under one roof of diverse engineering

processes and spaces;

- Openings in horizontal and vertical structures required

by engineering processes;

- Spillage and spreading of liquids, explosions of

gases and aerosols mixed with air that lead to structural

failures, etc.

The reform of regulations in the area of city planning

and development that was launched in Russia with the federal

law On technical regulation overhauls the whole previously

established system of technical standards and legal

regulations in construction. Russian Federation’s mandatory

system of technical standards in construction included building

codes (rules and standards), nation-wide standards and

codes of regulations, and regional building standards. Such

regulatory framework aside, construction also had and still

has to comply with rules and regulations issued by government

oversight agencies, State Fire Inspection included, i.e.

Russian Federation fire safety rules and regulations (ППБ


Shortcomings of fire safety provisions of the existing

system include the following:

- Fire safety requirements are scattered across a large

number of regulatory documents

- Inertia of existing system of regulations, whereas they

often cannot be updated in time to keep up pace with new

realities and emerging or evolving technologies;

- The difficulty of introducing updates and amendments

and getting them approved in accordance with proper legal


The federal law On technical regulation has laid out a

new procedure for developing both general and specific

codes of technical regulations, a procedure that would provide

a clearly defined list of mandatory minimum requirements.

Those regulations are expected to be adopted before

December 2009.

At present, our ministry is working at draft technical regulations

on fire safety. A working group based in Russian

Fire Protection Research Institute has drafted seven codes of

regulations that have already been publicly debated in the

Duma. The program for developing priority codes of technical

regulations approved by government decree №1421

on November 6, 2004 includes a general code of technical

regulations called On fire safety, that will enjoy the status

of a federal law. The first draft of this code aimed to bring

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

together in a structured fashion fire safety requirements that

at present can be found in over a thousand and a half various

regulatory documents. This draft code added up to over

a thousand pages. As work on the code continued, and in

view of comments during preliminary hearings in the Duma,

its philosophy has been significantly modified. The latest

draft of the code declares general principles and contains

only principal fire safety requirements. The second tier of

more specific regulations will spell out what it takes for specific

facilities to comply with those broad requirements.

The core idea of the code is that facilities must have

fire safety systems designed to ensure that people have a

required level of protection from dangers associated with

fires, including their secondary effects. That level is specified.

The minimum required level of protection such systems

must provide is set as a ratio of harmful exposure prevention

of 0,999999 per person per annum. Permissible level

of fire danger to humans should not exceed 10 -6 of harmful

exposure effects (that is in access of maximum permissible

values) per person per annum.

Efforts undertaken to ensure that outdated government

standards (GOSTs) and building codes are systematically

replaced by a Unified Code of Regulations establishing fire

safety requirements for different kinds of facilities, and requirements

for fire protection systems’ design and operation

proceed along several directions:

- Acceptance of the owner’s right to put his property

under risk, insofar as he strictly complies with fire safety

requirements aimed at ensuring human safety during fires,

and at eliminating danger of fire or exposure to its harmful

effects for the third parties. This is a dramatically new

perspective, which is currently implemented in the making

of regulations. Fire safety standards НПБ-110 adopted

in 2003 can be cited as its first application. They demand

that buildings, spaces and facilities are equipped with automatic

fire safety systems, that is to say fire suppression

and fire alarm systems. These regulation are the first to apply

what I’ve just described, the new philosophy that admits

the owner’s right to risk his property. That is, they allow the

owner of production facilities or warehousing the option of

not equipping such structures with automatic fire suppression

systems required by appropriate fire safety standard,

provided one condition is met. That condition is the strict

provision of required fire safety level for humans at such

a facility. The rest, i.e. the dangers to property is up to the

owner’s willingness to take risks.

- Introduction of a flexible facility-specific approach to

standards development, so as to attune fire safety requirements

to specific risks faced by individuals and society.

- Application of passive and active fire protection systems

capable of containing fires, reducing their hazardous

impacts to acceptable levels, and suppressing fires without

human interference.

- Reconciliation of existing fire safety standards, rules

and regulations with international standards and provisions

of World Trade Organization.

- Development of advanced techniques for calculation of

probability of a fire, so as to ensure more options and better

selection of site-specific fire safety equipment and procedures,

all provided that humans are fully protected.

It stands to reason that if potential loss from fire is significantly

less than the cost of fire protection equipment required

for a given facility, one would be allowed to think about mini-



mizing investment into fire protection, provided of course that

the required level of fire safety for humans is met.

At the same time, it should be noted that pending adoption

of appropriate new technical codes, existing requirements

established by federal laws and regulations issued by

federal executive bodies have binding force only insofar as

they relate to the protection of individuals’ life and health,

and the property of individuals, legal entities, governments

and municipalities. Fire safety requirements, i.e. special

conditions of institutional or technical nature established by

Russian Federation laws do meet his criteria for mandatory


In order to maintain a regulatory framework of fire safety

in the transitional period prior to adoption of technical

codes, MEM has conducted state registration of over 140

fire safety standards with Ministry of Justice. Additionally,

they have been partially updated to include new principles

that lift excessive technical requirements applied to assessment

of fire safety condition of various facilities, and allow

owners to put their property at risk provided they strictly

comply with measures required to ensure safety of humans

and third parties.

It should be noted that by now lawmakers have significantly

tightened liability rules in fire safety area. Violation

of fire safety requirements entails both administrative

and criminal liability; article 219 of Russian Federation’s

Criminal Code is devoted to responsibility for fire safety

violations that caused fires with significant material damage

or injury to individuals’ life and health. As to the Code

of Administrative Violations (thereafter CAV), it presently

includes a whole number of articles calling for liability for

fire safety violations, failure to comply with remedies legitimately

ordered by State Fire Inspection on time, or violations

in licensing and certification. Article 24, part one now

includes a new kind of administrative penalty – administrative

suspension of operation.

Many of you are likely already familiar with this new

kind of administrative penalty, which is imposed based on

findings in inspection reports by either State Fire Inspectorate

or Rostechnadzor. This administrative penalty is

intended as an extreme measure for those cases where a

facility presents danger to human life and health, and no

other remedy will be sufficient to fix identified violations of

fire safety requirements. Since these updates to CAV were

introduced, Russian Federation courts ruled for administrative

suspension of operations in over fifteen hundred cases.

Such an administrative suspension is limited to 90 days.

And let me reiterate one point yet again, officials of these

oversight agencies do only compile administrative reports.

A decision to impose suspension of activities and to lift suspension

is made by federal courts.

Licensing of certain types of activities by MEM of Russia

has been recognized as a highly efficient tool of ensuring

fire safety. Let me briefly elaborate on this issue as well.

Federal law (№128 On licensing certain types of activities

with amendments adopted on February 5, 2007)

identifies three types of activities that require licensing by

Russian Federation Ministry for Civil Defense and Emergency

Management. The first one is dubbed Operation of

industrial facilities associated with fire hazard. The second

one, that underwent some name changes, is Firefighting

activities. The third one is Operations to install, repair, and

maintain fire safety equipment in buildings and facilities.

Government decrees (№№ 595 и 625) have approved

fire safety licensing provisions for each of these three areas

of activity, including detailed description of subtypes of activity

and the procedure for issuing corresponding licenses.

As a rule, the activity that causes most questions is the

operation of industrial facilities associated with fire hazard.

By now, a considerable body of court precedents on this

issue has evolved. Both legal entities and non-government

organizations have appealed to higher courts with requests

to lift lower courts’ decisions on administrative penalties for

unlicensed operation in areas requiring a license, or asked

for clarification as to whether such operators - and we are

talking here about gas stations or flour mills and warehouses

– need to obtain a license for operation of industrial

facilities associated with fire hazard. On both counts, both

the Supreme Court of Arbitration and the Supreme Court

of Russian Federation have ruled that licensing requirements

for those - that is most controversial types of facilities

- are mandatory. At present, industrial facilities associated

with fire hazard are defined as facilities which make use

of, manufacture, store, or process highly flammable, flammable

and difficult-to-inflame liquids, solids, and materials,

including dust and fibers; substances and materials that

become flammable through contact with water, oxygen in

ambient air, and each other.

Failure to comply with legal requirements on licensing,

that is the operation of an industrial facility with elevated fire

hazard without a license, as well as provision of services and

work that demand a license without one, is subject to administrative

penalty. Moreover, it is irrelevant whether such work

or services are provided for a fee, or on an in-house basis.

The two cases differ only in the legal definition of violation

subject to administrative penalty.

Article 14, paragraph 1 of Russian Federation Code

On administrative violations stipulates liability for commercial

activity without a special permit (license) where

such a license is mandated, and for commercial activity

undertaken with violations of provisions contained in a

special permit (license). In other words, MEM of Russia

performs a consumer protection role as well, which it does

through oversight of compliance with laws and regulations

by entities that have obtained a fire safety license. The

procedures for verifying license-holder’s compliance with

license provisions and requirements do exist, and proved

quite efficient.

That aside, one is frequently asked the question whether

an activity needs to be licensed when performed in-house

for one’s internal needs. Lawmakers have provided an unambiguous

answer to this question in article 19, paragraph

2 of Russian Federation’s Code on Administrative violations,

which stipulated administrative liability for unlicensed

activities performed without a profit motive in cases where

such a license is mandatory.

This wraps up my brief presentation on the topic. I am

open to questions that you are prepared to ask right now.

Should there be questions requiring in-depth analysis,

please write down my phone number.

St Petersburg, +7-812-925-21-30, Alexander Bondar.

Thanks for your kind attention.

Mediator: Questions, please. Here is the mike, and introduce


Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Question: I am Ivanov V.I., Head of industrial safety

department of Vyksunski Zavod. To help you understand

what Vyksunski Metallurgical Mill is I can refer you to today’s

issue of this newspaper, which mentions it as the largest

supplier of pipes for trunk oil and gas pipelines in the

CIS, where it stands alone.

And here is my question: in accordance with fire safety

rules, large industrial facilities associated with fire hazard

have their own on-site fire departments. The law On fire

safety has lost these words its own on-site, which means it

now has to be either a private or a governmental fire department.

Can you enlighten me on this point? We have addressed

this question to Research Institute of Fire Protection,

but other than the changes in law and regulations there

seems to be nothing else mentioned anywhere. I assume,

the process is somehow underway in your agency. Did you

get my question?

Answer: Certainly. As of today, lawmakers have introduced

amendments into the federal law On fire safety. Today,

fighting fires is defined as responsibility of constituent

regions of the Federation, while MEM provides fire protection

for federal property alone. Yes. It is the same basic principle

that has been embedded in the law On fire safety, as

well as in some other legislative acts. In real-life terms, there

is a gradual transition to this new mechanism. Overwhelming

majority of constituent regions of the Federation have

already established their own divisions of State Firefighting

Service, yet in the case of St Petersburg for instance, a significant

number of facilities, not all of them federal property

to be sure, are still protected by units of MEM of Russia,

supported out of federal budget.

Now, the specific question you’ve asked, i.e. on fire

protection of enterprises is answered by a government

decree that contains a list of facilities, where units of Federal

Firefighting Service will be created. The list is classified

though. I am in no position to answer the question whether

your enterprise belongs to that category of facilities; one

should consult the list approved by government decree. If it

does, it will have its own unit of Federal Firefighting Service,

funded out of federal budget. If you haven’t made it into

the list, it is up to you to decide whether you should have

your own fire department and in what form. If you are still

protected by a unit of Federal Firefighting Service, then it is

most likely that it’s funding will be soon pulled, and the unit

disbanded. How that fire department will be restructured is

your call – you may set it up as private department or as a

governmental one.

Mediator: Are there more questions, please.

I do, if I may, Alexander Ivanovich, and more than one.

Firstly, you said that a technical code is being developed,

and that it will lay out certain basic benchmarks for work in

this area. Beyond that, the owner or operator will himself

decide how to ensure fire protection, forgive my amateurish

slang here. Yet, you say that this technical code will have the

force of the law, and accompanying regulations are being

written. If that is so, how the new situation is different from

the old one? Today we also have both the law and regulations.

How exactly will fire protection be improved?

Answer: I have already mentioned that there was an

attempt to incorporate in the new technical code named On

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

fire safety requirements presently contained in over fifteen

hundred documents. The resulting code came out as quite

an unpractical one, and the State Duma was right in its critique

when it demanded to shave it down from a thousand

pages to twenty. That gave it its declarative nature. Yet there

is a key change from the previous situation in that the core

philosophy of this code is to allow owners a choice: either

to ensure fire safety of their businesses through strict compliance

with second-tier regulations, or in some other way.

One way is to demonstrate through calculations that the fire

protection system adopted by a particular business meets

legal requirements. This right of choice is the key provision

of the draft code.

Mediator: Is that to say that second-tier documents will

be desirable yet not mandatory?

Answer: They will be mandatory when quantitative

techniques failed to proof that existing fire safety system

meets the requirements. If it does meet the requirements,

mandatory compliance is not necessary.

Mediator: This just brings me to my second question.

Who will perform those calculations? You mentioned here

the minimum safety level of 10 -6. Does this imply that a whole

new service sector will need to emerge, like expert support

again, or the calculations will be performed by government

or municipal agencies? Is there any information on that?

Answer: In fact, state standard Fire safety, general requirements

dating back all the way to 1991 includes the

methodology for calculating both quantitative parameters.

Yet, Research institute of Fire Protection, that once developed

that state standard, devised such a methodology that

practically nobody other than themselves can perform the

calculations required. Not to put too fine a point on it, it is

not quite right. Doctorate and master degree holders have

been struggling with it to no avail. The Ministry has issued

the objective to make that methodology as transparent as

possible, so that any engineer educated in the area of fire

or industrial safety could perform the necessary calculations

in accordance with that formally approved methodology.

Provided there is enough data to proceed, of course.

Mediator: That would be lovely.

By the way, the leading institution in this area is called

All-Russian Research Institute of Fire Protection of MEM of


And now for the last question, at least from me. Look

here, the law On industrial safety has introduced the term

‘hazardous industrial facility’. Ourselves in the expert community,

when we develop a declaration for instance, are

in touch with two agencies: Rostechnadzor, which certainly

does use the term above, and MEM, where one encounters

the term ‘potentially hazardous facility’. Are they identical,

or have a somewhat different meaning after all? Is it simply

some sort of jargon?

Answer: According to the federal law On industrial

safety of hazardous industrial facilities, hazardous facilities

include whole enterprises, their shops, production floors, or

specific areas, as well as other industrial facilities enumerated

in Appendix 1 to that law.



As to potentially hazardous facility, state standard Р

22.0.02-94 defines it as a facility that makes use of, manufactures,

processes, stores, or transports radioactive, inflammable,

explosive, and hazardous chemical and biological substances

that pose real threat as a likely source of an emergency.

Therefore, those are not identical terms, since not every

potentially hazardous facility is necessarily a hazardous

industrial facility.

Mediator: There is a difference then. Thank you. Any

more questions, colleagues? Just a minute, here is the microphone.

Question: Victor Smirnov, industrial safety director,

Veda group of companies (Leningrad Oblast).

My question pertains to the topic of licensing and operation

of industrial facilities associated with fire hazard.

Decree 595 provides a definition of ‘industrial facility associated

with fire hazard’, yet it primarily emphasizes the

type of substances used. To my way of thinking, if we take

that as our guideline any retail kiosk can be recognized

a facility associated with fire hazard, since the threshold

amount of hazardous substances – say, flammable liquids

– is not specified. Bluntly speaking, it could even be

a drugstore that stores a box of brilliant green, which is an

alcohol-based solution.

So, I would like to know what is MEM position on this

licensing-related issue: is there some graduated scale as to

when a license for operation of an industrial facility associated

with fire hazard need to be obtained, and when it

can be dispensed with after all? That is, where is that line

between ‘facility associated with fire hazard’ and ‘nonhazardous

facility’ when such substances are present?

Answer: To my great regret, when the government of

Russian Federation approved this decree it baffled many

parties, MEM of Russia included.

At present, there are no quantitative criteria for identifying

a facility as an industrial one associated with fire hazard.

You are absolutely right, and the same question is often

asked by those who apply to us for a license or those who

received orders to obtain such a license. The only workable

approach in this case is that of taking the law sensibly.

Comment: Sensibility and fairness.

Alas, that is the only way. If we take the law at face value,

all industrial facilities that fall under the definition of industrial

facilities associated with fire hazard provided in the government

decree are subject to licensing. No exceptions.

There certainly should exist specific quantitative criteria of

potential fire load. At this time, one cannot say if such criteria

will be based on the premises ranking by explosive and fire

hazard level (В4 or В1 for instance), or on something else,

but we certainly cannot do without them. For now, I have to

repeat the principle of good common sense applies.

Comment: Yes, one would like to see some thresholds

taken into account, because if we were to look up the definition

of productive activity in includes not only manufacturing

per se, but provision of services as well.

Mediator: Thank you, colleagues. And I am sorry,

but that was the last question. True to form, we begin to

fall behind the time limit. Thank you very much, Alexander



I invite Larisa Malikova from Rostechnadzor authority

for Northwestern federal circuit to take the


Larisa Malikova:

Esteemed colleagues!

It gives me pleasure to welcome you at this conference.

I say that because industrial safety issues have existed in the

past, exist now, and will exist in the future. And like we have

just winnessed, even the development of new documents

still gives rise to splitting hairs about definitions, names and

terms, quantities, low and high threshold values.

Speaking of names. At present, we are called Rostechnadzor

inter-regional territorial authority for Northwestern

federal circuit. Since we are an authority, we also have

departments of engineering and environmental oversight,

which report directly to Moscow on some issues, and to us

on some others.

Our key objective has never changed, it is oversight

meant to ensure safe operations in industry. We attempt to

undertake joint inspections. That follows from the main objective

laid upon us by the leadership – Prizemlin Vasili Vasilyevich,

the committee, and Moscow – to assist enterprises.

We have conducted our preventive, oversight, and licensing

work specifically to ensure industrial safety. Our goal is

generally speaking, to provide advice, to give tips on what

and how needs to be done during our inspections. That is,

our primary task is not to impose fines or suspend production,

but to render assistance, to work collaboratively, since

we certainly have a full plate of problems both in Russia as

a whole and in Northwestern circuit in particular.

The topic is Current issues in designing, and that is proper,

since we are involved with issues of ensuring industrial

safety at industrial facilities associated with hazards. Out

primary regulatory guideline in that area is federal law 116

On industrial safety of hazardous industrial facilities.

That law has already been mentioned and discussed

here. Our inspectorate primarily pays attention to just such

hazardous industrial facilities.

The life of every industrial facility associated with hazards

starts with design development. When the law was promulgated

in 1997, designing organizations were expected

to get a license, yet in the year 2002 an amendment to that

effect was added to the law on licensing, and presently the

license is required only for construction. In case the organization

designs an industrial facility associated with hazards

as well, its managers and professionals should be certified in

the field of industrial safety. It is so spelled out in our documents.

Today, we certainly face situations where an enterprise

that has announced a tender competition for design

usually chooses organizations that offer lower bids, yet a

good professional cannot come cheap. As a result we get

very shoddy designs. We do exercise oversight that applies

to facilities associated with hazards in chemical, petrochemical,

oil refining, and metallurgical sector, and that oversight

starts with design stage. We have a team for oversight of

design work. We scrutinize projects selectively, and I can

certainly tell you that the quality of design is inadequate.

And how can we have quality designs when top managers

and actual design professionals have frequently not

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




been evaluated for the knowledge of industrial safety requirements

and regulations. Accordingly, they are ignorant

of them. It is hard to create a design in ignorance of requirements

it has to satisfy.

It follows that nowadays, before design is actually developed,

both the client and the organization to which design

work is contracted out should have knowledge of regulatory

requirements. They often change, yet it is necessary

to know them and comply with them.

Technical codes, which will serve as guidelines for oversight

agencies as well, are currently in development. That

work is slow and proceeds painfully. We heard Alexander

Ivanovich telling us that initially the codes were a major corpus,

but then the developers were told to boil it down to

twenty pages. There is no doubt therefore that requirements

are emasculated. And there certainly is a question mark as

to what will be left there to ensure industrial safety …

To continue discussion of industrial facilities associated

with a hazard; let’s say the design is complete. There follows

equipment installation and equipment manufacturing.

Who performs the installation? Previously, they had to have

Rostechnadzor-issued license. Today, the requirement is

gone; they [only] have to be certified as to the knowledge

of regulations. And there you have it, at this stage as well

there surface the kind of contractors so dear to top managers’

hearts – the cheaper ones let’s say – and shoddy work

is the result. What I said applies to welding, to equipment

assembly, both get suspended when we conduct an inspection

of assembly operations. Here are more problems for

you. Such work is contracted to professionals and organizations

with inadequate skills. Yet again, the oversight

agencies come into play, we inspect, we suspend work, we

refer [them] to get training.

Now we come to daily operation. In operation, the key

issue for Russia as a whole and for our region is the aging

of essential equipment. That’s the principal trend. No

doubt, this effort is insufficiently funded. When equipment

ages, that involves both physical wear and tear, and obsolescence.

It grows obsolete, engineering processes are outdated,

accident protection system is missing, and it is quite

a challenge to reconcile equipment manufactured 50 to 60

years ago with requirements contained in rules adopted in

2003. At the same time, oversight agencies are told: you

should tighten the screws, demand that managers implement

[your instructions]. But how can one demand that!?

That would certainly require expenditure, since the nature

of enterprise ownership is now different; we have private

ownership, joint-stock societies, non-governmental entities.

Naturally, it is the top manager who has the first responsibility

for ensuring industrial safety. He is accountable for

his workers, and must ensure their safety at their respective


Rostechnadzor recently held a conference on stepping

up control and oversight activity, and it was mentioned there

that most accidents nowadays are traced to old equipment.

There was an example with a grave accident on obsolete

equipment, which was previously certified by experts for

10 years of additional service life. The accident occurred

exactly 10 years later, a rectifying column at an oil refinery


What it all comes down to is that such problems are many

today, and they need to be addressed. As early as 1997, the

federal law On industrial safety specified that an enterprise

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

running an industrial facility associated with hazards must

exercise production oversight. In fact, that is the operator’s

primary task – production oversight! At present, small enterprises

exercise production oversight very much as a formality.

Larger enterprises, such as Kirishinefteorgsintez [Kinef]

for instance, develop their own robust quality standards, I

mean quality standards in production oversight. If some of

you have issues with setting up production oversight, I suggest

you take a look at how it is arranged at Kinef, or talk

to their representatives. Incidentally, I saw in the program

that Mr. Filatov will be speaking on this very topic today, on

production oversight … So you can talk to him.

Now, I have a question. The topic of our conference

here is given as from designing to insurance, which brings

me to insurance.

As an oversight agency, we check that every enterprise

is insured. What is it that an enterprise insures against? It

provides insurance for third parties against a possible accident.

All in all, I don’t quite understand who this third party

is. We do have an enterprise, who is this third party? Will

this enterprise’s personnel not employed at a hazardous

facility itself be considered third party in case of an accident?

I don’t’ know. Or is it only those third parties who will

happen to be behind this enterprise’s fence line? That is not

clear. But the federal law provides for insuring third parties.

And yet again, it does not provide for some distinction

by type of plant; the amount of insurance is driven by the

amount of hazardous substance.

Let’s take three tons of ammonia as an example. It can

be found at an enterprise commissioned a year ago, and at

one that has been in operation for fifty years already. They

are insured to the same amount. But begging your pardon is

the same true of their level of industrial safety? The federal

law On industrial safety is mute on this point.

We certainly assumed that insurance might give us

leverage in providing industrial safety; it both may and

should serve as such a tool. The reason I say that is that if a

state inspection arrives at a plant, inspects it, and finds that

the level of industrial safety does not satisfy requirements

(criteria for that can be developed), then the owner should

pay out insurance not only to the third parties but to his own

workers as well. That has not been implemented as of yet.

Where industrial safety is involved, an enterprise will deal

with safety issues only when that is to its own commercial

benefit. If it does bring an economic benefit, an enterprise

will address industrial safety matters and spend money to

provide industrial safety. Absent that, oversight agencies

find it very difficult to demand compliance with requirements

in existing regulations, which, as is expected, will migrate

into Technical codes.

Alexander Ivanovich talked here about licensing gas

stations. I want to inform you that Rostechnadzor now begins

to issue licenses to gas stations. We have received a

letter of clarification from Moscow explaining that the license

gas stations obtain to operate a facility with explosive

hazard is sufficient and pre-empts MEM-issued license

for operation of facilities associated with fire hazard. You

may ask more specific questions at Mokhovaya 3. We receive

visitors on Mondays after 2 pm. My phone number is

273-27-09, that of receptionist on duty 272-96-43.

Thanks for your attention.

Mediator: Do colleagues have questions?



Question: Akhnaf Kushumbayev, Head of industrial

safety and engineering control department of Yamburggazdobycha.

We like the name of conference a lot too. Now, concerning

design requirements. Last year, from this same podium we

drew your attention to issues of facility identification at design

development stage. And we still cannot find an answer in

Rostechnadzor regulations. The question is as follows. How

can we possibly subject designers to requirements concerning

quality of design work for hazardous industrial facilities,

when we have the issue with regulations themselves, since

they say that identification of hazardous industrial facilities

must be undertaken for the purposes of registration, that is

when the facility has already been built and commissioned?

How can we establish whether the declaration of industrial

safety and the rest of it is required, when we don’t know if this

particular facility is considered hazardous, moreover don’t

even know what kind of facility it is? That remains an unanswered

question, for us, at least. Thank you.

Answer: I don’t quite follow. As of today, when design

is developed for a large facility, designing agency is, as it

were, the key actor: it decides whether to prepare a declaration

concerning amounts of hazardous materials or not.

That is one thing. And then the declaration even becomes

part of design documentation package. So I don’t quite understand

the question; wherein is the difficulty?

The identification is performed by the enterprise itself,

and how difficult is it to look at the project description and

identify what substances and in what amounts there will be?

I don’t see any difficulty in this issue at all. I mean, in terms

of implementation it is the most straightforward issue.

Comment: No. Look, our identification requirements

are for registration purposes, whereas where design is

concerned we have Guideline 616, which describes facility

types, their standard names, and so on. That is, there is no

requirement for designer to identify the facility as hazardous

or otherwise.

Presenter: Pardon me, but are you a designer yourself?

Comment: No. I have to …

Presenter: Are you on the operations side?

Comment: I have to provide designers with project

terms of reference.

Presenter: Design terms of reference?

Comment: Yes, design terms of reference. And I am

not on the same page with designers. Why? Because it is not

clear, whether we need to prepare a declaration as part of

project [documentation package] or not. It so happens that

identification has to be performed only at the time of registration,

but when we issue terms of reference to designers,

or during design work itself, we have not yet defined what

amounts of hazardous substances the facility will handle.

There are no such regulatory requirements.

Presenter: I see now. You have a very specific question.

I invite you to visit with our design oversight team at

Mokhovaya. We’ll look into it specifically, so as not to hold

up our whole audience here. You are welcome.

Mediator: Any more questions, colleagues? Time for

the last one.

Question: Viktor Gokinaev, Baltika brewery, assistant

director for industrial safety.

You just gave us a presentation on hazardous industrial

facilities. Another colleague, Alexander Ivanovich, talked

about those same hazardous industrial facilities immediately

before you. Some of them present explosive hazard, others

a chemical one. Issues related to hazardous industrial facilities

are covered in order 116 and federal law, which call for

production oversight of such hazardous industrial facilities.

We carry out all that. We have compiled emergency response

and recovery plans (ERRP), and got them approved

by Rostechnadzor. Well, now federal law 128-1 calls for

licensing of those same hazardous industrial facilities, and I

am lost. What to make out of it? To whom such facilities must

report in the end of the day, Rostechnadzor or MEM?

Answer: What took you so long? Thank you for the

question. As you waited for this conference, Baltika, why

didn’t you approach me so that we could resolve this issue

in due order? We have to look specifically at what facilities

there are, and of what type if you conducted identification.

You had to perform identification, forward to us identification

cards. Based on that, we could give you an answer for

specific facilities.

Mediator: Thank you, Larisa.


PANEL II Industrial safety practices abroad

Mediator: It gives me pleasure to give the floor to

Vadim Oglov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee

for State Emergency Management and Industrial

Safety, MEM of Kazakhstan

Vadim Oglov:

Good afternoon, esteemed participants of the fifth international


I extend to you a heartfelt welcome on behalf of Kazakhstan

and the republican Ministry for Emergency Management

(MEM), and profound thanks to the organizers for

their invitation to take part.

I would like to use my time to briefly outline to you the

state of industrial safety in Kazakhstan and current objectives

for improving safety level.

At this juncture, the body authorized to exercise government

oversight in the field of industrial safety in Kazakhstan

is the Committee for State Emergency Management and Industrial

Safety, which is part of MEM of Kazakhstan.

The Committee exercises government oversight of industrial

safety provisions by employers at over 15,000 enterprises

and over 360 hazardous facilities in essentially every

industrial sector in the country. The committee’s regional offices

aside, the country has also set up efficient specialized

inspectorates in the areas of offshore oil production and

nuclear power, and has set up a paramilitary emergency

rescue and recovery service for mountain rescue opera-

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The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




tions, oil well blowout capping, and gas pipeline accidents

response, as well as an integrated system of research institutions

in support of industrial safety.

Now that Kazakhstan is on the cusp of a new stage in its

socio-economic modernization and political democratization,

our head of state has issued the challenge to make Kazakhstan

one of 50 most competitive nations in the world.

Presidential address New Kazakhstan in the new world sets

10 principal objectives. Firstly, it is the diversification of the

republic’s economic base with introduction of high-tech industries,

breakthrough projects, and international technical

standards. This sets the task of advancing modernization

pace in those economic sectors where we already enjoy

certain success, and of basing industrialization of Kazakhstan

on a dramatically new footing.

Well aware that enterprises’ engineering sophistication,

viability and reliability of operation are in the end key to

their safe operation, the Committee takes aggressive steps

to broadly apply its authority to suspend operation, replace

worn-out equipment, to extend oversight to the greatest

possible number of facilities in its jurisdiction, and ensure

proper standard of industrial safety.

We have tightened requirements applying to industrial

safety managers so as to include the right to have them suspended

or relieved, to impose administrative penalties, and

instigate investigations by prosecuting agencies.

Production modernization is subject to no less strict requirements.

As a result, in the year 2006, mining industry

commissioned 258 refurbished production installations

and new equipment units, and 20 new production lines. In

coal mining, these numbers stand at 103 and 11 respectively,

and in oil and gas production at 190 and 33.

Departments of paramilitary emergency rescue and recovery

services within our Committee have undertaken major

efforts in the area of accident prevention and recovery.

Some laws relating to industrial safety have been amended

or expanded. 29 new technical codes of regulations were

developed only last year.

To support further advances in efficiency of state oversight

and industrial safety, the committee has developed a

strategic plan for restructuring and improvement of manmade

emergency prevention and recovery for the years


The plans I have named call for the development of efficient

industrial safety policies on the basis of improvement

and expansion of government oversight system, engineering

control of production at hazardous facilities, development

of software and data processing systems for predicting,

monitoring and management of engineering risks, the

development of legal framework and guidelines in the area

of man-made emergency risk management, including transboundary

risks. And, of course, they call for an all-out effort

to ensure accident-free operation of hazardous industrial

facilities in our country.

The Committee has developed guidelines for state-ofthe-art

management of state oversight. Based on those

guidelines, all regional offices currently teach personnel

workshops. We have also developed performance indicators

to evaluate specific inputs and performance efficiency

of state inspectors, field offices, and the committee itself. We

have developed a policy for material incentives and honors

encouragement for the best personnel and performancebased

promotion system.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

We have conducted an exhaustive inventory of hazardous

industrial facilities, which became the foundation for

a government data bank. We have identified enterprises

posing an elevated risk of accidents and catastrophic emergencies,

sources of threats, and potential impact zones and


In the year 2004, the law On mandatory civil liability

insurance for proprietors of facilities which cause harm to

third parties took effect, and state register of facilities requiring

insurance has been compiled.

Mandatory liability insurance for enterprise owners

seeks to ensure protection for proprietary rights and interests,

life and health of those third parties that sustained injury

or losses due to a facility accident by providing them with

insurance coverage. The committee has by now developed

suggestions for improving this law through more accurate

definition of hazardous facilities and stricter requirements

for timely insurance payments. We plan to submit this bill to

the parliament in 2008.

There is an on-going effort to review existing regulations

in the field of industrial safety. In the year 2007 we

received a state budget appropriation of 44,3 million tenge

for the purpose. Additionally, we are currently looking at

issues of more clear and efficient demarcation of oversight

responsibilities between a number of ministries, that is ours

and the ministry of labor and human services, ministry of

energy and mineral resources, and ministry of manufacturing

and commerce.

In order to cut down the number of inspections and eliminate

redundancies, we have planned for this year 336 comprehensive

inspections to be performed jointly with oversight

agencies of other ministries. One of the key components of

our draft strategic plan calls for broad introduction of modern

industrial safety engineering control systems, decommissioning

of obsolete and worn-out equipment, upgrading

and retooling of enterprises, and banning operation of

equipment that poses threats to workers’ life and health.

Major attention is given to development of comprehensive

engineering and administrative steps to ensure protection

against industrial accidents and catastrophic emergencies

linked with offshore oil production for biological

resources of the Caspian and Aral Seas and Zaysan Lake,

to ensure tight oversight over compliance with requirements

for mothballing or decommissioning of oil wells on the Caspian

offshore and tidal plains, and also to dramatically reduce

the number of catastrophic accidents in coal mining

and other mining sectors.

A deliberate effort is under way to improve preparedness

of paramilitary emergency search-and-rescue services

for rescue and recovery operations on hazardous facilities

they serve. These services are supplied with transportation,

equipment, and gear meeting modern standards of

efficiency, mobility, quality, and reliability.

International cooperation in the area of industrial safety

has been stepped up; organizations falling under our committee’s

jurisdiction are in a staged transition to international

standards. Thus, in 2007 we have switched to ISO 9001-

2000 quality management standards in our oil well blowout

recovery service. We expect that the remaining three

paramilitary emergency rescue-and-recovery services will

switch to those standards in 2008.

The committee pays a special attention to tightening

requirements governing on-site production control depart-



ments of industrial enterprises, to developing steps aimed to

eliminate root causes of emergencies and accidents, to supporting

such activities with adequate funding, to equipping

all engineering process lines with modern safety monitoring

systems, and to training industry employees.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the importance

of industrial safety issues and to wish you all fruitful collaborative

forward work in the effort to protect our populations

from man-made emergencies. Thank you for your attention.


Mediator: Thank you. Questions? I have one, if I may.

You mentioned in the presentation that you are involved

with decommissioning equipment associated with a hazard.

What authority does your agency have for that?

Answer: Well, those provisions are contained in our industrial

safety law. If any kind of equipment has exceeded

its rated service life or has apparent damage, we, acting in

accordance with our law, immediately offer suspension of

operation and decommission it.

Mediator: So, you effectively ban its continued operation.

Answer: Besides, ourselves and our largest companies

of diversified profile undertook the initiative to jointly develop

timely engineering upgrades plans. That is we work with

almost every enterprise to make sure that it plans ahead

and exercises oversight.

Mediator: Thank you. Any more questions, colleagues?

If not, thank you.


I invite to the podium Sigurd Gaard, who is the

transportation optimisation and system design

leader of Statoil ASA (Norway). His presentation is on

Safety dimensions of large-diameter underwater pipeline

projects of Statoil Group.

Sigurd Gaard: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to us to be invited to this conference to

speak about safety in design of large off shore pipelines.

Thank you for the invitation.

My name is Sigurd Gaard and I am leader of a department

dealing with transport optimisation and system design.

Now, “safety aspects in design of large off-shore pipelines”

is a wide and broad open area. So I will try to touch

into some aspects being considered in the design phase and

some features in design of large and long offshore pipelines

that might be special for our company.

The outlining of the presentation will be:

firstly an introduction of Norwegian Gas Network, safety

philosophy and a little bit of pipeline design, some project

examples maybe, and security of supply, and last but not

least, the human factor. I planned to speak for sixty minutes,

but I heard I had thirty minutes, so we’ll have to drop some of

my points, maybe. But we’ll try.

The first oil and gas field on the Norwegian Continental

Shelf, the Ekofisk field, was discovered in 1969. The Norwegian

Parliament had already established as a rule that

all petroleum found on the Norwegian shelf should go to

show. However, studies in 1971/72 concluded that it was

not technically feasible. A president of a large international

oil company said that Norway will be rich on oil and gas

production but no workplaces will come on land. The Norwegian

Trench, the trench parallel to the Norwegian coast,

is about 300 meters and was an obstacle, or the show-stopper,

for pipeline transport of the oil pipeline to the Norwegian

coast. The trench was later crossed in 1983, and it was

a key stone to what Statoil is today. Another key stone was

that they went so high in design pressure that they did not

know the gas characteristics, i.e. how it would behave. They

were not certain whether there would come any liquid out

of the pipeline. So it was a safety issue related to it. Now,

that went well.

Today the Norwegian gas export network comprises

more than 7800 km of subsea oil and gas pipelines with

the diameter of up to 44 in. The transport export capacity

is about 350 MSm3/d, (million cubic standard meter per


The most recent pipeline laid by Statoil is Langeled, it’s

going from the middle of Norway and down to the UK. The

south part of it was commissioned in 2006, because it is

connected to the rest of the network on the halfway, and the

north part of it will be tied in now in October 2007.

Some milestones in development of the Norwegian gas

export are:

• Longest gas pipelines between valve stations; Up to

840 km/1160 km including multi-diameter solutions

• Largest diameters for deepwater lines; 42” in up to

370 m water depth

• High design pressures for gas trunklines, up to 280


• Dense phase transportation of rich gas, up to 700 km

(Rich gas, means that there is more LPG in the gas in addition

to mostly methane, and dense phase means that the

pressure is so high that it’s supercritical)

• Multiphase transportation to onshore processing facility:

65 km for Troll and 145 km for Snowhvit

• Trunklines crossing several national sectors; Unique

Authority relationship experience

The future is very difficult to predict, but I will try to say

something about it, and there is a point related to safety.

