1
Introduction

At the request of Congress, the Army is pursuing alternatives to incineration for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, and at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richland, Kentucky. The Army’s Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (PMACWA) is pursuing two technology options—Parsons/Honeywell’s Water Hydrolysis of Explosives and Agent Technology (WHEAT) and General Atomics Total Solution (GATS)—for Pueblo and three options (AEA SILVER II™, the Eco Logic process, and GATS) for Blue Grass. The four technologies have been carried forward to an engineering design phase that also includes experimental demonstration testing.

In the spring of 2000, at the request of PMACWA, the National Research Council (NRC) assembled the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons: Phase II (ACW II Committee) to evaluate and assess the alternative technologies for the two sites. This report contains the ACW II Committee’s assessment of the engineering design packages (EDPs) and associated testing for the three alternative technologies being considered for Blue Grass Army Depot. This first chapter will briefly describe the program, the NRC’s role in the program, and the characteristics of the chemical weapons stockpile and chemical agents stored at Blue Grass Army Depot.

BACKGROUND

In 1996 Congress enacted two laws, Public Law 104201 (authorization) and Public Law 104-208 (appropriation), mandating that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) assess technology alternatives to the baseline incineration system developed by the Army for the demilitarization of assembled chemical weapons and that it conduct demonstration tests for at least two of them. The laws included the following stipulations:

  • All funds for the construction of baseline incineration facilities at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, should be frozen until the effectiveness of alternative technologies and their ability to comply with safety and environmental requirements were reported to Congress.

  • DoD should select a program manager who was not and never had been associated with the baseline incineration program.

  • DoD should “coordinate” its activities with the NRC.

In December 1996, DoD appointed the deputy to the commander of the Soldier and Biological Chemical Command to be the PMACWA. On July 28, 1997, af-



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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot 1 Introduction At the request of Congress, the Army is pursuing alternatives to incineration for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, and at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richland, Kentucky. The Army’s Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (PMACWA) is pursuing two technology options—Parsons/Honeywell’s Water Hydrolysis of Explosives and Agent Technology (WHEAT) and General Atomics Total Solution (GATS)—for Pueblo and three options (AEA SILVER II™, the Eco Logic process, and GATS) for Blue Grass. The four technologies have been carried forward to an engineering design phase that also includes experimental demonstration testing. In the spring of 2000, at the request of PMACWA, the National Research Council (NRC) assembled the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons: Phase II (ACW II Committee) to evaluate and assess the alternative technologies for the two sites. This report contains the ACW II Committee’s assessment of the engineering design packages (EDPs) and associated testing for the three alternative technologies being considered for Blue Grass Army Depot. This first chapter will briefly describe the program, the NRC’s role in the program, and the characteristics of the chemical weapons stockpile and chemical agents stored at Blue Grass Army Depot. BACKGROUND In 1996 Congress enacted two laws, Public Law 104201 (authorization) and Public Law 104-208 (appropriation), mandating that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) assess technology alternatives to the baseline incineration system developed by the Army for the demilitarization of assembled chemical weapons and that it conduct demonstration tests for at least two of them. The laws included the following stipulations: All funds for the construction of baseline incineration facilities at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, should be frozen until the effectiveness of alternative technologies and their ability to comply with safety and environmental requirements were reported to Congress. DoD should select a program manager who was not and never had been associated with the baseline incineration program. DoD should “coordinate” its activities with the NRC. In December 1996, DoD appointed the deputy to the commander of the Soldier and Biological Chemical Command to be the PMACWA. On July 28, 1997, af-

