1
Introduction

BACKGROUND

The United States has maintained a stockpile of highly toxic chemical warfare agents and munitions for more than half a century. These chemical agents are designed to be lethal upon exposure. Stored as components of aging weapons systems, they present a growing risk to surrounding communities.

The need to destroy the aging U.S. chemical stockpile has been a long-standing concern of government, citizens, and the military. In 1985, Public Law 99–145 mandated an “expedited” effort to dispose of one particular type of chemical munitions, the M55 rocket, which could self-ignite during storage if the stabilizer in the propellant were depleted. The mandate concerning rockets was soon expanded into the U.S. Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), whose mission is to eliminate the entire stockpile of unitary1 chemical weapons. The CSDP developed the current baseline system, which uses incineration to destroy the agents, energetic materials, and munition packing materials (known as dunnage). The baseline system also uses a furnace to decontaminate the residual metal parts. In 1997, after having set several intermediate goals and dates for completing the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile, Congress ratified the President’s signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which mandates that destruction be completed by April 29, 2007.

The CSDP currently operates two baseline incineration systems facilities—one on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and one at the Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah. Together, these two facilities are expected to destroy approximately one-half of the total U.S. stockpile, the remainder of which is dispersed among seven other storage sites in the continental United States.2 Similar incineration systems were initially planned for all of these sites. However, incineration has met with strong public and political opposition. In response to this opposition, neutralization processes (i.e., processes based on the hydrolysis3 of chemical agent in water or sodium hydroxide solution) have been developed to destroy the chemical agents stored in bulk containers at Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana. The construction of these facilities is under way. For the remaining sites, where explosively configured “assembled” chemical weapons are stored, incineration remains the technology planned for disposal. Construction of baseline incineration facilities is proceeding at storage sites in Anniston, Alabama; Umatilla, Oregon; and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

In 1996, Congress enacted two laws that created and appropriated funding for a new program, the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) program. Public Law 104–201 (authorization) and Public Law 104–208 (appropriation) mandated that the Department of Defense (DOD) conduct

1  

Unitary chemical weapons are single chemicals loaded in munitions or stored as lethal materials. More recent binary munitions have two relatively safe chemicals loaded into separate compartments and mixed to form a lethal agent only after the munition is fired or released. The components of binary munitions, which are stockpiled in separate states, are not included in the present CSDP. However, under the Chemical Weapons Convention, they are included in the munitions that will ultimately be destroyed.

2  

The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) completed destruction of the stockpile located on Johnston Island in late 2000, and plans for closure of the facility are under way. The stockpile on Johnston Island comprised 2,031 tons, or 6.4 percent, of the original 31,496 tons of chemical nerve and blister (mustard) agents in the U.S. stockpile.

3  

Hydrolysis is a reaction of a target compound with water, an acid, or a base in which some chemical bond is broken in the target and OH- or H+ is inserted into the bond cleavage. The destruction of chemical agent via hydrolysis is often referred to as chemical neutralization, based on the military definition of neutralize: to render something unusable or destroyed and nonfunctional. Technically, neutralization is a chemical reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt and water. Chemical agents are neither acids nor bases, however, and the use of the term neutralization for two very different processes is somewhat confusing. Nevertheless, in the literature on chemical demilitarization, the terms neutralization and hydrolysis have been used interchangeably. Therefore, unless otherwise specified, neutralization will refer to the destruction of chemical agent via hydrolysis. The word decontamination is also used to indicate removal, destruction, or neutralization of chemical agents.



