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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Middletown Ceremony To Mark New Standards For Gas Pipe Purging

Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation will be in the state on Monday to announce the development of a new safety standard designed to prevent the kind of explosion that occurred at a Middletown power plant under construction in Feb. 2010.

U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney, D-2, and Rosa DeLauro will be at Middletown's City Hall at 1 p.m. to announce the release of a new National Fire Protection Association standard. The new standard covers the cleaning and purging of flammable gas piping systems.

The explosion at the Kleen Energy Power plant killed six workers and injured at nearly 50 others. It was determined by investigators that the explosion at the Kleen Energy Power plant was caused by a process known as a "gas blow," in which highly pressurized natural gas is used to clean debris from pipes.

The highly pressurized natural gas was discharged into the atmosphere without the proper controls, causing the explosion (shown in photo above).

The new standard covers not only "gas blows" but a broad range of activities that involve the fuel. Those activities include cleaning, repair, replacement and removal procedures at power plants and well as other activities in commercial, industrial and institutional settings.

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