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot ter organizing a staff and establishing a program plan, the PMACWA published a request for proposals (RFP) for a total system solution for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons without using incineration (U.S. Army, 1997a). The term “total solution” means that a candidate technology should address all aspects of chemical weapons disposal, from disassembly and separation of the agent and energetics to disposal of the product streams. Twelve proposals were submitted in September 1997. Of these, seven passed the threshold requirements stipulated in the RFP. These seven technologies are summarized in Table 1-1. One of the seven was rejected during the next phase of the selection process. On July 29, 1998, after an elaborate multitiered selection process, three of the remaining six technology packages were selected for demonstration testing in 1999 (Burns and Roe; General Atomics; and Parsons-Allied Signal). Details of the selection process and of all seven technologies are available in the PMACWA’s two annual reports to Congress (DoD, 1997, 1998). Under both time and budget constraints, the PMACWA decided to focus the demonstration tests on the unit operations in each technology package that were “most critical and least proven,” that is, on operations that had not been previously used for the disposal of chemical munitions and/or had not been integrated into a complete system for this application. Systemization (preoperational testing) for the unit operations to be tested was conducted from January to March 1999. The demonstration tests (now designated Demo I) were conducted from March to May 1999. On June 30, 1999, reports from the demonstration tests were submitted to the PMACWA by the technology providers. These reports were used to prepare the Supplemental Report to Congress that was submitted on September 30, 1999 (DoD, 1999). In 1999, Congress passed Public Law 105-261, which 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. In response, the PMACWA authorized engineering design studies (EDSs) for the two technologies that successfully completed demonstration testing: the Parsons/Honeywell technology package (hydrolysis followed by biotreatment) and the General Atomics technology package (hydrolysis followed by supercritical water oxidation (SCWO)). The EDSs for Parsons/ Honeywell and General Atomics were configured for application of these technology packages at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado. These studies are designated the EDS I phase of the ACWA program. Of the two technologies, only the General Atomics Total Solution (GATS) is among the three alternative technologies being considered for use at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, in the EDS II phase of the program, which is the subject of this report.1 The purposes of the EDS for each technology were to (1) support the certification decision of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, as directed by Public Law 105-261; (2) support the development of a request for proposal (RFP) for a pilot facility; and (3) support the documentation requirements for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit application. Each EDS required the development of an EDP and experimental tests to acquire necessary data that had not been obtained during the demonstration test phase. In 2000, Congress passed Public Law 106-79, mandating that the PMACWA “conduct evaluations of [the] three additional alternative technologies explored under the ACWA program.” PMACWA was requested to proceed under the same guidelines as contained in Public Law 104-208 and to continue use of the Dialogue process and Citizens’ Advisory Technical Team and their consultants. The PMACWA then initiated a second demonstration program, referred to as Demo II, to demonstrate the three technologies that had not been selected for Demo I. The Demo II tests were performed between March and July 2000 by three technology providers: (1) AEA Technologies, (2) Eco Logic, and (3) Teledyne-Commodore. These three technologies are among those listed in Table 1-1. If on the basis of 1   The Parsons/Honeywell WHEAT process was deemed suitable as a candidate for disposing of the mustard agent munitions stored at Pueblo Chemical Depot, but its biotreatment component would not be effective for the treatment of the hydrolysates from the organophosphorus nerve agents stored at Blue Grass.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot TABLE 1-1 The Original Seven Candidate Technologies Under Consideration for the ACWA Program Technology Providera 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.b 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; gas-phase chemical reduction (GPCR™). Hydrolysis, SCWO, GPCR™. Hydrolysis; GPCR™ to 5X. Hydrolysis; GPCR™ to 5X. Parsons/Honeywell Modified reverse assembly (fluid-jet cutting and energetic washout for rockets). Hydrolysis; biotreatment. Hydrolysis, biotreatment. Thermal treatment to 5X. Thermal treatment to 5X. Teledyne Commodore Fluid-jet cutting; access and drain agent; wash out 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;c ship to Rock Island Arsenal for 5X treatment. Crushed or shredded; treated in solvated electron solution; shipped to landfill. aAllied Signal was purchased by the Honeywell Corporation. Therefore, Parsons-Allied Signal is referred to as Parsons/Honeywell in this report. Lockheed Martin decided not to continue as technology provider for its process, so this technology development is continuing with Foster Wheeler, a former member of the Lockheed Martin team along with ELI Eco Logic, as the prime contractor. ELI Eco Logic is the technology provider for the gas-phase chemical reduction (GPCR™) system, and Foster Wheeler is the technology provider for the transpiring-wall supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) system. El Dorado Engineering is the technology provider for the reverse-assembly equipment design and the materials-handling equipment design. Kvaerner is the provider of the hydrolysis design and performs plantwide process integration services. bTreatment 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 may 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. cAt 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, 8-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.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot Demo II testing these technology packages were deemed viable options for destroying assembled chemical weapons, they would also be considered for implementation at the Blue Grass Army Depot and could progress to the EDP. Two of these technologies, AEA’s SILVER II™ process and the Eco Logic process,2 were carried forward to the EDS II phase of the ACWA program along with the GATS process.3 Evaluations of these three technologies for implementation at the Blue Grass Army Depot and an update of the status of PMACWA-sponsored tests on hydrolysis of energetic materials are the subject of this report.4 AEA Technologies, Eco Logic, and General Atomics were awarded contracts to develop EDPs and to perform further required demonstration testing for disposal of the chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot. The initial (preliminary) EDPs were submitted in July 2001, and drafts of the final EDPs were submitted to PMACWA in October 2001. ROLE OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL When the ACWA program was initiated in late 1996, the PMACWA requested that the NRC independently evaluate alternative technologies and submit a report by September 1, 1999, a month before the DoD’s Supplemental Report to Congress was due (DoD, 1999). After agreeing with DOD on a statement of task in March 1997, the NRC formed the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons (the ACW I Committee). The study was officially begun on May 27, 1997. The committee evaluated all seven technology packages that had passed the threshold requirements stipulated in the first RFP. In accordance with the statement of task for the study, the committee did not recommend a best technology or compare any of the technologies with the baseline incineration system in use at some storage sites. Members of the committee visited the demonstration test sites for the three technologies selected for Demo I before the unit operations were systemized in January 1999, but data-gathering activities had to be terminated on March 15, 1999, before the results of the Demo I tests had been received, to allow producing a final report by September 1, 1999. The committee’s report was submitted for peer review on May 1, 1999, and released to the sponsor and the public on August 25, 1999 (NRC, 1999). In September 1999, the PMACWA requested that the tenure of the committee be extended to review the results of the Demo I tests. The committee was asked to determine if and how the results affected the findings and recommendations in the original report, as well as to reevaluate the steps for implementation it had indicated were required (NRC, 1999). In March 2000, the committee published a supplemental report (NRC, 2000a) documenting its review of the Demo I test results and the impact of those results on the conclusions of the initial report (NRC, 1999). The ACW I Committee completed its task at the end of March 2000 and was disbanded. A second NRC committee, the Committee on Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons: Phase II (the ACW II Committee), was formed in the spring of 2000 and asked to produce three reports: (1) an evaluation of the new demonstration tests (Demo II) and their impact on the findings and recommendations presented in the NRC’s ACW I report (NRC, 1999); (2) an evaluation of the EDSs for Pueblo Chemical Depot (EDS I); and (3) an evaluation of the EDSs for Blue Grass Army Depot (EDS II). In August 2001, the ACW II Committee published a report evaluating the engineering design packages developed by General Atomics and Parsons/Honeywell (formerly Parsons-Allied Signal) and related studies for the Pueblo Chemical Depot in fulfillment of the second of the three tasks (NRC, 2001a). In October 2001, a second report evaluating the Demonstration II results was published in response to the first task (NRC, 2001b). The present report, in response to the third task, evaluates the three EDSs that are candidates for destroying the assembled chemical munitions at the Blue Grass Army Depot. 2   In the EDS II phase of the ACWA program, Eco Logic became the prime contractor for a team that also included Kvaerner Process Systems Inc., Foster Wheeler, and El Dorado Engineering. 3   The Teledyne-Commodore technology did not successfully complete the Demo II testing. 4   The testing program on energetics hydrolysis that PMACWA sponsored to improve the technology base for this means of disposal was initially reviewed in Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot (NRC, 2001a).