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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot 1 Introduction BACKGROUND The United States has maintained a stockpile of highly toxic chemical warfare agents and munitions for more than half a century. These chemical agents are designed to be lethal upon exposure. Stored as components of aging weapons systems, they present a growing risk to surrounding communities. The need to destroy the aging U.S. chemical stockpile has been a long-standing concern of government, citizens, and the military. In 1985, Public Law 99–145 mandated an “expedited” effort to dispose of one particular type of chemical munitions, the M55 rocket, which could self-ignite during storage if the stabilizer in the propellant were depleted. The mandate concerning rockets was soon expanded into the U.S. Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), whose mission is to eliminate the entire stockpile of unitary1 chemical weapons. The CSDP developed the current baseline system, which uses incineration to destroy the agents, energetic materials, and munition packing materials (known as dunnage). The baseline system also uses a furnace to decontaminate the residual metal parts. In 1997, after having set several intermediate goals and dates for completing the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile, Congress ratified the President’s signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which mandates that destruction be completed by April 29, 2007. The CSDP currently operates two baseline incineration systems facilities—one on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and one at the Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah. Together, these two facilities are expected to destroy approximately one-half of the total U.S. stockpile, the remainder of which is dispersed among seven other storage sites in the continental United States.2 Similar incineration systems were initially planned for all of these sites. However, incineration has met with strong public and political opposition. In response to this opposition, neutralization processes (i.e., processes based on the hydrolysis3 of chemical agent in water or sodium hydroxide solution) have been developed to destroy the chemical agents stored in bulk containers at Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana. The construction of these facilities is under way. For the remaining sites, where explosively configured “assembled” chemical weapons are stored, incineration remains the technology planned for disposal. Construction of baseline incineration facilities is proceeding at storage sites in Anniston, Alabama; Umatilla, Oregon; and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In 1996, Congress enacted two laws that created and appropriated funding for a new program, the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) program. Public Law 104–201 (authorization) and Public Law 104–208 (appropriation) mandated that the Department of Defense (DOD) conduct 1   Unitary chemical weapons are single chemicals loaded in munitions or stored as lethal materials. More recent binary munitions have two relatively safe chemicals loaded into separate compartments and mixed to form a lethal agent only after the munition is fired or released. The components of binary munitions, which are stockpiled in separate states, are not included in the present CSDP. However, under the Chemical Weapons Convention, they are included in the munitions that will ultimately be destroyed. 2   The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) completed destruction of the stockpile located on Johnston Island in late 2000, and plans for closure of the facility are under way. The stockpile on Johnston Island comprised 2,031 tons, or 6.4 percent, of the original 31,496 tons of chemical nerve and blister (mustard) agents in the U.S. stockpile. 3   Hydrolysis is a reaction of a target compound with water, an acid, or a base in which some chemical bond is broken in the target and OH- or H+ is inserted into the bond cleavage. The destruction of chemical agent via hydrolysis is often referred to as chemical neutralization, based on the military definition of neutralize: to render something unusable or destroyed and nonfunctional. Technically, neutralization is a chemical reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt and water. Chemical agents are neither acids nor bases, however, and the use of the term neutralization for two very different processes is somewhat confusing. Nevertheless, in the literature on chemical demilitarization, the terms neutralization and hydrolysis have been used interchangeably. Therefore, unless otherwise specified, neutralization will refer to the destruction of chemical agent via hydrolysis. The word decontamination is also used to indicate removal, destruction, or neutralization of chemical agents.