This slide shows an artistic view of future Gas transport

along the Norwegian coast. This artistic slide is made by a

consultant on behalf of the Norwegian Oil and Energy department.

It is supposed to show a feasibility picture of the

future in 2030. The picture divides the Barents Sea in South

and North. The lines, the pipelines are only conceptual and

may differ from actual routing. The picture is meant to show

a stepwise development from the south towards the north

where the Russian and the Norwegian resources and transport

meet, and some development are already done.

In 2007 the Snowhite field will be started, bringing well

stream to land, about 145 km.

In 2012-15, Shtokman and the North stream pipeline is

presumably being developed. Snowhite train 2 and Goliat

in the Barents region south are probably also being developed

and it is believed that prospects in the Halten Nordland

in Norway are being developed. This latter will trigger

an extension of the Norwegian Gas network towards the

north. The mentioned provisional sanctioned extension of

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




the gas network towards the European continent will most

likely take account for possible volumes from the Halten/

Nordland area.

In 2020 there might be new gas discoveries in the

Barents Vest region which may trigger a new extension of

the gas network towards the north. In approximately the

same period the gas production in the south of Norway will

probably decline resulting in available transport capacity

towards the European continent. In 2030, this possible

stepwise development of the Norwegian gas transmission

network towards the North may open for transport of gas

from the Barents north region to the European continent.

And as we go north, the Russian and Norwegian shelves

meet, and we go together into a sensitive and harsh environment,

where the safety issues will be even more challenging.

Now this was only an artistic view showing one of

many possible scenarios, but a couple of things are more

certain than others;The gas production in the South of Norway

will decline, there are new prospects in the North, and

it will have to be transported out of there, involving pipelines

in one way or another.

Our goal is to have a systematic approach to safety and

establish safety philosophies. HSE is “grounded”, or a key

stone in our business philosophy. Today I will try to focus

on safety, but the whole HSE is actually captured by safety.

Upfront and during all projects and business development,

risk analysis are being performed and updated. We generally

say that the risk shall be acceptable low and in general

as low as reasonable possible.

The HSE poster, as you see here, is a part of our top

governing documents. Responsible for that is our CEO. It

states that our goal is zero harm, and we also believe that

all accidents can be prevented. And in the end we say that

both you and I have a common responsibility to care for

each other and for the environment.

So what are the criteria for modern pipeline design?

How shall a pipeline be designed, so that it won’t fail? The

likelihood for loads must be considered and we have also

have to consider also the consequences. We consider risk

to be a combination of the probability of failure and the

consequence of failure. So it’s proportional to probability

and consequence. For offshore pipelines in operation we

expect FAR levels (fatal accident ratio) equal to zero. The

exposure is on land terminals and platforms.

The basis for the three last slides, and the next one, was

made by DnV (Det Norske Veritas).

This slide showing a close-up picture of rock climber

do not indicate any risk but the picture from some distance

may indicate that there is risk. There is a risk, but he has a

rope around him, so this is safe. But the pictures also say

something about perception. We need to understand the

risk picture.

The criteria for modern design are that the pipeline must

be designed so that the risk is acceptable.

We base our design on The DNV Offshore Standard

OS-F101 “Submarine Pipeline Systems”. This is a recognized

industry standard and widely used pipeline code. The

design code is a probabilistic approach to pipeline design

based on “Consequence of failure” which is captured by

using safety classes; Low, Normal or High. And it is based

on the “Probability of failure” and each failure mode is

considered independent. The consequences are normally

divided into human, environmental or economical. For

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

pipeline systems this can normally be expressed in terms of

inventory and location.

I have to say something about the parameters in the

design phase. Subsea gas transmission pipelines are characterized

by high pressure, long distances, large diameter;

it’s of carbon steel with external coating for corrosion protection

and weight, and internal coating for reduced friction

and corrosion protection.

A conceptual design is performed early in the project

phase, but the first questions that are met are:

Is the possible to fabricate the pipeline?

Is it possible to lay the pipeline due to depth, pipeline

size or environmental issues?

Is it possible to safely operate and inspect the pipeline?

You can see that the main parameters and most of them

will have an impact or consequence for safety, and that

needs to be handled in that context. We have the diameter,

for instance. A large diameter is safer than a small diameter,

and a high design pressure may be safer than the low

design pressure, because it is first of all thicker, you have

more steel. The material is important, and I must also mention

the thermal insulation. That is not so important for gas

pipelines, export pipelines, but it’s important for intrafield

pipelines, in order to avoid hydrates, which is a kind of, or

similar to, an ice structure. Hydrates can block pipelines

and are a safety issue especially for intrafield flowlines.

The design temperature is important, the water depth and

the routing, and wall thickness and coating. We also have

design bases that involve authority requirements, company

specifications. Design codes are very important. Also the

upfront defined functional requirements, which you can say

is a part of the system premises. Seabed and fields, topography,

the biotechnical data is important, and environmental


The route is very important because you have fishing

banks, you have cable and pipeline crossings, you have

ship channels and you have other fields and licenses, which

may all have an impact on safety. Additionally we have

what is called a free span, I will come back to that. And

we have to avoid or minimize risks and hazards. We have

to know the geo hazards: possibility for earthquakes, slide

areas, sand waves, environmental causes, icebergs, shipwrecks,

if there has been any war activity, if there is a risk

of forgotten explosives. And we have to know the design

loads in pipeline laying and when it’s laid. And I mentioned

fisheries and battery limits.

This is a test for a pipeline of two inch, where we test if

the material is good enough. The design pressure is 212

barg, and we looked if we could manage to blow it. I think

we used water to pressurise it and blow it, and the location

as you can see here was as predicted. The tests are utilised

in order to improve safety.

Now, this is a free span. Long free spans are like this

when the pipeline is laying as a bridge from a shoulder

to shoulder. These may be a safety risk, which need to be

controlled in case of development. Loads must be identified

and calculated, and the pipeline support should be known.

Another thing is, and this is what fluid dynamics people love

to study although in this case it can actually be a risk; free

spans may be exposed for current and thereby von Karman

vortices may appear. Free spans exposed to vortex

shedding may suffer fatigue, similarly to a factory chimney

(which utilise this outside spiral for mitigating the vortices).



The vortices are a safety factor that has to be controlled in

the design phase. And these free spans can, unfortunately,

be exposed to fishing boats and their equipment, this is by

the way a Norwegian fishing boat, not Russian. We have to

know what types of boats will arrive, what kinds of equipment

can they hit the pipeline with, and how often, how fast

may it impact. The picture to the left is the satellite tracking

of fishing activity. Fishing activity is really a safety risk, if we

have a free span or if the pipeline is laying there unburied.

The pipeline can be damage by the impact, the pullover

and we have the hooking.

Do we have to design for it, or do we have to protect

from it? This shows the typical safety zone around the platform,

which is typically 500 meters. There supposed to be

no fishing there, but it might appear anyway.

How much time do I have left? 10 minutes? 5 minutes.

Then we have to be a little bit quicker. This is typical protection.

You see coating on the first pictures there. On the

third we have cathodic protection against corrosion, external

corrosion. Structures; the last one to the right, is used

to make equipment overtrawlable; so that trawls can be

pulled over it. And you can see concrete mattresses along

the pipeline there. But the pipelines can also be buried, either

by trenching or rock dumping, picture in the middle.

Furthermore, down to left, pressure protection systems are

applied in case of a source pressure possible higher than

the pipeline design pressure.

The operating pressure range for a long offshore gas

transmission pipeline is very wide compared to an onshore

line, typically between an upstream pressure of 150 – 250

bar, and a downstream pressure of 60 to 80 bar over a distance

of several hundred kilometres. It may take hours to notice

the closure of a downstream valve on the upstream pressure.

Unless the pipeline is extensively packed, it is obvious

that the pressure drop along the pipeline may be taken into

account by allowing a lower design pressure for downstream

part than for the upstream part. This slide show the material

not utilised in yellow. We apply the concept of pipelines divided

into sections of different design pressures, which is

especially suitable for new long pipelines, existing pipelines

with large upstream water depths and wall thickness and tie

in of new pipelines to existing infrastructure. By introducing

section with different design pressure, the material is better

utilised and the investment cost can be significantly reduced.

To do this, we need a pressure protection system.

The risk acceptance criteria for the yearly failure probability

established for overpressure protection systems according

to Statoil’s best practice is as follows: Overpressure

above test pressure to be less than 1x10-5, This means one

time in every 100,000 years. Overpressure above Maximum

Incidental Pressure less than 1x10-3. Additionally, the

human response or operator’s intervention will contribute

to reduce the probability. In order to prevent an overpressure

situation from occurring, the following barriers are put

in place: The PRS – Pressure Regulation System and the

Presssure safety System 1 and 2 (PSS-1 and PSS-2) which

are two independent systems.

Quickly: this is a typical protection system. This is acceptable

if you have the same design pressure for whole

pipeline. But if you have two design pressures you have

to get some feedback from the downstream, up to the upstream

to regulate the pressure source. And we use variable

set points. This slide is the new thing that Statoil is cur-

rently taking out patent for: we introduce the flow meter in

the pressure protection system.

It should also be possible to inspect and maintain the

pipeline. Now finally, not so many slides left now, this is a

pipeline repair system. We have to be able to repair this

system in case of a damage. I have an animation showing

a little bit of this, but it takes a couple of minutes. But maybe

we can start it while we have the questions. Okay? So we’ll

just go through that. Next slide.

And then the human factor. No single failure should

lead to a life-threatening situation, unacceptable damage to

facilities or the environment. Human errors should be controlled

by the requirements to the organisation, organizing

the work, competence and quality assurance. We consider

competence to be knowledge, capability and willingness. If

you have the know-how, but don’t want to do it, it won’t be

realised, it will not be done.

We also believe that the understanding of the risks, or

the risk picture is essential. The interfaces, the multi-discipline

tasks and the totality, and also try to understand what

the future can bring.

And last, the behaviour. We have something called

the Safe Behaviour Program in Statoil, it involves 25,000

people, it will involve up to 30,000 people, who have been

participating in it. It also involves the engineers, actually the

it involves the whole company. The idea is that we should

be better in behaving, and improve our attitude whether we

work in the design phase or we are in operation. If you are

a pipeline engineer in the design phase, and don’t have the

attitude to update your risk analyses, you will expose other

people. So we try to build human barriers.

This last slide summarises more or less what I’ve been

speaking about. Right in the middle of it we believe competence

and barriers are very essential for safety. Have a

safe day.

You can start the animation, yeah.

Mediator: Sigurd, while the technology here is getting

ready, let me ask you a question. You talked about bringing

the risks down to zero. But as engineers we generally are

aware that this is impossible. In our country we have the

practice of developing enterprise declarations, where we

calculate the concrete risk of a disaster at a given enterprise.

Do you have any similar procedures, and what risk

is considered acceptable, and if we could have numbers,


(The essence of the answer: no direct answer).

Answer: It’s not a clear answer to it, but we use the

ALARP principle, which means that the risk shall be as low

as reasonably possible. In some cases we try to put numbers

on it, as you saw on the pressure safety system on ten

raised in minus 5, 10 -5 . And we use it at safety integrity

level, safety regulations level.

Demonstration of the film continues.

Here you have a vessel going down to the bottom of the

sea, bringing the equipment down, and going to the pipeline

where we have to prepare. The pipeline is coated by

concrete, and this machine removes the concrete. After the

concrete is removed, the vessel withdraws and another vessels,

or another tools, is entering to cut, remove and weld

the new pipeline part. This equipment is a part of our pipe-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




line repair system tool. The pipeline repair system tool can

go down to 600 meters, some of it down to 850 meters,

and we are now working to extend it down to 2000 meters.

The pipeline diameters are from 8 inch and up to 42

inch. This has continuously been developed in Statoil; it’s a

joint venture, non-profit, equipment tool, the partners on the

continental shelf have access to it. We started developing

these things in 1986, I believe.

Mediator: While we still have the presentation going,

I must beg forgiveness of Emercom and Russian Technical

Supervision Authority representatives here, but when their

staff member arrives to an enterprise, it usually causes

stress, and nobody is happy in any way. What is your relationship

like with similar bodies, such as the Norwegian Oil

Department and other such bodies?

Answer: What was the relationship? Yeah, of course.

We are friends with the government; we are friends with all

authorities. In the project phase we have to deliver this plan

for development and operation. It is typical, maybe a little

bit over a half-year, maybe later than the provisional sanction

at the project phase, and that has to be accepted by the

government and authorities. We try to have good relations

with all stakeholders.

Mediator: Are there any other questions, colleagues?

Go ahead.

Question: (Vladimir Zhidkov, SOGAS): It is a wellknown

fact that Statoil designed one of the most effective

risk management systems on its enterprises. My two questions

are: first, is your system a part of the general risk management

system, and secondly, could you give us some statistics

on accidents on your underwater pipelines that you


(The essence of the answer: risk management is an inbuilt

security system, and the only accident on the gas pipeline

with the diameter of 6 inches occurred on August 22,

2004 when the trawler boat bumped into the equipment).

Answer: The risk analysis system is, I don’t think we

have a name on it there, I think we use more like spreadsheets.

I don’t think we have a typical program software

for it. I think it is in-house development. That is not in my department

so… When it comes to our experience, if you can

open the presentation and the last slide, we haven’t had

any accidents on big gas pipelines, major accidents. I have

a picture that can show you one happening, which was two

years ago. Go on to next one.

Now you can see the pipeline in accident. This was

done by a fishing boat. This is not a part of a gas transport

network, but it is connected to it. And the pipeline is operated

by another oil company. What happened here was

as far as I know that a trawl boat ran over it and hook it.

It’s about six inch and we were lucky. It could maybe have

emptied or drained more of the gas network, because there

wasn’t any check valve. The reason for this happening is as

far as I know because it was not rock dumped or trenched,

and it was not checked after installation. So this is another

thing: to check what was actually built, later on. But this is

the only severe accident related to the operation of the gas

network, although the pipeline was actually not a part of the

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

gas transmission network. For the field pipelines we’ve had

several happenings, but I don’t have statistics on it. But we

have had leakages. Okay? And we had to have changed

some of the pipelines because it wasn’t good enough. But

this is not on the transmission pipelines. So that is zero.

And to the right you can see the plume, the gas plume

coming up to the surface.

Question: (the person asking the question did not introduce

himself): Do you monitor the quality of the water

at the seabed layer, considering that you said there were


Answer: We do it on the fields, but when it comes for

instance oil export pipelines, or gas pipelines from the shore

to land, we have a leak detection system. It’s an on-line

model, running, using the measurements, and so on. We

had a happening, but we don’t do measurements along the

routes. But we are considering it, because we had a happening

last year. My department is dealing with that leak

detection system. And the happening last year was that

we were called by the authority, the pollution authority in

Norway, and they said they had seen some oil spill from a

satellite. And the oil spill was exactly where our oil pipeline

went. So we had to check the pipeline and check what that

was. It ended up with that it was a boat. I don’t know if it

was a fishing boat or a cargo boat, but there was oil spillage

from that boat exactly where our pipeline was. But we were

fascinated by the satellite that discovered it. So we have the

established an R&D (Research and Development) project

looking into new methods you survey to discover leakages.

And I think we should improve the method when we are going

into the northern region. It should be better, because on

oil systems you have (inaudible), your model is not exactly

as it is on the mapping table or the drawing table.

Mediator: Thank you, Sigurd for an excellent presentation.


Ladies and gentlemen! Now for a break, coffee has been

prepared in the hall. Let’s meet, or at least try to at 12:15.

PANEL II continued Industrial safety practices


Mediator: We begin to slip behind schedule.

Let’s continue, colleagues. It gives me pleasure, to give

the floor to Gennady Suslov, First Deputy Chairman,

Ukrainian State Committee on industrial safety,

occupational safety, and mining sector oversight.

And I am calling for order in the room, comrades. We’ve

got overly relaxed.

Gennady Suslov:

Esteemed colleagues and conference participants!

Allow me to greet you on behalf of Ukrainian State

Committee on industrial safety, occupational safety, and

mining sector oversight, and to express gratitude to conference

organizers, to their commitment to an established

tradition. They continue to steer forward the initiative they



launched. And I wish you all success in this meticulous and

somewhat thankless work that we are all engaged in.

Other than myself, the Ukrainian delegation also includes

the director of division for coal mining oversight and

three directors of regional expert and engineering support

centers. These expert and engineering support centers

are similar to state enterprises, and they form part of state

oversight system, where they perform some of the functions

previously belonging to Gosgortechnadzor, specifically research

and technical expertise support for state oversight

bodies. That’s by way of a brief background note.

Our delegation’s agreed presentation topic is The state

of industrial safety at Ukraine’s coal mines.

Now, that I have already been part of this conference,

heard the presenters and the questions from the audience,

I will try to adjust my presentation, since several key areas

of interest have emerged, areas where I believe we should

all collaborate more closely. It’s common knowledge that

following the Soviet Union’s quiet demise or the end of its

existence, newly emerged independent states have followed

their own ways, developments in regulatory and legal

framework included. I believe, therefore, that we should

learn useful lessons from each other, exchange and adopt

practices to benefit not only our governments, but first and

foremost those who work in industry.

Ukraine’s law On occupational safety forms the foundation

for operation of Ukraine’s Gosgorpromnadzor and

for its organizational structure. While the law covers issues

of occupational safety in considerable detail, and enough

practical experience has been accumulated since its passage,

and the legal framework itself has been refined, we

have somewhat fallen behind in our [industrial safety] area,

and work is presently under way on the law On industrial

safety. Without it, our state oversight system is incomplete.

The thing is that in 1993, following the secession from the

Soviet Union in 1992, Gosgortechnadzor was charged

with all the responsibilities that were previously borne, as

you would remember, by trade union technical inspections,

even though – as is usual with us – we have not received

all the associated personnel. Those responsibilities include

oversight of agriculture and related industries, social and

cultural services, non-manufacturing groups, construction,

machine building, textile, wood-processing, light manufacturing

and other industrial sectors, that were previously not

part of Gosgortechnadzor jurisdiction. Since that time, we,

our system that is, which is now called Gosgorpromnadzor

cover essentially all areas of economic activity or in other

words all hired labor in the economy.

Our primary task today is to accommodate legal framework

to the notion of ‘industrial safety’, an effort in which

we use the experience of Russian Federation, Rostechnadzor,

and our colleagues from Kazakhstan and other former

Soviet republics. These issues are on the table and each

other’s experiences are explored when we meet, have

conferences, or hold CIS councils on the issue of industrial


Now to coal mining. Why is it that the issue of accidents

and traumatism, the overall state of industrial safety in coal

mining has acquired such urgency?

Firstly, and that is the main consideration, because coal

mine tragedies result in mass injuries or loss of life. That

resonates most strongly across the society at large with nobody

left indifferent.

For coal miners, or anybody who was involved with the

industry, such tragedies as recently occurred at Russia’s

Ulyanovskaya mine and then at Yubileinaya if memory

serves right leave a very bitter taste.

Unfortunately, Ukraine, periodically suffers its share

of such accidents. I well remember and will never forget

March 13, 2000 accident at Barakovo mine when 80 lives

were lost. And just like the previous speaker said, the main

factor is the human one. Human factor is the key for us. In

case of Ulyanovskaya accident, investigative commission

found that it was caused by human interference with safety

systems, by unsanctioned meddling with it. Wouldn’t you

call that human factor? It was an outright disregard for all

safety rules; one could dub it legal nihilism.

To go back to the year 2000 Barakovo case, when

we lost 80 men, here in telegraphic style is what happened:

shift changeover time at a remote coalface, plenty

of people riding conveyor belts to and from the coalface,

the conveyor quits due to some problem with the gearbox,

decision is made to fix it on their own, unsanctioned

welding work, that is fire-related work in the mine rated as

having exceedingly high mine gas levels and dangerously

explosive coal dust. Without permission they dragged in

acetylene bottle to do some welding on their own, while

the whole shift was waiting right there for the conveyor to

restart and bring them to the surface – end of story. Those

who took that initiative died themselves taking maintenance

workers and the rest with them. That is what I call

human factor and legal nihilism.

Also, speaking of attitudes like that… We all keep talking

about our Slav mentality, that we were brought up like

that, trusting in blind lady luck – if so, that element of our

mentality should be eradicated ruthlessly I believe, for it

leads to such criminal negligence, tragedies, human suffering,

orphaned children, the rest of it. I don’t think anybody

needs convincing on that point.

Now, to the state of affairs at our mines at large.

Like mines elsewhere in the world, Ukrainian ones now

introduce new high-productivity equipment for second

working and tunneling machines. Going after more powerful

equipment and pursuing more advanced technology

is only natural. Yet, the key reason for mine tragedies and

troubles is the methane gas. Rather than fight methane, we

should develop a new philosophy of meeting its challenge,

and such a philosophy is already emerging on legislative

level. Not the war on methane to assure safe mine operation,

but rather utilization of methane, a comprehensive utilization

involving preliminary degassing, degassing during

second working, and finally putting methane itself to industrial

use, rather than emit it into the atmosphere thus compounding

issues with ozone and global warming.

Most mines in Donbass region rank among the oldest

in the former Soviet Union and have the worst mining

conditions. Over 130 mines are considered to exceed

safe levels in terms of likelihood of sudden gas blowouts

and coal bursts and are considered hazardous. Working

depths range on average between 700 and 1000 meters.

The seams that many mines work are prone to spontaneous

combustion and have dangerously explosive coal dust.

Over 20 mines already work at coalfaces over 1000 meters

deep, up to 1300 meters. And that number includes

such high-output mines as Zasyadko, Krasnolimanskaya,

Shahterskaya Glubokaya, and others. Unfortunately, seam

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




thickness is record low, 0,6 to 1,2 meters on average, and

only 1,3 to 1,8 meters.

Mining assets are obsolete and aged. Even the most

conservative estimates consider 65 percent of assets to be

obsolete. You realize that no modernization occurred for

over 50 years, new mine construction practically stopped.

And when mines are operated without renovation the deterioration

doesn’t go anywhere, it merely gets aggravated.

Such complex geological and mining environment enhances

the risk of emergencies.

Yes, injuries, at least with lethal outcomes have declined

if we look at a short period of time, at 2005. In 1958, when

Gosgortechnadzor of Ukraine was established…, incidentally

we’ll celebrate our fiftieth anniversary next year.

Comment: Should we lining up presents for next


Presenter: Prepare the presents and we’ll prepare the


In that single year, 1958, eleven hundred thirty-eight

persons lost their lives in Ukrainian mines. That’s in statistical


In the years since our independence, the number of injuries

has certainly sharply declined, but on what account?

– On account of overall decline in the number of coal faces

being worked. Back in 1985-86, Ukrainian mines had 3,5

to 4 thousand shortwall works, and about 1,6-1,7 thousand

of producing or second working coalfaces, while presently

that number has declined by an order of magnitude. There

is a concomitant drop in production, even though the number

of coalminers declined only a little. The number of mines

remains essentially unchanged, only some part of them are

in restructuring prior to closure, but that state of pending

closure has lasted over 10 years already. Only 5 mines,

five enterprises have fully shut down, and were removed

from the official registry. Therefore overall numbers are essentially

the same.

A more legitimate comparison would be between the

years 2000 and 2005, since over that period Ukrainian

coal output stayed flat at about 80 million tons annually. In

the year 2000, we had 316 lives lost in Ukrainian coal mining,

while in 2005 we had 157, half that much.

Yet, last year we had 12 more lives lost for the total

of 168 miners dead. Regrettably, such spikes in injuries

do coincide with periods of organizational restructuring.

Since 1993, the State Committee has undergone such

restructuring seven times. In used to be an independent

agency, then was merged with the ministry, then functioned

as State Committee attached to the Labor ministry,

then as a department within Labor ministry, then became

an independent committee again, followed by becoming

a department within emergency management ministry.

The full circle finally closed on December 30 of last year,

when the State Committee was re-instituted as an executive

body of the central government. Our statistics testify

that such reorganization periods coincide with elevated

industrial injury levels (with both lethal and non-lethal

outcomes) not only in coal mining but in the Ukraine in

general. These numbers are in our materials; I gave the

organizers our report on the state of industrial safety that

we publish annually. I gave the organizers and interested

colleagues an electronic version, and have more CD cop-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ies for those who want them. We’ll use some fragments in

our presentation.

I will modify my presentation in view of time limitations


Let’s get back to methane gas factor.

The issue of ensuring safe handling of gas blowouts and

coal bursts in dangerous seams has always been and will

remain a key one in improving safety of mining operations.

In the year 2006, there were 42 gas-dynamic events at

Donetzk Oblast mines alone. Seventeen lives were lost. At its

best, which is the option we pursue now, coal mining in gasabundant

conditions should be viewed in tandem with methane

production. The bill On methane gas in coal-fields designed

to address this issue is now being heard by Ukraine’s

Supreme Rada for the second time. In practical terms, it stipulates

that methane is not an accompanying factor in coal mining

but part of the mineral resource itself. Accordingly, the

same requirements apply to its efficient extraction and use.

The target we share with coal mining ministry with support

of the cabinet is to provide tax breaks for the first 10 to 15

years to those operators or enterprises, who would extract

and utilize the gas. If one was to start utilizing that gas now,

tax audit will follow right away, and start doing their math no

matter the cost of utilization, which will make that gas more

expensive. For the single reason that such is the existing tax

law. Therefore one of the objectives now is to provide for

such activity in law, and I see that as a most legitimate and

promising approach, especially if you consider that mine

ventilation pumps into the atmosphere about 3,5 billion cubic

meters of mine gas, methane annually. Only about 2 percent

is utilized, and 18% is degassed. The latter is the portion

that’s extracted through surface and underground degassing,

but then released into the atmosphere all the same.

That is done as preliminary degassing to reduce releases into

underground works. Utilization is below two percent. What

stands behind that rate is primarily a major effort currently

undertaken at Zasyadko mine with the use of imported technology

and equipment. That’s an excellent experiment that I

can tell you more about informally. Right now, I only supply

you with a broad overview of where, what and how.

The key engineering issue is how to raise safety level in

coal mining.

Another issue, that I think you would agree with me on,

and we start working in that direction. Upbringing a person

is the most thankless job after all. Starting with school age

and in colleges we should instill in people a proper attitude

to labor safety to wipe out that nihilistic attitude to laws and


That involves both education and upbringing, but also

public awareness and communications activity. That means

subjecting personnel to stricter requirements, and that needs

legislative backing as well.

So, a whole range of issues and approaches, which I

believe will be implemented once we work them through.

We’ll be meeting here as well. We plan to hold an international

conference on the questions of setting up oversight

and its research and engineering support in Ukraine in December.

That will be our expert centers’ effort. We’ll send

you invitations. Let’s maintain exchanges.

I could have said a lot more on the topic. But here is

two points. When issues emerge, we should look for engineering,

organizational, educational, and other solutions. I

believe, we can all agree on that.



Thanks for your attention.

I am open to questions.


Mediator: Questions for the presenter? – I have one.

Gennady Mikhailovich, I was impressed by the numbers

you’ve cited. Almost a thousand and a half dead in some

particular year.

Answer: That’s 1958, with eleven hundred thirty-eight

dead in Ukrainian mines.

Mediator: You were describing the Ukrainian situation.

How does it look in comparison with Russia and other

nations, better or worse?

Answer: I can give you numbers, I am certain about

approximate ones at least. We use the indicator of the number

of equivalent deaths per million tons of coal produced.

Ours at present stands at about 2, i.e. two lethal cases per

million tons, two deaths. Russia’s is less by an order of

magnitude, around 0,2-0,3. Of course, one should keep in

mind that in Russia most production comes from strip mines,

you know yourself what’s the production volume at Kansk-

Achinsk basin alone…

As to the USA, their indicator is lower by yet another

order of magnitude: 0,022-0,027, that is 30-35 deaths per

billion tons or more of coal produced, while last year’s US

output was 1 billion 80 million tons of coal.

If we take China, they lose six persons per million tons

produced, so our figures are not the worst.

Our previous speaker, a colleague from Norway,

spoke to the question you asked on what’s the attitude to

oversight agencies in Norway. When I was in the USA, we

were told in their oversight agencies that there are two big

lies in America: the first one when an inspector comes to

a business, and the boss or owner tells him How glad we

are to see you!; while the second one is when the inspector

replies We are here to help you… So, attitudes are likely the

same everywhere.

Mediator: Colleagues! Before I give the floor to the

next speaker, I’ll allow myself a brief but pleasant interruption.

I am holding this nice plate in my hands, and let

me tell you what’s written on it: G.C.E. group thanks the

Committee for State Emergency Management and Industrial

Safety, MEM of Kazakhstan for a strong awareness

campaign in support of June 6-7, 2007 conference in St


(Applause and words of thanks from Kazakhstan delegation.)

Now it gives me special pleasure to announce the next

speaker. He traveled the longest to be present here, researcher

at Hydrogen Lab of Campinas University

(Brazil), Dr. Dino Lobkov. His presentation topic is Ensuring

safety in hydrogen-based power sector. Thus we are

now touching on the issues of technologies to come.

Dino Lobkov:

Good afternoon, dear colleagues!

I am from Brazil. Whenever I say that, all my friends and

colleagues mentally add where wild monkeys abound – a

quote from a famous film. I am very happy to greet you all

here, in this beautiful city and grateful to G.C.E. group for

the invitation.

In my presentation, I would like to touch on the questions

regarding the immediate future: Where is it we live?,

What do we do?, and What will we do tomorrow?.

I represent the National advisory center on hydrogenbased

power sector - that is a state agency. It is located in

Campinas, Sao Paolo state, Brazil. This slide depicts all the

organizations participating in that venture, both governmental

– ministry of technology and three universities – and

power sector enterprises.

Briefly about Brazil. I am very happy to tell about Brazil

to the audience, which knows that it is not in Africa. Lamentably,

our North American colleagues would sometimes

say, Ah, Brazil, someplace in Africa. Well, Brazil is in South

America; its official name is Federal Republic of Brazil. It

is America’s third largest country in land area, and the

world’s fourth largest in population, which stands at 189


Brazilian economy is the largest in Latin America and

ranks 14 th largest in the world in annual gross national

product (GNP). In 2005, GNP reached 882 billion dollars,

and in 2006 exceeded 920 billion.

This is the city of Sao Paolo (commenting on the slides),

one of the world’s largest urban centers with a population

in excess of 20 million, a very modern city.

It is ringed by modern freeways, road network is well


A little bit on our National advisory center on the issues

of hydrogen-based power sector. It was established

in March, 2001. Its location is on the campus of UNICAMP

university, in Campinas, Sao Paolo state, Brazil.

The Center’s mission is to collect, process and disseminate

information on hydrogen uses for power generation,

to perform research on hydrogen issues, arrange conferences,

and develop government energy policy.

Now, a brief background on hydrogen.

All of you probably know it, but let me remind you that

hydrogen was first described by Robert Boyle in 1671, and

isolated and studied in 1766 by Cavendish, who confirmed

that water consists of oxygen and hydrogen. It was initially

even named flammable air.

Joseph Priestley discovered that exploding hydrogen

generates steam.

Hydrogen uses are known to you all. Chemical industry

has long used it to produce fertilizers, foods and it is used in

petrochemical industry. And there are energy uses as well

– as in our common fuel, which is in effect a mix of hydrocarbons

that we burn as oil. Hydrogen is also a vector for

energy produced from different sources, accordingly it can

be used to store electrical energy. It also serves to conserve

the environment, since burning it yields only steam, i.e. water

in its gaseous state, and therefore reduces environmental

pollution and atmospheric emissions.

Why hydrogen? – It can be obtained from multiple

sources, both renewable and non-renewable. Non-renewable

resources are what we extract from the Earth’s bowels:

coal, oil, gas. Renewable ones are solar and biomass


Reducing pollution on the planet. Emissions have already

reached the level where atmosphere’s composition

is changing endangering humanity. Hydrogen makes it possible

to cut pollution.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Energy efficiency improvements through utilization of

fuel cells. I see here colleagues from Ford factory. They

know full well what I am talking about. Internal combustion

vehicle era is on the wane. We live at the time when fuel cell

powered vehicles and electric vehicles will supplant traditional

ones. That will be a revolution equivalent to abandoning

horses as motive power in cities at its time.

Managing demand and supply of renewable power

sources. That means accumulation and storage of solar,

wind and hydro energy. And the key thing. Why hydrogen

future? Hydrogen provides for a nation’s energy safety.

What constitutes that safety? The supply of mineral energy

resources dwindles with each passing day and month, and

we have to pay more for them. We can clearly see [commenting

the slide show] energy shortages in the nearest

future. And that is just the question… I wanted to show to


This is a famous chart of changing structure of world energy


You can see several sinusoid curves here. First, the topmost

one. By middle 19 th century, just as in ancient times, all

human civilizations relied exclusively on solid fuels including

wood, coal and other minerals. Yet we see that beginning

with discovery of commercial use of oil in 1856, there is a

growing use of liquid fuels in this energy matrix of civilization.

That is we clearly see a trend for declining use of solid

fuels, which by 2100 will essentially be limited to uranium

alone. That explains some challenges faced by coal industry

in England and other coal-producing nations. Liquid fuels

which include both oil and hydro power have experienced

a spike in late 20 th century, but now we clearly see a watershed

in that trend, with subsequent decline in its role as

civilization’s energy source. And we can see that beginning

in 1900 this matrix of energy source include gaseous fuels.

At first, methane was used for street lighting. Later, methane

gets to be used for energy generation. And now we live in

the age when methane is used alongside hydrogen. Beginning

in 2060, essentially all of this energy matrix will be

based on hydrogen. So, one can clearly see the transition

from solid fuels, solid state power sources to liquid ones,

and from liquid ones to gaseous state energy sources. This

is a rather unique and useful chart that prompts one to ponder

the future. It is just this sort of issues, the use of gaseous

fuels, including hydrogen that our center deals with.

The center closely scrutinizes issues of safety in hydrogen

applications. In that we stand alone in Brazil.

Our center has established professional training courses,

[looks into] best practices in handling hydrogen, and

[performs] gas chromatography. In 2003, we graduated

our first class of engineers and technicians for state energy


We have conducted intensive courses on the safe handling

of hydrogen. Beginning with 2002 International Fuel

Cell Conference (it is held biannually), we offer such training

courses at the conference every two years. We also provide

training and professional growth courses on handling

hydrogen to personnel of our universities. Besides, through

the interim commission on special processes and technologies

of using hydrogen our center is engaged in developing

hydrogen handling standards for Brazilian Association of

technical standards. Among other things, we are responsible

for adopting some parts of ISO and IES standards

for Brazil. We translate and adopt them. Such standards

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

include those on fuel cell technology and key safety provisions

for hydrogen-based systems.

Hydrogen systems’ safety is closely related to safe handling

of gases, which I will be talking about now (the presenter

manages slide presentation).

That is so because hydrogen is yet another gas. By looking

at accidents involving natural gas one can get to know

what to expect of hydrogen.

Here is an example of an explosion and fire in the city

bus depot of Utrecht, Holland on July 6, 1990 – those were

natural gas powered buses.

What’s distinctive about that explosion?

You can see here to what extent the [gas] equipment

survived. Here is the gas cylinder from the bus. It did not explode;

gas escape valve has only melted down. You can see

that the buses have burned to the ground while gas equipment

is largely intact and unexploded. This speaks to the

fact that we, our civilization have advanced much further in

working with gas cylinders, gas equipment.

Handling hydrogen requires experience. Testing is more

rigorous than for natural gas due to higher pressure in hydrogen

cylinders, around 300 atmospheres.

Here is how testing is conducted. [Test bench] equipment

is installed, and then vehicles get dropped from varying

heights: 10, 17, 23 and 30 meters. You can see here

what’s left of those vehicles. The cylinders have not been

destroyed though, and no explosions were caused by the


Unfortunately, even though the equipment is reliable

and guaranteed to be safe, human factor sometimes comes

into play and causes explosions. Here is a very recent Brazilian

example. We have a whole fleet of vehicles burning

gas fuel, high-pressure gas. But there also are smart fellows,

who figured that since it is a gas, household gas cylinder

could hold it. You can see here that household liquid gas

cylinder was installed in the car’s trunk, and the smart guy

tried to fill in his Volkswagen with high-pressure gas. Here is

what was left from that Volkswagen, front and back views.

Here you see another attempt to fill in the regular household

gas cylinder with high-pressure gas. Here is what it

ended with.

Since hydrogen is another gas, I will devote this part of

my presentation to major accidents involving hydrogen.

We’ll look at causes and hydrogen’s actual role.

The first hydrogen accident has occurred quite a while

ago, and is known as the so-called Tempelhof airport case.

Tempelhof is Berlin’s central airport. Here is the picture dating

back to the 1920’s. Prior to 1914 Tempelhof airfield

was used as training and marching ground for the army of

Prussia. Here, incidentally, is the photo of Wilhelm I dated

1871. The field was also used by Berliners as a recreational

spot. With the birth of aeronautics, Germany’s first hot-air

balloon and dirigible flights originated here. Since dirigibles

use hydrogen to stay buoyant, the airport housed an

army unit that stored a huge amount of hydrogen in cylinders.

About a thousand cylinders were held in one place.

And then on May 25, 1884, 400 cylinders blew up for no

apparent reason wreaking tremendous destruction and human

casualties. Unfortunately, no pictures were taken at the


A renowned professor Mark Adolf Martens was appointed

head of scientific investigative board. That was the

first example of an investigative board looking at an ac-



cident with such consequences. Following the board’s deliberations,

Martens came to be considered the founder of

German research into materials fatigue, especially metal

fatigue. Analysis under microscope revealed the reason

behind the accident – the use of improper metal for cylinders,

the metal with very high carbon content. High carbon

content metal was destroyed by hydrogen, and that paved

the way for the explosion.

Based on the board’s findings, Martens prepared a

whole number of suggestions on prevention of similar accidents.

The program of quality warranties that he suggested

became the foundation of German coding system for highpressure

vessels, that remains in force today.