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot DESCRIPTION OF THE STOCKPILE AT BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT Agents The unitary5 chemical agents in U.S. stockpiles are nerve agents (GB and VX)6 and three related forms of blister (mustard) agent (H, HD, and HT). The original stockpile contained 31,496 tons of unitary agents, which were stored in a variety of munitions and containers under ambient conditions, where they exist primarily as liquids. Because the stockpile at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific has been completely destroyed by incineration and the stockpile at Deseret Chemical Depot, in Utah, has been partially incinerated, as of October 3, 2001, the amount in storage was approximately 24,098 tons. Table 1-2 lists some of the physical properties of the chemical agents GB, VX, and HD. The nerve agent VX is a nonvolatile liquid that has a high boiling point and adheres to surfaces for days or weeks, whereas the nerve agent GB (sarin) is a liquid with a volatility similar to that of water and therefore evaporates relatively quickly. These two nerve agents are highly toxic and lethal in both liquid and vapor forms. They are ingested by respiration or skin contact and can kill in a matter of minutes by interfering with respiratory and nervous system functions. In pure form, these nerve agents are practically colorless and odorless. GB is relatively non-persistent in the environment, whereas VX can persist in the environment, especially under dry conditions. The blister agents are skin vesicants that evaporate very slowly, although somewhat faster than VX.7 The active ingredient in all these blister agents is bis-chloroethyl sulfide, (ClCH2CH2)2S. HD, called distilled mustard, is nominally pure mustard. H, often called Levenstein mustard, is approximately 70 percent mustard and 30 percent impurities that tend to be polysulfides such as (ClCH2CH2)2Sn, where n = 2, 3. HT contains 67 percent mustard and 22 percent T, (ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2)2O, and minor components. Mustard has a garliclike odor and is hazardous on contact and as a vapor. Mustard agent is only slightly soluble in water and is very persistent in the environment. The stockpile at Blue Grass Army Depot contains munitions with nerve agents VX and GB and the blister agent H (see Table 1-3). Originally, references supplied to the committee indicated that the projectiles at Blue Grass contained distilled mustard, HD (U.S. Army, 1996). However, information supplied to the committee by PMACWA in March 2002 indicated that the M110 155-mm projectiles actually contain H and not HD (U.S. Army, 1997b). All ACWA testing with mustard agent during the demonstration and EDSs was performed using HD because very little H was available to produce the large quantities of hydrolysate required for the tests. Testing with H is planned to verify that compositional differences do not alter the results of the tests performed to date with HD. Containers and Munitions Unitary chemical agents are stored in spray tanks, bulk storage (ton) containers, and a variety of munitions, including land mines, rockets, bombs, and artillery and mortar projectiles. Some munitions may contain a fuze, booster, burster, and/or propellant. These components are referred to collectively as energetic materials or energetics. The term “assembled chemical weapon” (ACW) is used to describe munitions that contain chemical agent and may or may not contain energetic materials in an assembled configuration. Rockets, mortars, and land mines are typically stored with their energetic components in place; projectiles may or may not contain bursters or fuzes. The ACWA program (and this report) is focused on alternative means of destroying these four types of munitions. Additional details on the weapons stored at Blue Grass Army Depot are provided in Appendix A. M55 rockets pose the greatest storage risk because they contain approximately 20 pounds of M28 propellant, a double-base propellant composed of nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, plasticizers, a burn-rate modifier, and a stabilizer. The exact composition is given in Table 1-4. The propellant slowly decomposes exother 5   The term “unitary” indicates a single chemical loaded in munitions or stored as a lethal material. More recently, “binary” munitions have been produced in which two relatively safe chemicals are loaded into separate compartments to be mixed to form a lethal agent after the munition is fired or released. The components of binary munitions are stockpiled in separate states. They are not included in the present CSDP, but they are being destroyed in a separate program. 6   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. 7   Names such as mustard gas, sulfur mustard, and yperite have also been applied to 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 Blue Grass Army Depot TABLE 1-2 Physical Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents Agent Characteristic Nerve GB Nerve VX Blistera HD Chemical formula C4H10FO2P C11H26NO2PS C4H8Cl2S Molecular weight 140.10 267.38 159.08 Boiling point (°C) 158 298 217 Freezing point (°C) −56 <−51 14.45 Vapor pressure (mm Hg) 2.9 at 25°C 0.0009 at 25°C 0.072 at 20°C Volatility (mg/m3) 22,000 at 25°C 12.6 at 25°C 75 at 0°C (solid) 610 at 20°C (liquid) Surface tension (dynes/cm) 26.5 at 20°C 32.0 at 20°C 43.2 at 20°C Viscosity (cS) 1.28 at 25°C 12.256 at 20°C 3.95 at 20°C Liquid density at 20°C (g/cm3) 1.0887 1.0083 1.2685 Solubility (g/100 g of distilled water) 100; soluble in organic solvents 5 at 25°C; best solvents are dilute mineral acids 0.092 at 22°C; soluble in acetone, CCl4, CHCl3, tetrachloroethane, ethyl benzoate, ether Heat of vaporization (Btu/lb) 149 125 190 (cal/g) 82.8 69.4 94 Heat of combustion (Btu/lb) 10,000 15,000 8,100 (cal/g) 5,600 8,300 4,500 aThe blister agents are labeled H, HD, and HT. The active ingredient, mustard, in all these blister agents is bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide, (ClCH2CH2)2S. HD, called distilled mustard, is nominally pure mustard. H, often called Levenstein mustard, is approximately 70 percent mustard and 30 per cent impurities, which tend to be polysulfides such as (ClCH2CH2)2Sn, where n ≥ 2. HT contains 67 per cent mustard and 22 percent T, (ClCH2CH2SCH2CH2)2O, and minor components. SOURCE: Buchanan et al. (1999); Penski (1994); Samuel et al. (1983). TABLE 1-3 Description of the Chemical Weapons in the Blue Grass Army Depot Stockpile Item Fill Quantity Agent per Munition (lb) Total Agent (tons) Energeticsa Energetics Weight per Munition (lb) Total Energetics Weight (tons) 155-mm projectile, M110 H 15,492 11.7 90.63 Tetrytol 0.41 2.9 8-inch projectile, M426 GB 3,977 14.4 28.83 None     115-mm rocket, M55 GB 51,716 10.7 276.68 Composition B/ M28 propellant 3.2 19.1 74.46 448.99 115-mm rocket warhead, M56 GB 24 10.7 0.13 Composition B 3.2 0.035 155-mm projectile, M121/A1 VX 12,816 6 38.45 None     115-mm rocket, M55 VX 17,733 10.1 88.67 Composition B/ M28 propellant 3.2 19.1 25.53 153.95 115-mm rocket warhead, M56 VX 6 10.1 0.03 Composition B 3.2 0.0086 aTetrytol contains 70 percent tetryl and 30 percent TNT. Composition B contains 60 percent RDX, 39 percent TNT, and 1 percent wax. SOURCE: Adapted from U.S. Army (1997b).

