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Disposal of Chemical Weapons Via Incineration

2010 

2010_baseline_incineration

 

Review of Closure Plans for the Baseline Incineration Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities (2010)
This book responds to a request by the director of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) for the National Research Council to examine and evaluate the ongoing planning for closure of the four currently operational baseline incineration chemical agent disposal facilities and the closure of a related testing facility. The book evaluates the closure planning process as well as some aspects of closure operations that are taking place while the facilities are still disposing of agent. These facilities are located in Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Tooele, Utah. Although the facilities all use the same technology and are in many ways identical, each has a particular set of challenges.
 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

The Army is in the process of destroying projectiles and mortars that contain the chemical agent mustard at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) located on the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) in Anniston, Alabama. Were the faulty devices to eventually be processed through the ANCDF, it would require that they be disassembled manually by workers wearing personnel protective equipment known as demilitarization protective ensemble suits. This operation nonetheless would expose the operators to a high safety risk.
 
Rather than exposing the workers to this additional risk, the Army will use an explosive detonation technology (EDT) to destroy the munitions without disassembling them. The particular EDT system that the Army plans to use is a static detonation chamber (SDC) system manufactured by the Swedish company, Dynasafe AB.
In response to a request from the Army, the present report reviews the design of the Dynasafe Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) system for the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.
 
 NO COVER IMAGE

Review and Assessment of Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical Agent Munition Disposal System (Letter Report)

The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA), requested the National Academies' Board on Army Science and Technology to examine the current state of closure activities for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS). In this brief interim report, the Committee on Review and Assessment of Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System addresses some of the issues pertaining to closure at the TOCDF and CAMDS facilities. It also provides insights into what the committee believes are important parameters to ensure the success of the CMA's closure program for these and CMA facilities at other locations. This interim report is to be followed by another report, which will use these parameters to conduct a comprehensive assessment of closure activities and issues.

For this interim report, the committee examined the current status of closure plans for both the TOCDF and CAMDS based on presentations by key members of CMA staff and the systems contractor. It then developed a set of parameters based on this high-level evaluation to help ensure a consistently effective approach to the closures of the four currently operating CMA chemical agent disposal facilities. The committee also assessed regulatory requirements imposed by the state of Utah, where TOCDF and CAMDS are located.

 

 2009 
 NO COVER IMAGE

Disposal of Legacy Nerve Agent GA and Lewisite Stocks at Deseret Chemical Depot (Letter Report)

The National Research Council established a study committee to assess the disposal of stocks of legacy nerve agent GA and lewisite at Deseret Chemical Depot. Specifically, the committee reviewed information provided to it on the 50 percent design of the Area Ten Liquid Incinerator (ATLIC) facility. It focused on differences between the process design being used for the ATLIC facility and those used at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, which has operated successfully for over a decade in campaigns to destroy nerve agents GB and VX and mustard agent. This analysis examines the process design and procedural steps to be used for treating GA and lewisite at the Deseret Chemical Depot; provides an assessment of the process design which includes a new incinerator and associated pollution abatement system to be tailored to the requirements for treating the GA and lewisite; and provides an assessment of the process design to determine the system's ability to reduce arsenic and mercury emissions to within the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) new source regulatory limits.

 

2009_disposal_of_activated_carbon

 

The Disposal of Activated Carbon from Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities

For the last two decades, the United States has been destroying its entire stockpile of chemical agents. At the facilities where these agents are being destroyed, effluent gas streams pass through large activated carbon filters before venting to ensure that any residual trace vapors of chemical agents and other pollutants do not escape into the atmosphere in exceedance of regulatory limits. All the carbon will have to be disposed of for final closure of these facilities to take place. In March 2008, the Chemical Materials Agency asked the National Research Council to study, evaluate, and recommend the best methods for proper and safe disposal of the used carbon from the operational disposal facilities.

This volume examines various approaches to handling carbon waste streams from the four operating chemical agent disposal facilities. The approaches that will be used at each facility will ultimately be chosen bearing in mind local regulatory practices, facility design and operations, and the characteristics of agent inventories, along with other factors such as public involvement regarding facility operations.

 

CMA Safety and Environmental Metrics

Evaluation of Safety and Environmental Metrics for Potential Application at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities

By the end of 2009, more than 60 percent of the global chemical weapons stockpile declared by signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention will have been destroyed, and of the 184 signatories, only three countries will possess chemical weapons-the United States, Russia, and Libya.
In the United States, destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile began in 1990, when Congress mandated that the Army and its contractors destroy the stockpile while ensuring maximum safety for workers, the public, and the environment. The destruction program has proceeded without serious exposure of any worker or member of the public to chemical agents, and risk to the public from a storage incident involving the aging stockpile has been reduced by more than 90 percent from what it was at the time destruction began on Johnston Island and in the continental United States.
At this time, safety at chemical agent disposal facilities is far better than the national average for all industries. Even so, the Army and its contractors are desirous of further improvement. To this end, the Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) asked the NRC to assist by reviewing CMA's existing safety and environmental metrics and making recommendations on which additional metrics might be developed to further improve its safety and environmental programs.

