C Evaluation of the Suitability of Stockpile Chemical Disposal Facilities for Treating Stored Non-Stockpile CWM

STOCKPILE DISPOSAL FACILITIES

Aberdeen Proving Ground

The chemical disposal facility (CDF) at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is designed to process only the stockpile materiel located at APG. These are ton containers filled with mustard (H/HD). No explosives are involved. As of November 2001, the Army’s Project Manager for Alternative Technologies and Approaches proposed an expedited disposal of the stockpile of these mustard-filled ton containers. Under the proposed approach, the agent would be drained from ton containers using a vacuum system rather than punching and draining, the agent removal would be done in a glove box in an existing building, agent would be neutralized, the ton containers rinsed, and the neutralent sent to a commercial posttreatment facility rather than be treated on-site by biotreatment. The Army expects that the expedited process would allow all the agent in the stockpile ton containers to be destroyed by the fall of 2002 (U.S. Army, 2001).

In addition to the stockpile ton containers, there are 125 non-stockpile items at APG, of which 28 contain mustard (HD, HT, HS). The following are the non-stockpile mustard items:

Munitions (9 items)

6

75-mm projectiles (contain explosive)

1

4.2-inch mortar round (contains explosive)

2

4-inch mortar rounds (do not contain any explosive; to be used in APG testing)

Chemical Sample Containers (19 items)

5

30-gallon drums containing metal “pumpkins” of agent

3

5-pint cans containing bottles or vials of agent

11

55-gallon drums containing metal “pumpkins” of agent

Although the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF) is equipped to monitor for HD, the facility’s hardware configuration does not permit it to process some of the items listed above. The exceptions are the larger containers such as the 30-gallon and 55-gallon chemical sample drums, which may be opened using the same punch-and-drain station used to access agent in the ton containers. The ABCDF is not equipped to process the nine projectiles or mortar rounds since it will not have the demilitarization machines needed to remove energetics (the projectile mortar disassembly machine (PMD)) or to drain agent (the multipurpose demilitarization machine (MDM)) in an explosive containment room.

In addition to the items containing mustard, the following 97 non-stockpile items are at APG:

Chemical Sample Empty Containers (96) consisting of:

5

GB

30-gallon drums

6

GB

multipack bottles, vials

2

GB

ton containers (these have been disposed of1)

12

GB

steel cylinders

10

L

multipack bottles and vials

1  

Christopher Ross, PMNSCM, briefing to the committee on July 9, 2001.



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C Evaluation of the Suitability of Stockpile Chemical Disposal Facilities for Treating Stored Non-Stockpile CWM STOCKPILE DISPOSAL FACILITIES Aberdeen Proving Ground The chemical disposal facility (CDF) at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is designed to process only the stockpile materiel located at APG. These are ton containers filled with mustard (H/HD). No explosives are involved. As of November 2001, the Army’s Project Manager for Alternative Technologies and Approaches proposed an expedited disposal of the stockpile of these mustard-filled ton containers. Under the proposed approach, the agent would be drained from ton containers using a vacuum system rather than punching and draining, the agent removal would be done in a glove box in an existing building, agent would be neutralized, the ton containers rinsed, and the neutralent sent to a commercial posttreatment facility rather than be treated on-site by biotreatment. The Army expects that the expedited process would allow all the agent in the stockpile ton containers to be destroyed by the fall of 2002 (U.S. Army, 2001). In addition to the stockpile ton containers, there are 125 non-stockpile items at APG, of which 28 contain mustard (HD, HT, HS). The following are the non-stockpile mustard items: Munitions (9 items) 6 75-mm projectiles (contain explosive) 1 4.2-inch mortar round (contains explosive) 2 4-inch mortar rounds (do not contain any explosive; to be used in APG testing) Chemical Sample Containers (19 items) 5 30-gallon drums containing metal “pumpkins” of agent 3 5-pint cans containing bottles or vials of agent 11 55-gallon drums containing metal “pumpkins” of agent Although the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF) is equipped to monitor for HD, the facility’s hardware configuration does not permit it to process some of the items listed above. The exceptions are the larger containers such as the 30-gallon and 55-gallon chemical sample drums, which may be opened using the same punch-and-drain station used to access agent in the ton containers. The ABCDF is not equipped to process the nine projectiles or mortar rounds since it will not have the demilitarization machines needed to remove energetics (the projectile mortar disassembly machine (PMD)) or to drain agent (the multipurpose demilitarization machine (MDM)) in an explosive containment room. In addition to the items containing mustard, the following 97 non-stockpile items are at APG: Chemical Sample Empty Containers (96) consisting of: 5 GB 30-gallon drums 6 GB multipack bottles, vials 2 GB ton containers (these have been disposed of1) 12 GB steel cylinders 10 L multipack bottles and vials 1   Christopher Ross, PMNSCM, briefing to the committee on July 9, 2001.