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot an assessment of alternative technologies to the baseline incineration process for the demilitarization of assembled chemical weapons and that at least two technologies be demonstrated. Congress included the following stipulations: All funds for constructing stockpile disposal facilities at Blue Grass Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, should be frozen. DOD should select a program manager who was not and had never been associated with the Army’s program for disposal of the stockpile by incineration. In December 1996, DOD appointed the deputy to the commander, Soldier Biological Chemical Command, to be the Program Manager for the ACWA program (PMACWA). Public Law 104–201 also required that the PMACWA conduct the assessment “in coordination with the National Research Council (NRC),” which has a standing committee, the Committee on the Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (the Stockpile Committee), that provides technical oversight and counsel to the Army on the CSDP, including the neutralization facilities under construction in Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana. The Stockpile Committee could have been asked to oversee the ACWA program as well. However, in the spirit of Public Law 104–201, the PMACWA requested that the NRC establish a separate committee to conduct an independent evaluation of the alternative technologies being considered by the ACWA program. In response, the NRC formed the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons (ACW I Committee). On July 28, 1997, after organizing a staff and establishing a program plan, the PMACWA published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a “total solution” for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons without using incineration (U.S. Army, 1997).4 Twelve proposals were submitted in 4   The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (PMCD) defines a total solution as one capable of demilitarizing and disposing of all components and process-related materials of a fully assembled chemical weapon (U.S. Army, 1997). These components/materials encompass, at a minimum, the following: • chemical agents GB, VX, and/or H, HD, HT • fuzes • explosives • propellant • metal parts • fiberglass containing polychlorinated biphenyls • wooden and fiberboard dunnage • protective clothing made of butyl rubber, chlorinated polymers, and silicone rubber • various plant process wastes, including aqueous decontamination solutions, synthetic/hydrocarbon hydraulic fluids, pumps, valves, motors, and mechanical equipment, and • carbon filter media September 1997. Of these, seven passed the threshold requirements stipulated in the RFP. These technologies are summarized in Table 1–1. On July 29, 1998, after an elaborate, multitiered selection process, three technology packages were selected for demonstration testing (Demonstration I). Detailed descriptions of the selection process and all seven technologies are available in the PMACWA’s two annual reports to Congress (DOD, 1997, 1998) and in the NRC report by the ACW I Committee (NRC, 1999). Constrained by both time and budget, the PMACWA then identified unit operations that were “most critical [and] least proven” for the three technology packages selected for the demonstration tests. These unit operations had not been previously used in the disposal of chemical munitions, nor had they been integrated into a complete system for this application. Two of the three technology packages use base hydrolysis as the primary treatment step to destroy agent and energetic materials. Because most of the uncertainties concerning these technology packages pertain to the secondary treatment of products from the primary treatment step, the PMACWA provided hydrolysates for nerve agents GB and VX and mustard agent HD, for testing unit operations.5 Approximately 1,100 gallons of GB hydrolysate and 400 gallons of VX hydrolysate were produced at the Army’s Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) experimental facility at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah. Approximately 4,200 gallons of HD hydrolysate were produced at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The agent hydrolysates provided a representative feedstock for the demonstration tests and enabled characterization of the intermediate product stream for residual agent, including Schedule 2 compounds (agent precursor compounds, as defined by the international CWC). Various types and amounts of energetic materials contained in the weapons were reacted with caustic solutions similar to those specified in the technology package proposals to produce hydrolysates for the demonstration tests. Systemization (preoperational testing) was conducted from January to March 1999, and demonstrations began in March 1999 and were completed in May 1999. The technology providers