 

 2007 
 

Assessment of the Continuing Operability of Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities and Equipment

The U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) currently oversees contracts for the operation of chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities at four disposal sites. Because the period of time required to dispose of these chemical agents has grown beyond that originally planned, the Army is becoming concerned about the possibility of growing operational problems as the processing equipment ages. To help address these concerns, the CMA requested the NRC to assess whether current policies and practices will be able to adequately anticipate and address facility obsolescence issues. This report presents a review of potential infrastructure and equipment weaknesses given that the facilities are being operated well beyond their original design lifetime; an assessment of the Army’s current and evolving obsolescence management programs; and offers recommendations about how the programs may be improved and strengthened to permit safe and expeditious completion of agent stockpile destruction and facility closure.

 

 

Review and Assessment of Industrial Hygiene Standards and Practices at Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (Letter Report)

As part of its continuing efforts to destroy the nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons, the U.S. Army Materiel Command conducted a Surety Management Review (SMR) that evaluated the Industrial Hygiene (IH) program at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF). The IH program at TOCDF was given a rating of “Mission Capable with Limitations.” In order to obtain an independent assessment, the Chemical Materials Agency requested the National Research Council (NRC) to review and assess the IH Standards and Practices at TOCDF as they relate to the SMR. This letter report presents an analysis of the SRM findings; an overview of the TOCDF IH Program; a comparison of the performance at TOCDF and specification standards; and recommendations for improving both the IH program and its review.

 

 

 

Review of Chemical Agent Secondary Waste Disposal and Regulatory Requirements

Under the direction of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) and mandated by Congress, the nation is destroying its chemical weapons stockpile. Large quantities of secondary waste are being generated in the process, and managing these wastes safely and effectively is a critical part of CMA’s weapons disposal program. To assist, the CMA asked the NRC to examine the environmental and regulatory requirements that secondary waste treatment is subject to, and to assess best practices by industry in meeting such requirements for similar facilities. This report presents an overview of secondary wastes from chemical agent disposal facilities (CDF), a comparison of CDF and industry experience, site-specific analysis of major secondary waste issues, an examination of closure wastes, and findings and recommendations.

 

 2005 
 

Monitoring at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities

Under the direction of the U.S. Army's Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) and mandated by Congress, the nation is destroying its chemical weapons stockpile. Over the past several years, the Army has requested several studies from the NRC to assist with the stockpile destruction. This study was requested to advise the CMA about the status of analytical instrumentation technology and systems suitable for monitoring airborne chemical warfare agents at chemical weapons disposal and storage facilities. The report presents an assessment of current monitoring systems used for airborne agent detection at CMA facilities and of the applicability and availability of innovative new technologies. It also provides a review of how new regulatory requirements would affect the CMA's current agent monitoring procedures, and whether new measurement technologies are available and could be effectively incorporated into the CMA's overall chemical agent monitoring strategies.

 

 2004 

 

 

Effects of Degraded Agents and Munitions Anomalies on Chemical Stockpile Disposal Operations

The U.S. Army is in the process of destroying its entire stock of chemical weapons. To help with stockpile disposal, the Army's Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), in 1987, asked the National Research Council (NRC) for scientific and technical advice. This report is one in a series of such prepared by the NRC over the last 16 years in response to that request. It presents an examination of the effect of leaking munitions (leakers) and other anomalies in the stored stockpile on the operation of the chemical agent disposal facilities. The report presents a discussion of potential causes of these anomalies, leaker tracking and analysis issues, risk implications of anomalies, and recommendations for monitoring and containing these anomalies during the remaining life of the stockpile.

 

 2003 
 

Assessment of Processing Gelled GB M55 Rockets at Anniston

In 1985, Congress mandated the destruction of the stockpile of M55 rockets stored at several chemical weapons storage sites in the United States and its possessions because of the risk that the rockets may self-ignite. Risk assessments performed by the Army indicate the risk to the public is dominated by M55 rockets containing the nerve agent sarin (GB). During the disposal of these GB M55 rockets at a site in Tooele, Utah, it was discovered that the agent had gelled in a significant percentage of the rockets. In these cases, the standard destruction method would not work. The Army devised an alternate mechanism for incinerating the gelled rockets, but the State of Utah limited their disposal rate using this process. The Army, however, has since developed plans for increasing the destruction rate of gelled rockets and proposes that this method be used at Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) in Anniston, Alabama. To assist in this effort, the Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to evaluate the Army’s plan for higher destruction rates. Former Congressman Robert Riley (now Alabama’s governor) also requested an NRC assessment. This study was carried out by the NRC ad hoc Committee on Review of Army Planning for the Disposal of M55 Rockets at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.