A gas tank accident in Hanau, near Frankfurt. The tank

– marked here – that held 100 cubic meters at the pressure

of 45 atmospheres and was located at a factory exploded

for no apparent reason. That was no terrorist attack.

The explosion caused massive destruction at the factory.

The cause was in welding seams that created internal

pressure in adjacent metal. Hydrogen penetrated welding

seams through strained curved metal where welding tolerances

were high and destroyed the metal structure. You can

see here that metal structure is penetrated by 22 mm long

cracks created by hydrogen. Hydrogen is a very active gas

capable of penetrating metals.

What steps were taken in the wake of that?

All similar tanks in Germany were inspected, engineering

standards for their manufacturing revised, and tolerances

at welding seams limited. Techniques for calculating

service life under varying pressure were revised, and early

crack detection techniques developed.

Let’s now touch on dirigibles, which were important in

the past and will be in the future.

Passenger dirigibles were developed in Germany, England,

and USA at essentially the same time. German company

established by count von Zeppelin was in fact a key


The first dirigible was completed on July 2, 1900. All

told, the period from 1900 to 1938 saw the construction of

119 dirigibles.

The most famous of them, LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin circumnavigated

the world in October 1929 and clocked up 2

million 700 thousand kilometers in about 590 flights. Here,

you may look at its picture and dimensions.

LZ-129 Hindenburg, a high-end transatlantic liner took

to the air only in 1931. It had private cabins, a promenade,

panoramic viewing windows, even a smoking lounge, all

on a dirigible carrying 16 tons (about 200 cubic meters)

of hydrogen.

Then on May 6 in Lakehurst, New York state, it lit up the

skies, as Hindenburg with 97 people aboard caught fire in

rainy weather.

Thirty-six lives were lost: 27 passengers jumped off the

burning dirigible, and eight more died on the ground from

diesel fuel burns.

Here are the pictures. So, what happened there? There

was no hydrogen explosion, but hydrogen inflammation.

Burn parameters were limited by the huge amount of hydrogen

and oxygen access factor; high air moisture that

day limited explosive hazard as well. Good preservation

of inner structures of the dirigible and lack of debris scatter

also confirm that there was no explosion. Intense heat radiation

was not present. The dirigible slowly fell down from

the height of about 70 meters. Considering the scale of the

accident, the number of casualties was comparatively low.

That tragedy’s root cause was not hydrogen. Outer skin

materials were chosen improperly leading to static electricity

buildup. Its discharge pierced the skin creating hydrogen

leak. The skin was made from highly inflammable material

similar to that in ping-pong balls: nitrocellulose covered with

aluminum film, which inflamed. All of that caused the fire.

And now the last accident with the Challenger when

seven astronauts died. Yet again, hydrogen itself was not

the culprit. The reason lay with the seals on solid fuel booster.

A jet of fire destroyed the launcher’s sidewall damaging

fuel lines for liquid hydrogen and oxygen. The leakage of

those gases caused the explosion. The same would have

happened with any other kind of fuel on the launch vehicle,

be it benzene or some special rocket fuel. Once fuel lines

were melted, the explosion would have happened all the


After looking at all these accidents, let’s ask ourselves

the question, what do the all have in common?

That all of them were investigated, analyzed, reports

were written, conclusions drawn, and decisions made.

In some accidents the reason lay not with hydrogen.

All the investigative documents developed after accidents

serve to help create or modify technical standards,

establish procedures, prevent repeated accidents, and improve

safety for humans.

Whenever we talk about Age of hydrogen, we should

be thinking through what it means when hydrogen is part of

not only large industrial facilities, but of our daily lives as

well. We must even now develop safety standards for using

gases, hydrogen included.

Thanks for your attention.

I am open to questions.

Mediator: Questions, please, colleagues.

Question: Nikolai Alexeev, Philip Morris Izhora.

While in college, I looked into issues of electrochemical

generators and related questions of hydrogen storage.

What are the current prospects for storing hydrogen in a

bound form? Does the prevailing trend favor cylinder storage

system after all?

Answer: This is a somewhat broader issue. We are

looking at several hydrogen storage options. Storage of

compressed or liquid hydrogen in metal [vessels] is one.

There is another mode of storage in which Brazil leads the

world. That is hydrogen storage in alcohol. Alcohol’s formula

– C 2 Н 5 ОН – includes five hydrogen atoms. And we

have developed so-called reformers, which release hydrogen

immediately when it is needed. The reformer extracts

hydrogen from alcohol for specific usage. I mean to say,

there are many hydrogen storage options, and that is a

separate topic, but one must emphasize that storage technique

analysis is very important. We are working at it.

Question: I am interested in overall prospects for

hydrogen use as they appear today. You just told us the

Hindenburg story. Indeed, there was a static electricity discharge,

yet the humanity then decided not to use hydrogen

in balloons again. Accordingly, Hindenburg became the

last airship of that size to use hydrogen. Rare gases were

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




used afterwards, and hydrogen has not been used in aeronautics


Secondly, you were quite right in saying that the topic of

methane use is very current now. Speaking of those hydrogen

cylinders – never mind they were jury-rigged – that caused

the explosion. That is also one of the root causes. Like you said

yourself, hydrogen is a rather aggressive gas. At the same

time, propane-butane mix that also powers cars (and rather

well too, with good mileage rate, safety, etc) holds more

promise. It appears then, that the issue today is where to use

hydrogen, in what areas. Not in automobiles though, God forbid,

not in balloons, maybe in some other contraptions?

Answer: Here is the answer I have to that. Look, internal

combustion engine has an associated performance

efficiency rate. In a standard Otto engine with spark plugs,

that rate reaches 19-20%. With all the bells and whistles

performance efficiency is about 19,5%; for diesel engines

it is higher - up to 23%. But when we use hydrogen in fuel

cells to power electric engine (with its 95% efficiency rate),

the summary efficiency rate for such a drive train configuration

is 65%. That’s all the answer there is.

Mediator: Let me clarify. My apologies to you for you

know the technology involved very well, but not everyone

here does. Campinas lab proceeds along two tracks. The

first one that they themselves don’t see as very promising is

to burn hydrogen in a regular engine. Dino, among others,

if I am not wrong, drives such a car. The second, and that is

a worldwide trend is the so-called fuel cells, hydrogen elements,

or, as Dino styles them hydrogen cells. They generate

electricity. Therefore, storage is in fact absent as they use

compressed hydrogen. There is no burning as such, what

happens is electric potential withdrawal from the plates. That

is quite safe and yields a high performance efficiency rate.

Presenter: On these slides you can see how a fuel cell

functions. We input two atoms of hydrogen and input oxygen,

and a chemical reaction between them yields water

and an extra electron, i.e. electrical energy.

If you have a fuel cell powered vehicle there is no need

to turn off its engine. You pull up by your house and plug

your vehicle into the house electrical circuitry, so that you

can use that electricity for household needs before you go

to bed. When you go to bed, it generates energy and sells it

to the grid. That is called distributed electricity generation.

We do have some blueprints; we are working at that.

Our lab has created Latin America’s first automobile powered

by fuel cells. You may not notice it yet, but I see that we

live through a turning-point period similar to that once ushered

in by oil. We live at the time of Hydrogen revolution.

Hydrogen technologies for automobiles do exist, these

guys from Ford can back me up on that, they have some

research products.

In California, USA, they market such automobiles already,

and the so-called blue corridors with hydrogen filling

stations have been established… Hydrogen-powered

cars are on the streets already, and Schwarznegger (California

governor) said that all of California will drive on hydrogen


In Brasil, we are creating a requisite infrastructure. At

present, our cars are powered by alcohol (95% alcohol

mix), other alcohol-benzene mixes, by benzene, or by [nat-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ural] gas. Four alternative fuels are available for the same

car. Such cars are on the market and affordable.

At present we create hydrogen infrastructure. That is

because hydrogen means our civilization’s future and energy


Mediator: More questions, colleagues? If not, thank

you for an excellent presentation.


We’ve already fallen 25 minutes behind. But now, I understand,

dinner is served in that hall. Let’s agree to be back

here in exactly one hour, and we’ll try to catch up.




Mediator of the conference, president of G.C.E. group

reads out a welcome address by academician Jores


I support the initiative by representatives of St Petersburg’s

scientific and business circles to conduct a worldwide-scale

conference on the issues of industrial and environmental

safety. Without a doubt, safety and security in

an individual nation can not be ensured without interaction

with international community. The world still remembers

with a shudder the disaster at Chernobyl. We may also recall

impacts on Russia’s environment from a chain of accidents

on China’s petrochemical facilities in 2005-2006. I

believe, every country has a bone to pick with its neighbors

across the boundary. Yet, it is time to move on from mutual

claims and agreements on paper to practical deeds aimed

to address such issues.

Industrial advances make environmental pollution and

growing threats to life and health of our planet’s population

inescapable; only joint and amicable action may protect us

and save the world for future generations.

I call upon community and public leaders of all nations:

government officials, industry representatives, scientists

and community activists to accept the invitation by Russian

environmentalists and businessmen to attend June 2007 V th

International conference Current issues in industrial safety:

from designing to insurance in St Petersburg, for it presents

a unique opportunity to bring together an accumulated experience

in the field of countering man-made disasters. Z.I.

Alferov, academician, Nobel Prize laureate.

Viktor Rogalev, President of International Academy of

Sciences, Ecology, Human and Environmental Safety reads

out the welcome address from one of the academy’s 4

thousand members, Chairman of Federation Council

of Federal Assembly of Russian Federation Sergey


Viktor Rogalev:

Esteemed colleagues, fellow countrymen and foreign


I welcome you both on behalf of Federation Council of

Federal Assembly of Russian Federation and on my own

behalf. In the interests of national industrial safety, I support



the development of international conference in this field,

and will do everything possible to promote regular contacts

and meetings of experts on industrial safety. I rate the work

of international conference On current issues of industrial

safety: from designing to insurance highly.

Exchange of both positive and negative lessons is part and

parcel of any successive undertaking. I am hopeful that the

scrutiny of circumstances, causes and consequences of manmade

emergencies deduced from these lessons will help avoid

mistakes that lead to tragic and irreparable consequences.

I call upon you to develop and enhance international

cooperation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t personally attend

the conference this year, but I would like to remind all participants

that I am ever open to contacts. I will be happy to

receive suggestions on the issues of harmonization and further

improvements of industrial safety standards and technical

regulations based on this conference’s findings.

Sincerely yours, Sergey Mironov.


The procedure of awarding Viktor Rogalev with a gift

from conference organizers.


Alexander Babenko, expert of Giprospetzgaz, design

institute of Gazprom.

Presentation topic is: Comprehensive approach to industrial

and environmental safety in the designs for new

trunk gas pipeline projects (case study of North-European

gas pipeline).

Alexander Babenko:

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to thank G.C.E. group for the

invitation to present at the 5 th international conference.

(Presentation slides are shown at the same time).

Our institute, joint stock society Giprospetzgas was

founded in 1938 and will turn 70 next year.

Today, Giprospetzgaz is the leading design institute for


Central activities of Giprospetzgas consist of project design

development in such fields as trunk oil and gas supply

lines from producing areas to areas of consumption, and

construction of facilities for newly developed offshore oil

and gas fields.

Since 1998, Giprospetzgas has been receiving annually

reconfirmed International certificate for compliance with

quality management standard ISO 9001 from the international

certification body, Lloyd Register Quality Assurance

(London, Great Britain).

One can highlight some major construction projects,

based on Giprospetznaz designs:

- Trunk gas pipeline Yamal – Europe (Torzhok to Byalystok

segment in Russia and Belarus);

- Trunk gas pipeline Northern Tyumen Oblast to Torzhok);

- Blue stream project across the Black Sea (Russia to


- YAMAL mega-project (from field construction in the

Yamal peninsular to Gryazovetz);

- Field development design for Shtokman gas condensate


- North European gas pipeline.

North European gas pipeline’s overland segment of

917 kilometers length starts at Gryazovetz (a town in Vologda

Oblast) compressor plant (CP Gryazovetzkaya) and

ends at Portovaya [sea terminal] compressor plant in Vyborg

district of Leningrad Oblast.

North European gas pipeline is 1400 mm in diameter

and includes seven compressor plants: Gryazovetzkaya,

Sheksninskaya, Babayevskaya, Pikalevo, Volkhovskaya,

Yelizaveetinskaya, and Portovaya.

Pipeline facilities construction is complicated by the following

special circumstances:

- Abundance of water bodies, swampy terrain, the need

to cross large water obstacles;

- Constrained construction environment, since the route

crosses areas with mature industrial and gas supply infrastructure

and road network;

- Many crossing with diverse utility and service lines,

roadways and railways;

- The route crosses some facilities and communication

lines belonging to Ministry of Defense and Federal Border

service, and [areas of] unexploded munitions from World

War II times;

- Areas or restricted land use along the route (nature

preserves, game lands, historical and archeological monuments).

Trunk gas pipelines are facilities of a linear type, laid

across areas with diverse physical and climate environments,

and are considered to be potentially environmentally


Broad engineering design solutions in implementation

of trunk gas pipeline projects include:

- Survey work and scientific study of the route,

- Choice of materials for pipes and efficient anti-corrosive


- Reliability assessment for operation under impact of

diverse natural phenomena,

- The use of environment-friendly technologies and construction


- The development of comprehensive environmental impact

mitigation plan,

- Area-sensitive selection of construction techniques.

Key design solutions for overland part of North European

gas pipeline include:

- Pipes chosen belong to К=60 strength class, they are

steel pipes with three layers of outside anticorrosion coating

and smooth epoxy coating on the inside;

- Welding joints are insulated with heat-shrinkage


- To insure pipeline stability against surfacing in water

bodies, it will be ballasted with pig iron, ferroconcrete, and

container weights;

- At railway and roadway crossings, the pipe will be

protected by steel pipe protective housing,

- Strength testing of the pipeline will be conducted as

stress-testing at elevated pressure to rule out residual metal

fatigue and identify all critically vulnerable sections;

- Underground pneumo-hydraulic ball cocks rated for

10,0 megapascals and corrosion-coated by manufacturer

were chosen for locking and shutdown fittings;

- The use of telemetry and remote control systems for

valve operation;

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




- For pipe interior cleaning and fault detection during

operation we envisage pre-fabricated cleaning ‘pigs’

launch and reception chambers.

Among environmental mitigation solutions for the construction

was the decision to cross large rivers: Volkhov,

Sheksna, and Neva by means of directional horizontal drilling

(DHD). The length of DHD crossings is up to a kilometer

or slightly more.

To ensure accident-free operation, to mitigate the risk of

operational accidents, and to contain their effects, the design

calls for all engineering equipment to have the necessary

automatic controls and locking fittings, and for the use

of pipe diagnostics systems, automatic alarm and locking

systems, and backup control systems. Compressor stations

will be continuously monitored and protected by integrated

automatic unit control systems.

Extensive environmental monitoring is planned for all

stages of construction and operation, which will provide the

capability to track pipeline facilities’ impacts on natural environment

as a basis for conservation measures. It will ensure

timely prevention or containment of adverse impacts on environment,

or of hazardous environmental impacts on facilities.

This slide depicts the arrangements for monitoring the

operation of the pipeline and the state of environment

along Vologda and Leningrad Oblast route segments,

where principal pipeline operators will be Severgazprom

and Lentransgaz.

Environmental protection steps will ensure the preservation

of pre-construction state of environment, and maintain

commercial value of disturbed lands, as well as mitigate

and contain adverse environmental impacts.

Overall, industrial and environmental safety of North

European gas pipeline is ensured through:

- the compliance of design with Russian regulatory requirements;

- incorporation of suggestions and recommendations by

state expert assessment bodies;

- engineering solutions and equipment providing for accident-free

operation with minimal environmental impacts,

and capability for prevention or containment of industrial


- environmental monitoring of operation, that provides

for automated monitoring of the state of environment along

North European pipeline route at all stages of its service

life, from designing to decommissioning.

Quality assurance stands among the most important

factors behind safety. Quality assurance relates to both administrative

and operational procedures aimed at securing

proper quality of work stipulated in contracts throughout

the construction process.

The goal of securing quality assurance should be met at

every stage of design development and construction work:

from the initial formulation of project objectives and specifications

to the commissioning. The notion of quality assurance

applies to five large groups:

- the client (both in development of project terms of reference

and through oversight of construction work quality);

- the designer (in the course of design work, specifications

development, and engineering oversight of construction);

- the manufacturers (in materials, products and components


- the contractors and subcontractors (in construction,

supervision and management);

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

- the operators (throughout facility operation).

On February 27, 2006, the internal order of Gazprom

brought into effect corporate quality management standards

STO GAZPROM series 9000, based on ISO 9000

standards. These standards are implemented at both Gazprom

affiliates and the businesses supplying material and

engineering resources and services.

Among design institutes, ours has been identified for

priority introduction of new standards. Introduction of Gazprom

standards is carried out in accordance with a program

developed for the purpose and takes into account currently

existing quality management system. All organizations that

are Gazprom projects’ clients or contractors have developed

and implemented comprehensive quality management

systems, which conform to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

standards and support quality assurance in construction,

overhaul, modernization or refurbishing of facilities in fuel

and energy sector.

To support designing work on North European gas

pipeline we are developing construction quality management

system based on Primavera Project Management software


This slide presents a flow chart of planning in support

of construction management and overall project management.

The system of project management (or construction

management) is designed to develop project schedules and

to control timely project implementation including the following:

- development of work schedules with multi-tier support,

- development of resource requirements schedules and

payment schedules for the overall project and specific types

of work and resources,

- scheduling resource deliveries with a capability to

schedule for a broad range of resources such as labor, machinery

or materials,

- development of multiple schedule scenarios driven by

severe time or resource constraints

- identification of the most cost-effective project implementation


- analysis of construction costs breakdown by project


- capacity to be integrated with corporate data systems,

- capability to import or export data into programs for

calculating construction cost estimates and the like.

The next slide presents flow chart of project implementation

oversight. The key advantage of the system under

development is that it enables the kind of construction oversight

that reflects on-going updates in the design itself and

in the progress of construction. Than provides the capability

to automate oversight by client and designer, since they

can have real-time contractors’ reports on the progress in


Implementation of flow charts that I displayed to you

will be supported by the management system. That system

provides for:

- support of principal processes - time, resource and

cost planning, and oversight - based on network planning

logic and critical path methodology;

- the use of construction management system at all points

of implementation of investment project.

Throughout the project, we employ ‘draft budget

based’ method, in which schedules are developed based



on draft budgets (cost estimates). Once the schedules have

been calculated, one has the project. This slide depicts a

fragment from construction schedule for a segment of North

European gas pipeline at the approaches to river Neva in

Leningrad Oblast, between 436 and 597 kilometer marks.

Construction management system provides the ability

to track facilities construction down to a specific operation.

This slide presents the procedure for establishing engineering

sequence of construction work. The left side shows the

sequence of operations on crown block assembly and installation,

that is the engineering process flow map, while

the right side provides detailed description of each step.

One can see from previously shown flow chart of project

oversight that across-the-board implementation of similar

management systems ensures the best possible compliance

with all regulatory requirements during construction, be it

on the part of design agency, client, contractor, and investor.

With additional modules, such systems provide for the

creation at the construction site and in the client’s offices of

an integrated automated management system incorporating

a full list of all necessary regulatory documents. Capabilities

of construction management system I’ve presented

make it possible to develop and implement occupational

safety and industrial safety measures for each individual

operation. Compatibility with graphics attachments allows

the display of all such measures as both text and graphics.

In conclusion, I would like to say that in our view automated

management systems have the capability to make

production oversight, industrial safety management and

compliance monitoring systemic; absent that, ensuring facility

industrial safety is not possible. Thank you.


Mediator: Thank you. Are there questions? I know

there are many experts from bulk gas transportation field

in this room, so ask.

Question: АО Intergaz Central Asia, Trunk gas pipelines

division Atyrau, Utepov Aisa, head of occupational

safety and industrial safety department:

You said ‘specific operations for each phase of work’.

Can you elaborate on that, crown block assembly and installation,

for instance. Are specific steps described and

broken down further?


On the slide here, on the left is shown a specific operation,

i.e. crown block assembly and installation. This is

the first step in this direction. We are developing several

sample versions of this management system, so some details

are still been fine-tuned. So, a specific operation on

the left, and on the right side – for now – the list of safety

steps. In the future, with PMSoft company support (Moscow,

PPM’s offical distributor in Russia) we suggest to refine

construction management system and add a module

that will allow control over workplace safety activities,

which at present are merely sketched out as notes. Plainly

speaking, one should see on the screen of current work

schedule whether a particular activity has been performed

or not. Color-coding can be used: if workplace safety activity

hasn’t been performed it will be highlighted in red, if

it has – in green; so we’ll see what has been carried out.

That’s our rough vision now.

Comment from the expert who asked the question:

By way of a suggestion, it would have been perfect if

industrial safety activities were spelled out specifically for

each phase of work, because today when we look at project

documentation, industrial safety activities are described

in general terms. If they were broken down by specific work

phase, that would have been perfect.

Alexander Babenko: We still are if not at the very

beginning of that road then close to it. The system needs

additional development. On the latest conference devoted

to Primavera three weeks ago in Moscow, in Rosenergoatom

(many of their representatives came), Primavera system

was adopted to support construction management,

but it is not refined enough yet. There are certain quirks to

the system. From what we realized at that conference, it is

absolutely necessary to separate project management system

from construction management system and provide the

added features that we discussed - the features that enable

oversight over construction process itself. That will make for

oversight of both workplace and industrial safety activities,

and environmental protection activities. Incidentally, the

system allows one to work through the Internet, so that contractors

and client, as well as the designer are connected to

the same server and work within the same module.

Mediators: More questions, colleagues.

Question from Assistant director general for industrial

safety of Syktyvkar Timber Processing


I haven’t seen here the module for tracking the process

of obtaining [government] approvals required for construction,

design development and operation. And that’s not a

trifling detail since investors need to know the timelines you

were talking about, construction start and end dates. Thank



In this Primavera system here, we have presented merely

a small segment. In fact, the list includes nearly a thousand

activities. At this point we provide a breakdown to the level

of one work cost estimate. Why do we proceed from cost estimates?

One can visualize the project design as a whole as

consisting of cost estimate documentation plus the blueprints,

that’s what design development is. If we break down to the

level of each individual activity, we’ll have about ten thousand

activities. So, what you are looking at is in fact a draft

of high-level construction schedule. In principle, it can be expanded

to include the process of obtaining approvals, specifications

and so forth. Considering our realities, that process

can be entered indirectly, after the fact, since the process of

getting approvals and obtaining specifications is sometimes

dragged out.


A small comment. Try to imagine building approvals

process into the program in view of very recent, just a few

months back, change in the very process of getting expert

evaluations and approvals…

There is a representative from Glavgosexpertiza in

this room, and it should be said that even their experts are

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




themselves somewhat nonplussed. The workload is immense,

personnel insufficient, the procedure has not quite

settled down. So I think, it would be excessive to overload

the program with such issues.

More questions, colleagues...

Well, I have more than one.

Firstly, you are working on the stretch from Gryazovetz

to Portovaya, but what about the most notorious underwater

segment of that pipeline?


You see, at present the investor, that is Gazprom, is in the

process on deciding on investment options for the undersea

segment. In the meanwhile, we already design the overland

segment, and we started developing the system I talked

about based on the overland segment, since there are essentially

no uncertainties here. The construction is under way.

One segment of North European gas pipeline – 144 kilometers

where Leningrad and Vologda Oblasts meet – has

been completed. Two more segments are under construction:

one in Vologda and another in Leningrad Oblast. Going forward,

we expect to develop the system for the undersea segment

as well, provided of course, that we undertake design

development ourselves.


Well, maybe you could outline industrial safety issues

specific to such underwater projects using the other project,

Blue stream, as an example?


Blue stream is an accomplished fact by now. And it has

been built in absolutely extreme conditions with sea depths

along the route reaching 1200 meters, hydrogen sulphide

presence deep in the Black Sea that everyone knows about,

and rather dramatic variations in bottom profile along the

route. The undersea segment is about three hundred seventy

kilometers long and consists of two pipe strings of 660 mm

diameter. The pipeline was laid by pipe-laying vessel that essentially

managed to lay both strings in one season. Following

the laying of pipes, the pipeline was tested, blown dry and is

currently in operation.

Question: Are the diagnostics performed in-pipe?

Answer: Yes. There is an in-pipe diagnostics system,

and the project also calls for specialized ships for external

diagnostics. External visual inspection is still necessary

as well in order to monitor slippage on the slopes,

since part of the route is across slopes. Specific route

chosen does not allow to rule out slippage a 100%, it

does happen no matter what on some complicated segments.

Therefore some questions can be answered only

by inspection from the surface employing unmanned

submersibles and the like.


Does the North European gas pipeline cross the Neva?


North European gas pipeline does cross the Neva. We

have developed the design for construction of North European

gas pipeline in its entirety. Neva crossing design has

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

been concurred with by Neva-Ladoga watershed authority;

and it will be executed by horizontal directional drilling.

Briefly, the technique calls for a boring rig to drill an

initial 400 mm diameter hole between the two banks, which

is subsequently widened to 1400 mm, and then the pipe

string is pulled through it. The drilling uses bentonite mortar,

which it is similar to fine-grain clay, and sand mix that helps

the string to slide through without an obstacle. Besides, the

mortar cements the hole’s walls preventing their collapse.

The crossing site uses the alignment of existing BTS (Baltic

pipeline system) that has been drilled under the Neva in

the same place by micro-tunnelling. Two more crossings –

under Volkhov and Sheksna – are already in early stages

of construction employing the same horizontal directional

drilling technique. Sheksna crossing will be about a thousand

fifty meters long.


You noted some hazards along the route including those

left behind by World War II. How will you remove those



According to our regulations, in areas of World War

II fighting both the survey work and the construction start

have to be preceded by mine clearing. First the search, then

mine disposal.

Comment: Is that performed by Defense ministry?

Answer: I don’t quite know. Most likely, some subcontractor

of the client.


This question of mine does not bear on industrial safety

issues. I happen to know that our region has areas with elevated

radiation background. Will you survey for that as



During design development, we performed engineeringenvironmental

surveys that were submitted to state expert

evaluation as well. Radiation level measurements along the

gas pipeline route (and only along the route) were part of

that survey.


Any more questions?


Rustem Ilyasov, lead labor safety engineer of AO KazTrandOil


I also have a question on your software. The program

appears most alluring, yet, as is always the case with us,

there is never such a thing as a perfect project design.

Throughout design period, the client always changes something,

does something. And here is what I want to ask. Does

your software provide for adjusting construction specifications

should the design be amended, as is often the case

with us? That’s one question. And most importantly, how

does this program respond to, say revision of safety requirements?

Thank you, if the question is clear.




Let’s go a few slides back if I may, to the ones with project

oversight. The essence is clear. This construction management

system is intended to implement an investment project

at its various stages. That is so since at the point of initial

design development we don’t fact have accurate data. I

have already explained why we decided to proceed based

on cost estimates. Complete cost estimate documentation at

that stage is not available. Therefore the use of analogues

is something we not only cannot rule out, but the only possible

way. On the flow chart of project oversight and implementation

you can clearly see that the upper part, where

the triangle with two boxes around it is, is in fact what allows

us to keep account of changes introduced at designing

stage. Let me tell you how that’s done. We have created a

structured database for cost estimates generation. At some

specific interval, let’s say once a month, we will put together

all design changes that have impact on cost estimates. We

input them, and the program recalculates all schedules. Then

we study how that has changed our project and introduce

design changes accordingly. The system is not tied into some

changes in technology. The list of facilities is fairly straightforward

in our case. That list is what drives cost estimates,

and the list of facilities has been set. No matter what else is

changed, the list of facilities that make up the project persists;

only seldom something is dropped. Accordingly, it is

easy to input project adjustments. We, designers, input them

ourselves – we are best positioned to do that. Now, there

can be changes in project implementation caused, as is often

the case, by builders, let’s say slippages in equipment and

materials delivery with concomitant delays in construction.

That can be reflected in project design through schedules,

but that, naturally, is the client’s prerogative. Once this software

system is introduced by both the client and contractors,

we gain the ability to input such factual information based

on contractors’ answers in their KS-2 format reports on

work performed. Once in possession of actual facts, we can

control execution. When we check execution, and schedule

recalculation makes it evident that the contractor won’t complete

work on time, the system will raise a red flag; simply

put, it will, say redline a particular piece of work. That means

that critical time limit for that work is exceeded, leading to an

overall delay in construction completion.


Any more questions? That’s all. Thank you very much,



You have noted that our Ukrainian colleague devoted

his presentation to coal mining issues. I’d like to say that our

conferences are only infrequently treated to presentations

by miners, while this time we have two such presentations.

Therefore it gives me special pleasure to give the floor to

Safonova Lyubov Alexandrovna, Senior mine surveyor,

Directorate for engineering oversight and occupational

safety, Vorkutaugol.

Safonova L.A.:

Good afternoon to all esteemed conference participants!

I would like to thank the organizers for this opportunity

to share with you the issues that Vorkutaugol faces in coal

production and our responses to them.

My presentation is called Industrial and geodynamic

safety issues in working out Vorkuta coalfield.

At present, deep mining of coal in Vorkuta industrial

cluster region occurs at two coalfields: the Vorkuta field with

four mines (Vorkutinskaya, Zapolyarnaya, Komsomolskaya,

and Severnaya) and Vorgasor field – Vargashor mine.

Vorkuta field is a deposit of unique quality coals that

contain rare earth elements responsible for high coke quality

and, accordingly, the use of that coke in production of

high-quality steels for domestic and foreign markets. Growing

demand on coking coals market notwithstanding, high

production costs of Vorkuta coal cut into its competitiveness

on domestic markets, where its production cost exceeds that

of Kuzbass coals by almost 2,5 times.

This slide presents the current situation. This is Vorkuta

deposit with mine locations shown. In terms of geologic

structure, Vorkuta deposit is a large synclinal fold, or trough

(I trust there are geologists in the room, or at least people

with some understanding of geology). To invoke imagery,

the coals are deposited in such a way as to form a giant

underground bowl, or in other words a trough.

The deposit features high gas content of layers in coal

series. The series is a number of coal layers situated atop

each other at varying intervals. The methane in coal seams

cannot be considered a free gas, since it has maintained its

condition as part of coal-methane substance for millions of


This slide shows mining parameters describing workingout

of mines. I’ll elaborate on those somewhat later.

Vorkura deposit also features complicated geodynamic

conditions. Many years of operation have identified

a number of geologic dislocations; for the most part such

dislocations in faults reach 500 meters. What are geologic

dislocations? These are shifts of rock masses relative to each

other. Technical limits of individual mines’ fields are tied to

such dislocations: the deposit is worked out moving from the

edge of the trough toward its center, therefore the active

and worked-out mines trace the outline of the deposit.

The statistics frequently brought up by mass media show

that a million tons of coal produced in Russia translates into

a miner’s life lost. Vorkutaugol uses several indicators of industrial

traumatism level:

- incidence of injuries per thousand workers,

- incidence of traumatism per million tons of coal


- trauma gravity indicator.

As to the ranking of causes of traumatism, we have

the following sequence: number one – rock collapses and

slides, number two – injuries caused by operation of machinery,

number three – transportation, electric supply, and

methane explosions.

What are the root causes of global disasters that we

lately often hear about and face? And, most importantly,

what is being done to attain international standards of mine


An analysis of accident and traumatism causes highlighted

the human factor as the lead cause of high traumatism

and frequent accidents. Certainly, the most devastating

consequences are usually caused so-called gas-dynamic

events, when coal massifs and enclosing rock are involved

in a collapse. Such accidents are often compounded by

coal dust and gas explosions.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




During the mine’s operational life, methane can not only

intensely exude, but also initiate processes of dynamic selfdestruction

of a coal seam and even of strong sandstone

strata that intersperse coal seams; that takes the form of

sudden blowouts involving dozens of tons of coal and hundreds

cubic meters of methane per second. Underground

excavations are very confined spaces, and such events naturally

cause huge destruction, damages, and loss of life.

This slide presents a classification of gas-dynamic

events. Generally speaking, they are hard to classify, just

as related accidents are. Let me take them in order:

- Piper – intense stable escape of gas from visible rock

holes and cracks.

- Sudden gas blowout from geologic dislocation zone.

- Sudden collapse of roof rock with a burst of methane

and coal.

- Sudden burst of coal and gas.

- Sudden burst of enclosing rock and gas.

- Sudden extrusion of coal accompanied by intense escape

of gas.

- Sudden collapse of coal seam accompanied by intense

escape of gas.

- Rock shock – one of the worst cases.

- Jolt – that is an internal rock shock.

- Tectonic rock shock, and rock shocks involving collapse

of enclosing rock, coal, soil, or excavation roofing.

Vorkuta mines work out methane-rich seams. At our

present mining depths – and that stands at a thousand, one

thousand hundred and twenty, and one thousand hundred

and fifty meters – methane content amounts to 100 cubic

meters of methane per ton of coal. The principal seams

worked out by Vorkutaugol include Moschny (three to four

and a half meters thick), Troinoy (up to three meters), Chetverty

(125 to 160 centimeters), and Pyatyi (eighty centimeters

to a meter).

What are the hazards associated with Moschny seam?

It contains danger of sudden coal and gas bursts and of

rock shocks. At the northern block of Komsomalskaya mine

there is also a danger of dynamic floor breaking in preliminary

mine works.

Troinoy seam is hazardous due to sudden coal and gas

bursts, and rock shocks.

Chetverty is considered to have elevated risks at parts

of its mined area and has a rock shock hazard.

Pyatyi has a sudden coal and gas bursts hazard.

All of those coal seams are capable of accumulating the

energy of resiliency and then experience fragile body collapse

under strain.

This schematic shows coal seams’ positioning under the


Layering of coal seams into thinner individual coal beds

is a distinctive feature of Vorkuta coal deposit. Sections

close to the lines where splitting into layers starts are tectonically

strained. Research and practical experience established

that they are naturally highly strained and absent

adequate preventive steps are subject to gas-dynamic and

geodynamic events.

With greater mine depths and growing number of

worked out fields at Vorkuta deposit, the nature and intensity

of strain distribution within the coal massif changes. As

mining operations get closer to the trough’s axis, there occur

intense dynamic dislocations of the rock massif in previously

unseen forms.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Fully worked out mines Yuzhnaya, Yershor, Tzentralnaya,

and Promyshlennaya present a particular hazard, since

their flooding was accompanied by geodynamic activity

in the fields of operating mines. Within worked out areas

there were incidences of jolts at the day surface, and indications

of natural seismicity initiating gas-dynamic events in

Vorkuta mines.

This slide shows the flooded mines. This slide provides a

simplified yet sufficiently detailed picture of principal geologic

dislocations; here is a cross-section along an axis of

trough section that hasn’t been mined yet and is scheduled

for development. This shows averaged lithologic section of

the stratum between coal seams.

What is the danger of such a stratum? Sandstone that

separates coal seams is capable of accumulating energy

for a long time, but then a point comes when it snaps – with

disastrous consequences.

These geologic complications in the build of Vorkuta

trough are conducive to abnormally high strains in a shrinking

massif, which in turn, increases the likelihood of gasdynamic

events (GDE) of varying strength.

With greater coal seam depths and expansion of

worked out areas, the nature of strain distribution in the

massif changes. Based on all said above, the forecast geodynamic

conditions for working out Vorkuta trough are unfavorable.

As to non-GDE related traumatism and accidents, Vorkutaugol

saw significant improvements over the last two

years. In April 2005, Vorkutaugol set up production oversight

service, staffed with discipline experts and mining inspectors

at individual mines, 20 persons in all. The mission

of production oversight, as is written in the law, is to prevent

accidents and emergencies in industry, make sure that the

enterprise is prepared for emergency response, containment

and recovery work at dangerous facilities, and to attain

safety levels ensuring required efficiency and stability

of production. In the interests of more structured work and

better oversight of compliance with remedies prescribed to

mitigate violations, we have introduced an electronic database

that provides the capability to check if the remedies

ordered by production oversight personnel or government

inspectors have been implemented.

This slide gives the number of inspections by our production

oversight service. Thus in 20005, there were seven

comprehensive inspections, forty targeted inspections, and

1868 complaint-specific inspections. In 2006 - eleven comprehensive

inspections, thirty-three targeted inspections,

and 2328 complaint-specific inspections.

Now, regarding safety violations identified by inspections.

In the year 2005, Rostechnadzor issued 2,646 remedy

orders, while special paramilitary mine-rescue troop issued

4186, and our production oversight service – 16,645.

In the year 2006, Rostechnadzor – 4,126, mine-rescue

service - 7,029, and production oversight service -


Between August 2005 and August 2006, Vorkutaugol

worked on the development of its policy on the management

of industrial safety and occupational safety. The system of

industrial safety and occupational safety management is a

mechanism designed to provide continuous and purposeful

influence [on safety conditions]; and it incorporates a number

of requirements, roles, responsibilities, methods, tech-



niques, procedures, and resources – all aimed at ensuring

acceptable safety level of the enterprise.

It is, of course, ludicrous to talk about ‘acceptable; in

our case. What can an ‘acceptable’ level be…

In its corporate policy on industrial safety, Vorkutaugol

declares that the number of fatalities should be brought

down to zero.

This slide presents a functional structure that was introduced

into management system. So, we’ve developed

a functional structure. Then we have developed a uniform

protocol for performance of each function. I can later enlarge

on that for interested parties.

A protocol for performing each function by every engineering

specialist or supervisor has been developed. Besides,

each engineering personnel member bears individual

responsibilities. Personal responsibility for performing some

part of a function has been added to all engineering personnel

job descriptions.

This is (points to the next slide) the dynamics of traumatism

across all coal-mining enterprises based in Vorkuta

city. Vorkutaugol association includes not only four mines,

a coal-cleaning plant and Vorkuta general engineering

works, but smaller structural units as well, such as Pechoruglerazvedka,

and diverse contractors performing support


You can see that over the years 2005 through 2007 incidence

of traumatism declined.

