April 23, 2013 – Nuclear Fertilizer Bomb: While it is still not clear what caused the explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed at least 14 people and destroyed or damaged much of West, Tex., last week, the disaster is a reminder that for all the good that fertilizers do in increasing crop yields, they can also prove lethal under certain conditions. Pictured above, an aerial view of the aftermath of a huge explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Tex. The blast on Wednesday night was caused by a fire inside the plant.
The plant had large amounts of two commercial fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate. Both chemicals have been linked to explosions in the past.
Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless, corrosive gas that is stored as a liquid under pressure; farmers inject it into the soil. “People mostly think of it as a toxic chemical that can cause breathing problems,” said Sam Mannan, a professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University. “But it’s also a flammable and explosive material.”
Scientists have made huge fertilizer bombs by creating a 2.1 million pound fertilizer bomb and setting it off. The results, performed a remote locations in Nevada, was bomb with a yield the size of a small nuclear weapon. What if terrorists rented a small building in a large U.S. city and made such a weapon? The entire city would be leveled. Instead of three dead at the Boston Marathon, it could be three million dead!
Fortunately, authorities are on the look out for such activities; along with other suspicious activities. Click on the link below for the complete story.
The Master of Disaster