This month's cover story discusses how many types of "used" water may be appropriate as cooling tower makeup. Other topics include: troubleshooting maldistribution on trays; units of measurement; cold steam traps; and Denmark's chemical industry. Also read about the latest developments in nanotechnology, materials, and Energy.
Days after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeastern U.S., I attended the session “Accounting for Beyond Design Basis Events” at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, where CCPS Consultant John Murphy gave a talk entitled “Beware the Black Swan.” (His paper on the same topic appeared in the Dec. 2012 issue of Process Safety Progress [PSP], pp. 330–333.) Two weeks later, I came across a press release headlined “How ‘Black Swans’ and ‘Perfect Storms’ Become Lame Excuses for Bad Risk Management,” discussing research by Stanford Univ.’s Elisabeth Paté-Cornell. In this issue’s Spotlight on Safety (p. 20), CCPS Technical Director Louisa Nara discusses the importance of considering highly improbable (or black swan) events.
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