By way of comparison, this shows incidence of traumatism

in Vorkuta coal-mining complex for the years 2005

through 2006. Other units excluded, only the four mines

had 539 accidents in 2005, including 7 fatalities. In 2006,

there were 302 accidents and 4 fatalities. This slide presents

indicators of the incidence and graveness of traumatism

across the units of Vorkutaugol.

The study of current state of deep coal mining at Vorkuta

deposit mines performed by production oversight

service has arrived at the following conditions insofar as

rock dynamics events are concerned. In the former USSR,

the issue of managing rock pressure at coalmines has been

addressed at every deposit for almost 70 years. Schools

of scientific thought that evolved at that time were capable

of successful management of the state of geologic massif.

Therefore, by mid 1980s, there evolved a sense that all

issues of coal mining have been solved. That triggered a

meltdown of research centers specializing on specific coal

basins, change of focus in all-Russian research centers, and

an end to mine studies. No longer supported by new experimental

data, scientific principles and recommendations

forming the backbone of technical manuals and policies are

frozen at the level of the 1970s. It is therefore imperative to

review a number of seemingly incontrovertible provisions

of regulatory standards and technical guidelines devoted

to GDE issues. That follows from the necessity to create an

environment conducive to profitable mine operation with

assured safety for miners. The review of some manuals and

guidelines that are mandatory for coal mining moves one to

the same conclusion.

So, in order to avoid negative consequences of rock

pressure, to increase safety level while working out the

trough part of the deposit, and to cut down mining costs engineering

service of Vorkutaugol will be implementing new

process flow sequences for mining area preparation and

working-out. Those are Vorkutaugol objectives.

What are those new process flows? One option that is

currently tested in production is to mine in twinned excavations

with yielding rock pillars left between them. In light of

VNIIMI (All-Russian research institute of mine survey, geodynamics

and geophysics) recommendations, we also develop

alternative mining processes employing multiple-drift

or twinned-drift seam working-out for situations with rapid

advance of the coalface; we also work on techniques for

determining added loads at massif’s edges and the state

of remaining rock pillars depending on the speed of mined

coalface advance and the acreage of worked-out area. At

the same time, instrumental measurements and monitoring

of mine works show that in order to support twinned mine

works stabilized by roof bolting, it is necessary after a passage

of time to re-roof them due to soil heaving. To reduce

labor requirements of such mine works maintenance, we

returned to the use КМПА-3 metal frame structure, i.e. the

traditional way of fixing mine works. Additionally, when

roofing is done by steel-polymer bolts it is important and

crucial to determine the best width for yielding pillar. It is the

pillars, i.e. left behind parts of the coal body that influence

geo-dynamic events. In our case, when pillars have greater

than acceptable yield factor, roofing becomes unstable and

mine works strained.

Thus in 2004, there was a collapse with four fatalities as

Vorkutaugol experimented with defining pillar parameters

in multi-drift operation on Chetvertyi seam in area 123 of

Severnaya mine.

The use of such technology is significantly complicated

where excavated areas have hard-to-collapse roofs prone

to hanging over large areas. Explosive hydraulic impact

technique of loosening the roof was used at experimental

mining areas of Chetverty seam.

We continue with experimental production testing of

safe gaps [between the two excavations] for the cases of

uneven advance of twinned mine works, or for the cases

of synchronized and non-syncronized advance under

varying conditions: at a remove from areas affected by

coalface operations, in safe and unsafe areas, and in areas

of heightened rock pressure that develop at Troynoi and

Moschny seams.

We continue with research on efficient application of

multiple-drift approach to working out seams prone to rock

shock, and on identifying the best pillar parameters for such

a production scheme.

We have performed the requisite research in order to

develop design for the system of monitoring hydrogeologic,

geodynamic, and seismic processes accompanying mine

flooding in the northern part of the deposit. VNIIMI has

been tasked with assessment of strain in the rock massif.

In 2007 we shall continue research aimed at improving

forecasting techniques for assessment of rock shock hazard

as well as our engineering effort to counter dynamic events

in deep coal beds.

On-going production testing of criteria and revisions introduced

into the regulations has shown that some existing

criteria on roof bolting use need to be revised or refined.

There have been instances of roof collapse in mine works

with steel-polymer roof supports spaced at 5 to 20 meters

apart; fortunately no one was injured. The review of collapses

and actual state of existing mine works support the

idea that successful operation of Vorkuta mines requires a

review and partial revision of regulatory documents includ-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




ing those on geomechanics and geodynamics in light of current

developments in mine working technology.

It should be added in conclusion that we are not as hidebound

as to reject the advances of mathematical analysis

and computer modeling. We do object though when obsolete

scientific hypotheses are substituted for the study of

actual underground conditions. I would like to quote a philosopher

once thoroughly studied by many of us but now

half-forgotten, who said that when you seek mathematical

exactitude in areas inimical to it, you cannot but lapse into

absurdity or barbarism.

Thanks for your attention.


Mediator: Questions, please.

Question: Please, clarify what is the annual output from

all four mines? (the questioner did not identify himself).

Answer: I didn’t take the papers with me, but I am confident

about the rough numbers – about 9 million tons.

Question: We have heard the coal miners’ catchphrase

already: one death per million tons. So, your statistics

must be easy to forecast – it should be nine fatalities,

whereas you already had eleven this year.

Answer: We also have a strip mine, Vargashor Mine,

TzOV, and VNZ. I was citing summary numbers.

Question: Next question. What technology is used in

working out the deposit, just to clarify?

Answer: One strip mine and four deep ones. In underground

mines we work out long columns either along the

seam dip or along seam strike. Multiple ones.

Question: What’s been done to degas the seams?

Answer: I am not quite knowledgeable about that. We

have some region-wide and mine-specific measures, and

prepare forecasts where possible. We do have issues with

degassing, we are finding gas all the time. That causes many

stoppages. Ourselves, engineering oversight service that is,

frequently stop work in either active production areas or

in preparatory drifts. Rostechnadzor is actively involved in

countering gas. But since I am a mine surveyor, not labor

safety or industrial safety expert, I can answer this only in

broad terms.

Question: According to the data you’ve just shown,

you have 93 to 120 cubic meters [of gas] per ton – that is

plenty. That’s why I am bringing this up. There are two types

of degassing: from the day surface and inside the seam.

That can be a reason [for fatalities] too.

Answer: That is a big issue with us.

Mediator: More questions, please.

Question: Buravtzov Vladimir, Federal network company.

I heard you say, and tell me if I understood you correctly,

that you have a very large number of remedy or-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ders from inspectors, oversight service and others. I’d like

to know why such a number, in the thousands for several

mines? And what steps you take to implement them all? This

happens throughout the year, and they have to be implemented

which requires funding. A huge number. How do

you comply with them all?


Well, frequently those remedy orders are linked to each

other, many are issued by mine inspectors, others by experts

in specific areas. You realize that a mine can be inspected

by one Rostechnadzor inspector, or simultaneously

by a lifting equipment expert, other experts, and miners, so

several people descend into the mine and visit coalfaces.

Since engineering oversight service has been taken out of

mine director’s jurisdiction and made answerable directly

to Vorkutaugol association, people are engaged exclusively

in oversight.

As to funding, that’s a major issue. We not only have to

fight so-called industrial safety violators in the mine itself,

but also to defend our positions, or to put it more properly,

to convince Vorkutaugol financial managers of the need

for particular measures and associated costs. You are right,

that is a very difficult and controversial issue.

Mediator: More questions, colleagues? Than, as usual,

I have one. Forgive my amateurishness, but what is a

rock shock?

Answer: Take a dog biscuit and try breaking it. It will

resist at first but will crack at some point. That’s what rock

shock in the mine is. For instance, when the stratum between

two others has been worked out, it’s like taking meat out of

a sandwich, the air gap remains, and there is pressure on

top. It will sink no matter what due to gravity, rock pressure,

horizontal, vertical and other strains.

Question: You said that Vorkuta deposit coals contain

rare earth elements, aren’t they a hazard to miners’ health

and during burning, do they harm the environment?

Answer: I always joke when asked Isn’t it dangerous

in the mine, is it scary? I answer that there is nothing to fear,

mine dust is sterile; it has been there for millions of years,

and all the bacteria have long since fossilized.

Naturally, there is a hazard, there is radiation.

Mediator: Moving on. I have noticed that you have

subdivided remedy orders, mentioned by our colleague

here, according to who issues them. Did I understand correctly

that your service issues the biggest number?

Answer: That is because we deal exclusively with our

enterprise. Rostechnadzor doesn’t deal with coalmines

alone, it deals with some sand quarries in the tundra, with

oil, with gas [industry]. Pechora interregional [Rostechnadzor]

district has to deal with a large number of businesses.

Mediator: Actually, that was a lead-in question. What

regulations stipulate mandatory compliance with your remedies?

Answer: We do have a plan. Mandatory compliance

is not part of regulations. It is simply that when we do find a



violation of regulations and standards, we refer to regulations

in our remedy orders, i.e. you’ve failed to comply with

this or that. Reference to a regulatory provision is a must.

Comment: In actual fact, that’s even more – a tip. This

is amiss because you haven’t complied with that.

Answer: Yes.

Question: Would you, please, comment on your relations

with mine directorates and with Rostecnadzor. What

are they?

Answer: We serve two masters. It’s just like one previous

speaker said: Rostechnadzor says we’ve come to assist

you, and we reply we are so happy – same thing.

Mediator: I see… And my last question, I guess. When

you described your mission - you named three objectives –

one of them, or rather the juxtaposition of the two, surprised

me greatly. The first one was to reduce fatalities to zero,

while the second was to reduce coal production costs. How

do you reconcile those, and is it feasible?

Answer: Well, since Vorkutaugol is part of Severstalresurs

group, our top management board does all it can

to improve output efficiency and safety. We introduce new

mining machinery, many new techniques and methodologies,

Dupont methodology for instance; we introduce industrial

safety management at Vorkutaugol association. We do

put in our best effort at least.

Mediator: Thank you!

You are welcome, Vladimir.

Question: The questioner didn’t name himself.

Could you, please, comment on your relationship with

insurance companies, which insure not only your property

interests, but also the lives and health of miners, and so forth.

Here is the aspect I wonder about. Do they provide you any

assistance in developing prevention or mitigation plans or

in implementing them, and so on, that is do you cooperate

or all they do is collect your insurance premiums?

Answer: I cannot answer this question at the level of

detail you need. If we talk about some steps aimed to approve

the state of affairs at the mines, I haven’t seen any

involvement by insurers. As to the payments, they are made

after the fact, you understand.

Mediator: Thank you, I can see there are more questions.

Question: Yevgany Roldugin, AO Latvias Gaze,


Here is my question. You mentioned an insanely high

number of remedy orders that are issued at inspected facilities.

I mean to ask how efficient that is? Do you write them

for the sake of form, or in order to mitigate shortcomings or

violations that your or some other inspection has identified?

If we divide four thousand orders by 365 days, it becomes

clear that such shortcomings cannot be repaired in a day.

Or are those recurring issues? If so, there is good reason to

shut down the enterprise, let them fix it all properly, and then

restart production when everything has been done… It appears

like there is nothing but remedy orders each year, and

their number does not decline. Maybe they are all the same,

or … - I don’t know. I would like you to comment on that.

Answer: I can see where your doubts come from, but

you have seen the chart of traumatism trend, which shows

reduction in incidence of traumas, and a fairly significant

one at that. As to recurring orders, there are recurring violations

behind them. If there are people here who can visualize

what a conveyor belt is, you know what conveyor debris is;

that is coal dust, slag that accumulated and could ignite from

friction. It has to be cleaned continuously. When necessary

preventive maintenance is not performed at all times, such

remedy orders are born all the time. We do have suspensions

of operation as well, only not for the mine as a whole but for

a specific production area. They get stopped until whipped

into shape.

Mediator: Excellent, colleagues. That was the last

question. Thank you very much. I believe, we’ve worn out

the presenter.

(Applause. A 20-minute break announced.)



The mediator has made two announcements on filling

out questionnaires and receiving photos of the conference

at work.

Mediator: Let us continue with our work. I give the

floor to our guest, Boris Dovbnya, director general of

Gazobesopasnost company for a word of welcome.



Esteemed presidium and esteemed colleagues!

Thank you for the opportunity to speak. It’s such a pleasure

to be here with you today. I’ll speak informally. My

current duties call on me to be elsewhere, yet I wanted to

find the time for you, and share with you my satisfaction

that such a forum exists. This one is the fifth, which is an anniversary

of sorts. It is truly an international conference.

G.C.E. group has succeeded in turning it into a serious international


Today, I represent Gazobezopasnost an industry organization

that handles issues of labor, fire and industrial

safety, and well blowout prevention in Gazprom. This is

the second time that we take part in this event. I believe, if

the organizers invite us again next year we’ll be prepared

to present in a more structured fashion on the issues in our

sector and on those topical issues that we can consider

successfully resolved. That’s in our thinking. I would like

to note then, that indeed, what G.C.E. group does as an

organization that closely binds us together – and does

probably on an essentially volunteer basis – deserves

much gratitude.

At the same time, I would like to say that our federal

authorities probably don’t pay this enough attention, because

we’ve seen practically no such forums, nor took part

in them. That is if we don’t take into account our sectorwide

conferences, which we invite a number of companies

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




to participate in, mostly the ones from fuel and energy sector.

I want to wish you all success in your challenging task,

I know that there are many innovators and champions of

the cause here; sometimes they get the thrashing for no

apparent reason, probably for their well-meant initiatives

that mitigate risks and reduce traumatism in our industry.

I would like to wish this conference a good start, good

continued work and also, probably to express hope for

the development of some sane documents that could find

acceptance on the federal level and be implemented. Big

thanks to all of you.


Mediator: Thank you.

Now we shall see a videoed welcome from IAEA, International

Atomic Energy Agency. It’s got a soundtrack,

but in English. There will be close captions in Russian at the

bottom of the screen. If you can’t see them, don’t take that


(Video screening)

Mediator: As you realize, it is not accidental that we

chose this particular moment to show IAEA presentation.

The next presentation will be most intimately linked to issues

of radiation safety and nuclear technologies. Like little else,

it illustrates the scale of consequences of human mistakes. I

preempt my father’s presentation a bit here.

I give the podium to Vladimir Moskalenko, the

member of essentially every government commission

on Chernobyl, frequent visitor there, book author,

etc. You are welcome.

Moskalenko V.A.:

My report is Human factor in Chernobyl accident.

Esteemed colleagues and dear guests!

I’ve been asked to refresh in your memory the event

that by our standards has happened quite a while ago, to

wit in April 1986, and attempt to relate this event to the role

of human factor as its cause.

I’ll start with a modest proposition that you would likely

not challenge: Safe and reliable operation of any potentially

hazardous facility depends not only on the quality of

its design, scrupulousness in manufacturing equipment and

supporting utilities, and the availability of safety systems,

but also on the screening and training of personnel involved

at all stages of such a facility’s life.

Let me enumerate those main stages. Site selection,

project design development, engineering design development,

manufacturing of equipment, construction, equipment

shake-down, commissioning, operational life, and decommissioning.

The first three stages – site selection, project design, and

engineering design development – lay the foundations of

efficient and safe operation, the stages of equipment manufacturing,

construction, and equipment shake-down implement

adopted engineering solutions and see development of

safe operational techniques, adoption of technical codes for

production management, operational manuals, and safety

manuals. To put it simply, those documents strictly define

what may and should be done, and what should not be done

under any circumstances.

Finally, and provided all the adopted documents are

complied with, the stage of operational life sees the fulfill-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ment of all the technical and engineering concepts contained

in project design.

Everything I’ve said fully applies to any potentially

hazardous facility, but I daresay that nowhere are these

requirements more urgent than in nuclear power sector.

That is primarily due to the human consequences of various

accidents. Ignorance may blow them out of proportion,

which is not that harmful, but ignorance may also

lead to underestimating the risks, wherein lies much greater

danger. We ran into multiple manifestations of both in

Chernobyl case.

My thirty years of service at nuclear navy ships, five

years devoted to Chernobyl response, and subsequent

work in Gosatomnadzor as Russia’s chief state inspector on

radiation safety has taught me that many accidents stem not

so much from inadequate hardware and so on, but from humans,

be it their professional training or lack, if you would,

of responsible sense of danger.

Allow me to explain what I said using Chernobyl disaster

as an example. The event that happened at 01:24 am of

April 26, 1986 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant is probably

known to you all, but it is important how exactly and

why it happened.

Let me remind you that at that time a nuclear reactor

at Chernobyl NPP exploded scattering about 120 tons of

nuclear fuel into the atmosphere and across surrounding

area. By that moment, the reactor had operated for 2,5

years and accumulated in its fuel a huge amount of radioactive

elements – fragments from uranium fission and

products of its decay. It is the latter that are responsible for

perpetual loss to commercial use of 30 kilometers-wide

zone around the reactor and for limitations on human activity

across broad swaths of Kiev, Gomel, Mohylev, and

Bryansk Oblasts. Parts of Kaluga, Tula, Orel, and Lipetzk

Oblasts were contaminated in excess of permissible levels.

Radioactive contamination – and I speak only of the

former Soviet Union – was detected in Georgia and the

Baltic republics.

I’ll show later how it extended across the Soviet borders.

About 500 kilos of plutonium – that is a dangerous

alpha-active element - were ejected into the 30-kilometers

zone and adjacent areas of Belorussia. According to some

data, the world’s global contamination with cesium-137 increased

by 20% compared with the previous background

level caused by nuclear weapons testing and use.

According to expert estimates, the amount of radioactive

substances dispersed by Chernobyl accident is equivalent

to twenty Hiroshimas. Some suggest higher estimates.

Dangerous ground contamination necessitated mandatory

evacuation of the cities of Pripyat, Chernobyl, Yanov, Bragin

and many others, too numerous to name. All in all, the government

had to arrange for permanent or temporary evacuations

of nearly half a million people. A third of them were

children. You can readily imagine the social consequences.

Only in 1986 about a million young healthy men were

involved in accident consequence management, the prevailing

majority of them [later] developed disabilities, many

died, several tens of thousands died from various diseases

caused by excessive irradiation.

Here are some specific data.

By April 27, 1986 the beautiful city of Pripyat (a company

town for Chernobyl plant personnel) was contaminat-



ed to such levels (commenting the slide); here are traced the

streets. Please note, here is one roentgen per hour line, 1,1

line and so on. That’s the shoreline.

Well, human radiation sickness develops from 200-250

roentgen dose. In other words, ten days in such an environment

will sicken you gravely with either acute and immediate

consequences or more remote ones.

The city of Chernobyl was evacuated around May 2-3

but nonetheless the community lived in such conditions for

a whole week. Although, pardon me, not exactly the same

conditions. In a broad scheme of things, Chernobyl was

lucky if luck is a proper word at all, lucky in its location. It sits

to the northwest from the plant, while upper atmospheric

jet stream (up to 15 thousand meters) was taking radiation

plume due north. The lower stream, carrying heavy particles

and so forth blew due west. Pripyat lay to the northwest, yet

still such levels. By July, those levels increased two to two

and a half times through accumulation. And only after that,

the levels started to decline due to iodine decay and so on.

Those were the radiation levels they had.

Next side, please, the area of surface contamination

with Cesium-137. Look at the hit poor Belarus took! At levels

of 15 curie to square kilometer alone, the contaminated

area extends to ten thousand square kilometers. According

to accepted standards at that time (they have been tightened

since), a community has to be evacuated starting at

10 curie per km 2 level. You see that there were areas with

readings of forty and above. Ukraine has the fewest of such

areas thanks to the wind direction.

For the uninitiated (and I beg patience from those who

do know) I will explain that curie/km 2 is a non-systemic unit

of surface contamination. So, how much is 15 curie/km 2 – a

little or a lot? At the level of ten, a whole community needs

to be evacuated. To put it in terms of mass, it is equivalent

to 0,46 grams of cesium. Take that much from the tip of teaspoon,

spread it over a square kilometer and it is unfit for

habitation… That’s what it is! Seemingly nothing, but one

can’t live there.

Next slide, please.

This displays surface contamination with cesium. Look

at the number of communities on the scale – about a thousand

in Belarus with combined population of 267 thousand.

The population of all contaminated territory stood at about

350 thousand, that’s the number requiring evacuation. Of

course, areas with forty or close to forty curie levels were

evacuated on a priority basis, even fifteen curie and ten

curie areas were evacuated. But how does one evacuate

Gomel city with a population of 400 thousand and massive

infrastructure? How to do it? Evacuate where? – Into

tent cities? But adjacent areas of Bryansk oblast are contaminated

as well. So, only the communities where it was

feasible were evacuated.

Next slide. Moving abroad now.

How did Chernobyl blowout affect increased radiation

background? For comparison let me tell you that natural radiation

background is 15 to 20 microroentgens per hour. It

is somewhat higher where there is much basalt and similar

rocks and somewhat lower where there are sandy or clayish

soils. Look here, a 10 times increase in Austria, even

more in Germany; Finland got its share too. Somewhat less

in Hungary and Norway, close to normal background in the

latter. And then Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia

– all of them underwent this change.

Fortunately for them, elevated levels were mostly

caused by iodine-131, which has a half-life of eight days,

and is practically gone in three months. That brought the

levels back down. But that’s different for areas contaminated

with cesium with its 30-year half-life and 300 years for

complete decay. That’s the picture.

Now to get back to the question How did it all happen?

That was not random after all?

I will first ask to show the design of that power unit. Let

those familiar with it bear with me. But I’ll remind what it is

for those who don’t.

This is a reactor schematic. This is a reactor assembly. It

has a so-called active zone, which is huge: fourteen meters

across and seven meters in depth. That zone is filled with

graphite blocks. Here they are (points at the slide).

The blocks consist of separating parts, 350 kilos each.

Overall graphite load is one thousand seven hundred tons.

Those graphite blocks are pierced by three let us say vertical

holes. One of them serves for loading in nuclear fuel,

in special coating of course; the second one is for controlling

rods (shown in black here), and the third (here it is) for

cooling water. Water is fed from beneath to cool the active


Moving on. Water is fed here by main circulation

pumps. It gets heated in the lower zone and overheated in

the upper one where it turns into steam. Overheated steam

at 230-250 degrees Celsius gets into a separation barrel

where droplets of water that can destroy a turbine are separated,

and then fed into the turbine. The turbine spins, and

the generator produces electricity that passes transformers

and gets into the national grid.

After the turbine, steam turns into condensate in condensers,

gets cooled (that’s mandatory, otherwise heat

parameters would be violated) and sent to reactor bottom

by main circulation pump again. That all seems straightforward

and clear.

So, what did actually happen? - Chernobyl NPP, its top

management that is, agreed to conduct an experiment that

was pushed on many power plants of that type. The experiment

appears simple on the face of it, yet everyone else

declined. Everyone but Chernobyl where the management

accepted the offer.

What kind of experiment?

You have to realize that the turbine and generator are

heavy spinning structures weighing many tons, and should

steam be cut off from the turbine it will keep spinning for

about an hour. While it spins it generates electricity. Let’s

test now for how long that spinning will be sufficient to support

the operation of main circulation pump, that is for the

unit to power itself in a closed loop. Outside grid will be

isolated, yet the main pump will go on working.

That doesn’t seem like such a big deal as long as you

have some safety net. What will provide that safety? First of

all the systems of emergency reactor cooling, that is one of

the systems that automatically powers up in case of an accident

and supplies cold water for cooling. The key thing is to

prevent active zone meltdown after all. Should a meltdown

occur, all the accumulated radioactive elements would escape

into the air since the turbine is not hermetically sealed

against gas leak. They will escape into the air and harm the


That’s backup number one. Another safety net is provided

by external power supply from the grid, which sup-

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The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




plies 380V alternating current for main circulating pump

and other pumps.

Finally, there are two diesel generators. If all the systems

are down for some reason, diesel generators power

up automatically and supply power to the main pump, and

the reactor would continue to be cooled. That actually happens

quite often even in nominal operation. Should all the

rods be lowered thus stopping chain reaction and shutting

down the reactor, it would still take 24 hours or more to

cool the reactor. The pumps need to keep spinning and

pump through water so that temperature is brought down

to a certain level and core meltdown is prevented.

Those are the safety net components.

The experiment appears simple. So, you may drop all

the rods and shut down external power, just don’t get diesel

generators on the same electric circuit. And watch it closely.

If power supply parameters begin to trip beyond nominal,

either reconnect external power or power up diesel generators.

If neither provides the desired effect, turn on the

emergency cooling system and cool the reactor, which has

its own pumps, water supply and so on.

That, seemingly, is all there is to it. But that would not

be challenging enough, and the [experiment] program was

written so – you will see what that program was.

All such programs certainly need to be coordinated with

plant designers and concurred with by Gosatomnadzor.

My slides now, please.

Here is the preliminary stage. The program was not coordinated

with design and oversight agencies. It was written

at the plant and forwarded to them though. What happened?

Most likely, it was the human factor [displayed] at a

somewhat odd stage. One would think, you are the experts

– take a look and say: This should not be done! And that!

And that!

At the design agency, that particular area was at the

time headed by a person who was neither a physicist, nor a

nuclear engineer. He looked and probably was hesitant to

say either yes or no. Too many were interested in that experiment

for some reason. The same cannot be said about

Atomnadzor where a knowledgeable nuclear physicist Dr.

Kulov, and old hand, was in charge at the time. Yet he also

failed to issue his ruling.

Imagine then, the program has been forwarded, no prohibition

received from either place. Like they say, what’s not

forbidden is allowed, we’ll allow it ourselves. And the chief

engineer of Chernobyl NPP signed off on the program.

The second slide, please.

Now, about preparations for the experiment. First off, I

must say that the date was well chosen. Yes, April 25, 1986

was selected for the reactor’s planned outage for scheduled

preventive maintenance. It had worked for 2,5 years

already, therefore planned outage, replacement of part

of the active core, and so on. It did not happen on April

25 though. Kievenergo insisted that it operates for another

day, after 2,5 years they begrudged one day. So they operated

for another day. At midnight (between the 25 th and

the 26 th ) the new shift came in. It was intended to service the

reactor. Experiment director (assistant chief operations engineer),

was already present, and they started to prepare

and conduct the experiment.

Shift supervisor, a physicist and a knowledgeable man,

was concerned. But what can one do if the plan has been

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approved. Outgoing shift’s supervisor stayed behind out of

curiosity – that’s how people cannot guess what their doom

will be. Two more from his shift stayed behind – out of curiosity

too. All of them are in a better world now…

What happened next?

The program called for more than just dropping all the

safety rods; they are 211 in number. If one lowers all the

safety rods chain reaction stops. The reactor shuts down.

Now it will only be cooled off by, let’s call it accumulated

momentum electrical power.

But that is not interesting enough!

People do have ambition, the desire to do something

out of the ordinary. One likes a pure experiment. What

does that mean? The program director suggested to lower

power output not to zero, but to a thousand megawatts. To

clarify, that’s a thousand megawatts of electrical output, in

thermal output it translates into 3200 megawatts. Why do

that? - If the experiment does not work at the first try, we’ll

raise and then lower the rods again. Yes, play toys… With

them to think was to act.

So they started lowering power output. That was performed

by a senior operations engineer, a young fellow of

26, who graduated from college only three years previously.

He took directions from shift supervisor, but some other

factors could interfere as well. Should anything go wrong,

emergency safety will kick in and emergency cooling system

with it.

- Do we really want that?

- No.

- Let’s turn it off!

Reactor emergency cooling system was shut off. As if

that alone was not bad enough, its control room, which is

separate and doesn’t have a lock, was actually padlocked,

so that no one could enter and turn the system back on

again. Well, everything in the name of a pure experiment.

- What else can interfere with a pure experiment?

- External power supply. Yes, it may. Disconnect!

- What else?

- Emergency diesel generators are in the way. Disconnect!

Just you look what’s going on!

According to the program, all eight main circulation

pumps are up and connected to assure the necessary water


- But that’s forbidden by regulations! That’s a no-no!

Because in that case the parameters change abruptly, and

that triggers safety. Safety means that rods are dropped.

- Shut off that safety! So that the rods don’t drop.

Us, navy guys just threw up our hands when we learned

about all the disconnected safety systems. On a unit like that

there shouldn’t even exist the capability to manually shut

down safety!! I’d like to see someone try that with us!!

That about wraps up the preparatory stage.

So, what happened then?

The experiment began. According to the program,

output had to be lowered to a thousand megawatts. That

cannot be done through automated controls. First, because

engineering regulations don’t provide for that. And should

anything go amiss somewhere, safety rods would drop.

Therefore the local system for automatic control of reactor

power was disconnected as well. And that was yet another

level of safety protection…

They switched over to manual control.



I’ll dare you to try playing with 211 safety rods. Think

of that reactor capacity – 14 meters across. With 211

safety rods, power [output] cannot be consistent, there will

be spikes and dips. So, this 26-year old engineer started

to lower it all, gently lower the rods. And he dropped it,

couldn’t hold steady!

That is especially true since at around a thousand megawatt

[output] reactors of this type are very unsteady to control.

They are very steady if controlled automatically, but

under manual control [the output] dropped.

At his deathbed, he maintained that the output dropped

to thirty megawatts, some suggest that all the way to zero…

A certain confusion ensues. The director starts swearing

hard…, you know in what kind of language, saying that

they failed the experiment. They might as well call it a day

then. So, the experiment didn’t work out, let’s read off the

parameters since the reactor is stopped now. But no. Let’s

repeat the experiment. And in a minute or two there followed

the command raise the output.

You have all probably heard that just this day emergency

safety rod system was triggered and dropped into

place at Sosnovyi Bor nuclear power plant. For some reason,

the rods were dropped in, and [the reactor] stopped.

The causes are not known, but we’ve been told that the shut

down unit will be back on line in a day or two. And that is a

good sign. In a day or two, while in our story the command

followed in a few minutes.

Now, I must tell you (bear with me if you know that)

that at such moments the reactor falls into a so-called iodine

hole. That involves intense reactor poisoning, since the interaction

of neutron flow with neutron-absorbing rods creates

large amounts of xenon, iodine and other elements,

which themselves capture neutrons. They capture a neutron,

transform into another element, into slag, and get out of the

picture. But a neutron is gone too.

And here is what happens: they received a command to

raise power output; that means the rods have to be lifted.

One cannot argue with physics, and nuclear physics is no

different. The number of neutrons is bound to grow then. Yet

the instruments don’t see them, because here is xenon, here

is iodine. They are in the hole.

The command Raise higher! follows. That’s the command

to lift more rods. Yet even according to engineering regulations

28 rods must remain in the reactor in any case as a precaution

against sudden power fluctuations.

They raised 205 rods. That means only 6 rods out of

required 28 remained in the reactor. Let me put it that way:

what happens is a kind of balancing act between the [number

of] neutrons (which keep been created) and the capacity

to absorb them (xenon is on the decline). So a point arrives

where the neutrons suddenly say: So you wanted to

have us? – Here we come! And come in the numbers that

cannot be absorbed, the xenon is not there. So the reactor

starts heating to the level of vaporization, all the lower

[zone] piping is killed. That means that cooling water no

longer reaches that part. Explosions begin. Let me explain

what kind of explosions. At such radiation and temperature

levels, there begins an intense radiolysis of water into hydrogen

and oxygen. That’s an explosive mix that can blow

up any moment, and it started blowing up tearing up the

remaining piping not yet destroyed by pressure.

The technicians raced to lower levels to inspect what

goes on under the reactor and never came back.

The temperature kept climbing very fast, faster than the

time it takes me to tell the story. It all took one minute forty


Finally, shift supervisor cannot take it any more. Saying:I

am dropping emergency safety, he presses emergency

safety button. The rods had to travel down, but the did not.

[Graphite] blocks already shifted around, and the openings

that rods travel through got warped. As subsequent analysis

of records showed, they got stuck about 2-2,5 meters

deep into the reactor. What then?

Then, the explosions. Please, keep in mind that they were

not nuclear explosions. The way critical mass is distributed inside

the reactor makes nuclear explosion impossible. Explosions

were caused by explosive mix inside the reactor, which

no longer held any water, just steam.

The first explosion blew off the reactor lid, which fell on

the roof of unit 4 powerhouse. Estimates show that about

fifty tons of nuclear fuel was ejected as well. The second and

almost immediate third explosions ejected another seventy

tons of fuel. You have all seen the destruction on the pictures

or heard about them. That’s what happened.

Moreover, the rods due to their design shortcomings

acted so as to accelerate the process. Lower ends of the

rods do not contain neutron-absorbing material. There was

graphite there [instead]. Incidentally, why the choice of

graphite? Because that is the only material, which converts

all absorbed ionizing radiation into heat. That is very convenient.

It just heats, that’s all, and water is circulated through

it in pipes. Water vaporizes and so on. When the lower tips

of the rods entered the [active] zone, output increased additionally

instead of dropping. Not a large, but significant

increase, which probably brought the explosion a few seconds

or tens of seconds closer. The explosion would have

happened anyway, but it came sooner.

So much for the story. Let’s get back to the question of

who or what is to blame.

Without a doubt, the reactor has some shortcomings.

Instability at low output level is one of them. But that is no

research reactor, and engineering regulations don’t expect it

to operate at such low capacity levels. They call for operation

at rated capacity - 0,8 from maximum output possible and

for steady supply into the national grid. That’s the only way.

Lower ends of the rods. That’s a more serious shortcoming

in controlling rods. They all have been modified since.

At the same time, when the reactor operates at rated capacity,

their up-and-down movement does not significantly

raise the capacity. They work all right. Nevertheless, their

design has been changed.

Seemingly, the lessons learned were huge. Indeed, I

had to do a lot at while at Atomnadzor: new safety requirements

were developed, and almost every Soviet reactor was

surveyed. Two reactors were shut down even at Kurchatov

institute, so were reactors at MIKhI institute, there were 39

reactors in Moscow. They were all considered to be research

reactors, [and they were shut down] not because of poor

safety, but because they did not meet new safety requirements.

They were stopped, safety systems upgraded, and

then restarted; now they all operate.

So, one would think, enormous lessons to be drawn by

everyone. You think everyone did? Not at all.

Only four years later, in July 1990, I was part of a commission,

on that same plant, on that same unit. We were discussing

a new experiment for that unit, one already approved

in some unclear way. Listen, this makes no sense at all.

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What we had was a dead unit (about 30% [of the core]

left). You know where the best intentions usually lead.

Somebody calculated that if local emission of neutrons

continues in the reactor, it might accumulate [radioactive

elements] including californium.

So what?

No laughing matter.

For uranium-235 critical mass is about 35 kilos – similar

to the famous dumb-bell that Panikovsky and Balaganov

were sawing through – that’s enough for the explosion. By

contrast, for californium it is just a few dozen grams.

Hence the idea, what if that reactor accumulates a nuclear


An idea needs to be verified.


Let’s drill that whole mass with vertical bores and lower

neutron counters into them to define if neutron flows are

present. If yes, that’s a mess on our hands.

The deed follows the word.

I must say though that following that accident Chernobyl

plant is covered by an enviably dense network of radiation

monitoring. Nothing like it anywhere else.

Naturally, once drilling began, aerosols got out. Remember

me telling you about 0,46 [grams of] cesium. This

time we had a greater amount. So, all the alarms went off.

Once civil defense loudspeakers were turned on, there was

a big hue and cry, and panic – something happened at

Chernobyl again.

We sat on that commission. Its work was brief and to the

point. The final ruling we made was to stop torturing that

poor reactor, let it die a natural death. Why not leave it

alone? It’s been four years already.

The trouble is elsewhere, and trouble there is.

You have probably learned from TV that there is a need

to cover what’s left there with a new sarcophagus, the reason

being that the old one may collapse.

Yes, in 20 years, and it has been more than that by now,

concrete structures get fragile. They may collapse. Even in

the 1990’s, we had much trouble with Yelena Yadomskaya

– that is the sloping roof. Yelena, like a beautiful female,

acted up, the placement was somehow off. That’s been addressed;

there are buttresses, all of that is taken care of. But

if there appears a new sarcophagus, and no matter how

impervious it would be, should the inner one collapse we’ll

have more than we bargained for. I assure you. That is,

there will be an unpredictable change in radiation environment

all around.

Thank you, my presentation is over.

(Heavy applause).

Mediator: Questions, please, colleagues.

Question: Here is my question. We know that a detonating

gas was formed there. We know that a hydrogen-oxygen

mix detonates once the ratio of 20% is reached. That is common

knowledge. Pressure caused by detonation may reach

300-400 kilopascals. Hence the question: can it be that design

development did not take into account explosion protection

sufficient to withstand such blast pressure? Was there no

blast protection at all, or was it improperly designed?

Answer: The design planned for maximum pressure of

85 atmospheres.

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The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Comment: Was the design based on incorrect calculation


Answer: I agree with you.

Comment: It follows then that the same might happen

if a terrorist throws a bomb… If the structure cannot withstand

300-400 kilopascals.

Mediator: You know, Ivan Grigorievich, when Kursk

disaster happened I was asked: How can it be? Can’t there

be ships capable of delivering safety or ensuring humans’

rescue under any conditions? My answer is: It probably

is doable, but then you will have two more Kursks sailing

atop the original one. [The same applies] in this case. You

certainly know that beginning a short time ago those same

industrial safety declarations take into account the chance

of a terrorist attack, but the primary purpose of a power

plant is to generate electricity after all. As to what happened

with hydrogen here, I know where you are coming

from – you’ll be speaking to that topic tomorrow. Indeed,

the designers probably did not plan for that, and all critical

pressures were calculated as steam pressures. The common

overheated steam.

Next question, please.

Question: by Dino Lobkov (Brazil). For me, this begs

only one question. Who arranged that experiment? Who

was behind it? Who asked to perform it?

Answer: The plant’s chief engineer, with the knowledge

of plant director of course, and it was conducted by

assistant chief operations engineer.

Comment: But you said that the experiment was offered

to many plants.

Answer: It was designed by the institute that designed

the plant. That’s what they said: Let’s try. I know that Leningrad

and Smolensk plants turned them down. Chernobyl


Comment: Because rumors were flying at the time that

there were people spotted near the plant, that it could be

some military experiment. Like, what happens if a terrorist

shuts everything down?