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55 VX drums, cans, buckets 6 VX DOT bottles Munition (1 item) 1 CG 4.2-inch mortar (explosive) The chemical sample containers can be disposed in the Aberdeen Chemical Transfer Facility (CTF), an R&D facility at APG that has processed munitions, sample bottles, and ton containers containing a variety of chemical fills. The CTF does not have a capability for processing explosively configured munitions but does contain a chemical agent transfer system that can drain ton containers. There is no treaty-imposed time limit on operation of the CTF, and if its schedule permits, it can dispose of the container items listed above. The Product Manager for Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel (PMNSCM) has proposed using the CTF to destroy appropriate NSCWM items found at APG. The CTF will perform the neutralization of agent accessed using the MAPS at APG (see Appendix D). This alternative is favored by the local Citizens’ Advisory Commission. Anniston Chemical Activity The stockpile materiel stored at Anniston Chemical Activity consists of GB projectiles and rockets, HD projectiles and ton containers, and VX projectiles, mines, and rockets. Also stored at Anniston are 133 non-stockpile chemical sample containers, consisting of the following: 2 GB ton containers 119 GB vials 5 HD DOT bottles 7 VX DOT bottles If a permit modification can be obtained, the two GB-filled ton containers can be handled in the Anniston Chemical Disposal Facility (ANCDF) since that facility can monitor for GB and has the equipment to punch and drain ton containers. The bottles and vials are more problematic. If they can be opened and placed in a tray, they can be fed into the metal parts furnace (MPF) or possibly into the deactivation furnace system (DFS). If it is necessary to access the agent in the bottles, they can be crushed prior to feeding into the DFS. The PMNSCM proposes to use the ANCDF for disposal of the Anniston Army Depot chemical samples. It is also possible to destroy agents in the vials and DOT bottles with the EDS-1, although this may not be as economical as using the ANCDF. Bluegrass Army Depot Chemical stockpile items stored at Bluegrass consist of mustard-filled projectiles, GB projectiles and rockets, and VX projectiles and rockets. There are only four non-stockpile chemical sample containers stored at Bluegrass: 2 HD DOT bottles 1 GB ton container 1 VX DOT bottle Regardless of the technology selected, the Bluegrass CDF will not be equipped to handle the GB ton container since there are no ton containers in the chemical stockpile at Bluegrass Army Depot. The ton container contents can be transferred to DOT bottles for destruction in an EDS-1 if one is brought to Bluegrass Army Depot. Although the PMNSCM proposes to dispose of the chemical samples in the Bluegrass CDF, a chemical disposal technology has not been selected for this location, nor is the ability of such a facility to dispose of the four items listed above known. Deseret Chemical Depot The chemical stockpile at Deseret consists of mustard-filled projectiles and ton containers; GB-filled projectiles, rockets, bombs, and ton containers; VX-filled projectiles, mines, rockets, spray tanks, and ton containers; and lewisite-filled ton containers. For purposes of discussion and categorization, the known inventory of non-stockpile materiel at both Deseret Chemical Depot and the nearby Dugway Proving Ground is grouped into three categories. These are listed in order of decreasing compatibility with the Tooele Chemical Disposal Facility (TOCDF) at Deseret Chemical Depot: Same Fill as Stockpile Inventory, Same Items (18 items) 1 HD ton container (has been disposed of) 10 HD 4.2-inch mortar (explosive) 2 HD 105-mm (explosive) 1 GB 155-mm (explosive) 2 GB 155-mm (nonexplosive)—one is empty but contaminated 2 HD 4.2-inch mortar (nonexplosive) Same Fill as Stockpile Inventory, Different Items (139 items) 45 HD, HT chemical samples (miscellaneous containers) 1 GB ampoule 1 GB 155-mm T77 (explosive) 1 GB 6-inch round (explosive) 1 GB M-125 bomblet (explosive) 1 GB M-139 half bomblet (nonexplosive) 48 GB, GD chemical sample bottles 8 HD, HT chemical sample bottles 28 VX chemical sample bottles 5 VX (EA-1699) chemical sample bottles