submitted their reports on the demonstration tests to the PMACWA on June 30, 1999 (Burns and Roe, 1999; General Atomics, 1999a; Parsons-AlliedSignal, 1999). The PMACWA used these reports and other information to prepare the Supplemental Report to Congress, submitted on September 30, 1999. The PMACWA concluded that two of 5   Nerve agents are organophosphonate compounds: they contain phosphorus double-bonded to an oxygen atom and single-bonded to a carbon atom. GB is O-isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate. VX is O-ethyl-S[2-(diisopropyl amino) ethyl]-methylphosphonothiolate. Bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide is the proper chemical name for mustard agent HD and HT (a thickened form). Mustard gas, sulfur mustard, and yperite have also been used for this agent. The term “mustard gas” is often used, but the chemical is a liquid at ambient temperature.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot TABLE 1–1 Descriptions of the Seven Technology Packages That Passed the Go/No-Go Evaluation Technology Provider Access to Munitions Treatment of Agent Treatment of Energetics Treatment of Metal Parts Treatment of Dunnage AEA Technology Modified reverse assembly (high-pressure wash, new rocket shearing). Electrochemical oxidation using silver ions in nitric acid (SILVER II). Treated with SILVER II process. High-pressure acid wash; thermal treatment to 5X.a Shredded and treated with SILVER II process. ARCTECH Modified reverse assembly. Hydrolysis with a-HAX (humic acid and strong base, KOH). Hydrolysis with a-HAX. Hydrolysis with a-HAX; shipped to Rock Island Arsenal for 5X treatment. Hydrolysis with dilute a-HAX; shipped to landfill. Burns and Roe Modified reverse assembly. Plasma arc. Plasma arc. Melted in plasma arc. Shredded; processed in plasma arc. General Atomics Modified reverse assembly; cryofracture for projectiles. Hydrolysis; supercritical water oxidation (SCWO). Hydrolysis; SCWO. Hydrolysis; thermal treatment to 5X. Shredded; destroyed in SCWO. Lockheed Martin Modified reverse assembly (multiple lines, compact layout, new drain and wash). Hydrolysis; SCWO; Eco Logic gas-phase chemical reduction (GPCR). Hydrolysis; SCWO; GPCR. Hydrolysis; GPCR to 5X.a Hydrolysis; GPCR to 5X.a Parsons Modified reverse assembly (fluid-jet cutting and energetic washout for rockets). Hydrolysis; biotreatment. Hydrolysis; biotreatment. Thermal treatment to 5X.a Thermal treatment to 5X.a Teledyne Commodore Fluid-jet cutting; access and drain agent; washout energetics with ammonia. Solvated-electron process in ammonia for reduction; chemical oxidation with sodium persulfate. Solvated-electron process in ammonia for reduction; chemical oxidation with sodium persulfate. Wash in solvated-electron solution; oxidation to 3X;b ship to Rock Island Arsenal for 5Xa treatment. Crushed or shredded; treated in solvated electron solution; shipped to landfill. aTreatment of solids to a 5X decontamination level is accomplished by holding a material at 1,000°F for 15 minutes. This treatment results in completely decontaminated material that can be released for general use or sold (e.g., as scrap metal) to the general public in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations. bAt the 3X decontamination level, solids are decontaminated to the point that agent concentration in the headspace above the encapsulated solid does not exceed the health-based, eight-hour, time-weighted average limit for worker exposure. The level for mustard agent is 3.0 µg per cubic meter in air. Materials classified as 3X may be handled by qualified plant workers using appropriate procedures but are not releasable to the environment or for general public reuse. In specific cases in which approval has been granted, a 3X material may be shipped to an approved hazardous waste treatment facility for disposal in a landfill or for further treatment. Source: Adapted from DOD, 1998. the three technologies were acceptable for further development (DOD, 1999). The Burns and Roe plasma arc technology was judged to be too immature for further consideration. In Public Law 105–261, Congress mandated as follows: The program manager for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment shall continue to manage the development and testing (including demonstration and pilot-scale testing) of technologies for the destruction of lethal chemical munitions that are potential or demonstrated alternatives to the baseline incineration program. In performing such management, the program manager shall act independently of the program manager for Chemical Demilitarization and shall report to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. The law also directed that the Army continue coordinating its activities with the NRC. The PMACWA initiated engineering design studies (EDSs) for the two technologies that successfully completed demonstration testing: the Parsons/

