Climate Change and Environment
|Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R SpacecraftA Workshop Report
In June 2006, changes were announced by NOAA that reduced the scope of the next generation of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites, NPOESS and GOES-R. To examine the impacts of these changes, particularly those associated with climate research, and ways to mitigate those impacts, NASA and NOAA asked the NRC to add this task to its ongoing "decadal survey," Earth Science and Applications from Space. The sponsors and the NRC agreed to address this task separately and to base its analysis on a major workshop. Two reports would be issued: the first summarizing the presentations and discussions of the workshop and the second with recommendations for a strategy to recover the lost capabilities. This report presents summaries of discussions at the workshop, which included sessions on the measurements and sensors originally planned for NPOESS and GOES-R; generation of climate data records; mitigation options, including the role of international partners; and cross-cutting issues. The second report is due in early 2008.
|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 book 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.
|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.
|Earth Science and Applications from SpaceNational Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond
Natural and human-induced changes in Earth's interior, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans affect all aspects of life. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. To assist NASA, NOAA, and USGS in developing these tools, the NRC was asked to carry out a "decadal strategy" survey of Earth science and applications from space that would develop the key scientific questions on which to focus Earth and environmental observations in the period 2005-2015 and beyond, and present a prioritized list of space programs, missions, and supporting activities to address these questions. This report presents a vision for the Earth science program; an analysis of the existing Earth Observing System and recommendations to help restore its capabilities; an assessment of and recommendations for new observations and missions for the next decade; an examination of and recommendations for effective application of those observations; and an analysis of how best to sustain that observation and applications system.
|Letter Report: Review and Assessment of Industrial Hygiene Standards and Practices at Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility
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.