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Different Fill (Lewisite) from Stockpile Inventory (17 items) 12 L 4.2-inch mortar rounds (containing explosive) 4 L 105-mm projectiles (containing explosive) 1 L chemical sample bottle Of the 174 non-stockpile items listed above, 19 contain the same fills as the items processed in the TOCDF (HD, GB, VX) and either are identical to the stockpile items or have configurations that enable them to be processed in the stockpile demilitarization machines after modifications are made. The remaining 155 items have a lewisite fill (17 items), or are nonstandard in size (3 items), or are small chemical sample containers (135 items). The PMNSCM proposes to dispose of the items having a lewisite fill at the Army’s Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) facility at Deseret Chemical Depot since that facility is able to process and monitor for this agent. The non-stockpile items containing mustard and the GB and VX nerve agents are to be destroyed in the TOCDF if permitting and public approval are obtained. There is some opposition to any further use of the TOCDF following the completion of stockpile destruction. The TOCDF is scheduled to complete operations during the fourth quarter of FY 2003; thus, there is sufficient time available for processing non-stockpile items after the stockpile campaigns are completed rather than interspersing them with similar stockpile items having the same fills. Of the 173 non-stockpile items listed above (excluding the mustard-filled ton container), 37 are candidates for processing in an EDS: 10 HD 4.2-inch mortars (explosive) 2 HD 105-mm (explosive) 1 GB 155-mm (explosive) 2 GB 155-mm (nonexplosive) 2 HD 4.2-inch mortars (nonexplosive) 1 GB T77 155-mm (explosive) 1 GB 6-inch projectile (explosive) 1 GB M125 bomblet (explosive) 1 GB M139 half bomblet (nonexplosive) 12 L 4.2-inch mortars (explosive) 4 L 105-mm projectiles (explosive) Of these 37 items, the first 18 can be processed in the TOCDF since they are similar to the stockpile munitions being disassembled and destroyed in that facility. The GB-filled 6-inch projectile, bomblet, and half bomblet differ from the stockpile munitions and would require modifications to TOCDF’s demilitarization machines prior to processing. The 16 munitions having a lewisite fill cannot be processed in the TOCDF since that facility is not permitted to destroy lewisite. The remaining non-stockpile items at DCD are all chemical sample containers containing agent and can be destroyed in the RRS (size permitting) or in an EDS. All of these items can also be processed at the Army’s CAMDS facility, at Deseret. CAMDS operates under a RCRA operating permit and, as a non-stockpile disposal facility, is not affected by the 2007 CWC treaty deadline. CAMDS also has other missions and tests to conduct, however, and completing the destruction of the non-stockpile items listed above before 2007 will require some scheduling prioritization. Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System CAMDS, located at Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah, is the Army’s R&D facility for building and testing prototype chemical demilitarization hardware and processes. The demilitarization machines used in the stockpile chemical disposal facilities and prototypes of the incinerators, for example, were fabricated and tested at CAMDS. CAMDS has been used by the non-stockpile product manager to develop, assemble, and test the RRS used for the disposal of CAIS. CAMDS has also been used to test systems for the biological degradation of chemical agents and is currently the Army’s facility for the disposal of chemical materiel containing the arsenical agent lewisite. The lewisite in stockpile ton containers and non-stockpile items containing lewisite (mortar rounds, projectiles, and a chemical sample bottle) are intended for destruction at CAMDS. The CAMDS physical facility consists of several buildings, incinerators, and engineering offices. It is a valuable facility that can undertake specialized projects, destroy relatively small quantities of chemical agents, and develop and test equipment used for chemical munitions disposal. Newport Chemical Depot There is no non-stockpile materiel stored at Newport. The Army may find some VX in pipes during demolition of the old production facility, but this would be treated as stockpile materiel. Thus, there is no need to consider the Newport CDF for NSCWM. Pine Bluff Arsenal The chemical stockpile at Pine Bluff consists of mustard-filled (HD and HT) ton containers, GB-filled rockets, and VX-filled rockets and mines. There are also 69,878 non-stockpile items stored at Pine Bluff, by far the largest part of the non-stockpile inventory. For discussion and categorization purposes, the known inventory of non-stockpile materiel found at Pine Bluff is grouped below into six categories and listed in order of decreasing compatibility with the Pine Bluff CDF.