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot TABLE 1-4 Composition of M28 Propellant Component Percentage Nitrocellulose (12.6% N) 60.1 Nitroglycerine 23.8 Triacetin 9.9 Dimethylphthalate 2.6 2-nitrodiphenylamine (2-NDPA) 1.7 Lead stearate 1.9   SOURCE: Bonnett (2000). mically, forming nitrogen dioxide, which in turn can catalyze more rapid decomposition. The stabilizer reacts with the nitrogen dioxide and prevents the autocatalytic action. However, because these munitions have been stored since the 1950s and 1960s, and because the stabilizer concentration continues to slowly diminish in each rocket, the risk of a catastrophic event increases with time. The rockets also have an aluminum body with welded joints that are susceptible to corrosion by GB, creating a situation that has resulted in agent leakage. Routine inspections of the stockpile storage igloos occasionally reveal the presence of leaking rockets or other munitions. When leakers are detected, they are overpacked and subsequently stored and handled separately. STATEMENT OF TASK The complete statement of task for the ACW II Committee is given below. This report addresses only Task 3.8 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. 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, Foster Wheeler/Eco Logic/Kvaerner, and AEA 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. It is expected that the testing will be completed at or around September 30, 2001. Based on receipt of the appropriate information, including: (a) the PMACWA-approved EDS Plans, (b) the EDS test reports produced by the technology providers, (c) PMACWA’s 8   During the course of the ACWA testing program, delays were experienced and receipt of the results slipped into the first quarter of 2002. The NRC contract was therefore modified and a new date (August 15, 2002) was established for completion of the report.