Answer: Today, they probably would have blamed it

on a terrorist. But that was no military experiment.


Andrei Kamensky:

I have a question on the administrative dimension of

the issue. As many know, we come from the navy. Nuclear

safety issue on nuclear-powered ships is dealt with by

a special authorized body. That used to be Ministry of

Defense nuclear safety inspectorate. Are there similar arrangements

outside the military? Does such a body operate

today? You’ve made us concerned…

Answer: Yes, all this safety oversight, in terms of both

regulations and inspections, is dealt with by Atomnadzor,

or nowadays, Rostechnadzor.



Comment: And they functioned back in 1986?

Answer: Yes, they control everything at all. After that,

they inspected a great many plants, including the ones in

Beloyarsk, Bilibino, and so on.

Comment: Off the cuff, it seems to me that there is a

gap here. Rather there was, and hopefully, it is no more.

That is the gap between what there should be and what actually

is. In the institutional sense.

Answer: It was all in place, but they did not issue their


Comment: But to repeat: my past as a navy lieutenant

had this fear that any moment we can be visited by Bisarka

the horrible (that was the man’s name), who will mete punishment

all around if, god forbid, you open or close some

valve wrong. How could such things be tolerated?

Answer: Depends on an individual. Some may lack

some responses.

Comment: As best I remember, they had RBMK-type

reactor there. The same as at Leningrad nuclear plant?

Answer: Yes, of the same type.

Mediator: What were the professional credentials of

those who conducted the experiment and of plant managers,

is that known?

Answer: Test director came to work at Chernobyl plant

as a protégé of chief engineer. Previously, he dealt with

physical measurements at our fleet reactors on the Far East.

He was not a bad nuclear physicist but was never involved

in controlling reactor operation and did not know how to

do it. Both shift supervisors, by contrast, refused to step up

reactor power, I don’t know if I mentioned that. I did not?


Both shift supervisors, the incoming and the outgoing

one, stated squarely: We refuse to raise [power output]. The

regulations forbid it, that can lead to… You can picture the

rest, sharp invective. In that case you here will raise it. And

that 26-year old guy set to it, raising 211 rods manually…

Question: Rustem Ilyasov:

From looking at the unsavory progression of events it

appears that those people step by step were building up to

a huge problem. But here is what confuses me. They consistently

turned off one safety system after another. That’s

a possibility that we cannot – god forbid, of course – rule

out, that people will shut down safety themselves. And those

safety systems provided redundancy, should one fail another

or a third will step in. They burned all the bridges denying

themselves the opportunity to restore the situation to

normal. And here is my question: is there a risk of repeated

situations like that one when human factor – that culprit –

will play its evil role again? When people will again disable

safety systems.

Answer: Following Chernobyl, the decision was made

- on the cabinet level possibly or at the ministry level at the

least – to rule out the opportunity to shut those systems

down manually or remotely. That is meant to bring it closer

to the navy arrangements. There it cannot be done, at least

not easily, for it has been done. I wanted to say another

thing: a man always somehow manages. I have lots of examples

like that, when you simply marvel, how could they

possibly manage it?

Mediator: More questions? Let this be the last one, colleagues.

Question: Nikolai Alexeev. The Internet has a site

pripyat.com devoted to the city of Pripyat and Chernobyl

plant accident. It has a whole number of videos on various

topics, and rather interesting ones too. Starting with theories

about causes of that disaster and all the human suffering. I

liked one video a lot, it records interviews with so-called

stalkers, people who now inspect the area under the sarcophagus

and have even entered the reactor cavity.

(Comment by the presenter) Yes, that is the Leningrad

group. They did not find uranium there. That’s why this

[talk] continues. I realize that you cannot now come into the

open and say that we destroyed lives of a million people for

no good reason by building the sarcophagus as accident

response based on the assumption that melted uranium remains

in the core. And they found none.

But you have just said that a new sarcophagus needs

to be built. Why belabor and revive this safety topic again,

when threat at that level does not exist? Why spend a huge

effort and assets again as lip service to something? Thank


Answer: I see, I understood you. Here is the rub. There

is a huge amount of radioactive substances there, inside that

space: your cesium, your plutonium, strontium. Those are

the long-living ones – plutonium’s half-life is 24 thousand

years – while the others’ half-life is only 30 years. So they

are half-decayed already, but there is an awful lot of them

there. So if one supporting structure collapses that would

send into the air so many radioactive substances that the

consequences for radioactive pollution of the region would

be unpredictable. With westerly winds the cloud may cover

Kiev, which would be most unpleasant you’ll agree. There

is nothing much you can do with long-lived ones, except

carefully collect them and store in a certain place... This pollution

is not like an infection, which can be wiped out, it’s

more like dirt, which can only be collected. That’s why there

is concern lest it falls. Due to high radiation levels – and

they are still high inside that space – collapse may occur

due to radiation-induced brittleness of materials.

Mediator: Thank you, Vladimir.


You all remember how quite recently television worldwide

showed, let’s say, the accident when a spill occurred at

Chinese chemical plants, got into the river, and all that muck

traveled across China to us. Unfortunately, our Chinese friends

declined to attend the conference – they have a sort of code

of silence on such matters – but we have invited out friends

from Khabarovsk to speak on that topic. I slightly adjust the

order of presentations and will now invite Nikolai Berdnikov,

Head of laboratory for physical-chemical

research techniques, Institute of Tectonics and Geo-

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The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




physics (ITIG), Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy

of Sciences (DVO RAN); director of Khabarovsk

Innovation and Analysis Center (KhIAC).

Nikolai Berdnikov:

Presentation The steps taken to shield Amur river basin

communities from the consequences of a chemical plant accident

in Jilin, China, November 13, 2005.

Scientists have long been saying that Amur is polluted

by our Chinese neighbors all the time. Yet, as is common

with us, we don’t lock the barn doors until after the horse

was stolen. Even though environmentalists found a large

number of pollutants in Amur river, no dramatic steps were

previously taken.

On November 13, 2005, a chemical plant in Jilin, one

of the largest industrial centers in northeastern China, suffered

an explosion of several nitrobenzene synthesis reactors.

The aftermath of that accident posed a threat to

environmental health of both Sungari river (Jilin sits on its

banks) and of more than a thousand kilometer long stretch

of Amur river, from Nizhneleninskoe (where Sungari joins

the Amur) to its mouth (Nikolaevsk-on-Amur).

Impacted area included major cities of the region:

Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Amursk and many

smaller communities along the river.

Accident description.

According to the Chinese side, about 100 tons of nitrobenzene

made it into the waters of Sungari. That substance

itself is extremely hazardous, maximum permissible

concentration in drinking water (MPC) is 0,2 milligrams/liter

(mg/l). Besides, the synthesis of that much nitrobenzene

requires about twice that amount of concentrated nitric and

sulphuric acids, those acids were also bound to get into the

river. Since that mix is heavier than water, it had to sink to

the bottom and actively extract from bottom sediment heavy

metals, toxic elements and radionuclides, i.e. all the pollutants

that accumulated there in the course of many years.

Arrangements for water quality monitoring.

The Chinese did not immediately notify us about what

kind of contamination drifts down the Sungari and may get

into Amur river. Therefore, in the very first days when we

learned of the accident, the regional government established

an Emergency Commission, which as a first priority

launched an inspection of water treatment facilities. They

were inspected both for the state of readiness at nominal

operation and for the options to increase their efficiency,

by coal treatment among other things. The search for alternative

water supply sources began immediately. Existing

wells were double-checked and re-activated, small rivers

and bodies of water inventoried, plans prepared for arranging

drinking water delivery and distribution, and water

was stockpiled, especially for the use by hospitals, eateries

and schools.

There was formulated the objective of timely detection of

the spill as it crosses into our waters, assessment of its scale

and potential hazards, and subsequent real-time tracking

of its progress downriver. To that end, arrangements were

made and schedules developed for water sampling at various

Amur river alignments, sample collection and delivery

teams were formed, analytical labs’ operational mode developed

and their instrumentation assets enhanced. Finally,

public communications system was established to keep the

community informed in timely fashion on the slick’s move-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ment and on clean water distribution points’ locations and

schedules should it come to that.

The Institute of tectonics and geophysics of Far Eastern

branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (ITIG DVO

RAN) was tasked with developing an overall model of the

slick’s movement. To do that, we looked at the differences

between Sungari and Amur river waters at spectro-zonal

pictures taken by satellites. They are easily distinguishable

from each other on satellite photos. Moreover, for over 200

kilometers they move side by side as separate flows with

very little mixing. We developed a model of those flows

distribution, which made it clear where exactly the bulk of

contamination will pass.

November 11, 2005 was marked by the signing of the

program for joint Russo-Chinese post-accident monitoring

of Amur waters. The Chinese side was a very reluctant participant

in that process, especially insofar as access to waters

along the right bank was concerned, yet agreements

were finally reached, and joint sampling spanning the full

cross-section of the river began.

During the passage of contaminated waters, sampling

at established alignments was performed up to eight times

a day. Samples were collected close to the left and right

banks and at the river’s middle, both in surface and bottom

layers. Where accessibility was an issue, since the river was

in early stages of freezing at the time, MEM and Environmental

monitoring service personnel used helicopters and

snowmobiles, but more often they crawled across thin ice to

established ice holes. For all that, samples were delivered to

the labs on a regular basis, which made it possible to detect

the moment when contaminated waters joined the Amur

and track subsequent progress.

Time spent on testing the samples seldom exceeded 12

hours, it was usually completed in 5 to 6 hours. The findings

were immediately reported to the regional Ministry of natural

resources and summarized by Emergency Commission;

in other words, monitoring was practically a real-time one.

In addition to sampling water, as the contamination

front progressed downriver samples were taken from fish

and bottom sediments. That was done with more remote

consequences in mind, which as the assumption was, could

manifest themselves with spring ice melt and flood.

Practically all the analytical labs in the territory were involved

in monitoring effort. I should state plainly that the labs

were ill-prepared for that work since until the very last moment

we did not know the specific nature of contaminants. At

the initial stage, we involved the most advanced broad-profile

labs of such agencies as Vodokanal (regional water utility),

KhabEnergo (power utility), and labs of ITIG and IVEP

research institutes of DVO RAN. For starters, they analyzed

the sample from the center of contaminated slick in Sungari

river. Having thus learned what to expect, they prepared a

crash program to enhance lab equipment. The regional government

procured and handed over to the labs two liquid

chromatographs, a gas chromatograph and chromatic mass

spectrometer, which allowed us to learn a complete spectrum

of contaminants. China has also donated seven gas chromatographs.

On-going analysis of nitrobenzene presence in water

was performed at ITIG RAN, which soon developed the

technique for rapid-testing of nitrobenzene concentrations

within 5 to 7 minutes. That technique was employed

by mobile chromatographic lab, which followed the slick’s



downriver progress by deploying in settlements on the

banks. Fail-proof operation of equipment manufactured by

Shimadzu (Japan) and not intended for field conditions deserves

special note. For analysis of heavy metals and toxic

elements in the water we used a mass-spectrometer with

inductively-contained plasma ICP-MS ELAN DRC II (Perkin

Elmer, USA).

At an early stage of activities, we were very much

helped by our colleagues from Vladivostok, St Petersburg,

and Ufa, the latter in particular since they had a similar accident

in the past and were able to provide us with valuable

advice on arranging work and on testing.

Nitrobenzene proved to be the principal pollutant that

reached us from Sungari. According to monitoring data,

drinking water MPC for nitrobenzene was exceeded only

in Nizhneleninsky area, i.e. 20 kilometers downriver from

the place where Sungari joins Amur river (Figure 4). Downriver,

toward Komsomolsk, concentrations declined by hundreds

of times. Yet nitrobenzene MPC for fishing purposes

was exceeded everywhere, even in Komsomolsk, so fish

caught in Amur river was not fit for eating during the slick’s

passage and afterwards.

Cross-sections of nitrobenzene distribution show that

it’s presence was persistently higher along the right (Chinese)

bank that along the left bank, but partial mixing of

waters downstream reduced that difference. As the slick

moved downstream, nitrobenzene concentrations fell, yet

the slick became more elongated. It took it six days to pass

Nizhneleninskoe and Petrovskoe, seven days to drift pass

Nizhnespasskoe, and nine days to pass Troizkoe (downriver

from Khabarovsk).

Monitoring revealed that along with nitrobenzene water,

just as we expected, was contaminated with heavy metals

and toxic elements - Cr, Ni, Se, Co, Ag, Bi, Sn, Ba, Be,

Th. It should be noted though, that our own polluters also

significantly contribute to elevated concentrations of those

elements in Amur water.

The only other reliably identified pollutants were chlorophenols,

very harmful substances as well. Therе is a suspicion

that following the accident the Chinese resorted to

intensive chlorination in their water supply systems with

the fallout inevitably reaching Amur river. Many pesticides

were identified as well, including those not used in Russia

but widely applied in China (acetochlorine). That could be

the likely result of discharging reservoir water into Sungari

to flush it out. Chromatic mass-spectrometry helped discover

over forty harmful organic compounds, for which standards

of permissible concentrations in water don’t even exist.

Hydro-engineering measures.

The primary objective of hydro-engineering activities

was to prevent nitrobenzene-contaminated water from entering

water intakes of communities including the main drinking

water intake of Khabarovsk, or at least to dilute contaminated

water with water from clean streams. For that purpose

Kazakevich channel was dammed (jointly with China) which

denied contaminated water access to Amurskaya channel

and on to Khabarovsk water intakes. Penzenskaya channel

was blocked as well allowing pure water from Amur to shift

closer to town and dilute contaminated water.


Evaluation of likely lasting pollution consequences after

the passage of the slick required the analysis of nitrobenzene,

heavy metals and toxic elements content in water,

Sungari and Amur ice, and in bottom sediments. We particularly

scrutinized fish in the Amur.

Nitrobenzene was not identified in water, ice and bottom

sediment samples, yet we encountered it often enough

in fish. Since according to existing standards, fish should

have no nitrobenzene at all, the decision was made to suspend

fishing on the river.

All ice samples revealed lower concentrations of heavy

metals and toxic elements than in the water, although both

water and ice in Sungari are much dirtier than in the Amur.

Bottom sediment in the Amur downriver from the confluence

with Sungari also contains more heavy metals and toxins.

Thus Sungari performs as a source of sporadic (nitrobenzene

slick) or persistent (heavy metals and toxins) pollution

of Amur river ecosystem.

Lessons from the accident.

The principal lesson is as follows: Amur river needs to

be closely watched since it forms the boundary with China’s

explosively but not always cleanly developing provinces.

In the interests of timely detection of pollution, the region

has established a permanent multi-component monitoring

system. The lead agency is a newly created Regional center

for environmental monitoring of Amur region supplied with

modern equipment.

The plan for coal filtering of drinking water has been

developed and an alternative source of water supply identified.

The latter is Tungussky aquifer, which is already in


A lot of work is carried out jointly with the government

of China, both with a view to protect Amur ecosystem and

to develop a system for damage assessment and punishment

of polluters. I consider the latter the most important

issue, as we have learned how to analyze the river but not

how to conserve it. What do we have now? We find heavy

metals, toxins and other dangerous pollutants in the Amur

and respond by building more powerful water treatment facilities

and by shutting down a fishery. We find dangerous

bacteria and respond by prohibiting swimming. What’s the

next step? Fencing the river in with barbed wire and designating

it a runoff ditch? Apparently, that is not an option.

We must be developing efficient ways to identify and penalize

polluters both at the regional and international level

and not be shy about implementing such measures.

Mediator: While equipment is readied, please, ask

your questions.

Here is what got my interest at the time of the event and

interests me still. I know that large amounts of charcoal

were brought in. How was it meant to be used and was it

used at all?

Answer: Yes, it has been used. That was our first mitigation

idea for the scenario where dangerous nitrobenzene

concentrations approach the city. 300 tons of activated charcoal

was imported from China and large quantities brought

in from European Russia. Charcoal filtering at our water

treatment plants yielded excellent results. Later, regional

government decided that charcoal treatment units should be

kept in place and activated during spring ice melt and floods

when water in Amur river is particularly polluted.

Mediator: You can boast a pure drinking water then…

Vladimir Borisovich has a question, he is the most active

participant today.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Question: Has a money estimate of damage or emergency

response costs been made?

Answer: I cannot tell you for certain. The expenses

were so many, with disbursements coming from different

sources that citing an overall sum may prove very difficult.

Comment: I just wanted to mention that this is the kind

of issue that G.C.E. group specializes on. Should the need

arise you are welcome to talk to us.


Question: Has the government of Russia, or regional

authorities maybe, sought recourse action against the Chinese

side to recover damages?

Answer: That is a most interesting question. In order

to put forth such claims one needs proper legislative

framework, techniques [for damage assessment], and at

least some mutual agreements. Transboundary pollution

assessments depend on internationally certified laboratories.

At present, we don’t have that. I believe that issue is

only now getting off the ground.

Mediator: I must add that three weeks ago Mr.

Gryzlov visited China, and this specific issue was among

the principal ones on his agenda. From what I see in the

media (I don’t know how in-depth their coverage is) the

Chinese side has accepted some major obligations including

moving industries further away from Sungari river.

Presenter: I can also add that initially there was some

bullishness on that issue, the prosecutor’s office even convened

meetings to discuss it, but once the question of how

exactly to tally the damage was raised…

Mediator: I have one more question, the last one.

Question: You told us that there were traces of nitrobenzene

found in fish, and so on. But could you tell

us what about the humans, were health assessments performed

on populations who drank that water following the

accident? The reason I ask is that nitrobenzene aside there

also is benzol, which doesn’t fully get tied down by nitration.

And benzol is no less harmful than nitrobenzene.

Answer: Drinking water was monitored for both

benzol and nitrobenzene presence. I can assure you that

water polluted with those substances never reached our

population. MPC for those substances at points where

populated areas are was never exceeded, therefore water

intakes were not shut down.

Mediator: Thank you very much.


Mediator: To continue on the topic of Khabarovsk accident,

I present Dr. Lyubov Kondratyeva, Head of Microbiology

of Natural Ecosystems lab, Institute for

the Study of Issues of Water and Environment, Far

Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Lyuba Kondratieva:

I deeply appreciate the invitation to speak, and I believe

that my presentation may strike a different note compared

to the previous ones devoted to diverse technology-related

issues. I will try to get closer to the living nature perspective

and illuminate for you what effects on living organisms and

of course on man himself have after all, been observed.

Next slide, please.

The main point is that the issues of environmental or technological

safety do at the end of day translate into most diverse

problems bearing a different aspect. Everything that

occurred in Amur region can be illustrated through the lens

of such priority environmental problems.

First of, the political dimensions of trans-boundary pollution.

We still cannot establish rapport with the Chinese

side. We still don’t have complete knowledge of what was

manufactured at the plants that suffered the accidents. Inquiries

were forwarded by the Ministry of natural resources of

Khabarovsk region and by Ministry of natural resources of

Russia, yet we’ve received no answers from the Chinese side.

That resonates with what you said regarding Mr. Gryzlov.

Next comes the economic dimension, water treatment

and purification. Later, I will talk in detail on the loss of biological


Environmental dimension. This regards the preservation

of species biodiversity in the ecosystem and its role as key

component of human environment. That dovetails with what

Nikolai Vladimirovich has just said: we cannot put the river

Amur under lock and key and stop using it at all. Neither

when it comes to providing drinking water for urban population,

nor the future of valuable fisheries, especially those

of salmon and sturgeon. I will talk on that point later.

And the social dimension, that is public health, on which

we just now heard a great question. That may be the most

far-reaching dimension, as surveys show that following the

passage of nitrobenzene slick we have experienced an outflow

of population. The reason given is This is not the first

accident, nor will it be the last.

We have been talking about persistent water pollution

for 10 years. Yet in a sense, water itself presents temporary

pollution or one that consistently passes through, as

opposed to fish, which accumulate it all. Fish makes for a

rather important part of diet for Khabarovsk residents, but it

is also staple food for indigenous peoples of Amur region.

Then there is the transit of pollutants into coastal seas. And

our coastal seas involve Korea, Japan, and America. Thus

public health issue brings us back to the international level.

Back in 1997, we were the first to demonstrate the effects

of trans-boundary pollution brought by Sungari river

and to prove that our own cities – Komsomolsk – don’t adversely

affect Amur to the same degree. We have shown

that pollutants from China are traditional hydro-chemical


Such pollution is particularly dangerous due to the fact

that discharges occur in winter when there is no monitoring.

It is exactly when we did winter time sampling that we

discovered a great many toxic substances discharged by

petrochemical industry. In other words they regularly discharged

in winter taking advantage of such discharges being


We compared test results between months and saw that

the period from January to March stands out in terms of

sharply deteriorating toxic conditions in the Amur.



Based on the assumption that petrochemical facilities

are the leading source of pollution, we undertook a

detailed testing and study of the breakdown of pollutants

beginning in 2004. You can see here a whole series of substances

associated with petrochemical industry, caoutchouc

and rubber manufacturing, that is the industries behind all

that Chinese footware and toys that flood Russia. So we get

their gifts not only as manufactured products but also as

toxins in the Amur.

We have performed cross-seasonal studies spanning a

whole year. And you can see here that some substances

were encountered [only] from February through July, that is

were seasonal in nature.

We have found new types of pesticides. Monitoring is

often geared to the notorious DDT but it was banned in the

1970’s. Yet some remnants of such pesticides are still found

in fish, shellfish and bottom sediment. Besides, we have discovered

a whole number of highly hazardous toxic pesticides

of a new generation.

One should specifically note polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

They can get into the river as atmospheric fallout after

fires, can be associated with burning any kind of fuels, or can

come from tailpipe exhaust, from power plants, and from

surface run-off water as well. Once we have performed a

comparative analysis of polyaromatic hydrocarbons content,

we found that downstream from Sungari confluence

there is a presence of diverse organic substances including

derivatives of benzene, isobutyl phthalate, dibutil phthalate,

biphenyls, pyridin derivatives, benzopyrene, benzofluorantene,

atrazin pesticide, cyclohexane derivatives,

and chlorophenols. The components that reach Khabarovsk

could be the products of their decomposition. Naphtalene

and acetonaphtalene, which are the fragments of substances

delivered by surface run-off, reach downstream from

Khabarovsk all the way to Amur’s mouth. Those substances

are no less hazardous than the ones they are derived from.

We were lucky in that we had a field expedition in 2005,

which later allowed us to identify additional effects caused

by the industrial accident. That is we measured pre-accident

benchmark data in July, while in November and December

we had data reflecting the accident’s effects.

Here we can see the differences between water in Amur

and in Sungari. This is what Sungari water is like. Like Nikolai

Viktorovich just said, the water along the right bank is

similar in quality to Sungari water; and that’s the water that

gets into the city intake, which is on the right bank and also at

some depth (and we have established that bottom strata water

is always more heavily polluted with toxic substances).

That means there is a high risk of toxic pollutants entering

city drinking water supply.

This slide shows Sungari river impacts, and here are the

sampling locations.

So you can see here that locations 1 to 4 represent

Amur upstream from the confluence with Sungari, and then

starting with locations 4,5,6: left bank is ours, the middle of

5,6 – the left bank. And the quality does not get back to its

initial level.

The same applies to all the traditional hydro-chemical

indicators. We observe the same pattern, i.e. the state of

Amur waters is different depending on whether it is upstream

and downstream of Sungari confluence.

This slide is devoted to Sungari river contribution to pollution

by organic substances containing nitrogen. The indi-

cator. Sampling alignment six – this is downstream and this

is upstream of Sungari confluence. This bears out the strong

likelihood of pollution by carcinogenic nitroseamines. Such

substances are products of decomposition of organic substances

containing nitrogen.

We have the same findings for pollution by phenols. You

know that phenol is nothing to write home about either. Its

contact with runoff waters containing chlorine makes for

chlorophenols, which are highly toxic.

These are the findings on polyaromatic hydrocarbons

presence, and please note – benzobethafluorintene. We all

know what benzopyrine is, but this benzobethafluorintene,

which is present in petrochemical plants runoff water is no

less harmful. In Russia we only have [MPC] standards for

benzopyrine, while these components are not covered by

standards or looked for in testing.

Based on all the hydro-biological and hydro-chemical

indicators from summer sampling, we made the conclusion

that Amur is heavily polluted on both counts.

We have also discovered that toxic substances primarily

accumulate in bottom sediment, especially downriver from

Sungari confluence.

And now this event on November 13, 2005. Against

the background of persistent pollution we obtained a new

infusion of toxic substances that we were not prepared to

handle. New testing techniques were developed post-haste,

and new equipment fine-tuned in a hurry. That was all quite

dire. A question about costs was asker earlier. Ministry of

Natural resources spent 140 million. When those numbers

were submitted to Moscow, it demanded that every item

is strictly accounted for. Moscow recognized only part of

those expenses legitimate in view of measures taken. But

still, that’s the number - 140 million rubles.

First off, I would like to emphasize what compounded

the situation. If not for satellite pictures, we would not have

seen the explosions in the first place. If it were not winter,

if not for this thin crust of ice, we would have seen nothing

at all. This ice crust led to particularly grave environmental

consequences because it has spread the impacts over

time. Here is a small experiment, which showed that benzol

freezes even at five degrees. That means that practically all

the components of benzol’s volatile derivatives have remained

embedded in ice. Our forecast was that spring ice

melt will cause a second wave of contamination associated

with arrival of Sungari ice and with our own ice, which also

tied down benzol; in that way the contamination of Amur

river will be spread out in time.

Briefly now. Here is the picture of nitrobenzene movement

downriver. The highest values at specific points were

observed for five days. And high concentrations were mostly

along the right bank.

We were told to focus on nitrobenzene. But as the previous

presenter, Nikolai Viktorovich, told you we knew

from our summer surveys that it doesn’t all boil down to

nitrobenzene. So we applied all our advanced techniques

and demonstrated that nitrobenzene apart, there was also

benzol, phtalates, various hydrocarbons, hexane derivatives,

and what is extremely interesting – various chlorineorganic

compounds. We were primed to look for nitrobenzene,

but prior to that, seven days prior, we started seeing

volatile chlorine-organic compounds. Sample collectors

suffered from acute watering of the eyes, intense salivation,

they displayed typical signs of poisoning. That is all due

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




to one horrible thing – that we did not have direct contact

with the Chinese side. We did not know what preparatory

steps were taken by them. There was chat in the Internet

that downstream from Harbin they conducted detoxification

and disinfection. We assume that they used on a mass

scale some substances designed to oxidize some organic

substances by applying chlorine. Instead of helping, that

aggravated the situation considerably as even more dangerous

chlorine-organic substances were formed.

This here says that microbiological analysis revealed

that even prior to December 15 when nitrobenzene pollution

materialized, the water contained various polyaromatic

hydrocarbons and chlorine-containing substances.

This shows the range of organic substances [found], and

I would like to draw your attention to chloroform, it exceeds

MPC for drinking water supplies and fisheries by six hundred

times. Here, highlighted in red - chloroform!

This [slide] emphasizes that in line with European framework

directive much attention is recently given to bio-testing.

Accordingly, in summer we studied the impacts of the

industrial accident on living organisms in the river.

We have looked at algae, bottom-feeders, shellfish,

and fish.

It was found that algae suffered cell deformations and

loss of vitally important elements, such as chlorophyll, that

is photosynthesis was disrupted.

Every indicator pointed at poor water quality.

From the perspective of environmental risks – to this

little fish on the picture – water quality is poor.

I would underline here that fish is both an indicator of the

state of river ecosystem and a risk vector to human health.

When we tested fish, it was found that in 66% of fish

sampled there was benzol, followed by nitrobenzene

found in 60% of fish tested, and all the benzol derivatives

were found too.

This shows the concentration of such substances in fish in

January, after the contamination slick passed. Next.

Here are shown heavy metals discovered in fish. Mercury

MPC is 0,6, and in our samples we had up to 0,7.

All of the above was tested over an extended period, so

fish data is accurate.

As I noted already, nitrobenzene was not detected in

summer, but its methylated forms were. What’s the import

of that? It means that benzol derivatives in oxygen-starved

bottom sediment convert into methylated forms, which are

no fun to deal with too.

When we studied shellfish on the lower Amur, close to

its mouth and a thousand kilometers away from Sungari,

we found other derivatives there. It would seem one could

safely foretell that no nitrobenzene would be found there,

but we knew better, some chemical transformation got to

be there – and sure enough, we found isopropylbenzene.

There are no MPC standards for it or data on how hazardous

it is. How does one calculate the damage then? How to

assess the risks, how to express it in monetary form?

Next we looked at fish in the salmon group – highly valued

fish with its red meat and roe. We know that if toxins

are present they primarily accumulate in fatty tissues. 96%

of liboproteids are in the roe, which means all the toxins

should be there too and makes roe a dangerous food for

environmental reasons. Look here, when we compared concentrations

in salmon versus common fish species, salmon

fared much better, because at the moment of contamination

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

passage they were not in the river. Yet even salmon suffered

exposure to heavy metals. You can see here cadmium and

mercury presence in the salmon group.

Besides, chromatic mass-spectrometry revealed for the

first time the presence in fish of such harmful substances

as anisole and bentazol – those are supertoxic! In trace

amounts they are extremely harmful to human health. You

can imagine the elevated risks associated with consuming

them with fish.

We also concluded that as a rule such toxic substances

were found in those fish, which are bottom feeders. This

brings me back to the concept of ecological risk. When bottom

sediments are polluted in summer, when there are living

organisms there and they serve as feeding grounds for

fish, human risks are essentially spread over a very long period.

September testing revealed the same concentrations

of those toxic substances in fish and shellfish but in altered


I’ll repeat once again – mostly bottom feeders. Next


Just as it happens in soils, bottom sediment buries and

storages many toxic substances for long periods, the same

is true for Amur river.

And what consequences there are! I should make a disclaimer

right away, not all of these are the consequences

of that industrial accident – these are the consequences of

long-term persistent contamination accumulated in bottom

sediment. Look at the fish [on this slide] two or one eyes

missing – that is a grave mutational change, which may occur

in just a few generations. Man-made impacts with effects

brought downstream by Sungari river have been in

place ever since Chinese Communist Party decided on a

crash program of industrial development. That was in the

1990’s. Look at the changes in this fish - this is burbot and

a very delicious fish – but surely this one is not fit to eat. This

fish is locally known as motley horse and forms the bulk of

amateur anglers’ catches, can you the ulcers on that?

And here is a pike, that doesn’t even look as a pike, so

mutated that it impacted its morphology. Next slide.

This is more on the consequences. I may be belaboring

you with details too much, but this would pre-empt some


Following the industrial accident, we came to the conclusion

that after the slick’s passage benzol and its derivatives

accumulated in bottom sediment, fish and shellfish. In

summer time, Sungari effluent showed persistent presence

of В phtoluol, benzol, and xylol – all of them methylated

forms – which validates the finding that processes in bottom

sediment are not over.

Sungari waters also bring carcinogenic benzopyrene

and benzofluoranten (7). MPC is established only for benzopyrene

and stands at a very low level - 0,005 nanograms

per liter. In other words, it’s harmful in trace amounts. And

the highest risk is due to the fact that all of this moves along

the right bank where city water intake is. Next.

In the area impacted by Sungari effects can be seen in

all biological life forms, i.e. zooplankton, phytoplankton,

fish, shellfish. And I emphasize again - the highest concentrations

of toxic substances are found in bottom sediment.


The mediator’s comment: Time to wrap it up



Presenter: I will emphasize yet again that the worst

pollution is in bottom sediment as a rule. That means that

paying attention to water quality alone is not enough. And

when we lay the pipelines across sea bottom, and they will

have leaks and no monitoring, and then fishing trawlers will

catch fish there... – I am trying to recap the previous presentations

a bit too.

Thank you.


Mediator: Was that a swipe at Sigurd? Questions, colleagues,

please… You, please, take the mike.

Question: I understood from these two presentations

that we were not prepared in advance, and then all this

new equipment came out of the blue, with Chinese donations

too. But I understood that some research was carried

out previously on our own contribution to the pollution of

those rivers. Did you do such research?

Answer: Thank you for this excellent question. You may

have heard that recently, on May 16-17, there was a State

Duma session where they floated the idea of a law on Amur

river, the issue of the need to somehow protect this boundary

river, impose regulations, and create some structure for

relations with the Chinese side, who today make it practically

impossible to reach any agreements. It is difficult to do

even at governmental level. Everything is decided by way

of Beijing, it is not practically feasible to engage with their

research institutions or undertake some joint research with

their industry organizations since everything is decided by

the Communist Party Central Committee.

Now, as to domestic contribution to pollution. I want

to emphasize that we are looking at power sector issues.

We have all heard here about nuclear power plants with

their obvious associated risks. But are there risk factors

in hydro energy? After the new Bureiskaya hydro power

plant was built, we found that over the last three years

there emerged a flow of polyaromatic hydrocarbons from

areas upstream of the dam. That is due to reservoir bed

preparation activities, removing the forest cover, which is

done both by cutting the trees but also by burning sometimes.

And it so happens that… Well, thank God, we could

separate Sungari-brought polyaromatic hydrocarbons

from our own, because ours are of a different origin and

chemistry – phenontrene and anthracene for the most part

- they are caused not by oil pollution but by timber burning,

they are also found in flooded marshes, flooded mines

and mining run-off. That is when we talk of environmental

safety of flooding mines with the likelihood of that water

seeping into underground aquifers, we talk of a high risk

of toxins entering water supply. A question was asked

earlier on the health hazards of mine work, and dead fossilized

microorganisms were mentioned. But I would like

to say that there is another factor as well, that is coal dust

and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in waste materials. They

are all carcinogenic. I have data from the Internet that tell

that during health checkups miners display strong predisposition

to cancers. Bacteria are not the culprit there.

Mediator: More questions? Time for the last one. Thank

you, Lyubov Mikhailovna, for the excellent presentation.

(Lasting applause).

How do you stick it out there? Just a short comment…

Let’s get it together, stop talking, and listen to the last

presentation. I understand, it comes in two parts. Like they

used to say in old-time circuses, I’ll warn prior to video

screening that this is not for the faint of heart. Rather shocking


I invite to the podium Alexander Politun, Head of

Petrogradsky city district section of MEM Directorate

for St. Petersburg.

Alexander Politun:

Good afternoon, colleagues!

The video you are going to see is indeed not for the faint

of heart.

Yes, we may start.

Let me briefly remind you, we are talking about fire in a

shopping center, or rather a business center in Vladivostok.

What happened in that inferno cannot be named anything

but a catastrophe. As it later became clear, the ignition happened

on the sixth floor where there was a bank. The fire

started spreading from financial section. Those who left the

building immediately saved themselves. But women working

in the bank were collecting valuables, and locking money in

safes. When they were done and tried to leave the building,

it turned out that all avenues of retreat are cut off. Shocked

people crowded the windows begging for help.

The first fire truck arrived at the back of the building

forty minutes after the fire started. What could firefighters

do? – Exactly nothing. They needed a ladder, and it was

still missing.

The people had the choice: either wait and burn alive or

jump. (Sounds of panic, shouts, screams, automobile claxons,

noise from moving cars, fire sirens, shattered glass and

so on).

Video on women rescue operation screened.

Comment by the mediator: The mattresses are

short. I expect the people will plunge to their deaths like in

a Hollywood action movie.

Screening of the video on tragic events at rescue operation

at Vladivostok’s savings bank continues.

Video narrator’s commentary. According to the latest

data, 19 individuals suffered in the fire. Five crashed

to death jumping and twelve were brought to the hospital

where two died in intensive care unit. The fire was ranked

as category three in severity, about 20 firefighting crews

responded. On-site investigation by the prosecutor’s office

is on, headed by deputy prosecutor for Primorsky Krai Sergei


By the time of this broadcast by Region-25 program, we

have obtained an official comment.

Investigative group of Primorsky Krai prosecutor’s office

continues its on-site investigation. Regional prosecutor’s office

has opened the criminal case based on the following

elements of crime ‘violation of fire safety rules causing human

death’ (part 3, article 219, Russian Federation Criminal

Code) and ‘negligence leading to two or more deaths’

(part 3, article 293 Russian Federation Criminal Code).

All the necessary preliminary investigative activity is under

way. The public will be kept informed on investigation’s


Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Comments by firefighting service representative:

We have employed all the personnel and all the equipment

at our disposal. That is it is hard to say - that the ladder

malfunctioned – it did work, thirty-meter ladder was

out there, but there were issues, it simply couldn’t reach far

enough because there is – what do you call it – that ramp

in front of the building, which prevented the ladder from

reaching the people.

On the [opposite] side where there were no ramps two

ladders were deployed. We are now of course working on

the figures of all people who needed help, we are investigating

it all, the number of people rescued from the opposite


The ladder was extended not as fast as onlookers would

like. There must be technical reasons for that, which I am not

qualified to judge about. The onlookers in their emotional

state, I don’t know what drove them, hit the operator several

times yet he continued to do his job. He did not go to

the hospital himself, his colleagues helped us find him, and

he was hospitalized with the diagnosis of concussion and

laceration wounds to the face. He was later transferred to

oral surgery department of regional hospital No 2.

Comments by firefighting service representative:

As to response time, first it so happens that the call to

emergency dispatch came from…let’s say not from where

the fire was happening: that is neither the alarm worked,

nor anybody from those premises called. Some outsider has

noticed fire and smoke bursting from the windows. Can you

imagine for how long the fire spread freely, unobstructed?

People were in their offices and did not know. And let

me put it this way, the main source of fire was just across

from inner staircase, that’s where the most burning took

place. So imagine for yourselves, one stairway was practically

cut off by fire.

Mediator: Such a video, colleagues. Will anybody

care to comment?

Answer: I don’t know if it calls for comment, just let us

see if anybody present has questions.

Mediator: I must say that we experienced the fallout

from that [event] ourselves. Soon after, we had a fire inspection

from MEM. And maybe, we must thank them,

maybe it was indeed a case of how glad we are to see you.