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot Honeywell technology6 (hydrolysis followed by biotreatment) and the General Atomics technology (hydrolysis followed by supercritical water oxidation [SCWO]), for possible use at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Lexington, Kentucky. The purpose of the EDS phase was (1) to support the certification decision of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, as directed by Public Law 105–261, (2) to support the development of an RFP for a pilot facility, and (3) to support the documentation required for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and for a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit application. For each technology provider, the EDS was comprised of two parts, an engineering design package (EDP) and a set of experimental tests to generate the required additional data that was not obtained during the demonstration test phase. In response to recommendations from the NRC, the PMACWA sponsored separate investigations to provide a basis for optimizing engineering parameters for the hydrolysis of energetic materials. Many of these investigations had not yet been completed when this report was prepared. Thus, the following three test programs were initiated: The testing program sponsored by PMACWA to develop data for optimizing engineering designs for the hydrolysis of energetic materials (as discussed in Chapter 2), The testing program by General Atomics to develop data to support engineering design studies of its technology package (as discussed in Chapter 3), and The testing program by Parsons/Honeywell to develop data to support engineering design studies of its technology package (as discussed in Chapter 4). Contracts were awarded in March 2000, and preliminary EDPs were drafted by the technology providers in June 2000. Each EDP includes drawings and documentation, a preliminary hazards analysis, and projected life-cycle costs and schedules for the technology package to be implemented at a particular site. The final EDPs were released in December 2000. Experimental tests to support the EDPs were begun in June 2000, but some had not been completed when this report was prepared. Final reports are expected to be published in mid-2001. In 2000, Congress passed Public Law 106–79 mandating that the PMACWA “conduct evaluations of three additional alternative technologies under the ACWA program. Proceed under the same guidelines as contained in Public Law 104– 208 and continue to use the Dialogue process and Citizens’ 6   This technology was originally proposed to the ACWA program through a partnership between Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group, Inc., and AlliedSignal, Inc. The latter has since been acquired by Honeywell, Inc. Advisory Technical Team and their consultants.”7 To fulfill this mandate, the PMACWA initiated the Demonstration II program to demonstrate the three technologies not selected during the first phase. In response to the direction of Congress, a second NRC committee, the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons: Phase II (ACW II Committee), was formed in spring 2000. The new committee was asked to produce three reports: (1) an evaluation of the new demonstration tests (Demonstration II); (2) an evaluation of the two EDPs and tests for Pueblo; and (3) an evaluation of EDS packages and testing for Blue Grass. Technologies successful during Demonstration II tests will be candidates for use at Blue Grass. Thus, the third study could include evaluations of as many as four technologies. This report presents the committee’s evaluation of the two EDPs and associated testing developed for Pueblo. DESCRIPTION OF THE PUEBLO STOCKPILE Agents The principal unitary chemical agents in the U.S. stockpile are two nerve agents, GB and VX, and three related forms of blister agent, H, HD, and HT, which are also known as mustard. Only weapons containing HD and HT are stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado (see Table 1–2). The weapons are stored under ambient conditions at which the agent is primarily a liquid. Mustard agent, which has a garlic-like odor, is hazardous on contact and as a vapor, is slightly soluble in water, and is very persistent in the environment. Table 1–3 lists some of the physical properties of mustard agents. As a result of aging, the actual composition of the agent stored at Pueblo may be somewhat different. In addition, the original composition varied slightly from one production lot to another. Tables 1–4 and 1–5 list the original typical compositions of HD and HT, respectively. Similar munitions at Johnston Atoll and at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Tooele, Utah, were found to contain a solid “heel,” which did not flow from the shell. 7   The Dialogue is a group of 35 stakeholder representatives, 4 of whom constitute the Citizens Advisory Technical Team (CATT). The Dialogue group is a mechanism for public involvement in decision making for the ACWA program; it was thoroughly described in the ACW I Committee’s initial report (NRC, 1999). The CATT provides the Dialogue with more indepth technical participation and interaction with the PMACWA staff, technology providers, and the ACW II Committee. CATT members often attend open sessions of the ACW II Committee, and the committee chair (or designates) regularly provides briefings on the progress of the committee’s activities at meetings of the Dialogue.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot TABLE 1–2 Munitions Containing HD and HT in the Pueblo Chemical Depot Stockpile Munition Type Model No. Chemical Fill Energetics Configuration Number 105-mm cartridge M60 1.4 kg HD Burster: 0.12 kg tetrytol Fuze: M51A5 Propellant: M67 Semifixed, complete projectile: includes fuze, burster. Propellant loaded in cartridge. Cartridges packed two per wooden box. 28,375 105-mm cartridge M60 1.4 kg HD 0.12 kg tetrytol Includes burster and nose plug but no fuze. On pallets. 355,043 155-mm projectile M110 5.3 kg HD 0.19 kg tetrytol Includes lifting plug and burster but no fuze. On pallets. 266,492 155-mm projectile M104 5.3 kg HD 0.19 kg tetrytol Includes lifting plug and burster but no fuze. On pallets. 33,062 4.2-inch mortar M2A1 2.7 kg HD 0.064 kg tetryl Propellant: M6 Includes propellant and ignition cartridge. 