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Analysis of Engineering Design Studies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot 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 proposed engineering design packages for a chemical demilitarization facility design for disposing of both nerve and mustard munitions produce a report for delivery to the PMACWA by April 5, 2002 provided the engineering design package is received by November 15, 2001. SCOPE AND APPROACH OF THIS STUDY As mentioned above, this report is the ACW II Committee’s response to Task 3 of its statement of task (i.e., review and evaluate EDP drawings, documentation, and tests developed for the destruction of chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot). This report had to 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 Blue Grass site, which at the time of this writing was scheduled for early 2003, following satisfaction of NEPA procedures and requirements. As with previous NRC reports on the ACWA program, the committee did not compare the technologies with one another or with the Army’s baseline incineration system. It is important to note that although the designs in the EDPs were developed for processing the H agent that is stored at Blue Grass, all testing to date has been with HD. This assessment of technology performance is therefore based on test data for HD. PMACWA was planning to perform tests with H when this report was being prepared. The committee notes that differences in chemical composition between H and HD may affect the efficacy of the technologies. Because some experimental tests in support of the EDPs were not completed or available when this report was being prepared, the committee was not able to review or evaluate the full set of final test results. However, committee members did attend status-review sessions organized by PMACWA and were given access to all available draft reports by the technology providers. To meet the publication date of August 2002, the committee had to submit its consensus draft in April 2002 for editing and preparation for peer review, which forced it to terminate its data-gathering phase by early February 2002. Throughout the preparation of this report, the ACW II Committee continued to monitor what was happening in the ACWA Dialogue group and to participate in activities where information was exchanged between members of the committee and the Dialogue. ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT Chapter 2 discusses the results of hydrolysis studies on energetic materials, sponsored by PMACWA in response to the ACW I Committee’s original recommendations. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 evaluate each of the three candidate technology engineering packages. The results of testing completed in support of the EDPs and available to the ACW II Committee at the time of this report are also reviewed in each chapter. Chapter 6 summarizes the committee’s evaluation of the three technology packages and presents some new general findings. Appendix A describes munitions stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Appendix B lists committee meetings, site visits, and information-gathering activities. Appendix C contains biographies of the committee members.