Following that [inspection], we rethought the whole design

of our building and took serious steps, that is added technical

assets for fire prevention. You would agree, one doesn’t

often see something like this, and one would want to avoid


Presenter: My presentation topic is MEM of Russia

fire safety requirements.

They are known to you, so I would not go into them indepth;

that is government decree №69, and various fire

safety regulations. I don’t want to overwhelm you, especially

since we have a day of hard work behind us, and

we end it not on the most upbeat note possible. So, fire is

a process that engenders social and economic losses due

to impacts on humans or material assets of vectors of thermal

decomposition or burning of a spreading non-specific


I will stop at that, stop reading from the slides that you

can see. That was just a reminder… Next slide, please. The

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

thrust of my presentation was basically on preventing fires,

and you can read on this slide the reasons for that.

I will not follow my written notes, or the slides. Let me

ad lib a bit.

Fires then. Let me give you some numbers. And I will be

speaking about a city district, not St Petersburg as a whole.

Fires in residential sector are the most frequent ones. And

most often they start with socially disadvantaged families.

Here are the latest large fires. In the night before May 9 th , the

people started celebrating already. The fire occurred at Sablinskaya

Street, where a whole communal flat of 11 rooms

burned down. Ten families shared that flat. You understand

that the whole building suffered. This happened on the 4 th

floor, the fifth is above it. And people at the core of the fire

did not suffer; even though it happened at night, they were

all evacuated. The floors beneath them, practically to the

ground floor were flooded. And two days later, the woman

who lived on the floor above died from carbon monoxide

poisoning: she left her apartment in a state of shock and never

went for medical help.

What causes [such fires]? – Changes to the premises

layout, making use of substandard or cheap materials,

which are not fire-resistant. All those plastics may not burn

themselves but exude such chemicals that two breaths render

one unconscious. In some rare cases, the outcome is


The ways of preventing the appearance of a combustible

environment are also listed here. This also says that it is,

after all necessary to use certified substances of low flammability

or non-flammable in designing and building residential

and other structures. You save on one thing – you

lose on another. These are universally known home truths.

Goes without saying that fire alarms and modern firefighting

technology should be in place, all of that is home

truths again.

What are the current issues, both for the city and, probably,

for Russia as a whole?

We started building highrise houses and forgot about

fire safety. We don’t have the right kind of fire trucks. St Petersburg

has two with fifty-meter ladder span, but those are

very large vehicles. The houses have been built, but driving

close to them with such a fire ladder is a problem. It would

be impossible to use it, just as in the case you just saw – the

ladder was there but could not reach and rescue people.

Several companies are now using various techniques of

highrise building evacuation, where special guide ropes

can be attached to heating radiators and used to evacuate

in a suspended harness. But people first need to be trained

to use those. Not everyone will be capable of putting on

and using the harness properly while panicked.

Many issues. How to solve them? Maybe, such conferences

are a help in facilitating debate on solutions. Next

slide, please.

How to address these issues and find solutions?

With industry on the upswing, we have a growing number

of fires and explosions on oil refineries, chemical and

petrochemical facilities. Next slide, please.

This slide provides statistical breakdown of causes of

such disasters. The biggest one percentage-wise is the violation

of engineering requirements and processes. 33% is

due to malfunctioning of automatic fire detection and alarm

systems. A non-human factor as we call it, even though it is

people who manage that instrumentation and check it.



13% - is due to poor state of equipment maintenance

work, cluttered premises, dirty fuel oil furnaces – well, let’s

leave those alone, and so on. The rules for engineering

inspection are violated leading to frequent malfunctions,

which account for about another 10%.

Oil and oil-based products leaks - about 9%. Violation

of fire equipment maintenance schedules, equipment wear

and corrosion - 8%. Faulty electrical equipment - 7%. An

on it goes. Faulty stop valves, lids, etc. I won’t list what you

can see on the slide.

All the rest is human factor, careless handling of fire as

a rule. These things routinely cause tragedies. To go back to

Vladivostok case, it was a lunch break time, and one worker

forgot to turn off his electric area heater as he left – with

tragic results.

Let’s go back to Vladivistok again. Like my boss said,

that caused the first ever arrest and imprisonment for negligence

of fire inspector, who inspected fire safety [there].

He inspected compliance with his [earlier] remedy order,

which said among other things that backup emergency exit

is piled with clutter and locked shut with a metal grille. It was

just padlocked, and people could not escape from there.

And the fire caught there too.

All supervisors and managers must constantly think not

only about their own safety but that of their workers as


That’s briefly all I have.

Mediator: Any questions? No questions. Ah, there is


Question: The questioner did not name himself.

Please, tell me why does it happen so with us? We buy

building materials in stores, we build offices, apartments

and so on. [And those materials] contain carcinogenic substances,

exude chlorine while burning, etc. Which way are

those bodies which exist to ensure that such products are

not manufactured looking? Should there be no such products

on the market, we would not be buying them. Yet, it is

all manufactured, and then we turn around and say: This

is the kind of materials you should buy, the non-toxic and

non-carcinogenic ones.

Answer: I quite agree. We are used to words ‘European

style’ in apartment renovation, ‘European standards’.

Sometimes we omit to look where those standards take

us. Forget me for repeating myself, seemingly something

may be not flammable, but if it emits toxic substances, two

breaths may suffice for you to lose consciousness, then you

only have to hope for first aid from rescuers or firemen...

(Comments suggesting return to the question asked).

Begging your pardon, that is a question for special

agencies that issue certificates, not for me.

Mediator: Just to clarify, unfortunately, Alexander

Stanislavovich only struggles with the consequences, he

fights fires, and he cares about this as much as we do.

A follow-up by the presenter: let me say just a tad more,

just a minute of your time. I showed the video you have seen

to many different audiences. There was a question asked:

How come we see in old movies that firemen spread a special

tarpaulin, hold it firm, people jump, and everything

ends well. Let me remind you that buildings got higher. And

simply making it to that tarp accurately for an untrained

person… It seems simple – you jump from the window and

there you are on the tarp. Not so simple. We experimented

jumping into roped-off target on water, and it did not work


Also, no tarpaulin will hold a person jumping from the

5 th or 6 th floor. The person will be injured all the same. And

who will be held liable? - Those ten persons who held the


On various exhibitions we see means of rescue, inflatable

cubes – but only at exhibitions. I will not be revealing

a secret if I tell you, we have been tormented with reforms,

very much so. There is no time to get used to ever-changing

tables of personnel and equipment, that is the lists of what

we are supposed to have, but only on paper. Frankly it is

all held together by my colleagues, those guys who don

their gear and helmets and walk into the fire – I personally

don’t, I am no longer allowed to. I deal with support for the


We are all probably used to our MEM, those fellows

in nice uniforms… I’ll share my personal opinion with you,

even though one shouldn’t air one’s dirty linen in public.

Nothing good comes out of these reforms. Our equipment

ages, we get all the nice colorful prospects Buy this or that!

– but give us the money! We will keep saving lives and helping,

no question about it.

And we do it today, but only with the assets we have.

Mediator: And thank you for doing that!

Continuous applause.

Colleagues, we have exhausted day one agenda. Let’s

go downstairs in an orderly fashion, without a fuss. Buses

wait for us at hotel entrance. A little coach tour.

Day 2 of sessions



Mediator: Let’s try to start our second day of work. It’s

traditional that our ranks get thinner by day two. That probably

testifies to the good quality of our arrangements. We

will stick to the same schedule as yesterday. Accordingly, a

coffee break from 11:40 to 12:00, lunch from one to two

pm, a second coffee break at 15:40, and we’ll probably

dispense with tours today.

It gives me pleasure to invite our next presenter, Boris

Melnik, head of production oversight department,

Division of Industrial and Occupational safety,

Magnitogorsk Integrated Iron-and-Steel Works.

Boris Melnik:

Good morning, esteemed colleagues!

I am very happy to tell you about labor safety and industrial

safety management system developed and implemented

at our enterprise. Hopefully, you will find some lessons

useful in your work. We are always open to dialogue.

Should you have questions or suggestions, we are always

glad to meet you, discuss them and share our practices.

To begin with, briefly about our industrial complex.

Our integrated iron-an-steel mill is among the largest

metallurgical producers in the world; in 2006 our steel

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




output was 12,5 million tons. This is a mill with complete

metallurgical cycle; our final product is rolled steel, special

section rolled metal, and sheet metal. We also manufacture

rolled steel with polymer and tin coating. In other words,

a full range of metal products that are required today by

every industrial and economic sector.

At present, almost all the steel we produce is made in

modern converters, we have three converter units today

and two electric smelters that we launched last year, exactly

a year ago in June. I can tell you outright and boast

a bit that those are rather unique smelters. Their capacity is

180 tons, and no other enterprise has such smelters yet.

Our mill has always served as a testbed for new technology,

so we always have something new and retool continuously.

As a rule, new production equipment is unique,

never used before.

This constant change, introduction of everything new,

constant retooling, and the priority task of safeguarding

workers life and health explain why we began to contemplate

the need to develop labor and industrial safety system.

The need was ripe, both considering that we have 27

thousand workers and the need for more active penetration

of foreign markets. We entered into collaborative agreement

with Labor Academy and Institute of Social Relations

and Occupational Safety and jointly developed a labor

and industrial safety management system including all that

necessarily implies. I mean the requisite documentation, the

system for interaction between all the units in our organization,

and management system itself.

As far as documentation goes, we developed 35 enterprise-wide

standards in order to rationalize all efforts

in labor and industrial safety area. Those standards were

developed based on Russian laws and regulations and also

took into account international requirements in labor and

industrial safety area.

Those 35 standards fall into three groups:

- Group one embraces standards relating to organizational

steps in support of safety effort. It touches not only

on the issues of interaction between parts of corporate

structure or within such parts and on individual shop floors,

but also on interaction with outside businesses providing

services. Since the mill aggressively pursues the strategy of

outsourcing services, all the support elements, such as maintenance

services, auxiliary services, locksmiths, mechanics,

hydraulic technicians are phased out of the organization

to become contract service providers. Therefore a special

standard was developed to cover relations with service


- Group two embraces industrial safety standards. These

13 standards cover all areas of activity in support of safety

at various segments of production, i.e. in steel manufacturing,

rolled steel manufacturing, or in radiation safety area.

And everything else related to it.

- Group three includes standards that govern issues of

systemic interaction with various other systems implemented

at the mill – quality management system, environmental

management – and also set the format for documentation.

That is all the routine work one unfortunately has to perform

anyway – filling out papers and reports, filing them with

officials, and so on.

These standards aside, our mill has developed as part of

the system 28 policies and guidelines. When the system was

first introduced, it was certified in 2004, after its first year,

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

and the auditor, Bureau Veritas, issued us an international

compliance certificate. After a year in service, we decided

that we somewhat overloaded the system with documentation.

I will call on all of you not to get carried away with

drafting documentation. Today, we systematically review

all the documents we have developed with a view to cutting

down their number while enriching their substantive content.

To give you an example, we used to have three standards

bearing on fire safety as part of broader industrial safety;

they covered fire response and fire prevention. At the end

of the day, we are left with one, which incorporated all the

really necessary elements of the three. The rest was thrown

away. Thus we cut down on the number of documents today.

The efficiency of this single standard [is higher] since

personnel don’t have to study a large number of documents,

meaning less pressure on their brain cells and memory, but

they can implement the existing policy with better effect.

Mediator’s comment: How did you call that comprehensive


Answer: At present, our integrated standard is STBP-

BLT standard – the system of industrial safety standards and

fire safety standard of MMK. It incorporates all the components

that are presently required: provisions for firefighting,

voluntary firemen teams, arrangements for firefighting

equipment storage and checkups. That is to say everything

is under one standard now.

That aside, we have developed a corporate policy on

labor and industrial safety, which is reviewed annually;

version three is currently in effect. It defines primary objectives:

- first – priority assurance of worker health and life in

the workplace;

- second – compliance with existing legal and regulatory

requirements, international agreements, and industry


- third – incorporation into industrial safety of the latest

advances in research and technology;

- fourth – implementation of an efficient system for production

oversight and occupational safety oversight, improvement

in workplace culture.

To attain these objectives … - I’ll elaborate on just one

point. No system, no matter how good it is can be left without

oversight. Therefore the key task that my division faces

nowadays is somewhat different from what it was prior to

adoption of the management system. Prior to its adoption

in 2004, both departments within the division – occupational

safety department and production oversight department

– dealt with what is pure inspection, that is the bulk

of their work was in visiting production floors, identifying

violations and taking required steps or issuing recommendations,

while today the primary task is management. It is

not about coming to the shop floor and finding a number of

violations but about coming to the shop floor and studying

how their system works in order to identify the true reason

behind a violation. That is to say, we perform more work

on coordination of available assets and occupational and

industrial safety workers on the shop floors, coordination of

activity of shop-level [safety] supervisors, who have been

appointed according to the rules. That means we no longer

get into petty detail, but deal with more strategic issues and

establish policy.



What are the results of this effort that we undertook in

streamlining the system and making everybody aware of it?

At present, our mill employs 26,700 workers. That’s on the

flagship mill itself. All the companies making up our industrial

complex employ about 70,000. Of those 27,000 core

employees everyone without exception has been trained

on knowing this system, and now they have their own incentive

to continuously improve their knowledge and implement

steps that safeguard their lives. And the results were

not long in coming. I can quote the numbers.

Here you can see (commenting the slides) several tables.

I will not touch the period prior to 2003. But the statistics of

accidents for the period 2004-2006 reveal a rather significant

drop in their number thanks to our current accident

prevention system, to all of these system documents, which

are strictly complied with.

You can see that we had one accident. It is a tragic

event last year that all of you probably heard about; we

had a fire in metal sheet rolling shop number five. Generally

speaking, it was not so much an accident as a fire, which

caused roof collapse that took eight lives.

There was an investigative commission that drew certain

conclusions, including some reached with our help.

By today, we have discontinued the use of polypropylene

in dipping baths. It transpired that this material has not

been adequately studied yet, and that a similar tragedy

earlier occurred in Germany where two production lines

for etching which also used polypropylene for coating in

dipping baths burned down.

At that time, the cause of the fire was not determined to

be in polypropylene ignition. The same is true of our fire.

You can also see here numbers on the reduction in traumatism.

You can see a general down trend in incidence of

trauma, and that’s because all our work on systemizing

available knowledge and industrial and labor safety documentation

helps improve personnel discipline and makes

people more scrupulous in performing their labor and industrial

safety responsibilities.

In the end, we see the drop in traumatism over recent

years, which is certainly reassuring.

Besides, I would like to point out an important element

in setting up industrial safety management system, which

helped us reduce the number of accidents – the fact that we

paid much attention to identifying sources of risks in production,

trauma risks that is. That required immense work at

the mill and the development of a standard.

Mediator: Colleagues, there is a steady hum in the

room. I for one, have difficulty hearing the presenter. Let

me remind you what we agreed to on day one. If you need

to talk to someone - we all understand the need – use chairs

and couches in the other hall. Please, continue (addressing

the presenter) and forgive my interruption.

The presentation resumes:

So, a standard was developed. Generally speaking,

that standard was authored by our division; there was a

special team working on it. In order to prevent an accident

or some kind of trauma, all structural units of the mill conduct

a quarterly risk assessment using the guidelines developed

in our division. One particular author-cum-developer

was Bikmuhamedov Marat Gobdulfatovich, for whom this

technique became his master’s thesis.

So, we access risks quarterly using almost a hundred

parameters and conduct quarterly inspections on shop

floors. Risk assessments are then calibrated and summarized

to arrive at a combined rating for each shop. More

detailed risk assessments are assigned to each individual

production area in the shop and even to major equipment

units. It doesn’t matter what shop it is - steel smelting, blast

furnaces, or steel rolling. Everything is broken down to the

level of specific risks at a given unit of equipment, with simultaneous

development of risk mitigation options if such

risks cannot be eliminated altogether. If they can be eliminated,

we take the required steps in advance.

We have gone even further in this issue. I believe, that

maybe you do that too.

Today, we see an active introduction of new technology

and equipment, most of it by foreign manufacturers and developers;

and we run into significant imperfections in such

technologies. So, we have introduced one more line item

to risk assessment – risks associated with imperfect technology.

A specially designated team systematically inspects

all the technology we use in the mill. The team includes our

own experts and those from our University of Mining. They

look at a given technology in its entirety, identify potentially

hazardous parts and think on how to mitigate that particular

hazard, how to fix something. As a result, in our steel rolling

shop 15 improvement and changes were introduced to the

technology of rolling mill-370, which we purchased along

with the mill itself. That helped take away many headaches,

which, as you know, are fairly common for production

floors. Let’s say a length of rolled metal or a round slug is

moving along the rollers, and to speed up matters workers

would help adjust its alignment without stopping the rollers

using some improvised hooks or even more often their own


Today, and that was not part of the original rolling mill

design or technology, we have introduced the system for

automatic roller shutdown. A most elementary photo sensor

was installed. The moment a hand or some foreign object

crosses the invisible line, the rollers stop. The workers will

no longer be able to perform any work while rollers are in

movement. That’s the kind of activity we undertake on an

on-going basis and intend to carry on in the future.

Considering additional positive developments. I have

already said that incidence of industrial injury is declining.

According to 2006 data, forty of our structural units posted

not a single case of trauma. I believe that to be a most

impressive result for a giant metallurgical plant when forty

units haven’t had any injuries.

As for myself, I am more on the side of production oversight

of industrial and occupational safety, and like I said

before we are open to dialogue. Therefore, we are actively

participating in multiple forums and constantly strive to win

recognition. Assessments by our own auditors and experts

aside, we often invite outside auditors for our inspections.

And we constantly work at overall improvement. This work

was capped by completing labor safety certification process

in 2005, when we got our safety certificate. Besides,

the effort we currently undertake - to certify every workplace

and the program developed to support that effort -

won a silver medal at Moscow exhibition last year.

I could carry on in greater detail for a long time. What

I am trying to say is that any business can gain progress in

this field when the information available on the shop floor

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




and the analysis of conditions on the ground are conveyed

to top management, so that the management gets the sense

of importance of issues.

At the first stage, in 2004 году, we definitely had to

break the mold of existing stereotypes. You know how it often

is with us: ensure metal output – all the rest is secondary

and can be taken care of later. I’ll tell you frankly that at that

first stage, analytical reports that we drafted for top management

were sometimes left to collect dust without a second

glance. But our persistence in personnel training and in

frequent appeals to mill management brought us to the place

where top management itself demands a mandatory weekly

brief on the state of traumatism and industrial safety.

In other words, the management has also turned around

to face the issue squarely, which is encouraging, and I trust

that we will continue in the same vein.

I already mentioned that all our workers have been

trained to master the standards they need to know. Besides,

we constantly address the issue of continuing education for

supervisors and middle-level managers. We have developed

a system for that, including personnel refresher training

center, where training is offered continuously. Analytical

bureau in our division collects all information [on training]

and maintains strict accounting. For instance we know

that 7,212 individuals received training and certification in

occupational and industrial safety last year. This training

alone cost us about 800 thousand rubles. And mind you,

this is offered in-house through our own personnel training


I could, of course, also show you what our costs are, but

that’s probably not so important. In 2006, overall occupational

and industrial safety expenditures added up to about

120 million rubles, which is no trifling amount.

That’s briefly what I had for you today. I will welcome


Mediator: Here comes the first question.

Question: Rustem Ilyasov, AO KazTransOil.

I have two small questions actually. First, you said that

you have certain standards for relations with service providers.

I understand them to be outside contractors who

work on your mill, on site. And here is the question: who

will be held liable if, God forbid, an accident will happen

involving someone working for such a contractor? That’s

my first question, begging your pardon.

And the second one, so as not to get back to it. Your

incident frequency table shows a great progress. In 1999

you had 244 incidents, while in 2006 you had 79. If I understand

correctly, the definition of an incident refers to

situations where some equipment breakdown occurred or

something else happened that could have led to an injury,

had the potential to cause harm to health. My question then

is who and how maintains the record of such incidents, provided

I understood the notion properly? Thank you.

Answer: I see. On liability. Should such an accident occur

with a contractor or representative of a service agency,

the standard, which is based on our Russian laws and existing

guidelines, rules, and policies, calls for that contractor

or service organization to record, investigate and be liable

for the accident. The investigative board must include our

mill’s representative though. If it finds that the mill has failed

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

to fully ensure that contractor’s employee safety, the mill

will be held partially liable. It plays out differently in individual


Second, on keeping a record of incidents. You all know

that the definition has been given in law 116. The recording

of incidents for the whole mill is maintained by my division,

in my department. We have an electronic database. Every

incident is recorded and analyzed.

The chain of reporting has been established in the standard

for incident recording and investigation. Shop floor

manager or dispatcher reports the incident to the mill dispatcher,

and the mill dispatcher reports the incident to our


That is reported only to the manager and verbally.

Comment: And what if they want to cover up the incident?

Answer: With us, there is no point to doing that.

Mediator: That’s your sixth question already. Maybe

you could thrash it out with the presenter later. Next question,


Question: There is much construction and technology

upgrades going on at major metallurgical plants today.

Due to that dozens - or for your scale hundreds - of contractors

work on the mill site, inside production shops that

continue to run.

Here is my question. What leverage do you have

against contractors working on your site? That is to say,

how you oversee them, penalize or dismiss them? And can

you do anything, or they are completely independent? Do

you have anything on that? Thank you.

Answer: Here is how we handle it. When a contract is

drawn, it says specifically that once the contractor crossed

our fence line he is bound to strictly comply with all the same

requirements that apply to our own workers. That is they

comply with all our policies and guidelines.

Oversight over contractors is maintained firstly by the

specific shop where they operate, the shops do have that

requirement, and secondly, by our division. What leverage

we have should a violation by contractor is identified? -

Only fines, or else complete termination of contract.

Mediator: Forgive me, I have another question and a

small comment, since my outfit is itself a contractor for many

organizations including some represented in this room.

The more – let us say advanced - of our counterparts

forward to us special attachments to the agreement, which

contain certain stipulations, including one that says that

G.C.E. group employees visiting an enterprise are bound

by all of its guidelines, policies, and so on. Often I just sign

off on that. Nobody as yet has actually forwarded the instructions

and policies we are supposed to comply with.

That probably needs to be looked into, take that as a tip. If

you offer a similar agreement, include those documents as

an addendum. That was my comment.

We have our next question, please.

Question: GUP Vodokanal St Petersburg (State enterprise

St Petersburg water utility), Yuri Grebennik.



Tell me please for I must have missed that point, has your

enterprise been certified as compliant with international industrial

safety standard?

Answer: You are right, I have indeed omitted to say

that. We are certified for compliance with OHSAS 18001.

Comment: Does that certification imply compliance

only with industrial safety requirements or with occupational

safety ones as well?

Answer: It’s both, industrial and occupational.

Question: GUP Vodokanal St Petersburg. We have

another question. You mentioned that your enterprise has

quality management and environmental management systems.

Are all of those separate systems or there exists an integrated

management system that includes all three areas?

Answer: I understand. At present, the three systems

operate separately from each other, but we plan to bring

them all together into a comprehensive one.

Question: One last question. There is a standard out

there, SA 8000 that covers social responsibility. Does your

management plan to get certification for compliance with

its requirements?

Answer: To the best of my knowledge, they have

looked into it, there was some talk of preparations to get

certification, but since this is beyond my division’s jurisdiction

I cannot answer you any better.

Mediator: I would like to note something that appears

important to me. This conference has several times touched

on this question, first obliquely, and now with your help directly.

Do I understand correctly that you are talking about

an integrated management system that would incorporate

issues of industrial, occupational, and environmental safety?

Alexander Nikolaevich Sakov, who is present here, has

emphasized more than once already that in all three areas,

excepting management quality, the sources of hazards are

essentially the same. The disjointed system leads to unnecessary

expenditure for one thing, and to some certain confusion

for another.

Nonetheless, with today’s realities it seems to me that

combining it all in one system would be extremely challenging.

Possible in theory but difficult, and here is why.

In our country, just as in neighboring ones I believe,

[government] oversight system is compartmentalized. Environmental

[inspectors] visit with environmental experts, industrial

safety [inspectors] with their functional counterparts

[on the plants], and occupational safety inspectors – if they

ever visit - with occupational safety people. I got ahead of

myself, Boris Yurievich, but that was actually my question. I

have several more like it.

Look here, Boris Yurievich made an excellent presentation.

[He spoke of] standards, risk assessment techniques

down to individual workplaces, but wouldn’t you agree

that all those are occupational safety issues? If we follow

the spirit of law 116, industrial safety focuses [on risks] out-

side an enterprise. One can argue that it is all as one, that

sources of dangers are the same, yet traumatism is not part

of industrial safety.

Answer: I might have spoken imprecisely, but in our

risk assessments we calculate not only risk of injury, but also

the risk of equipment failure before the end of its rated service

life, and impacts on equipment by various detrimental

factors, such as temperature regime or aggressive environment.

Those risks relate specifically to industrial safety

since they may cause a malfunction or failure of a piece of

equipment. We assess those risks too, that is why we have

so many.

Mediator: I will get back to this question yet.

Question: Yankovsky Ivan Grigorievich, G.C.E. group.

Here is my question. We know that recording and analyzing

incidents is not an end in itself. The primary goal is to reduce

the likelihood of an accident. From your data we saw 244

[incidents] for some year, the reduction in the number of

incidents, and then suddenly an accident. Does that mean

that incidents analysis was incorrect, or that it was correct

but proper engineering and administrative steps were not

taken in time. What’s the reason? Few incidents, yet an accident


Answer: Every incident analysis is a starting point for

developing some measures; we look for the cause and introduce

required remedies.

As to that accident, I basically told you already, that it

was not strictly speaking an accident; and specific cause behind

the ignition of that polypropelene has not been established

yet. If not for that ignition, there would have been no

accident in the first place. What is considered an accident in

this case is roof collapse in the etching shop. But that collapse

was caused by the fire. Equipment performed nominally, no

electrical shorts, no static electricity discharge, nothing on the

equipment side. Just as in Germany, we were not able to establish

the cause of ignition.

Mediator: Thank you. Any more questions? I have one

as usual.

Boris Yurievich, you have also mentioned the issue of

radiation safety. That mention in the presentation probably

means that it is considered a serious issue at your enterprise.

Where does such an interest to that issue come from?

Answer: That likely comes from my own interests… I

was involved with radiation sources for a long time. Before

becoming division chief, I dealt with issues of mill radiation

safety for 10 years.

Interjection: Do you have multiple sources then? Or

is it about some contamination coming from outside the


Answer: Well, that’s a very broad question. Like any

metallurgical plant in the world, we cannot manage without

some radiation sources. At present, we have about 320

ionizing radionuclide sources and about 70 generating

sources. Therefore, the issue of radiation safety for personnel

involved with that area is naturally important. On top of

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




all that, and no less important as you well know, is that the

plant often receives contaminated scrap metal. Such cases

were many, some quite recent. In Orsk we had several cases

of delivery of contaminated scrap; in one railway car they

even discovered the housing of radionuclide defectoscope,

which was manufactured from depleted uranium. The investigation

of that case is on.

So we shall always face issues of radiation safety.

Mediator: Thank you.

I would like to get back to the issue of techniques you

employ. I got very interested in that. I understand that you

frequently perform risk assessments, you or rather your

staff. Is that a quantitative technique, does it employ formulas

or is it qualitative?

Answer: It is driven by specially developed formulas

and calculations. We have tables that attach a numeric

score to every risk. That is a major activity performed in individual

shops by their occupational safety engineers.

Mediator: My last question. I have gone over the

first day’s presentations. We talked about industrial safety

at large and about expert assessments in particular, and

touched on issues of risk declarations and risk assessments.

But practically nothing was said on that dimension of expert

assessment, which deals with buildings, structures, and

equipment diagnostics.

Could you tell whose responsibility it is in your case,

yours or production manager’s?

Answer: Overall responsibility for arranging and conductions

expert assessments and diagnostics belongs with

my division. As to those who deal specifically with buildings

and structures, we have a technical support and maintenance

center with a dedicated section that deals with all

issues of expert assessments and diagnostics for buildings

and structures. As to expert assessments themselves, they

are naturally conducted by outside expert support centers

that we contract.

Mediator: Thank you very much. More questions?

Let’s make this the last question. The microphone,


Question: Alexander Loza, industrial safety engineer,

ZAO Ford Motor Company.

This is likely a topical issue for you. You said that the

plant buys and installs imported equipment. I would assume

that you involve foreign contractors for its assembly and

installation. Who installs imported equipment that you procure

for your production shops?

Answer: Regarding equipment installation. As a rule,

overall installation oversight is performed by manufacturers,

while for installation proper we rely on organizations

based in Magnitogorsk or elsewhere [in Russia], which

have excellent highly skilled professionals, in steel rolling

equipment in particular, and themselves operate not only in

Russia but overseas as well.

Question: The nub of the question is this. If you use a

foreign contractor how do you resolve the issue of licens-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

ing for activity on facilities associated with hazards, that

requirement Rostechnadzor describes in law?

Answer: I believe the licensing issue is addressed in

the same fashion everywhere. We simply would not hire

an organization that lacks a license for a particular type

of activity.

Question: So if a foreign contractor installs foreignmade

equipment he should by all means have Rostechnadzor


Answer: Not quite. Firstly, foreign contractors don’t

install, they provide general oversight of installation. The

installation itself is performed by domestic companies. But

when we do involve foreign professionals they as a rule

have been certified in Russia, based on Russian rules.

Mediator: That was the last question. Thank you, Boris



Is Alexander Sidorov in the room? Great.

In that case, the podium is yours.

It gives me pleasure to introduce Alexander Sidorov,

Head of industrial safety oversight department,

Division for occupational safety, industrial safety,

and civil defence, Mosvodokanal.

Alexander Sidorov:

Good morning again, esteemed colleagues!

Moscow is an explosively growing megalopolis that

concentrates about 10% of Russia’s population on 0,3%

of its landmass.

Efficient solution of issues of high-quality drinking water

supply and reliable work of drainage system is a prerequisite

for good state of public health and sustainable

city development. The centralized system of capital city

water supply, which turned 200 years old in 2004, and

sewer system that turned 100 in 1998, serve over 11 million


Moscow’s water supply comes almost exclusively

from surface water bodies in Moscow, Smolensk, and Tver

oblasts. Watershed area of moskvoretzko-vazuza system is

fifteen thousand square kilometers, that of Volga system is

40 thousand square kilometers. Summary guaranteed water

yield is 51,82 cubic meters per second.

Moscow water supply system consists of 4 hydro-engineering

complexes, 4 water treatment plants – Rublevskaya,

Vostochnaya, Severnaya, and Zapadnaya – with total

capacity of 6,7 million cubic meters per day, 18 pump stations

and control nodes, and over 10 thousand kilometers

of distribution network.

Wastewater and sewage removal system of Moscow

serves the area of 1200 square kilometers. It includes

130 pumping stations with over 5 million cubic meters

a day capacity and Europe’s two largest wastewater

treatment facilities – Kuryanovskaya and Lyuberetzkaya,

state-of-the-art local treatment plants at Zelenograd

and Southern Butovo, and over 7 thousand kilometers of


Organizationally, Mosvodokanal is broken down into

separate subdivisions built around specific activities. Overall

staffing level stands at about 12 thousand.



At present, Moscow unitary state enterprise Mosvodokanal

operates 67 hazardous industrial facilities recorded

on the state register and insured in accordance with article

15 of Federal law On industrial safety. Those facilities operate

about 355 units of various pieces of technology, which

are accordingly registered with Rostechnadzor.

The first slide, please.

This gives you the overview of what is subject to state

oversight, the number of units. This list includes:

- chemical facilities’ equipment, that is tanks for pressurized

chlorine storage, industrial pipelines, alkali tanks

– 131 unit;

- tanks for pressurized storage of air and oils - 13


- elevator equipment – 33 units;

- crane equipment – bridge and gantry cranes, automobile

cranes and lifts, and hydraulic lifting equipment – 118


- equipment on facilities subject to boiler oversight – 39


- equipment on facilities subject to gas equipment inspection

– methane-tanks, gas-holders, biogas pipelines,

gas pipelines, and gas-burning equipment – 21 units.

The number of personnel operating hazardous industrial

facilities and trained and certified for industrial safety

in our specific sector stands at 1,358.

Personnel are regularly trained in accident and incident

response protocols based on approved schedules.

The enterprise develops and implements industrial safety

action plan on an annual basis. To comply with industrial

safety requirements stipulated by decree № 263 of Russian

Federation government, Mosvodocanal has created industrial

safety oversight department. The policy for production

oversight of compliance with industrial safety requirements

at hazardous facilities has been developed and its approval

by Rostechnadzor secured.

The enterprise employs a four-step system of production

oversight of compliance with industrial safety requirements.

Deputy director general for engineering policy has been

entrusted with overall leadership in hazardous facilities protection

and oversight. The head of division for occupational

safety and industrial safety is responsible for managing and

coordinating all activity in that field. The head of industrial

safety department is responsible for production oversight.

The enterprise Commission for production oversight

headed by deputy director general for engineering policy

follows the established schedule in conducting inspections

of industrial safety in each subdivision that operates a hazardous

facility at least once a year, that is to say it inspects

every device registered by Rostechnadzor.

Scheduled inspections of each facility by industrial

safety oversight department are performed on a quarterly


Facility inspections in semi-autonomous subdivisions or

so-called branches are performed each month by production

oversight commissions.

Subdivision personnel responsible for safety provide

oversight on a day-to-day and shift-to-shift basis.

Production oversight and inspections particularly target

the timeliness of equipment testing and technical inspection,

compliance with engineering processes, preparedness

for accident containment and recovery, implementation of

steps aimed at improving industrial safety, and the issues of

occupational safety of workers at hazardous facilities.

Inspection findings are written up as protocols of established

format and then studied at all levels with a view to

making practical decisions on remedies for shortcomings

identified. That work includes quarterly technical meetings

on industrial safety of all hazardous facilities attended by

managers and persons in charge from semi-autonomous


With a view to improving safety in operation of hazardous

industrial facilities, the enterprise has carried out the


- electric supply reliability on chemically hazardous

facilities has been improved through installation of standalone

diesel-generators at chlorine storage facilities of water

treatment plants;

- construction of mini power plants burning biogas from

methane-tanks has been planned for sewage treatment facilities;

- methane-tank gas distribution system at Lyuberetz

sewage treatment complex has been upgraded to move

underground gas pipelines to surface viaducts and install

new gas caps with triple protection;

- an integrated computer database to monitor timely

technical inspections of equipment subject to such inspections

has been developed;

- industrial safety oversight experts undertook comprehensive

technical inspection of all hoisting equipment subject

to Rostechnadzor inspection, which allowed to prevent

two potential incidents linked to improper condition of such

equipment, that could eventually cause an accident.

Systematic and consistent execution of this whole package

of institutional and technical measures to improve

industrial safety both improved safety overall and significantly

reduced the number of violations found by Rostechnadzor.

The number of violations peaked in 2004, as we can see

here, that was when Rostechnadzor undertook a comprehensive

inspection of Mosvodokanal’s hazardous facilities

and identified 364 cases of departure from industrial safety

rules. That inspection covered chemical facilities, facilities

with hoisting equipment, and facilities subject to inspection

of boilers and gas equipment.

Routine inspections and a repeated targeted inspection

of chemical facilities were conducted in 2005. We can see

a decrease in violations – 210. In 2006, the number of violations

fell to 109, even though that year we had a targeted

inspection of hoisting equipment by Rostechnadzor it did

not adversely affect our overall violations statistics. In the

first quarter of 2007 we had only 7 violations, and in the

second quarter, which is not quite over yet – only 5 so far.

So the downward trend in violations is apparent.

In 2008, Moscow interregional territorial directorate of

Rostechnadzor will undertake its next scheduled comprehensive

inspection of Vodokanal’s hazardous facilities, and

we have already started preparations for that new trial.

Our enterprise pays much attention to environmental dimensions

of our production processes. Thus sewage treatment

process calls for feeding isolated sludge into methanetanks

for mixing and fermentation stimulated by steam from

the boiler room; the process yields biogas, which the boiler

room receives as fuel. Thus we get a closed-loop environ-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




mentally friendly energy cycle along with addressing the

issue of efficient biological treatment of sludge.

We take special care to arrange for safe operation of

chlorine-handling facilities at water treatment plants, where

chlorine is used as drinking water disinfectant. In recent

times, regulations covering industrial safety in handling

chlorine have seen constant refinement. Requirement for

facilities handling liquefied chlorine have been tightened

four times since mid 1980s. Every time the new rules took

effect, Vodokanal developed a comprehensive program

to ensure its facilities’ compliance with new requirements.

That involved construction of enclosed liquefied chlorine

transfer stations, where hinged turning devices are used to

connect railway tanks to industrial pipelines. We also created

automated control and accident protection system,

which provides for containment of potential accidents without

the operator’s interference. Chlorine evaporation and

batching processes have been automated as well. Terrorist

threats and increasingly dense residential development of

Moscow’s territory make it especially important to ensure

protection of chlorine-handling facilities against terrorist

threats and to seek such alternative techniques of water disinfection,

which could rule out the need to store considerable

amounts of emergency-prone hazardous chemicals in

warehouses at our treatment plants.

Public health analysis of city water sources and of water

supply pipe networks of Moscow suggests continuing need

to use as disinfectants only the reagents containing chlorine,

which is due to its residual and lasting bactericidal effect.

Such reagents include mark A sodium hypocloride, which

is another water disinfection reagent. Switching to it will

reduce dangers to operators and improve environmental

safety of facilities as a whole. It is already used in our country

by Vodokanal entities in St Petersburg, Vyborg, Smolensk,

Lipetzk, Kemerovo, Ivanovo, and at Cherepkovsky

water treatment palant of Mosvodokanal.

Yet, near-absent regulations on safe use of mark A sodium

hypocloride call for the need to develop and adopt

safety rules for its storage, transportation and application.