 

 2002 

 

 

Closure and Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System

Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), the first fully integrated chemical agent disposal facility, is located on Johnston Island some 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. JACADS completed ten years of operations in November 2000, which resulted in the disposal of more than 2000 tons of nerve and mustard agents. In 1998, the Army began planning for closure and dismantling of the facility. In 1999, the NRC was asked to review the Army’s planning. This report presents an assessment of planned and ongoing closure activities on Johnston Island in some detail. It also provides an analysis of the likely implications for closure of disposal facilities at eight continental U.S. storage sites.

 

 

 

Evaluation Of Chemical Events At Army Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities

For over a decade the Army has been carrying out a program aimed at the destruction of accumulated chemical weapons stored at several sites. While destruction by incineration has been successful, several incidents – called chemical events – occurred during the disposal process or decontamination activities that raised some public concerns about the safety of operations of three third generation incineration facilities. As a result, the Congress asked the NRC to investigate whether the incidents provide information useful to help ensure safe operation of the future sites. This report presents an analysis of causes of and responses to past chemical events, implications of such events for ongoing and future demilitarization activities, and recommendations for preparing for future events.

 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Review of Proposed Process Changes for Expedited Disposal of the Aberdeen Stockpile of Bulk Mustard Agent (Letter Report)

 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Review of Proposed Process Changes for Expedited Disposal of the Newport Stockpile of Bulk VX Nerve Agent (Letter Report)

 

 2001 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Assessment of Supercritical Water Oxidation Technology Development for Treatment of VX Hydrolysate at the Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (Letter Report)

 

 

 

A Modified Baseline Incineration Process for Mustard Projectiles at Pueblo Chemical Depot

 

 

Occupational Health and Workplace Monitoring at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities
 2000 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Obstacles to Closure of the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (Letter Report)

 

 

 

A Review of the Army's Public Affairs Efforts in Support of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program
  
 1999 

 

 

Carbon Filtration for Reducing Emissions from Chemical Agent Incineration

 

 

Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility: Update on National Research Council Recommendations
 1998 

 

 

Using Supercritical Water Oxidation to Treat Hydrolysate from VX Neutralization
 1997 

 

 

Risk Assessment and Management at Deseret Chemical Depot and the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility
 1996 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Public Involvement and the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (Letter Report)

 

 

 

Review of Systemization of the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility

In 1993, at Tooele Army Depot, Utah, the Army completed construction of the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), the first complete facility for destruction of lethal unitary chemical agents and munitions to be built in the continental United States. The TOCDF will employ the Army's baseline incineration system to destroy the depot's increment of the nation's aging unitary chemical stockpile. This book assesses Army changes and improvements to the TOCDF in response to recommendations contained in earlier reports of the committee. It assesses aspects of the facility's readiness for safe agent handling and destruction operations, its agent monitoring system, and its site specific risk assessment.

 1995 

 

 

Evaluation of the Army's Draft Assessment Criteria to Aid in the Selection of Alternative Technologies for Chemical Demilitarization
 1994 

 

 

Evaluation of the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agency Disposal System: Operational Verification Testing, Part II

 

 

 

Recommendations for the Disposal of Chemical Agents And Munitions

The U.S. Army's chemical stockpile is aging and gradually deteriorating. Its elimination has public, political, and environmental ramifications. The U.S. Department of Defense has designated the Department of the Army as the executive agent responsible for the safe, timely, and effective elimination of the chemical stockpile. This book provides recommendations on the direction the Army should take in pursuing and completing its Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program.

 

 

Review of Monitoring Activities Within the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program

 

 1993 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Evaluation of the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agency Disposal System: Operational Verification Testing, Part I

Specific Actions to Further Enhance the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP) Risk Management Process (Letter Report)

 

 1992 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Review of the Choice and Status of Incineration for Destruction of the Chemical Stockpile (Letter Report)

 

 1991 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Review of the Mitre Report: Evaluation of the GB Rocket Campaign: Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) Operational Verification Testing (OVT)

Workshop on the Pollution Abatement System of the Chemical Agent Demilitarization System (Letter Report)
 

 1989 

 NO COVER IMAGE

 

Comments on Operational Verification Test and Evaluation Master Plan for the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS)

Demilitarization of Chemical Weapons: On-Site Handling of Munitions (Letter Report)

 

 1984 
 NO COVER IMAGE

Disposal of Chemical Munitions and Agents