76,722 4.2-inch mortar M2 2.6 kg HT 0.064 kg tetryl Propellant: M6 Includes propellant and ignition cartridge. 20,384   Source: Adapted from U.S. Army, 1997. TABLE 1–3 Physical Properties of Mustard Agents at Pueblo Chemical Depot Agent Characteristic HD HT Chemical formula C4H8Cl2S 60% C4H8Cl2S, 40% T and impurities Molecular weight 159.08 Not available Boiling point (°C) 217 228 Freezing point (°C) 14.45 0 to 1.3 Vapor pressure (mm Hg) 0.072 at 20°C   Volatility (mg/m3) 75 at 0°C (32°F) (solid) 610 at 20°C (68°F) (liquid) 831 at 25°C (77°F) Diffusion coefficient for vapor in air (cm2/sec) 0.060 at 20°C (68°F) 0.05 at 25°C (77°F) Surface tension (dynes/cm) 43.2 at 20°C (68°F) 44 at 25°C (77°F) Viscosity (cS) 3.95 at 20°C (68°F) 6.05 at 20°C (68°F) Liquid density (g/cm3 at 20°C) 1.2685 1.22–1.24 (at ambient temperature) Solubility (g/100 g of distilled water) 0.92 at 22°C (72°F); soluble in acetone, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloride, tetrachloroethane, ethyl benzoate, ether   Heat of vaporization (Btu/lb) 190 Not available (J/g) 82   Heat of combustion (Btu/lb) 8,100 Not available (J/g) 3,482     Sources: Adapted from NRC, 1993; U.S. Army, 1988.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot TABLE 1–4 Original Nominal Composition of HD Mustard Chemical Structure Wt% ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2Cl 89.2 ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2SCH2CH2Cl 4.7 ClCH2CH2Cl 2.4 S(CH2CH2)2S 1.2 S(CH2CH2)2O 0,5 ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2CH2Cl 0.4 Unspecified 1.6 Source: Adapted from U.S. Army, 1997. TABLE 1–5 Original Composition of HT Mustard Chemical Structure Wt % ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2Cl 67.0 (ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2)2O [T] 22.2 ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2OCH2CH2Cl 4.5 ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2SCH2CH2Cl 3.0 S(CH2CH2)2S 1.8 S(CH2CH2)2O 0.5 ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2OH 0.4 ClCH2CH2Cl 0.4   Source: Adapted from U.S. Army, 1997. Weapon Types The mustard at Pueblo Chemical Depot is stored in artillery and mortar projectiles, which include a variety of other chemical compounds that must also be destroyed. The term “assembled chemical weapon” describes munitions that contain chemical agents. Mortars are typically stored with energetic components in place; projectiles may or may not contain bursters or fuzes. More detailed descriptions of these munitions are provided in Appendix A. ROLE OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL The NRC has provided scientific and technical advice and counsel to the Army concerning the destruction of chemical weapons since the beginning of the CSDP. The history of this involvement was summarized in the first NRC report by the ACW I Committee (NRC, 1999) and will not be repeated here. The following discussion addresses only the role of the NRC in the ACWA program. The PMACWA requested that the NRC conduct and publish an independent evaluation of the alternative technology packages representing a “total system solution” by September 1, 1999, a month before the Army’s report to Congress was due. The NRC and DOD reached agreement on the Statement of Task in March 1997, and the study was officially begun on May 27, 1997. The committee decided to evaluate all seven technology packages that had passed the threshold requirements stipulated in the RFP, even though one was removed from further consideration by the Army during the course of the study. The statement of task did not require that the NRC recommend a best technology or compare any of the technologies with the baseline incineration process in use at two stockpile storage sites. Members of the ACW I Committee visited the demonstration sites prior to systemization of the unit operations in January 1999. However, in order to produce a report by September 1, 1999, data-gathering activities had to be terminated on March 15, 1999, prior to receiving the results of the demonstration tests. The committee’s report, Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons, was submitted for peer review on May 1, 1999, and was released to the sponsor and the public on August 25, 1999 (NRC, 1999). This report found that the primary treatment processes could decompose the chemical agents with destruction efficiencies of 99.9999. However, major concerns for each technology package remained, including the adequacy of secondary treatment of agent hydrolysates and the primary and secondary treatment of energetic materials contained in the chemical weapons. In September 1999, the PMACWA requested that the tenure of the committee be extended to review the results of the Demonstration I tests. The committee was asked to determine if and how the results affected the committee’s commentary, findings, and recommendations, as well as the recommended steps required for implementation provided in the initial report. In October 1999, the committee began its evaluation of the results of the demonstrations and a determination of the impact of these results on its initial findings. The supplemental report was published in March 2000 (NRC, 2000). The tenure of the ACW I Committee was over at the end of March 2000, and a new committee, the ACW II Committee, was formed in May 2000 to evaluate (1) EDPs and testing for the Pueblo site, (2) EDPs and testing for the Blue Grass site, and (3) the Demonstration II tests. This report documents the ACW II Committee’s review and evaluation of the EDPs for the Pueblo Chemical Depot. STATEMENT OF TASK The complete statement of task for the ACW II Committee study is given below: At the request of the DoD’s Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (PMACWA), the NRC Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons will provide independent scientific and technical assessment of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) program. This effort will be divided into three tasks. In each case, the NRC was asked to perform a technical assessment that did not include programmatic (cost and schedule) considerations.