Otherwise, as follows from clarification by Federal

Rostechnadzor, facilities using sodium hypocloride will be

subjected to the same exceedingly tough rules that apply

to chlorine production, storage and transportation, which

will lead to unjustifiably high costs for equipment procurement

and operation. Since sodium hypocloride is already

widely used in many Russian cities, the issue of lack

of regulations bears not only on Mosvodokanal, and it

would seem appropriate to join efforts of all stakeholders

to develop such rules and secure their approval through

the venue of Russian Association for Water Supply and

Wastewater Disposal.

In conclusion, it must be noted that Mosvodokanal objectives

formulated in 2007 industrial safety action plan are

in the process of full implementation. There are no injuries

or accidents at hazardous facilities.

In the end, allow to yet again thank conference organizers

for this opportunity to learn about best practices in

industrial safety, and to network with new colleagues, and

for the congenial warm atmosphere that guests and participants

of this event enjoyed. Thank you.


Ask your longest questions now, please.

Please, do ask questions.

Mediator: You are welcome.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Question: Smirnov V.V., industrial safety director,

Veda group

There was one distinction I did not quite catch when you

were talking about arrangements for industrial safety oversight

on the enterprise. You do have a production oversight

service, and then I understand, there also is a production

oversight commission, which conducts monthly inspections,

if I got it right. What’s the difference between production

oversight service and production oversight commission?

That was my first question.

Now, the second one. You had this nice chart titled violations

of industrial safety requirements. What exactly is understood

to constitute violations of industrial safety requirements

in that chart? Thank you.

Answer: I will answer them in order asked. So, what’s

the difference between production oversight service and

department of industrial safety oversight? - Probably, there

isn’t any. In decree 263, unless I am mistaken, of Russian

government and in document 49, which contains guidelines

for setting up production oversight, the term used is service.

What we created is industrial safety oversight department

with a staff of three. That is the selfsame service, including

professionals in energy, mechanical engineering, and industrial

processes, so we exercise [oversight] in all areas.

Production oversight responsibility usually belongs to director

for technology, but he is not the only one to exercise such

control. It is exercised by production oversight commission,

which is made of a number of experts. Here is the cycle:

- Mosvodokanal commission represents the highest tier,

the level of deputy director general for technical policy,

and functional divisions’ directors – energy supply division,

mechanisms division. Below them is industrial safety oversight

department. Now, here is what they do at least once

a year;

- industrial safety oversight department (or service if

you would). I inspect every device on a quarterly basis that

is four times a year;

- production oversight commissions operate in the field,

in our semi-autonomous subdivisions where they inspect every

hazardous facility and device on a monthly basis;

- and finally, supervisors, who control their personnel of a

continuous basis; ours is a 24-hour production cycle.

Production oversight is part of industrial safety management

system; it is exercised through a number of steps

aimed at safe operation of hazardous facilities, accident

prevention, and preparedness to accident containment and

recovery effort.

In accordance with Russian Federation government

decree № 263 dated March 10, 1999, when hazardous

industrial facilities employ over 500 personnel, production

oversight functions are given to a special service, while the

guidelines on production oversight of safety requirements

compliance at hazardous industrial facilities call for the establishment

of production oversight (i.e. on-site inspection)

commissions in order to arrive at coordinated decisions on

safety risks mitigation.

It is in compliance with those requirements that we have

established a production oversight commission and industrial

safety department, both of which exercise production

oversight functions.



Comment: The reason I was surprised is because law

116 recommends to set up production oversight commissions

as analytical bodies, which basically look at the performance

of production oversight service. That is they do

not carry out specific activities on their own, but look at outcomes.

Such commissions, as a rule include top engineering

professionals; and specific steps are suggested based on

their recommendations.

Answer: Very well, let me continue then. We heard

the presentation on mines yesterday. They were issuing

remedy orders by the thousand. Surely, one can write lots

of such orders every day. That is not indicative. What is a

remedy order? – You found a violation and put down a

date, by which it needs to be remedied. That’s all. When

we conduct our inspections we write up a protocol, which

includes a complete analysis, findings, and recommended

steps, that is I give some direction to a unit in our organization.

As if that was not enough, I forward protocol copies

to all the branches, so that they can identify similar violations

and fix them. God help them if I visit with inspection

and find identical irregularities in each branch. That will

not stand. That is to say, I certainly analyze the situation

for repeat violations, or incidence reduction trends. That’s

how it is.

Following hazardous facility inspection, a protocol in

an established format is written; it includes:

- conclusions as to production oversight efficiency at a

subdivision and its individual services (production shops);

- specific examples of inefficient work in structural units

citing violations of industrial safety requirements;

- suggestions on possible reasons behind inefficient

safety activity in the unit;

- recommended necessary remedies;

- overall assessment of the state of industrial safety in

the unit.

Mediator: Next question.

Presenter: Excuse me but I forgot your second question.

You had something.

Please, repeat your second question.

Question repeated: What is your understanding of

an industrial safety requirements violation, what are all

those numbers in your chart?

Answer: Well, those are violations of industrial safety

that don’t infringe on occupational safety.

Those are violations of industrial safety regulations.

Comment: And you had only 300 or 100 in Moscow

in 2006?

Answer: Yes, there are monthly inspections by Rostechnadzor,

which follows its own schedule…

Yes, the numbers quoted are accurate.

Comment: Is that internal or external inspection?

Answer: Those are violations identified by Rostechnadzor.

Mediator: Rostechnadzor’s omission.

Comment: For internal inspection, such numbers would

be laughably [low].

Answer: Why so? We are working after all. Very low?

But do you imagine how many people are involved? Our

enterprise pays special attention to industrial safety issues.

Mediator: Why does that surprise you? I will give

you the example [coming from] Sigurd Haard (Norway’s

Statoil representative), who hasn’t made it here today. His

numbers are even lower, while the company is larger. We

have people from Philip Morris Izhora here; their numbers

are just miniscule.

Comment: I meant internal indicators. Outside ones

can be anything at all.

Mediator: No, I am talking about internal ones.

Presenter: You know what I want to tell you? There

should be a kind of tapering pyramid. Local or on-site production

oversight commissions - that is the third tier - will cite

thousands of [identified] irregularities. When I visit with my

service – a hundred citations. When Rostechnadzor visits

with inspection – two citations. That would be the appropriate

pyramid, and not the other way around.

The violations pyramid should be like this: local production

oversight commission identifies 50 violations, industrial

safety department - 10, and Rostechnadzor - 3.

Mediator: Next question.

Question: Kondratieva Lyubov. Please, answer this

question. You said that you are switching to alternative

[disinfection] techniques. My feeling was that substituting

hypocloride for liquefied chlorine is not exactly an alternative.

An alternative would be an even safer technique,

ozone treatment for instance or ultraviolet irradiation. Are

those techniques tested at any of our treatment plants?

Thank you.

Answer: Please forgive me for not being a process engineer,

but I will answer it now, and I will try to confuse


Chlorine belongs to category 2 of danger to humans

while hypocloride to category 4. If we spill a bucket of

chlorine here for instance, we’ll all be dead, but if we spill

hypocloride we’ll suffer no harm. You see?

Now to ozone treatment. It is used. Unfortunately, ozone

does not persist in water for long. That is practicable at an

upstream disinfection stage; when we draw water from the

intake we do indeed treat it with ozone. By the time it reaches

your tap having traveled all the muck in water pipes –

and just imagine how many kilometers it is – it would no

longer contain ozone. That means pathogenic bacteria will

thrive, while chlorine ties them down a bit and is still present

in trace amounts. So let me assure you that everything’s all

right at the tap in both Moscow and St Petersburg.

St Petersburg uses hypocloride already.

The principal objective behind switching water treatment

technology from chlorine to hypocloride is to ensure safety

for operating personnel, the public, and environment. Hypocloride

is far less harmful than chlorine.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Even the most efficient application of ozone and ultraviolet

treatment alone for drinking water disinfection will

not assure required water treatment level.

Mediator: Excuse me. Let me stop this particular debate

at this point. We are getting into the area of production

processes and ecology, but our topic is industrial safety

after all.

Any more questions, colleagues?

I have some as usual.

I heard a sentence in your presentation and I am pulling

it out of context training sessions and practical exercises.

As a former navy officer, I can only vote for training with

both hands. Could you share the experience? I ask because

few companies conduct exercises on the issues of industrial


Answer: Experience? Well, what can I tell you... That

has been put in place in accordance with Emergency Response

and Recovery Plan - I hope I said it right. Like I said,

chlorine requires the most attention in our organization and

at our installations. Chlorine calls for careful handling. Residential

areas, subdivisions are nearby, and should it spill

thousands would perish. I cannot tell you how much chlorine

we store, that is classified. But trust me, it’s plenty.

That is why we develop an annual [training] program.

There are about thirty topics there, and every month we

train for response to a particular kind of emergency. What

kind of emergencies? You understand, - something like

chlorine pipe rupture or chlorine tank leak. In such cases

it is necessary to activate public announcement system and

to assure rapid mobilization of plant personnel assigned

to emergency response and rescue team. Their protective

gear is very sophisticated, protective suits with breathing

apparatus. Certainly, we don’t actually release chlorine

during exercises. That would be fraught with danger.

Nonetheless, we control all that quite seriously. We also

have agreements with professional search-and-rescue

teams, and once a quarter they come to us for joint exercises.

On top of that, we arrange random alarms twice a

quarter, no warning, could be the middle of the night; the

input is given – accident, pipe rupture – and the whole response

system kicks in. All is done in earnest because chlorine

is no joking matter.

In accordance with federal law № 116 we have entered

into agreement with specialized emergency and rescue

units for getting their assistance in case of an emergency.

Besides, in order to contain emergency consequences prior

to professional rescuers arrival each subdivision handling

chlorine has volunteer emergency rescue teams; we have

developed and coordinated with Rostechnadzor the Emergency

recovery plan. Work teams and support personnel

of treatment plants undergo regular training sessions based

on specially developed scenarios. We also regularly train

for city-wide response jointly with professional rescuers.

Mediator: Thank you very much. An excellent presentation.


I give the floor to Dr. Grigory Belyi, Professor,

Chair of the Department of metalwork and testing

of structures, St Petersburg State University of Architecture

and Construction.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Grigory Belyi:

Esteemed colleagues!

I would like to share with you the experience that we

have accumulated within an association called Resource

research-industrial consortium, which brings together professionals

in the fields of expert assessment and technical

assessment of industrial safety of buildings and structures

and even more specialized areas. The university aside,

that’s another outfit I work for.

I would like to focus on a number of accidents, specifically

on their reasons. I base my notes not on what was

published, but on the accidents that were investigated by

this group, which is part of Resource. I want to do some

analysis in order to see what is going on, what the primary

causes are, and what can be done along the lines of preventive

steps, both engineering and organizational ones. I

will try to be brief. I believe, your interest is in what mistakes

are made. We’ll analyze them all at the end. And finally, I

will share our thoughts on that.

Members of MKK Resource include many Russian experts,

from the Urals most of all and from Siberia. Don’t be

surprised then. Here for instance we are dealing with roof

structure collapse; it is all described on the slide (points), so

I won’t read from it, provided you can see of course. That

parking garage was built just a year earlier. Rather light

modern prefabricated elements were used in construction,

and so on. But here is the catch, firstly it was all designed

for snow loads specified in old building code (SNIP), while

they used new [structural elements]. And the point is not that

there is some wall between the provisions of the old code

and the new one. The point is that the old building code provided

for heavy roof structural elements, where the weight

of the structure itself was the same as the snow mass – 50%

[of the total]. Now when very light elements are used, and

the structure’s own weight is very small – 50-60 kilograms

– [and the rest is] only snow, accidents do happen. In this

case too, the accident happened due to exceeded snow

load limit, a trivial mistake by the designer. Here dashes

indicate missing welding seams – look, in just one support.

This was investigated by professor Krylov from Novosibisk

university of architecture and construction.

This is Troitzk diesel engine manufacturing plant. The collapse

involved a large area - 15 thousand meters square.

This was investigated by professor Saburov, Chelyabinsk

technical university. What was the mistake? – Very trivial.

What is surprising though is that that production shop operated

for a long time while that time bomb was planted

long ago. In load-bearing truss strut (load-bearing signifies

its ranking by importance), stiffener angles that were to

be coupled on the left were coupled on the right; it was so

in detailed metal structure design. Such a substitution cuts

load-bearing capacity by 30%. Can you imagine, 15 thousand

[square meters of the roof] collapsing.

I will make a proviso. You understand of course, that

causes are several; I am naming the main ones.

The collapse of metal structures of fast-construction

module with ferroconcrete load-bearing walls. Investigated

by SibPSK director Georgyi Mikhailovich Novikov. The

mistake was again in the design of joints. When trusses are

assembled, they are both bolted and welded in place. Bolt

connections were made but they omitted the welding.

Moving on. Togliatti city, Volgocement. The building

was built rather long ago and has been in use for a long



time but it was not inspected for an extended period. That

means leaks all over the roofing. I will mostly be speaking

about single-story industrial buildings and structures.

When [leak] repairs were made, new layers were plastered

over the leaking areas, and the roof weight increased

by 2 to 3 times. The leaks occurred over 25 years. It’s only

natural that protective layer of ferroconcrete elements

peeled away, and corrosion reached 30-40%. That accident

was waiting to happen!

This was also investigated by a Novosibirsk representative,

Boris Nikilaevich Vasyuta. It been Siberia, the temperature

is quite low; the year of construction is 1962. Well,

there was something different in standards for metal structures

that were in force prior to the 1960s; they allowed

the use of unkilled steel, and in many older structures such

steel is a time bomb. The moment production shop chills,

brittle failure occurs, and in that case operation in the shop

was stopped, heating turned off, and the temperature inside

dropped to minus fifty. The failure was compounded by

poorly designed joints, which favored increased concentration

[of strain].

Moving on. Partial collapse of the main building. You

can see the [background], Tomsk oblast, etc. This was investigated

by Kopytov Mikhail Mikhailovich. The year of

construction is again 1963. So you can see the main reason

behind the accident – production floor out of operation,

minus fifty degrees cold – the accident caused by brittle

failure again.

Moving on. Chelyabinsk, [investigated by] professor

Yeremin from Magnitogorsk. Partial collapse of preparation

shop building. Maybe I will not enumerate if you can see it.

The failure is caused by excessive weight of roofing structure

and exceeded snow load, that is what I am talking about

comparing old standards and new – they differ in about

30% higher snow load. As a result, they undertook rehabilitation

in 1982, [after] there was a fire and accident there.

The accident is due not only to increased load but also

to the rehabilitation work which changed the way this structure

operates, and now, 25 years later, the accident occurred.

True, there was an explosion prior to that, and that

explosion damaged some structures. That was some time in

the 1960s. And the fixes made at that time were possibly

not quite well done.

Here is another accident investigated by Novikov. The

building of radial thickeners of Tziof in Kuznechnoe. The

accident was caused by increasing weight of roofing structure,

constant leaks, eventually this node close to support

was 60 to 70% corroded, and the support of one of the

semi-trusses sank. An accident occurred.

Here we see a partial collapse, of new structures this time,

in Sheremetyevo. The industrial park was inspected by chief

designing engineer Artyuhov. Here are the mistakes in that

case; they are the same ones. Light structures, snow load calculated

based on previous standards, exceeded load, and

what it finally came down to after repeated calculations is that

no single structure could sustain that load. Besides, mistakes

were made in designing the nodes.

Here is a 100-meter tall tower built in 1963. The designer

was Lenproektstalkonstrukziya, our design organization.

The cause of the accident is trivial, neither inspections, nor

preventive maintenance repairs were performed, accordingly

corrosion of structures reached 50 to 70% depending

on specific element.

This tower fell on a building. You can see what happened

here. The causes in this case were generally established and

readily understandable, and that can be done in almost every

case where human casualties are not involved. When

there are casualties, then you know that no matter what

commission investigates … You know from publications on

accidents in many regions, including Moscow aquapark

case, that everything gets very involved then, very convoluted.

And the main cause can be hidden as one among 7

to 8 reasons someplace at the end of the list. That’s because

everybody protects his turf, but when [our] people convene

– sufficiently knowledgeable people – they understand

what it [truly] is. Yes, they can be sometimes wrong, and

that is why in a number of accidents entailing casualties one

can only talk of possible versions of events.

Now I would also like to talk briefly about accidents investigated

by us. We mentioned them once, but I would like

to draw some conclusions and speak in general about steps

to prevent accidents.

We have investigated a whole number of accidents,

about seven or eight. What you see in red here is electric

smelters shop at Izhora Steel mill, formerly an open-heath

shop. They had an accident; highlighted in red are collapsed

structural elements, about 2 thousand square meters.

The trusses on both sides are hanging. Ferroconcrete

slabs and lower truss have collapsed. Here are those structural

elements; they are riveted and date back to the 1960s,

the design is by Lenproektstalkonstrukziya. One node of

lower truss failed. Just one, but it lead to the collapse of 2

thousand square meters.

The ‘ailments’ of that building, which caused the accident

were long known: uneven subsidence, poor foundations.

In the Soviet times, until early 1990s, [the building]

was monitored, later all such activity was abandoned.

Another reason is that the number of working smelters

in the shop was being reduced. And it so happened that

on New Year’s eve not a single one was in operation. The

shop was meant to be a hot one, but now it turned into a

cold one. Temperature expansion is 200 meters. Therefore

thermal strain played an additional role. One week at temperatures

below minus thirty equals temperature-induced

shrinkage of two hundred meters – so the node was seared

off. The causes are in mistakes and structural defects during

assembly, changed thermal environment, and uneven


Rehabilitation measures consisted of a whole number of

steps that had to be developed with consideration for the

condition the shop was in.

These are Leningradski railway station roof structures

newly built in time for Moscow’s anniversary. It is a two-layer

design combining tubular and sheet elements. The most dangerous

time for such elements is certainly winter, or rather

spring, March. And you know why? The thing is that no matter

how [fast] the snow melts, if we were to look at the chart

of snow weight as a function of its volume – too bad I cannot

show it to you – in March, when snow converts into ice,

combined volume of ice and snow gets close to the volume of

water. You see, it increases the load considerably. That’s why

that type of accidents typically happen in March.

Here is another picture. You see what happened to one

of the 24 meter long elements? It gradually parted. The

mistake was trivial in my opinion, because the design took

everything into account.

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The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




As you know, when metal structures are designed, there is

a metal structure design stage and a detailed metal structure

design stage. Detailed design, detailed blueprints are developed

by the manufacturer. Here you can see torn sheet joints.

Look here, this is the testing of those joints in our university’s

lab. It was intended to be a butt-joint. Instead, they

made 300 mm-wide bends - that was an easier thing to do

– and welded the seams. Here is a side view. We tested

their tensile strength. Load-bearing capacity along transversal

vector turned out to be less by an order of magnitude.

What is amazing is that all the preliminary calculations

do not include assessing this kind of strength. After all,

it ensures structural rigidity along this vector.

This is LenExpo, exhibit hall № 2. Stability failure of a

whole number of diagonal braces. And that happened in

the Soviet time - not that I mean to say how good a time

that was – but there was some consistency in building use

than. Once building use becomes erratic, all sorts of things

begin to happen. When there were no exhibitions going on,

the pavilion was not regularly heated, although it is meant

to be a heated premise. At the time of exhibits, it experienced

spikes in temperature impacts; and here you can see

how structures straightened under raised temperatures to

a differing degree. All those thermal deformations strained

diagonal braces. And they gave in. Here in black you see

strengthened elements. Here you see, 250 mm… And these

are reinforcing elements.

Here is the multi-layer roof cover that I was talking

about. Let’s say there was a renovation, and as a result

up to 300 mm […]gathered making the structure heavier,

which happened at this exhibit hall.

If we talk about structural covers, it should be said that

so-called structural plates (which are used a lot) are very

sensitive to all kind of uneven precipitation, or say, to increased

loads. Renovations happen, they happen in many

buildings. Yes, they are meant as facelifts, new floors are

laid, something smoothened, and so on, but nobody gives a

thought to what happens with loads. That’s how they renovate

roof cover, add a new layer of water insulation, and

face the most unpleasant consequences.

This is Arkhangelsk, the collapse of road overpass, the

destruction of load-bearing node with subsequent failure of

lower structures. Let’s move on.

There are two interesting points, exotic points.

What an industrial building is? It has many smokestacks,

steam is released onto the roof. Here, steam was released

to the roof through a funnel, which [later] was cut off. The

steam condensed immediately creating 800 mm-thick ice

coating. In March, it all collapsed.

Now. I’ll tell you about one more accident. That was last

fall, at RUSAL alumina plant in Boksitogorsk. We were surveying

one of the buildings at the time, and there was a terrible

downpour coming down. Rain drains were clogged.

We expect that a lake 800 mm to a meter deep formed

there. Where you see new segments on the roof is where

it collapsed.

Here you have it. There are a great many accidents I

mean. It’s just that nobody knows about them when no casualties

are involved.

According to Gosstroi data, annual increase in the number

of [building] accidents is at 60%. For stone structures it

is 42%, for ferroconcrete structures – 40%, and for metal

structures – 18%.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

The destruction of stone structures is primarily due to the

weakening of materials. Why does that happen? Because

stone materials are particularly sensitive to precipitation.

And you know how our buildings are maintained. First of

all, reliable transfer of load from upper structures, such as

trusses, beams, etc is not ensured. That requires special ferroconcrete

pillows, and so on. Very often they are missing.

Then there is the general weakening of the walls, not to

mention uneven settling of foundations.

I actually wanted to say a few words about prefab ferroconcrete

structures. I believe, that compared to monolithic

structures they have half the useful life. That’s the overall

picture in my view.

What are the major shortcomings of prefabricated


The thing is, all the elements delivered to a construction

site are assembled by welding, and welding seams are far

from well executed and are subject to corrosion. That is compounded

by improper maintenance, and the destruction certainly

starts with nodes of joints. That’s the major malady of

prefabricated structures, and the starting point for assessing

service life of panel-built buildings, including the khruschevki.

Such buildings are rather many in industry. Hung panel

walls are simply horrible and are a separate story because

they experience corrosion of supports, fasteners, metal reinforcement

bars, etc.

As to metal structures, here the range [of causes] is far

broader. Generally speaking, it is due to plentiful defects

and damage. Take any building, let’s say of a hundred cubic

meters volume – it is measured in cubic meters – on average

for that volume one discovers 600-700 instances of

defects and damage in metal. Can you believe it? That’s a

lot. And why? Because of all the joints and nodes, bolts and

deformities – it should all be counted.

What’s behind so many flaws and damage? It certainly

is the whole process of a structure’s birth: from its flawed design

to added mistakes by manufacturers, and particularly

to improper use. The building operators frequently want to

use the same building structural elements as they refurbish

equipment. Therefore structures may be subjected to loads

uncalled-for in the design, which leaves flaws, damage, etc.

What particularly hurts metal structures is strong temperature

swings or fires that were not followed by a collapse. They

cause serious redistribution of loads and strains, and one

cannot possibly know what [vulnerability] has been planted

in the structure. That is what happened at Novgorod Akron

plant, when the lower belt burst, and they were scratching

their heads at why that seeming impossibility occurred. It

turned out that they had a fire 7 or 9 years ago. Uneven

cooling-off after the fire causes the biggest temperature

strain – and that is why the lower belt burst. Naturally, the

biggest vulnerability of metal structures is in their high susceptibility

to corrosion. And when the protection is missing,

when the design did not provide for anti-corrosive solutions

of nodes, load-bearing capacity decreases as an accelerating

chain reaction. That accelerating pace is due to thin walls

of metal structures. Corrosive impacts and localized loss of

thickness immediately lead to local stability loss. The sheets

get thinner, etc. And of course, there are all the changes in

metal properties due to impact of low temperatures, dynamic

screen impacts, and strain concentrations.

I wanted to dwell in general on another important issue.

Higher than expected or designed-for loads are certainly



a common factor behind failures of all types of structures.

Specific contributing factors are many: engineering ones,

the structure’s own weight, and snow traps that accumulate

when another wing has been added to the building. They

also include changes in how a structure works caused by design

faults, uneven settling of a building, changes in thermal

environment, and so on. I would not dwell on that any more.

Here is what I want to discuss, what can be done in terms of

organizational steps?

The owner should certainly keep track of the state of

his assets. If it was not done, the owner should perform a

rapid expert assessment as when a team surveys a facility

and studies documentary material for a week and identifies

primary danger points. From those identified priorities

it becomes clear what buildings demand immediate attention.

In organizational terms, primary danger points are

your bottlenecks. Following that, an in-depth expert assessment

can be performed. [Recommended] practice here is

not to switch to another expert group after the first assessment;

Severstal is now adopting such a practice, and we

are glad for it. A repeat expert evaluation is conducted,

then a third, etc. That is wonderful. Why? First, because one

should know a building with all its ailments well, second,

because that creates accountability, and third, whether you

intended it that way or not, you get monitoring, even if happens

at considerable intervals. If remedial steps are taken,

some renovation and rehabilitation work, expert organization

should certainly provide work oversight. That’s seeing

for yourself! Otherwise, assessment may be impossible. You

see, when you look at a building for the first time there is

much you can tell outright, but then there are some things

that you cannot understand no matter how much you circle

the building; and experiments to calculate specific stresses

are not possible. Very difficult to do that. Therefore phase

three of what I suggest is monitoring. I would like to briefly

acquaint you with [an example of] monitoring, where we

gave the owner the forecast that by 2008 all the beams will

have cracks.

This is an open-heath shop, and this is a riveted beam

that’s been in use for almost fifty years. The major factor of

destruction is metal brittleness. And here is what’s telling.

Beginning in late 1990s there was a cascading process of

cracks developing in lower belt. Here red arrows point at…

– this is open-heath shop dust. Here is the lower belt, bracing

angle – look, a crack travels right over the rivets. Here is the

picture of those beams. The lower belts are missing in many

beams. Here there was a rupture. As a fast response, they

decided to weld on a belt lower. Weld it. Considering heavy

loads from overhead cranes, that was a wrong thing to do.

This reinforcement is a stopgap measure good for literally a

few years. Let me draw two horizontal lines. What are these

numbers? This is the ratio of structure load-bearing capacity

use, the ratio of existing loads to design ones, which the metal

is rated for. One line for strength and another for endurance.

You can see here that reinforcements notwithstanding,

endurance has been exceeded twofold. Monitoring was

conducted, and here you can see how cracks extended, and

the growth in the number of cracks over the years. You see

what’s happening. By 2008, all the beams will have cracks.

The owner must realize that unless he takes immediate steps

the shop will have to be closed in 2008.

The issue is that [the operator] also needs tips as to how

to do [repairs], how to rivet, tips on where to get what kind

of construction equipment and workers, and on how to rehabilitate,

rather than weld. That takes quite some effort.

This is brittle destruction; the inspection of a shop where

[we managed to ensure] continued shop operation notwithstanding

very low temperatures. You can address us with

questions – we’ll tell you how.

Now, one more monitoring case.

There exist a huge number of such structures as smokestacks

made of metal, ferroconcrete, or brick Shown here is

a brick one. Certainly, many now use nondestructive techniques

of checking the quality of materials, but I must tell

you that their accuracy can be times less [than traditional

testing]. Therefore, one should take samples and test them.

And, finally, one last thing. These [repairs] are very expensive

since they demand production stoppages. Stopping

for rehabilitation is a hard decision. Contracted experts

get into a tug of war with the client, who wants to continue

operation with faults identified while we say: you cannot!

Any number of meetings are held. What’s the solution? –


One last picture. Here is the top of the smokestack in just

half a year, how cracks have spread as it was kept in service.

When we showed that picture, shop representatives

naturally caved in.

That’s all I have.

Mediator: Questions colleagues, who is first?

Question: Here is the question, Grigory Ivanovich,

which other colleagues will probably second. In oversight

of building and facility maintenance we often run into structural

faults, such as cracks, subsidence of foundations, and

so on. Accordingly, we give notice to those responsible for

engineering oversight of structures, i.e. to capital construction

and rehabilitation divisions of enterprises. And here is

my question. Do efficient techniques for fixing or rehabilitating

such damage and faults in building structures exist today?

And what should managers do to take quick remedial

steps? Thank you.

Answer: First off, I would say the following. When I

was talking of hundreds of faults and damaged areas typically

identified, only 20 to 30% of them render the structure

unfit for further use or limit its use. Overwhelming majority

of structures are damaged or faulty, yet functional. What

is most interesting, the same exact fault can either doom

the structure to failure and accident, or one just circles it in

green pencil and says: keep on operating. It all depends on

where exactly it is located, what strains it is subjected to.

And one can sort it all out only through calculations.

Now as to techniques for repair.

Speaking of repairs, reinforcements, and ferroconcrete

structures’ rehabilitation, a whole number of new materials

that provide efficient fixes are available today. One should

not use old techniques and materials, and expert organizations

should indicate that. True, [new materials] are expensive,

but they provide for restoration of protective layer and

efficient reattachment to the old concrete.

As to metal structures, everything is far more complicated,

because in the case of riveted structures very few

organizations are capable of replacing them. Only in

Chelyabinsk they have resumed [manufacturing of] riveted

structures. As to overhead crane supporting beams, they

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




have three times the service life of welded beams. Fixes do

exist, and the primary cure is metal. One fixes metal structures

with metal, ferroconcrete ones with metal, and brick

structures are as a rule fixed with metal as well. Designs are

been developed.

Coming back to new materials, they mostly apply to

ferroconcrete structures. I would not specifically single out

metal ones. By contrast, expert assessment techniques,

forecasts, new equipment for expert testing – that’s what

is very important.

Mediator: Next question, Ivan Grigorievich.

Question: Please, tell us, were expert assessments of

design documentation, buildings, and their equipment conducted

prior to those inspections by your experts that you

were talking about? Before your inspections.

Answer: I’ll answer that. First, data about buildings are

generally very meager, practically non-existent. Buildings

change hands, and in 80% of the cases we don’t even have

design documentation. That puts greater responsibility on

one, and makes expert assessment more expensive by half.

If you could see the design documents and all the construction

blueprints and construction records, you could at least

know what was there in the first place.

Comment: You misunderstood me. The federal law

mandates expert assessment of all the structural elements

of buildings and facilities. Was that done for the buildings

that failed?

Answer: Yes in case of newer buildings, and they

looked to be all right. As to the old ones…

Question: It’s all too clear about old ones – no documentation,

and so on.

My second question. Tell me, please, does your institute

develop or plan to develop some sort of technical recommendations

for expert assessment of buildings, like what

particular nodes and weaknesses associated with construction

need scrutiny, and so on? That would have been most

useful for expert organizations.

Answer: My department is called Metal structures and

building testing. That’s our mission and something we always

did – to develop reinforcement techniques, issue recommendations,

and so forth.

Secondly, at present about fifteen recommendations in

the form of standards have been developed under the aegis

of Resource research-industrial consortium. They simply

have not been disseminated. Two of them are the core ones;

they include recommendations on what I was talking about

– mitigation of building failure risks – and they are quite

voluminous; and we have recommendations on [the conduct

of] building inspections, which build on 1997 guidelines

issued by Rostechnadzor. That is to say, we deal with

that in earnest, while speaking of my university department,

we take a solid effort to develop reinforcement techniques

not calling for production stoppage, and we look into fault

and damage assessment. It is nearly impossible to apply the

[existing] standards toward assessment of a huge volume of

such data. We deal with that in depth, and, begging your

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

pardon, dissertations are regularly defended on that subject

including some this year.

Question: We have one more question, and it would

be the last one.

Dmitry Yashkin, G.C.E.

You stated that it is appropriate not to switch expert organizations.

Only yesterday, we heard a presentation on

the importance of human factor. In light of that, don’t you

think that ‘eye fatigue’ factor will kick in? If an expert works

at the same facility or building for a long time he would

gradually stop paying attention altogether at some things

that initially seemed trivial, and that can lead to critically

important consequences. Thank you.

Answer: Thank you for the question. I believe, there is

a balance. What you said will be balanced by all the observations

of not just qualified but highly-qualified experts

from a real organization, which has a lead engineer and

labs. Five or six individuals take part. It should by no means

be the kind of outfit that consists of a director and accountant

who collect orders and hire someone on the side!

Let’s look at the benefits of prolonged observations, the

observations that allow ‘before and now’ comparisons, allow

one to see what new faults and damage appear. That

helps understand how the structure behaves and perform

some preventive steps. Pit your ‘eye fatigue’ factor against

that! There should be an [internal] oversight system in the

expert organization; no good will come out of it otherwise.

Such oversight assumes – just as in Soviet times – teams of

4 to 5 individuals, which is how we do it.

I must say though, that it was not so much our initiative,

as the suggestion adopted by Severstal. And I believe it to

be right.

Mediator: Thank you, Grigory Ivanovich.


I wanted to add that there are upsides and downsides

to anything. It is good to work with the same organization

for a long time, but there are downsides to that; involving

a new one assures a fresh look, which is good, but there

are downsides as well. Ying and Yang in one word. Ying is

our work here, and Yang is the coffee waiting for us. Break




Mediator: Let’s continue with our work. I have slightly

rearranged the order of presentations to accommodate

the next speaker. I now invite to the podium Valentin Sergeevich


Dr. Valentin Filatov, Assistant Director for occupational

and industrial safety, Kirishenefteorgsintez

Manufacturing Association, member of International

Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Human

and Environmental Safety.

Valentin Filatov:

Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Kirishenefteorgsintez Manufacturing Association is one

of the largest enterprises if fuel-and-energy complex. At



present, we refine 19,5 million tons a year. We are one of

the largest taxpayers in Leningrad oblast.

The enterprise includes primary oil refining, catalytic reforming,

and diesel fuel production units. In other words,

we manufacture a complete range of oil products: gas and

diesel fuel, various fuel oils, and high profit margin products,

such as linear alkilbenzolsulfonol or liquid paraffins.

Our prospects are very good. At present, we are building

a deep processing refinery, a capital investment project

worth one and a half billion that would employ fifteen hundred


At present, Kirishinefteorgsintez employs the total of

6,5 thousand. It is only natural then, that occupational and

industrial safety issues are very topical for us.

Several decades of activity in the field of occupational

and industrial safety – and our enterprise recently turned

forty – enabled us to perform an in-depth analysis of industrial

safety risks and to develop industrial, occupational,

and fire safety management system.

I would say that the cornerstone document probably

well remembered by you all is a three-tier production oversight.

We have departed from three-tier production oversight

because it represented, I would say an infringement

on the workers’ rights. By now, we have developed an occupational

and industrial safety management system, which

incorporates practically all the basic federal laws of the

country. Based on those federal laws we have developed a

whole set of occupational safety and industrial safety management


The structure of this code of standards includes job

responsibilities in the field of occupational and industrial

safety and occupational safety, industrial safety, fire and

gas-related safety policy. The whole system rests on the

foundation of industrial safety risk assessment.

We have certified that document for compliance with

ISO 9000 and currently prepare for certification of OHSAS

18000 compliance.

I will not belabor all aspects of that document, that standard,

that law as we call on the enterprise. I will elaborate

on economic dimensions on risk assessment in line with indicators

we use.

First of all, like I said, we have a five-tier production

oversight; its foundation is tier one production oversight.

That is we have included into the loop not only managers

and professionals in occupational and industrial safety

but also line workers themselves; and I would not say that

they were browbeaten into it from above, rather the initiative

came from below, from the working class. That industrial

safety management system has been in place for three

years, and in 2005 we did not have a single accident with

human injury. I would reiterate, it is almost impossible not to

have a single such accident with 6,5 thousand workers. And

this is not about cooking numbers, but the fruit of real labors

to implement the standard.

The second tier of the system is represented by lowerlevel

engineers and technicians: unit supervisors, foremen,

and senior foremen.

The third tier is shop directors, senior mechanical engineers,

and lead production mechanical engineers.

The fourth tier is enterprise-wide services – occupational

and industrial safety service, engineering oversight

service, the department of chief production engineer, the

department of chief energy supervisor, who conduct their

individual activities according to the schedule approved by

plant director general.

The fifth tier is represented by senior professionals at the


As part of all this preventive work we have developed

risk assessment protocol and the notion of safety rate,

which is an economic parameter of performance at each

tier of production oversight. We have developed a scale

for production oversight [performance]. Unfortunately, I

was in a hurry and forgot to bring along a diskette [with

that scale]. That scale rests on five qualitative parameters

used in evaluation of each tier of production oversight. We

have separated the ratings given by line workers from those

given by engineers and supervisors.

The criteria are five in number. Each one has a specific

economic value. When safety rate equals one, workers get

a 100% of their bonuses. If there are some violations, they

are reflected in the value of the rate.

So, the first criterion is the rating given by workers themselves,

not the results of equipment, facility, or workplace

inspections. If the safety rate given is 0,95 – the bonus

for occupational and industrial safety is automatically reduced.

The second risk assessment criterion is violations that

lead to suspension or ban on the operation of a particular

unit by inspection agencies or our own services.

The third criterion is failure to perform activities in occupational

and industrial safety area.

The fourth criterion is incidents, that is such accidents or

injuries that did not cause production stoppage, or else production

risks that had the potential to cause an accident.

The fifth criterion is accidents, injuries, and risks at a particular


Based on all the indicators, safety management system

automatically calculates a monthly safety rate and individual

rates for everybody at the plant – from workers to senior

specialists. The only one excepted is director general.

He manages the process overall. We submit a monthly

report to him, and once a month I brief him in person. Therefore,

all this activity is not left unattended by plant director


We can see certain results of all this work, positive results

I would say. We now prepare for a more in-depth assessment

of industrial safety risks. What does that imply?

On the one hand, our safety rate steadily improves, on

the other hand, we realize that it not only needs to be improved,

but there should also be a system of bonuses for accident-free

and injury-free operation. Therefore, we have

now prepared a new version of our safety rate protocol,

and won general approval for it from Surgutneftegaz, the

company we are part of. I believe, we shall implement the

new version beginning January 1.

For all I have said, we certainly do have issues that I

would like to share with colleagues. I believe, they should

be reflected in our conference’s work.

You know, dear friends, of the abundance of rules, regulations,

standards, building codes, and other documents,

which practically every federal service develops and enacts.

