Transporting natural gas by rail through cities – a doomsday scenario

If you have read The Doomsday Book, you know that one thing terrorists look for is places that store potential energy. They especially like to release potential energy in crowded areas. This proposal brings big concentrations of potential energy right through the heart of many cities:

‘That Terrifies Me’: Trump Rule Allows Natural Gas Transport By Rail In Dense Areas

What makes it terrifying?

In an effort to boost natural gas exports, the Trump administration has reversed longstanding federal policy and approved transport of gas by rail anywhere in the country. Opposition has come from Hollywood stars, state attorneys general and local residents who worry about the danger this poses. But plans are moving ahead for a New Jersey project that calls for one of the longest such transport routes in the country: 200 miles through densely populated areas of the East Coast.

The gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale would first be sent by pipeline to a new liquefaction plant in the rural northeast part of the state. Refrigeration units would chill it to negative-260 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it becomes liquid and easier to ship. The part of the plan that scares a lot of people is the next step — transporting the gas by truck or rail down the busy I-95 corridor to a planned export terminal along the Delaware River in Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Generally speaking we do not ship gasoline – another flammable liquid – this way. Gasoline is flowing in underground pipelines, which is much safer.

What could go wrong? It is easy to imagine a 50-car train of liquified natural gas. Each car has 30,000 gallons say of LNG, or about 100,000 kilograms of LNG . That is 1.5 million gallons of LNG total, or 5 million kilograms. And now a bomb blows up a part of the train. If all of the LNG ignites, that’s the energy equivalent of about 50,000 tons of TNT (ref). That is 3 times more energy than the energy released by the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima. Even if only a few cars ignite, it is still a huge explosion. It is a doomsday scenario in the making. This video shows the potential problems:

Communities at Risk: Hazards of LNG

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

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