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot Task 1 To accomplish the first task, the NRC will review and evaluate the results of demonstrations for three alternative technologies for destruction of assembled chemical weapons located at U.S. chemical weapons storage sites. The alternative technologies to undergo demonstration testing are: the AEA Technologies electrochemical oxidation technology, the Teledyne Commodore solvated electron technology, and the Foster Wheeler and Eco Logic transpiring wall supercritical water oxidation and gas phase chemical reduction technology. The demonstrations will be performed in the June through September 2000 timeframe. Based on receipt of the appropriate information, including: (a) the PMACWA-approved Demonstration Study Plans, (b) the demonstration test reports produced by the ACWA technology providers and the associated required responses of the providers to questions from the PMACWA, and (c) the PMACWA’s demonstration testing results database, the committee will: perform an in-depth review of the data, analyses, and results of the unit operation demonstration tests contained in the above and update as necessary the 1999 NRC report Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons (the ACW report) determine if any of the AEA Technologies, Teledyne Commodore, and Foster Wheeler/Eco Logic technologies have reached a technology readiness level sufficient to proceed with implementation of a pilot-scale program produce a report for delivery to the PMACWA by July 2001 provided the demonstration test reports are made available by November 2000. (An NRC report delivered in March 2000 covered the initial three technologies selected for demonstration phase testing.) Task 2 For the second task, the NRC will assess the ACWA Engineering Design Study (EDS) phase in which General Atomics and Parsons/Honeywell (formerly Parsons/Allied Signal) will conduct test programs to gather the information required for a final engineering design package representing a chemical demilitarization facility at the Pueblo, Colorado stockpile site. The testing will be completed by September 1, 2000. Based on receipt of the appropriate information, including: (a) the PMACWA-approved EDS Plans, (b) the EDS test reports produced by General Atomics and Parsons/ Honeywell, (c) PMACWA’s EDS testing database, and (d) the vendor-supplied engineering design packages, the committee will: perform an in-depth review of the data, analyses, and results of the EDS tests assess process component designs, integration issues, and overarching technical issues pertaining to the General Atomics and the Parsons/Honeywell engineering design packages for a chemical demilitarization facility design for disposing of mustard-only munitions produce a report for delivery to the PMACWA by March 2001 provided the engineering design packages are received by October 2000 Task 3 For the third task, the NRC will assess the ACWA EDS phase in which General Atomics will conduct test programs to gather the information required for a final engineering design package representing a chemical demilitarization facility at the Lexington/Blue Grass, Kentucky stockpile site. The testing will be completed by December 31, 2000. Based on receipt of the appropriate information, including: (a) the PMACWA-approved EDS Plans, (b) the EDS test reports produced by General Atomics, (c) PMACWA’s EDS testing database, and (d) the vendor-supplied engineering design package, the committee will: perform an in-depth review of the data, analyses, and results of the EDS tests assess process component designs, integration issues, and overarching technical issues pertaining to the General Atomics engineering design package for a chemical demilitarization facility design for disposing of both nerve and mustard munitions produce a report for delivery to the PMACWA by September 2001 provided the engineering design package is received by January 2001. SCOPE OF THIS REPORT This report is the ACW II Committee’s response to Task 2 of its Statement of Task (i.e., review and evaluate EDS documentation and testing developed for the destruction of chemical weapons at the Pueblo Chemical Depot). On the basis of the final schedule for the Pueblo EDS testing by the technology providers, the original delivery date of March 2001 was extended to July 15, 2001. This report will be produced in time to contribute to the Record of Decision (ROD) by the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a technology selection for the Pueblo site, which is scheduled for August 13, 2001, following satisfaction of NEPA requirements. Because not all of the experimental test results in support of the EDPs were available as this report was being prepared, the committee was not able to review and evaluate them. However, committee members did attend status-review sessions organized by the PMACWA, and the committee was given access to all available draft reports by the technology providers. ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT This report has five chapters and four appendixes.8 This first chapter has presented background information on the 8   In this report, the findings and recommendations in the ACW I Committee’s 1999 original report and its 2000 supplemental report are

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot ACWA program, the Pueblo Chemical Depot stockpile, and the NRC’s involvement in the ACWA program. Chapter 2 discusses the results of hydrolysis studies on energetic materials sponsored by PMACWA in response to the ACW I Committee’s original recommendations. Chapter 3 discusses the General Atomics EDP; Chapter 4 discusses the Parsons/ Honeywell EDP. The results of testing completed in support of the EDPs and available to the ACW II Committee at the time this report was prepared are also reviewed. Chapter 5 summarizes the committee’s evaluation of the two technology packages, presents some new general findings, and reevaluates the findings and recommendations of the ACW I Committee reports.     reviewed and updated. To avoid confusion, finding and recommendation designations have been adjusted as follows: no change to designations from the 1999 report; addition of (Demo I) to the designations from the 2000 supplemental report, e.g., Finding (Demo I) GA-1. Also, the findings and recommendations new to this report by the ACW II Committee include (Pueblo) in the designation.