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Same Fill as Stockpile, Same or Similar Items (11 items) 2 GB ton containers 9 HD M70A1 bombs The GB-filled ton containers can be co-processed with stockpile GB rockets in the PBCDF, and, indeed, the PMNSCM proposes to do this. The bombs, if not explosively configured, can be drained using the same punch-and-drain equipment used for the ton containers. Agent would be destroyed in the liquid incinerator and the bomb bodies brought to the 5X level in the metal parts furnace.2 If the bombs do contain explosives, use of the stockpile CDF may be inappropriate if a larger explosion containment room than required for stockpile operations is needed. Same Fill as Stockpile, Different Items (763 items) 727 HD 4.2-inch mortars (explosive) 16 HD 75-mm projectiles (explosive) 12 HD 200-mm Livens projectiles (explosive) 1 HD 155-mm projectile (explosive) 3 HD 75-mm projectiles (nonexplosive) 1 HD 105-mm projectile (explosive) 1 HD 4-inch cylinder (nonexplosive) 2 VX chemical sample containers The explosively configured items are not compatible with the PBCDF since the facility will not have the demilitarization machines (the projectile mortar disassembly machine and the multipurpose demilitarization machine) that are needed to remove energetics from the projectiles and mortar rounds and to drain agent from them. The nonexplosively configured items could be processed in the Pine Bluff CDF, although there would be a need to access the agent, perhaps by modifying the bulk container handling system (punch and drain) or by drilling into the items and draining the agent. The PMNSCM proposes to destroy the H and VX chemical sample containers in the PBCDF, subject to permits and public acceptability. Different Fill, Different Items (483 items), Poor Compatibility with Pine Bluff CDF 1 CG 4.2-inch mortar (explosive) 3 CG 200-mm Livens projectiles (explosive) 479 HN 150mm Traktor rockets with warheads3 CG (phosgene) is a gaseous fill in the projectiles and mortar rounds. Major changes in processing would be needed to collect it, contain it, transfer it to the incinerator, and incinerate it. In addition, equipment would have to be modified to monitor for CG. The World War II German Traktor rockets are also not suitable for processing in the Pine Bluff CDF. They are more complex and heavier than the M-55 rockets. The plant’s monitors are not set up to monitor for nitrogen mustard (HN) and would have to be recalibrated. Destroying the HN in the liquid incinerator would also require a permit modification and trial burn. The time needed to do these things, especially in light of the limited time available (6 months) for non-stockpile operations following completion of the stockpile campaigns near the end of 2006, is too long to allow these items to be destroyed in the Pine Bluff CDF. The Army plans to destroy the Traktor rockets in the explosion containment room in the Pine Bluff Non-Stockpile Facility (PBNSF). This facility will be constructed and used at Pine Bluff Arsenal for disposing of much of the non-stockpile inventory stored there. Items with Lewisite Fill, Excluding CAIS (4,378 items) 2 4.2-inch mortars (explosive) 1 chemical sample vial 4,375 ton containers (empty but once contained L) In sampling the ton containers in 1995, stable forms of lewisite, arsenic, and mercury were detected, indicating that the ton containers had contained lewisite in the past. Although from a mechanical standpoint the empty ton containers can be processed in the plant’s bulk container handling facility, the plant is not set up to process items containing arsenic or mercury. The empty ton containers at Pine Bluff will be decontaminated to a 3X4 condition in a decontamination enclosure and will then be sent to Rock Island Arsenal for smelting. CAIS Items, All Fills (7,120 items) CAIS items at Pine Bluff Arsenal contain many fills (HD, L, PS, CG, CN, DM, CK, and HN). The 5,814 CAIS con 2   Treatment 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. 3   In presentations to the committee, the PMNSCM indicated that some of these Traktor rockets contained arsenical agents. 4   “3X” refers to the level at which solids are decontaminated to the point that agent concentration in the headspace above the encapsulated solid does not exceed the health-based, 8-hour, time-weighted average limit for worker exposure. The level for mustard agent is 3.0 micrograms/m3 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.