Let’s take industrial safety and fire safety rules. As to

industrial safety, we do have a federal law that one doesn’t

argue with. But then there also are a number of documents

issued by Gospozhnadzor (State fire safety inspection service)

of Russian Federation. A day doesn’t pass without

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




some new regulation. Each of them calls for bringing the

plant into compliance. Well, our plant is reasonably new,

just forty, but there are others like Ufa oil refinery. One cannot

turn history back. What does it mean ‘bring into compliance’?

It means tremendous costs.

The year before last, we have developed a schedule for

coming into compliance and got Rostechnadzor to approve

it. According to calculations, full compliance with existing

rules and regulations would cost us no more and no less

than 3 billion rubles. Three billion has basically been our

repair and maintenance budget for several years. In the

Soviet times, when new rules were introduced, they were

first of all studied and evaluated by ministries and agencies.

I would emphasize again that nowadays that is done independently

of ministries; if Gospozhnadzor likes to introduce

some new regulations they introduce and approve them

themselves, and we have to live with them…

What I’ve said applies not only to industrial safety issues

but also to fire safety and many other regulatory documents.

Another point I want to make relates to [the requirement]

to have an emergency response and recovery plan

(ERRP) at every enterprise. Those who have already run

into it have probably realized what that new emergency

response plan is. It consists of two parts: a note of explanations

and calculations and plan of response operations. We

have completed the note of explanations and calculations

- it is about the size of War and peace. But the primary audience

for emergency response plans is technicians and operators.

And the worker or operator will not page through

that. He must be trained. Response operations plan reflects

the state of affairs far better.

I want to tell you about those recovery plans. Ours was

developed by Lemgiprohim, a known organization, which

was a general designer of our plant. That contract cost us

68 million rubles. But we do already have industrial safety

declarations that cover the exact same content as this note

of explanations and calculations. I believe, those issues

need to be looked into, and some order imposed. I realize

that somebody is lobbying his own interests, that is for sure.

Things should not be done in the way that hurts industry.

Forgive me for saying this, but it is the truth.

Mediator’s comment: Valentin, I’ll tell you who

charges less…

Presenter: Agreed…

And the third thing I wanted to share and suggest to


You realize that an enterprise is an integral whole, one

organism. We cannot deal with those things in isolation: today

we deal with whatever interests Rostechnadzor, tomorrow

we address the concerns of Gospozhnadzor, then the

issues of traffic safety, then gas handling safety, and each

of them…

It is nice that Rostechnadzor structure has more or less

settled down by today. But there are such inspection agencies,

which … let’s say how do you separate fire safety from

industrial safety? No way – that’s an integral whole, a dialectic

unity. There is an idea to appeal to the government to

establish a unified Ministry for Industrial and Labor Safety.

About five years ago Kirishinefteorgsintez approached

State Duma with that issue, and that was in response to the

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Duma’s own initiative. Unfortunately, the outcome today is

not what we desired.

In conclusion, allow me to thank G.C.E. for this initiative

and its efficient implementation. I believe we need to

communicate, and I suggest that we meet annually, either

here or in Kirishi. We are prepared to do that. Thank you

for your attention.


Mediator: Questions, please, colleagues.

A brief comment while they carry the mike.

I asked those same questions at Rostechnadzor. And

this is how they answered me, Ivan Grigorievich. Emergency

response and recovery plan should be prepared if

the facility does not require a declaration. Then we have to

develop the note of explanations and calculations and the

plan of response operations.

But if the facility has a declaration, they still require

ERRP but without note of explanations and calculations, a

reference to attached declaration is enough. That was their


Presenter’s comment: Let them put it in writing because

the law is not retroactive.

Mediator: More questions, colleagues.

Question: Nilolai Alexeev, Philip Morris Izhora.

By way of sharing experiences. You said that you have

developed ERRP, a voluminous document. I have the same

situation, ERRPs have been prepared for some facilities. I

ran into the issue that is hard to make even supervisors familiar

with the document. I give it to them and hear back:

Listen, we have no time to read through that. It’s too big of a

document! And that is to say nothing of making line workers

familiar with it. How do you address that problem?

Answer: Very simply. We pass it along to the shops,

but to what degree it sinks in… Need and purpose are everything,

what kills one [is when they are missing]. People

are ready to work with an important, necessary document.

When it is a document for document’s sake it gets shelved

and forgotten. But, to repeat myself they cost time and money.

Mediator: But in principle. We, for instance understand

the issue. We would recommend making appropriate

excerpts from ERRP for individual shops. And not make

the shop itself prepare them, but either ask the document

developer – although then they would charge you 162 million,

I would imagine – or do it within the plant’s central

services. I was itching to say something. Yes, I would vote

with both hands for having one combined inspection ministry.

I remember an anecdotal story fro instance. When

the law On industrial safety was adopted, it clearly specified

the implementing agency, which at the time was called

Gosgortechnadzor. A mere 2 to 3 years passed, and the

powerful bulk of MEM loomed alongside it. With all due

respect, what we arrived at? We have two oversight bodies,

the time an approval takes increased twofold or more.

For starters, they began arguing between themselves on

who should be the first to sign. MEM says: We don’t accept

filings without Rostechnadzor signature, while the lat-



ter says: We don’t accept filings without MEM signature.

So, I have a difficult time imagining the country successfully

creating such a combined body in the near term, although

I’ll emphasize again that the idea is excellent. Let’s write it

down provided nobody objects. I listen carefully to the recommendations

and issues you raise and will forward them

to Pulikovsky, to Mironov. These are the suggestions our

conference has developed. I don’t know how they would

respond though…

Don’t rush away yet! We know that you have to leave.

Presenter’s comment: During the break I was asked

to share the standard. Leave your addresses with Alexander

Vladimirovich, and I will mail them to all of you. Incidentally,

it is also available on the Internet.

Question: Our people are made of iron, while technology

sometimes fails us.

Alexei Isakov, G.C.E..

We have been analyzing various products in the field

of industrial safety management systems for quite a while

now. There are no uniform vectors for those efforts, so we

witness real creativity from below, so to say. Three years

ago Tyumen region even sponsored a large conference for

oil and gas industry people on what is essentially a simple

issue. Look, everyone has got a declaration and identification,

and not exactly ERRP but accident response plan; we

also have production oversight policies. Only somehow

things don’t get better. By that time ‘an elephant in the china

shop’ emerged in Gazprom – the system for industrial

and occupational safety and production oversight. We run

into three-tier, four-tier, five-tier systems, Gazprom has a

six-tier one. During that conference in Tyumen, we came to

a shared opinion that all such management systems essentially

do is call for organizational steps.

With all due respect, and with the need for organizational

steps, they can only yield qualitative assessments of

processes. Wouldn’t it be lovely – and we aired such a suggestion

then – if all such organizational configurations rested

on some system of quantitative parameters? That would

strengthen the foundation for all the organizational steps.

What exactly does an engineer check as part of his industrial

safety responsibilities? What parameters of equipment

does he check?

Can you tell us if the development of your management

system takes into account some quantitative parameters?

What criteria admit of quantitative assessments?

Answer: I see. Alexei Nikolaevich, unfortunately, I

could not tell you all about that document, it is rather large

after all. Let’s do it this way. I will post it on our Internet site,

where you all can look at it. It includes both quantitative parameters

and qualitative assessments, and risk assessments.

The document provides for it all.

As to the technical side of the issue, we have developed

standards for each [part of the operation], risk assessment

for buildings and structures for instance. Risk assessment for

overhauls, for production units, and so forth. Thank you,

there are no more questions.

Mediator: No, no, no. More questions? None. Thank

you very much.


Mediator: To be honest, this was the first time I heard

about implementation of some structured parameters, economically

structured at least, in the field of industrial safety.

And now to the next presenter, Ruslan Bakeev, director

of G.C.E. group office in Novyi Urengoi city.

The topic is Engineering techniques for christmas

tree repair and replacement without interruption

in production. While Ruslan Ahmetovich walks to the

podium let me explain that he became our Novyi Urengoi

representative only recently. Prior to that, he commanded a

specialized team of gas accident rescuers, so he knows his

topic not from hearsay.

Ladies and Gentlemen, like some of you requested, we

gave each of you the list of all participants. Take them freely.

Should you need contact phone numbers we have them.

Will any of you refuse to stay in touch?

No refusals? Great.

Ruslan Bakeev:

Good afternoon to you all. Let me clarify, it is not gas

accident rescuers but Gazprom’s oil gusher suppression


My topic is Engineering techniques for christmas tree

repair and replacement without interruption in production,

that is without shutting down the well. This technique is successfully

applied in the Far North. Therefore, I will be talking

about the Far North of Western Siberia.

I beg your tolerance in advance for my oilman jargon;

some words may prove hard to understand for some of


The Far North of Western Siberia has about six thousand

[producing] gas and gas condensate wells. About 7

to 8 thousand more are the abandoned wells, once drilled

by USSR ministry of geology and now belonging to Goskomimuschestvo.

About five thousand wells on average are in

production, the rest – about a thousand, and those numbers

shift all the time – are mothballed, those are summary figure

for about 40 gas and gas condensate fields.

The instances of christmas tree failures have been increasingly

frequent these last 10 years due to the fact that

they have been in operation for over 20 years and have

long exceeded their rated service life.

In 90% of the cases, the accidents are caused by human

factor, yet failures of oil well equipment occur as well.

The nature of accidents that happen during production,

drilling, or overhaul naturally places them into category 1

accidents, accompanied by open gas gushers.

To help you visualize what they are, I once prepared for

Gazprom conference reports on about ten most challenging

gushers. The suppression of each with use of artillery

took 10 to 20 days. I will now show you that, and let me

clarify right away. Those who perform that work are not

firemen, but industry rescuers, blowout suppression service.

We have always has firefighting service as well, and we

work together. They support us by spraying cooling water

over the equipment, people, and so forth.

Later, a soundtrack and music were added to that footage,

and we got a video. Watch it please by way of relaxation.

The screening of video on blowout suppression

service of Gazprom; the video is accompanied by

poetry and music.

The screening is followed by applause.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




Presenter’s comment: That’s the kind of horrors

going on there. You saw much fire there. We ignite it on

purpose to ensure safety for people, because when you

deal with gas or gas condensate sudden inflammation may

cause injuries. It is better to ignite them and work in protective


Christmas trees were primarily manufactured in Baku,

Hungary, or Romania, installed many years ago, and they

fail. We certainly conduct industrial safety assessments for

them, but against the background of falling output, failures

occur all the same.

To those who don’t know I will tell that our wells are

of flowing type, that is gas comes to the surface thanks to

pressure in underground reservoirs. There are no pumps, or

sump pumps – nothing like that. This is how a christmas tree

(flow head equipment) looks like (displays the slide). The

pictures were taken at a producing field. And when they

fail… you can see how many valves are here, one, two,

three, four, five – valves on all sides. If those on the outer

side fail, they can be easily replaced when the first valve is

closed. When the main valves fail…, here it is (points at the

slide) – here is one and here another…

Well then, should the first (upstream) valve fail the field

operator has to call in a contractor for oil well overhaul. The

well has to be killed, that is filled with water. Then the failed

valve can be dismantled, and only after that the flow of gas

can be re-initiated and production resumed. All of that takes

150 to 300 hours. In case of gas condensate well, it needs

to be brought up back to nominal mode of operation.

This device, which is in use and proved efficient, gives

the capability to changeout the valve in a mere 2 to 4 hours

without impacting the gas seam. As a rule, killing the well

leads to a 10-20% drop in its output, after reactivation previous

output level cannot be regained.

The device is fairly simple. It was invented in Soviet times, in

the Ukraine as far as I know, where there was such a paramilitary

unit Kalina in Poltava. Maybe it still exists. Then the device

was adopted here, in the extreme North, upgraded to fit all

types of Christmas trees, and works well.

This shows its specifications, like the size of valves it can

handle. 100 mm is the inner diameter, while the second

number is pressure in megapascals: 21, 35. This also specifies

well pressure and maximum possible travel when the

packer is introduced into the well. Dimensions – it is fairly

compact and is moved on a trailer.

Next slide.

Here you can see the automobile crane install it; a work

team installs it on the christmas tree on top of the valving.

That’s its main feature – that it can be mounted and operated

on the christmas tree. The principle is that a packer

under pressure is driven below the valve ensuring a good

seal beneath it, after which pressure can be bled and the

valve removed and replaced.

Next slide.

This is a closer view of the device.

This shows the replacement of the main valve. Here is

how the device is attached.

Next slide.

This shows the wheel controlling forced insertion of the


Next slide.

Here you see the valve removal already. So, the device

is simple yet efficient.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Every year about 200 to 250 valves at producing fields

are replaced using this technique, including Urengoi, Yamburg,

Zapolyarnoe, and even more recent Nadym field. This

is very cost-effective for gas producers and therefore popular.

It still involves work, and there is some danger that the

packer will not hold. But special backup yokes give security

against that. That’s basically all.

Mediator: Since not everyone here comes from oil and

gas industry, let’s clarify. The historic technique is to kill the

well. That is to create a counter pressure by liquid, so that

what was flowing out is forced back in. Following that, the

well in effect has to be developed anew. To simplify, one

has a hole but nothing flows out of it. When you mention

packers that in essence means that we plug the hole by introducing

the plug through existing engineering openings.

Once in the well, it is expanded to seal it, and then you can

do what you need to do with the equipment on top?

Presenter: Quite right.

Mediator: Let’s try to calculate the savings. You said

that with traditional techniques the well is taken off line for

150-300 hours that is roughly 1 to 2 weeks, while in the

second case the procedure takes 3 to 4 hours?

Presenter: At most.

Mediator: And what is the daily well output of, say

gas? Can we reckon the economic cost that way?

Presenter: As monetary benefit… Well, the highest

outputs at gas condensate wells are 110-120 tons a day.

Mediator: And what is a ton worth at world markets?

One can only do it in barrels.

In general, significant losses.

Presenter: But the main benefit is that the well’s producing

capacity is not impaired, while a killed well cannot

resume the same level of output. The blocking solutions

pumped into a killed well penetrate the seam, and the

pores, to put it simply, get plugged, leading to an average

10 to 20% drop in output.

Mediator: I see. Questions, colleagues. Ivan Grigorievich,

wait, please, yours will be the second.

Question: Nail Gimadeev, Astrakahngazprom.

Thank you, Ruslan Ahmatovich, for a very good presentation.

I wanted to ask if your experiences included cases

of main valve jamming, which rules out further access to the

well, the ability to kill it? What did you do when that happened?

Answer: Yes, such cases are many. I did not tell you

that there are two primary reasons why those main valves

need to be replaced: one is, roughly speaking, the leak

when valves let the product through when closed, and another

is valve jamming when valves would not open after

being closed, or refuse to close from open position. This device

can still be employed, but prior to that we need to drill

through the valve gate and simply remove it. That means



additional emergency work, drilling under pressure. We do

have another device for that.

Mediator: Your question, please, Ivan Grigorievich.

Question: On large diameter gas pipelines they

use ball-valves a meter and a half in diameter, which are

opened and closed remotely. Tell me please, since the diameters

you work with are much smaller by comparison,

can’t the same remotely operated valves be installed?

Answer: Gazprom will now be developing Bovanankovsloe

field. There the general design developer of the project

plans for just that kind of remotely controlled christmas

trees with telemetry system and no human access. All the

wells there will sit on river floodplains with annual flooding

to the depth of 5 to 9 meters. They even plan to install sea

platforms. They are looking at three options: either build

at winter time only, or build in the traditional fashion from

artificial sand mounds, or - in the third option - use sea platforms,

which we don’t have in the North at present.

Question: I would like to ask you to think back to events

of two or three years ago when we investigated Rospan International

accident together. I don’t remember what kind

of christmas tree, what kind of valves they had there?

Answer: Of Voronezh manufacture, 80 by 800.

Question: Here is the question. Tell me if you have had

such cases in your practice when the main valve malfunction

causes its complete physical destruction, and if so how

did you handle them? Is it even possible? I will remind you

that the valve gate was faulty there, which caused a nozzle

effect, a shearing sideways jet – and everything was destroyed.

Answer: You mean that type of accident? There are

many, a great many such accidents.

Comment: How is the replacement handled then?

Answer: You see, as I told you we have about six thousand

producing wells. Naturally, they are all controlled. But

there do occur weather swings, sharp transitions between

winter and summer or spring and fall when the condensate,

plain water, simply bursts remaining valves from the inside.

Scheduled maintenance was not performed on time, they

were not packed with grease – and they fail. In that case

there is little you can do – it’s an open gusher, inflammation,

the rest of it.

Comment: So that means killing the well?

Answer: Yes, with subsequent recovery. We just shoot

off the christmas tree in such cases. You saw the artillery

pieces in the video? We shoot them off, so as to approach

the well.

Comment: So if I understood you correctly, physical

destruction of the main valve inescapably entails the need

to kill the well?

Answer: Yes.

Mediator: Any more questions? No. Thank you very

much, Ruslan Ahmetovich.

Prolonged applause.

Colleagues, I’ll utter the magic word - dinner.

And write down the contact numbers for Valentin Sergeevich

Filatov from Kirishinefteorgsintez, area code (812)

number 907-95-59; the alternative number is 967-04-10.



Moderator: Let’s continue. I see that not everyone

has survived lunch. Before I invite our next presenter to the

podium, I would like to note that this is one presentation,

but there’re two presenters. This is so called collaborative

presentation. Please hold your questions until the end of the

second part of presentation. Agreed?

And now I give floor to Yuri Udalov, Doctor of

Chemistry from St. Petersburg State Technological

University, corresponding member of the Academy

of Engineering Sciences.

Yuri Udalov:

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen! I would like

to introduce another hazard related problem to you. The

problem is hydrogen release in industrial processes. My

part of presentation is about assessing quantity and Ivan

Grigoriyevich will, after my presentation, talk about everything

else related to it.

Hydrogen can get released in engineering processes for

various reasons. I will touch on the operation of electric arc

furnaces for titanium smelting. Analogous or at least similar

emergency situations could be observed in nuclear reactors

when hydrogen is released due to the reaction between

water steam and zirconium. The topic of my presentation

is the reaction between water steam with titanium. Unfortunately,

there has not been written a lot about the issue of

interaction of water steam with zirconium. There is nothing

about it from the point of view of hazards in industrial facilities.

I will talk about the methodology that we propose, but

I will base my discussion on the experience of estimating

hydrogen release volumes in nuclear reactors. That issue is

well developed, as we still live through catastrophic consequences

of such an event from the times of Chernobyl accident.

Vacuum arc furnace schematic is pictured here. There

are many things here, but for starters, this is a closed vessel

made of water-cooled steel. The vessel’s volume is approximately

80 cubic meters. Operating pressure is about 100

Pa. On the bottom, shown by light dots, is a bath of melted

titan, approximately 10 tons at the temperature of 1800


In order to melt the titan, graphite electrode is lowered

from the top with an electrical arc developing between the

electrode and the bath of melted titan. For reasons not yet

known the base of the arc sometimes slips from the surface

of melted titanium to the side walls. The walls here

are protected from the melted metal by slag lining. Then,

there is a copper chill mould, which has water channels.

When the base of the arc gets to the copper chill mould, it

burns it through. The water then gets inside the chill mould

and inside the crucible, and comes into contact with melted


Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




The consequences of that are quite grave. For one thing,

the output from this particular smelting will be lost. But titanium

is an especially active chemical element, and it starts

reacting at those temperatures.

Here are the three main reactions that occur – numbers

2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 on top [of the slide]. This is titanium oxidation

by water with creation of hydrogen and output of a lot

of heat. Then, there is a possibility of further oxidation of titan

oxide to the next higher oxidation level, and finally, as a

third stage, one can get TiO 2 which is inert chemically, but is

an additional source of heat. In this table I provided energy

values per kilo of hydrogen at the reaction temperature of

1800 degrees as well as corresponding temperatures observed

at the zone of reaction. During the first reaction we

will have about 3000 degrees Celsius in the reaction zone,

and that significantly compounds the accident and makes

any estimates more difficult..

The titanium-oxygen system is an extremely complicated

one. On the left, where the zero is, we have titanium. Everything

to the right of it – are various compounds of oxygen

with titanium ending with TiO 2 on the right – a chemically

inert compound, which, in principle one should seek. In the

environment existing in the melting bath at 1800 degrees,

all of the oxidation products are solids.

Scientific research of titanium corrosion and oxidation

has been conducted for a very long time since titanium is a

material for advanced technology. As far as solid titanium

is concerned, all that happens with it is well understood and

thoroughly researched. Oxidation is a gradual process

from titanium oxide TiO to TiO2. The stage at which this

progression will stop depends on the temperature during


No one has studied this process for temperatures that

are of interest to us (of about 1800 degrees), and, therefore

we can only make theoretical assessments. All experimental

data either stop at 1200 degrees, beyond which

the process develops explosively, or we have to base our

methodology on data about titanium slag, where the composition

is somewhere between TiO and TiO2. All of this is

significant for correct assessment.

Here you have experimentally established titanium oxidation

curve at temperatures ranging from 800 to 1200 degrees.

Curve No. 5 – the top one – represents temperature

of 1200 degrees. In order to appreciate how serious everything

is, here we have 8 hours of oxidation along curve No.

5. If we calculate how much hydrogen was produced by

point 5 through reaction with water, taking in consideration

that in 1 second we get .01 grams from 1 square meter of

melted metal surface, and the area of melt bath is 2 square

meters, we can calculate a total release of 50 to 80 grams

in the course of that time.

But this, I would like to note, is for 8 hours. Therefore, in

principle, oxidation at these temperatures does not represent

any serious danger.

Another important consideration for our estimates is

mutual diffusion – oxygen comes from the top and creates

consequentially different types of oxides, while titanium diffuses

from the bottom to the top, which creates mutual diffusion

that moves the process along. It should be noted that

titanium diffuses more actively than oxygen to the temperature

of approximately 1000 degrees, after that the process

of oxygen diffusion is more active.

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

Here I have tried to show to you the chemical aspect of

the process. There’s also a hydrodynamic dimension to it.

We have a heterogenic reaction on the interface between

fluid or solid metal and oxygen or water vapor. This process

is driven by diffusive mobility of agents.

This curve shows relation between general flow and diffusion

flow depending on the external gas pressure. Here

is the first zone – this is the situation that I’ve just described

– when the diffusion is gradual through the product of reaction.

There is the second part, when diffusion and convection

in gas environment more or less coexist, but there is

also a third stage, when delivery of material to the reaction

zone is abruptly increased due to convection in gas environment.

Based on the above-mentioned, we have developed an

accident scenario in which a jet of water hits the surface of

melted titanium at the temperature of 1800 degrees with

concomitant release of energy. Irrespective of water volume,

emitted energy is higher than what is needed for water

vaporization by several orders of magnitude. Accordingly,

there will never be a contact between melted metal and water;

the contact will be with gaseous vapor.

Here is the first stage of the accident – from the time of

crucible wall penetration to time T1. The process develops

in vacuum, and therefore water steam expands and starts

to fill an entire vessel, all of its 80 cubic meters. During that

time there will be a minuscule amount of steam in contact with

melted titanium, in proportion to 2 square meters - that is surface

area of the bath – while all internal surface area is 100

square meters. That is how we arrive to about 2% of theoretically

possible level of hydrogen release. Situation inside of

furnace changes abruptly as soon as we reach atmospheric

pressure, 1.1 atmospheres to be precise, and the pressure

of steam blows off the lid of vacuum furnace. Well, the lid

does not really come off – a crack develops, and excessive

pressure relieve valve activates. At this point, there appear

very powerful convection streams with estimated velocity of

up to 20 meters per second, therefore an entire volume of

steam under the lid has enough time to react with metal. Titanium

oxidizes with release of hydrogen. A third stage begins

when there is about 5 centimeters of TiO slag on the surface,

and that slag starts to oxidize. The energy released during

this process is about the same, but the process slows down

somewhat. We believe that during an entire third stage slag

gets oxidized to the highest oxide level - TiO2, and after that

a fourth stage begins. A 5-centimeter layer of slag isolates

titanium from oxygen, and therefore generation of hydrogen

stops. But we already have 80 cubic meters of hydrogen inside

the furnace. During the fourth stage we must wash it out.

Hydrogen escapes into ambient environment. Once titanium

cools down and hardens under impact of all the water produced

during these 5 stages the active phase of the accident

is in our opinion over. Then we will have to cool the titan

down to room temperature, but that process is not associated

to the hazard of hydrogen release.

Here we propose several simple formulas: what quantity

of hydrogen will be generated during the first stage - in

proportion to the area of melting bath and the rate of hydrogen

release is 5 by 10 -4 kilos per second. A very small


Now I will tell you in more detail how we assess the situation.

A concentration of hydrogen inside the furnace by

the end of first stage will be .1 of mass percentile or 1.6



mole percentile, provided that we have only water steam,

hydrogen, and no sucked-in air from the outside.

During this period temperature of melted titanium will

decrease by 20 degrees according to formula 2.12. -

melted titanium temperature estimate. That is to say, it will

cool only slightly. Please note that titanium freezing point

is 1660 degrees. Therefore, we need to decrease its temperature

by another 160 degrees.

Once we reach atmospheric pressure, another process

begins. Streams of steam, one from the left, and from other

sides will descend to the hot zone, to the face of melted

metal, will get heated by it, produce hydrogen, and having

abruptly increased their temperature will rise vertically. This

process developing in the enclosed volume of the furnace

will continuously intensify. It is specifically due to that circulation,

that all the steam, all the water present at that time

becomes hydrogen.

This table represents hydrogen release during all five

stages. And this is how we measure hydrogen generation

rate for a 5-millimeter hole, when we have 300 grams per

second of incoming water.

But that is not what creates a hazard. There are two

possible scenarios. If we have air bursting through inside

the furnace, we will definitely have an explosion inside the

protected volume. But the most hazardous scenario is when

hydrogen escapes into ambient environment of the shop.

There certainly will be air present, and the consequences

are not hard to foretell.

Conditions inside the protected volume of the furnace

are presented here by Shapiro-Mafetti curve – they correspond

to the move from point 1 to point 2. The conditions

represented by areas circled in black are those where

explosions of various types occur – detonations, deflagrations.

In those conditions, provided air is absent, we are not

in danger of explosion inside the furnace. But as soon as we

add about 30% of air, the consequences are unavoidable.

If the leak is due to complete pipe rupture, the situation

accelerates significantly and all of the stages will overlap.

As a result, in 10 seconds we will get the very same 25 kilos

of hydrogen and cool the titanium to the point where it is no

longer hazardous.

Now I should give the floor to Ivan Grigoriyevich. He

now has some foundation for his assessments. But I would

like to add the following.

In my opinion, there are ways to avoid this unpleasant

situation with hydrogen release. There are two ways. I’ve

already shown, or tried to show that if we have 5-centimeter

thick layer of slag on the surface, the process discontinues.

Therefore, we could either provide for dumping ½ a

ton of artificial slag on the surface to stop the process, or

use another option. We must abandon water as a coolant

in this situation, or, at least convert to dual-loop cooling system.

We have developed a special high-temperature coolant,

which in the event of a rupture or a hole will not leak

because it is not under pressure. It just circulates there by

normal convection, while the second loop cooling the first

one is filled with water.

I believe this solution to make sense, it could be applied

in other engineering processes of similar type.


Moderator: Thank you, Yuri. I invite to the podium

co-presenter – Ivan Yankovskiy, PhD of techni-

cal sciences, Department of Risk Analyses of GCE


Ivan, before you begin, I think it will be fair to mention

how this issue came to be raised.

Ivan Yankovskiy: This problem cropped up when the

government set the goal to increase production of titanium.

When we started to develop the project a number of issues

came alive. The first issue was to assess the hazards - what

is the level of risk in titanium manufacturing? The second issue

is in what environment should 80 cubic meters furnaces

be installed?

I would like to say that titanium is being produced in two

types of furnaces. The first type was described by my copresenter.

It is a vacuum arc furnace where there is a prepositioned

graphite electrode, and a crucible loaded with

treated fusion mixture. The second type – is when titanium

melts in the crucible creating a crust or a shell. This crust is

removed when titanium is poured into the chill mould, and is

then used as an electrode. That is we create an electrode in

the process of titanium production.

This furnace is called a skull furnace. It is also an electric

arc furnace, but it’s been given the name skull furnace.

What are its advantages? First, in a skull furnace we

don’t use fusion mixture, but rather use industrial scrap. This

can be wire, rod, bars, nuts, bolts, etc. We utilize material

that was left after manufacturing of some parts made from

titan. These furnaces have their advantages and they produce

very good quality titanium, besides, you don’t need

to prepare fusion mixture, and you don’t need to prepare

an electrode in advance. We came up with this idea in the

Soviet Union, back in the 1980’s. Two furnaces were built

not far from Nizhniy Tagil, in Verkhnyaya Salda. There are

no furnaces of such type abroad. During the design phase

the following problems had to be solved.

Figure No.1 here shows the general view of a skull furnace.

It is a huge structure. As Yuri Petrovich mentioned, the

furnace volume is 80 cubic meters. Inside there is a crucible.

And here, on top, shown in blue is the lid. One could say

that the furnace consists of two parts: the first part is the vessel

volume itself while the second part looks like a dome.

As I said before, the crucible is at the bottom, while on

the top we mount the skull, i.e. the electrode.

In the 1980s, these furnaces were encased in reinforced

concrete. That is a natural [splution] for those times, as even

today, we do not have a methodology for calculating the

quantity of hydrogen released in case of crucible water

channel rupture.

This represents reinforced concrete bunker 18 by 18

and 25 meters high. Wall thickness is 1200mm – over a

meter. Doors are iron plated. At that time, when these were

designed, we thought that a lot of hydrogen would be released.

In case of explosion it had to be contained. This

bunker does not have any windows and has knockout surface

on top and an additional roof to contain fragmentation

from the knockout top. This is very expensive. It being the

Soviet times the structure was built by soldiers. The cost of

such an installation at that time was 3 million rubles.

Here’s the furnace itself. What are the main design

characteristics? The housing can be lifted with a gantry.

Then a crucible is installed and loaded with titanium scrap.

The housing is then lowered. The housing is not fixed to

the base. Then a skull is connected to the electric mount-

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007




ing. When electrical current starts flowing, an electrode or

a skull is lowered and the process of titanium scrap meting

begins. Once melted, titanium flows to the chill mould.

Vacuum pumps work continuously during furnace operation.

As Yuri Petrovich mentioned, they maintain a certain

level of vacuum. In addition, water for cooling is being

continually pumped through the crucible channels. You

only see the side view here, but there are also channels

from the front, back, and the other side. We calculated the

ratio of channel square area to that of the crucible’ inside

volume; it stands at 0.42. Total channel length is over 42


In the event of rupture due to burn-through of the inside

of the crucible wall, water spills to the surface of titanium.

Hydrogen release starts at this point as was discussed by

Yuri Petrovich. The most important aspect is that during an

accident water is continually being fed for cooling. Otherwise,

the crucible will melt, and titanium will then spread

throughout the entire volume of the furnace, and that will

lead to a catastrophe. As far as vacuum is concerned, the

pumps are shut down when an accident occurs, because air

could leak inside through the vacuum system.

So, what do we have? What’s the hazard of such a furnace?

The first one is hydrogen release as a result of rupture of

crucible water lines and reaction between water and melted

titan. Hydrogen escapes from the furnace and creates

an explosive mix with air. What do we mean here?

Return to the first slide, please.

What do we mean here? When water steam and hydrogen

are inside of the furnace, the top lid lifts slightly. Then

it lowers. It continuously lifts and lowers. The bottom part

of the housing can also lift. Therefore, when the top and

the housing lift, the air-hydrogen mixture escapes into the

environment. It can occur inside production shop or at an

outdoors installation. The second hazardous aspect is that

hydrogen is an explosive element with flammability range

of 4 to 75 units of volume. As you know, the wider the

explosive range, the higher the likelihood of combustion.

Moreover, the coefficient of hydrogen participation during

combustion of air-hydrogen mixture is 1. If we take natural

gas, butane, ethane, etc., for example, their coefficient will

be about 30% indoors and 10% outdoors. But for hydrogen

it is almost 100% that is one.

The third hazard. During smelting process there is always

an ignition source powerful enough to initiate an explosion

of hydrogen-air mixture. Such sources are an electric

arc or the high temperature of melted titanium, which

exceeds ignition point for hydrogen. As you know, that

temperature is 577 degrees. Therefore, considering design

characteristics of the furnace, our risk assessment took into

account the following:

- first – structural and technical parameters of skull furnace

and crucible;

- second – parameters of in-crucible cooling cycle;

- characteristics of furnace vacuum system;

- options for furnace location.

We looked at options of locating the furnace outdoors,

or in a reinforced bunker, or in frame-type building and

tried to assess what option is best.

As I said earlier, the furnace design provides for escape

of steam and hydrogen mixture during an accident. In the

event of excess pressure exceeding .08 atmospheres, the

Current issues of industrial safety: from designing to insurance

The V th international conference St. Petersburg 2007

top of the furnace lifts. The housing lifts when the pressure is

in excess of .29 atmospheres.

A table in Fig. No. 4 shows calculated parameters for

the lifting of furnace top and housing.

Here you have the pressure, maximum lift travel, etc.

We have looked at the option where water line is partially

depressurized and has a hole of 5mm and 80mm. We

have determined time and travel of lifting and lowering for

both furnace housing and lid. The housing and lid operate

as relieve valves.

A chart linking causes, calculated parameters and design

performance parameters allowed us to develop an accident

cause-and-effect timeline. In other words, we were

able to model dynamics of an accident.

Furnace depressurization could occur for various reasons

- it could be a burn-through, worn-out crucible, exceeded

operating parameters, and personnel errors. All of

the above could lead to partial of full depressurization. Then,

an accident could go one of two ways. The first one is when

we have a release of hydrogen from the furnace, a source of

ignition, and an explosion inside the building.

The second is when we have depressurization of furnace

housing, the likelihood of which is much less, and explosive

mixture forming inside the furnace – i.e. air comes from the

atmosphere. Then, an ignition source, explosion inside the

furnace, pressure wave, fragmentation, and, if there is disintegration

of inner components of the furnace – a release

into the environment.

Figure 6 depicts bar charts of incidents at the two skull

furnaces broken by year of operation. It follows that 14

crucible housing burn-through incidents occurred in that

period. Only two of them – highlighted in red here - in

1996-1997, and in 1998 involved crucible water line depressurization

but no steam outburst or explosion followed.

That was sheer luck.

We used these statistics to develop an events tree depicted

in figure 7.

The events tree was developed by us, and you can see

from it that the most likely scenario is scenario С1 with this

chain of events: crucible depressurization, water crucible

burn-through with release of steam but without overall

housing depressurization, hydrogen and water vapor mix

ejection into the premises through the upper lid, resultant

explosive mix explosion. Here is this branch.

The frequency of such an accident occurring stands at

6 by 10 -4 per year, which is generally considered a high


The assessment of individual and collective risks was

based on guideline РД 03-418-01. In assessing individual

risks we took into account the nature of the accident, time

spent in hazardous zone, and specific location of the individual.

The formula for calculating individual risk is presented

in figure 8.

I will eschew comment but just mention that the calculations

took into account the chance that operators – they are

two – will be in impacted area at the time of an accident.

Such likelihood was calculated to stand at 0,11 per year.

Individual risk value we arrived at is 7 by 10 -5 , while collective

risk is 1,5 by 10 -4 .

It should be noted that the amount of risk is driven

not only by frequency of accidents but also by resulting



damage, which in this case depends on the size of area

impacted by hydrogen-air mix explosion. The size of impacted

area is, in turn, dependent on specific site selection

for the furnace, i.e. outdoors, in ferroconcrete bunker, or

in frame building. That can be seen from data in table 2.

If the furnace is inside a ferroconcrete bunker – like the

existing 8 thousand cubic meters furnace – the amount of

hydrogen as reported by Yuri Nikolaevich is 25,3 kilos.

Explosion overpressure will stand at 42 kilopascals. The

bunker is big enough to contain the explosion. But ferroconcrete

bunker option is very costly and inadvisable

on economic grounds. I already mentioned that it cost 3

million rubles back in 1984. In my rough estimate based

on 16,9 conversion ratio, today building such a bunker

would cost 50,5 million rubles.

The last line is fro the outdoors site option. With outdoor

site, the explosion of those same 25,3 kilos of hydrogen will

generate 100 kilopascals of overpressure, which translates

into a 16-meter wide lethal impact zone. Overpressure will

still reach 5 kilopascals at a 130-meter distance. You realize

that building four or five such outdoor furnaces at an

existing plant calls for a very large area. Besides, open-air

operation with the kind of winter weather we have in the

Urals is problematic.

We have also looked at the skeleton, of frame building

as an option. Having looked at several such buildings, we

chose one with inner volume of 24 by 18 by 25 meters. That

gives 10,800 cubic meters of volume. Taking the same 25

kilos of potentially released hydrogen, we get overpressure

of 31 kilopascals.

At that pressure (provide there are no reinforcing structures),

the building will suffer middle-level damage.

One engineering solution for protecting buildings

against explosions is to have easily crumbling or easily

opening (under pressure) elements in its walls. Their primary

purpose is to serve as relief valve, and thus reduce

overpressure inside the building should an explosion or explosive

combustion of gas-air mixtures occur inside.

Such protective elements in the building include windows,

window louvers, doors and gates, as well as specially

designed turning elements, or easily jettisoned wall

panels, or light panels. Acceptable overpressure is calculated

in view of a building’s overall structural integrity, which

defines its resistance to a blast.

We performed calculations on what the surface area

of such protective elements should be using as an example

the premises in a single-story building, the cross-section

of which you can see in figures 10 and 11. Section 1.1. is

the elevation. We suggest that a special atrium is added to

modify the shape of blast wave front and trap flying debris;

the atrium is 6 meters wide and a meter higher than protective

elements. In other words, calculations allowed us to define

the area required to reduce blast overpressure below

5 kilopascals. At that level, the building is not destroyed; its

supporting columns and walls survive.

Can you show us the floor plan, please.

Our findings were that protective elements should be

installed here, and three more rows of them on the opposite

side. Besides, the ceiling should be made of easily jettisoned