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taining various forms of mustard can be processed by feeding the CAIS directly into either the deactivation furnace system or the metal parts furnace (MPF), or the vials and ampoules can be crushed first. The industrial chemicals in the CAIS could also be processed in the deactivation furnace system or the MPF, although the need to monitor for these fills, recalibrate the monitors, obtain permit modifications, and conduct possible trial burns makes this application less desirable than processing CAIS containing stockpile fills. CAIS containing lewisite (L) and adamsite (DM) would not be processed in the Pine Bluff CDF since the plant is not equipped to handle or monitor for fills containing arsenic. As an alternative to using the Pine Bluff CDF, all of the agent-containing CAIS could be destroyed in an RRS if one is brought to or located at PBA. CAIS vials containing industrial chemicals may be processed using commercial incinerators, as is planned by the NSCMP. Binary Chemical Warfare Materiel Components (57,123 items) 56,820 DF M-20 containers 7 DF 55-gallon drums 293 QL 55-gallon drums 3 QL containers (boxes, cans) Use of the liquid incinerator at the Pine Bluff CDF to destroy the DF will be impractical since there is insufficient time to process the large number of DF containers. Also, depending on operating conditions, the fluorine in the DF could erode the liquid incinerator’s refractory brick and mortar and require frequent rebricking of the liquid incinerator. It may be possible to process the QL drums and containers in the liquid incinerator, but they can be processed more easily in the same separate facility that will process DF. As part of its technology test program, the NSCMP is considering several options for the disposal of binary chemical warfare materiel components, including the use of plasma arc technology and chemical neutralization. Pueblo Chemical Depot The chemical stockpile at Pueblo consists entirely of mustard-filled projectiles. There are 12 non-stockpile mustard-filled chemical sample containers (DOT bottles) stored at Pueblo. Selection of a technology at Pueblo Chemical Depot for the Pueblo CDF has not been made. Candidates include (1) a modified baseline process in which agent-filled projectiles are treated in a four-zone MPF and uncontaminated energetics are disposed at an off-site facility; (2) and (3) two ACWA alternative chemical technologies where the munitions are disassembled by a modified baseline process, the mustard is treated with water to hydrolyze it, and the energetics are treated with caustic to hydrolyze them. The products of the hydrolysis are then exposed to biotreatment or SCWO. (One of the two ACWA alternative technologies also uses cryofracture to expose the agent in the projectiles). All of these processes can handle the DOT bottles, although the demilitarization machines will need some modification in order to access agent in the baseline and modified baseline processes. The steel DOT bottles could also be crushed in the cryopress after cooling in the cryobath. With only 12 DOT bottles and more than 780,000 stockpile projectiles at Pueblo, destroying the bottles should not have any impact on plant operations, so the PMNSCM proposes to destroy these non-stockpile items in the Pueblo CDF. Umatilla Chemical Depot The chemical stockpile at Umatilla consists of HD ton containers, GB bombs, projectiles, and rockets, and VX projectiles, rockets, mines, and spray tanks. There are only five non-stockpile items stored at Umatilla: 4 GB ton containers 1 VX ton container Since the Umatilla CDF is designed to process the stockpile ton containers and can monitor for GB and VX, it can process the five non-stockpile ton containers as well. This can be done as part of a coprocessing operation when the stockpile GB and VX rockets are being destroyed since agent monitors will be detecting GB and VX. The existing permit allows all CWM at Umatilla to be destroyed, including NSCWM, but a permit modification will be needed to include five non-stockpile ton containers. The state of Oregon prefers that the Army destroy the non-stockpile ton containers in the CDF to save the time and effort of writing a new permit for a transportable unit, and the PMNSCM proposes to take this action. REFERENCE U.S. Army. 2001. U.S. Army Chemical Demilitarization Program Releases. Updated Official Schedule and Cost Estimates, Press Release. Information Office, October 4. Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.: Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization.