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4 Operational and Risk Implications of Anomalies INTRODUCTION Chapters 1, 2, and 3 present an historical overview of stockpile anomaly occurrences to the extent these could be discerned from Army records. The text and data in the Stockpile Tracking System Lot Book, Final Revision 2, dated July 2001 (the STS Lot Book) were especially helpful in the current effort (U.S. Army, 2001a). This publication, from the office of the PMCD, was the single most complete and authoritative source of both qualitative and quantitative material on stock- pile composition and condition. This chapter considers all types of anomalies from the perspective of their effect on disposal operations, includ- ing their risk implications. It considers (in addition to leakers) the occurrences of atypical agent and munition handling anomalies during processing and the corrective actions employed to respond to unexpected conditions. U.S. Army records, primarily as presented in the STS Lot Book and end-of-campaign reports for JACADS and TOCDF, are insufficient to quantify the observations and effects on stockpile disposal opera- tions attributable to the processing of anomalous muni- tions and containers. While these records provide an- ecdotal information and discussions of corrective actions taken, they do not quantify the effects on sched- ule, cost, or worker risk. Some limited quantitative in- formation has been developed, however, and is pre- sented later in the chapter. 36 This chapter covers the risk implications of the vari- ous anomalies, corrective actions that have been taken to facilitate the processing of anomalous items, and- in a qualitative way the effects of those anomalies on cost and schedule. Effects on worker safety and stake- holder perceptions are also covered but here, too only in a qualitative way. RISK IMPLICATIONS COVERED IN QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENTS In accordance with the PMCD Guide to Risk Man- agement Policy and Activities (U.S. Army, 1998b), the storage, worker, and general public risks from agent exposure were extensively investigated in developing Phase 1 and Phase 2 quantitative risk assessments (QRAs) for the baseline incineration facilities at the Tooele, Anniston, Umatilla, and Pine Bluff sites. In the final analysis, the public risks calculated in all of the QRAs performed to date show that the risk asso- ciated with continued storage, while quite small, is much larger than the risk associated with disposal op- erations. Thus, public risk is substantially dependent on the duration of the potential exposures from stored stockpile components. Recognizing this risk, the Army has an extensive program for monitoring and manag- ing stockpile integrity. Risk assessment can be thought of as the systematic approach to answering three questions: What can go

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OPERATIONAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES wrong? What is the likelihood of something going wrong? What are the consequences? Each set of an- swers to these questions defines a scenario. A com- plete set of scenarios forms the basis for defining risk (Kaplan and Garrick, 1981~. This framework is also valuable in considering changes in risk such as may occur through degradation. Chemical mechanisms related to stockpile degrada- tion are discussed in Chapter 2. Activities that address the risks posed by degraded stockpile items are consid- ered in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 QRAs for the four baseline incineration sites and the Aberdeen and New- port sites. The end result of all these assessments is that degradation-related mechanisms and activities contrib- ute very little to risk across all sites. The degradation anomalies discussed in this report cause processing complications that increase worker risk and delay dis- posal, prolonging public exposure to storage risk. Be- cause the greatest number of leaking M55 GB rockets is at Anniston, the fraction of the total risk due to deg- radation across all sites is highest for that site, although the absolute risk of this fraction is small. The assessed degradation-related risk at Anniston is less than 0.1 percent of the total assessed risk from disposal opera- tions at the site and much less than 0.1 percent of the total risk of storage. As represented in the QRAs, this risk from anomalous munitions primarily derives from the longer time munitions remain in storage when dis- posal campaigns are extended. Degradation mechanisms for which risk consider- ations have been investigated or postulated by the Army in the site-specific QRA include these: (1) leak- ing M55 rockets, (2) increased energetics sensitivity, (3) degraded ton containers, and (4) autoignition of M55 rockets. Leaking M55 Rockets Leakage occurs in both storage and processing ar- eas. QRA analysts say there has been no clear evi- dence for an increase in the rate of leakage. The QRAs therefore assumed that the historical leakage rate over several decades for each munition type would remain constant. The potential for accidents during leaker processing increases as more leakers are encountered. iSAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002. 37 This is expressed in the QRA analysis by extending the duration of the agent campaigns for leaker pro- cessing.2 Examples of risks associated with leaking M55 rock- ets that were addressed in the QRAs include those aris- ing from overpacking operations during storage.3 Also, because overpacked munitions involve more extensive handling during demilitarization, they lengthen the dis- posal campaigns, thus increasing the time in storage of the remaining munitions. The risk associated with routine monitoring of ig- loos is not explicitly considered in the QRA analyses; this risk is considered by the analysts to be "very small" owing to (1) the exterior monitoring that is done before workers enter the igloos and (2) the protective clothing worn by the workers.4 Nevertheless, an increase in leakage frequency would mean an increased number of entries by workers, which in turn would result in in- creased risk to workers, however small. Energetics Sensitivity The potential effect of agent on the energetic com- ponents of M55 rockets was addressed in a 1996 PMCD study (U.S. Army, 1996a). Seven compounds were identified as being potential by-products of reac- tions in the fuze and warhead section of leaking rock- ets. Each by-product compound was categorized in terms of its likelihood of formation and the resulting hazard that such formation would present. Three of the compounds formed cuprous azide, cupric azide, and lead picrate were identified as the most hazardous because of their great sensitivity and theoretically pos- sible reaction chemistries. However, the study con- cluded that mechanical barriers within the rocket make it highly unlikely that the required reactants would come together. For that reason, the QRAs ignore the effects of agent on burster sensitivity.5 Tests performed on rocket propellant following con- tamination by GB agent showed that changes in the 2SAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002. 3SAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002. 4SAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002. sSAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002.

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38 EFFECTS OF DEGRADED AGENT AND MUNITIONS ANOMALIES ON CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS impact sensitivity were minimal and thus would not be a factor in the risk analysis (U.S. Army, 2000a). Container Degradation In 1998, an assessment of degradation of the plugs on ton containers concluded that corrosion of plugs is not expected until after 2005 at the Tooele site and af- ter 2015 at the Anniston, Aberdeen, Pine Bluff, and Umatilla sites (Bizzigotti et al., 1998~.6 Although there has been some evidence of plug deg- radation for GB and mustard agent ton containers, no increased incidence of leakage has been observed, i.e., the leakage rate remains very small and apparently stable. In addition, many of the brass plugs used have already been replaced with steel plugs, thus reducing the likelihood of corrosion and leakage in the future.7 No degradation of VX-filled ton containers has been documented since storage in this type of container was begun more than 40 years ago. Regular inspections of VX-filled ton containers at Newport and other storage sites have not shown any degradation of the contain- ers.8 Consequently, degradation mechanisms for these containers have not been identified in over 40 years of observation, and they have not been represented in haz- ard and operability studies or QRAs conducted in preparation for disposal facility operation. In mustard agent ton containers, attack on the steel surfaces by hydrogen chloride or by the mustard agent itself is a degradation mechanism. The possibility of corrosion-induced failure is addressed in the hazard and operability studies but was not deemed to specifically warrant consideration in the QRAs. The committee believes that periodic monitoring of the containers will improve the probability of early detection and thus avoid any significant impact from this failure mecha- n msm.> Autoignition of M55 Rockets As discussed in Chapter 2, the components of the M28 propellant used in M55 rockets degrade slowly under storage conditions, generating heat and nitrogen oxides. This degradation can be accelerated if the pro- pellant is contaminated with GB and/or the rocket is overpacked. The median frequency of autoignition of M55 rock- ets has been estimated to be 1.0 to 5.9 x 10-5 per year for overpacked rockets (see Table 4-1) and 1.8 x 10-7 to 1.4 x 10-6 for nonoverpacked (undetected) leakers (see Table 4-2~. Table 4-3 compares these estimated frequencies with the total estimated frequencies of other causes of ignition, which are 1.4 to 5.3 x 1 o-3 per year.~ In addition, the QRAs indicate that the sce- narios associated with storage of M55 rockets repre- sent the largest contribution to the public health risk (U.S. Army, 2002c). The Army has concluded that existing procedures adequately address the potential degradation of the propellant used in 105-mm cartridges and 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The committee believes that if contin- ued monitoring of the propellant for these munitions indicates degradation, then the propellant and chemi- cal agent can be easily separated using existing main- tenance procedures. Chapter 3 outlines how statistical analysis can be used to characterize GB rockets by agent subtype. A distinguishing feature of these subtypes is the relative frequency with which leakers have occurred. As addi- tional leakers occur, the time required to completely 6The analysis of Bizzigotti et al. (1998) indicates that the first plug failure due to corrosion is not expected at the Tooele site until after 2005. For the 6,398 HD ton containers with a total of 38,388 plugs at Tooele, 66 plug failures from corrosion were predicted from 2006 through 2015. This represents a 0.17 percent failure rate of the plugs, or a 1.0 percent failure rate for the ton containers, which have six plugs each. 7SAIC responses to committee degradation risk questions, Au- gust 14, 2002. Newport Chemical Agent Demilitarization Facility answers to committee questions on degradation risk, August 14, 2002. 9Aberdeen Chemical Agent Demilitarization Facility responses to committee questions on degradation risk, August 14, 2002. iMedian frequencies of 1.0 to 5.9 x 10-s per year are equivalent to one chance in 100,000 to one chance in 16,950 per year. Median frequencies of 1.0 x 10-7 to 1.4 x 10-6 per year are equivalent to one chance in 5,600,000 to one chance in 710,000. Frequencies of 1.4 to 5.3 x 10-3 per year are equivalent to one chance in 710 to one chance in 190 per year. ~ iDraft of an assessment of the chemical weapons stockpile gen- erated by the Army in 1992, provided to the committee by PMCD on February 27, 2002.

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OPERATIONAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES TABLE 4-1 Median Site-Specific Annual Autoignition Probability for Overpacked Rockets Probability of Autoignition in Each Year 2000 2005 2010 2020 Anniston Umatilla Blue Grass Pine Bluff 2.9 x 10-5 9.8 x 10-6 .Ox 10-5 .Ox 10-5 4.2 x 10-5 1.5 X 10-5 1.3 x 10-5 1.3 x 10-5 5.0 X 10-5 1.9 x 10-5 1.5 X 10-5 1.4x 10-5 5.9 X 10-5 2.3 x 10-5 1.7 x 10-5 1.6 x 10-5 Source: Adapted from U.S. Army (2002c). TABLE 4-2 Median Site-Specific Annual Autoignition Probability for Nonoverpacked Leaking Rockets Probability of Autoignition in Each Year 2000 2005 2010 2020 Anniston Umatilla Blue Grass Pine Bluff 1.4x 10-6 5.6 x 10-7 4.9 x 10-7 1.8 x 10-7 1.3 x 10-6 6.8 x 10-7 5.6 x 10-7 2.4x 10-7 1.2 x 10-6 7.7 x 10-7 6.1 x 10-7 2.8 x 10-7 1.2 x 10-6 8.9 x 10-7 6.8 x 10-7 3.2 x 10-7 Source: Adapted from U.S. Army (2002c). TABLE 4-3 Comparison of Site-Specific Autoignition Probabilities with the Probabilities of Other Accidental Ignition Events (probability in 1 year) Overpacked Rocket Nonoverpacked Earthquake Autoignition Rocket Autoignition Lightning Initiation Initiation Probability Probability Probabilitya Probabilitya Anniston 3x10-5 1x10-6 2x 10-3 1 xlO-4 Umatilla 1 x 10-5 6 x 10-7 6 x 10-4 8 X 10-4 Blue Grass 1 x 10-s 5 x 10-7 2 x 10-3 2 x 10-4 Pine Bluff 1 x 10-5 2 x 10-7 5 X 10-3 3 x 10-4 aLightning and earthquake initiation probabilities are from the following QRA reports: for Anniston (SAIC, 1997a), for Umatilla (SAIC, 1996), for Blue Grass (SAIC, 1997b), and for Pine Bluff (SAIC, 1997c). These numbers may change as the QRAs for these sites are updated. Source: Adapted from U.S. Army (2002b). 39

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40 EFFECTS OF DEGRADED AGENT AND MUNITIONS ANOMALIES ON CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS destroy the M55 inventory, as well as the overall stock- pile, probably will be extended. Such delays in destroy- ing the stockpile, especially the M55 rockets, prolong public risk. Prioritizing the destruction of M55 rockets by GB subtype at each site could be an option for re- ducing the disposal risk to the public if such schedul- ing does not otherwise adversely affect the overall scheduling for M55 rocket disposal and increase expo- sure to storage risk. The above are the only distinct anomalies evaluated in the QRAs. Other anomalies, such as frothing mus- tard agent munitions, can impact schedule, but they were not evaluated in the QRAs. SUMMARY OF IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES AND CORRECTIVE ACTIONS General Stockpile anomalies can be categorized into two main groups: . Stable defects are those originating during manu- facture or from handling mishaps. They do not cause further degradation once they occur and are often of a mechanical nature. Progressive defects are the result of chemical ac- tivity subsequent to manufacture. These defects include leakers, gelled agent, corrosion, and the frothing of agent from the agent cavity during ei- ther storage or disassembly. Agent and munitions defects (anomalies) by their very nature can be disruptive and dangerous and can have adverse impacts on processing. Their causes can be complex and are often interactive. They are often associated with specific agent and/or munition lots; this is reflected in the STS Lot Book, which records lot number along with anomaly descriptions. Stable defects may or may not be identifiable in storage. If the defect can be isolated in advance, a timely deci- sion to accept the impact on processing operations or to attempt to mitigate the impact through process and/ or equipment modification will lead to minimum schedule disruption. Similarly, if progressive defects are identified during storage by monitoring, sampling, and testing, a timely decision to accept the impact or to implement special handling procedures and/or other process and equipment modifications can be made. Information on anomalous items in the stock- . . . pile, when systematically collected and tabulated, can yield the data points needed for statistical analysis and trend detection aimed at mitigating operational dis- ruption. For this purpose, it is desirable that reporting protocols and formats be standardized for consistency in gathering and recording information across all stor- age sites. Available records, such as end-of-campaign reports, do not allow linking system and equipment downtimes directly to the processing of anomalous stockpile items. Corrective actions employed to address anomaly conditions of all types include the following: - Modification of process rate, sequence, schedule, and standard operating procedures, as required, to minimize risk and mechanical disruption; - Modification of the RCRA permit to enable a facil- ity to handle an anomaly efficiently (by, for ex- ample, allowing a different processing sequence); Modification and/or replacement of equipment; Revisions of operator training and improvement of procedures; Notification and education of stakeholders; and Rejection, isolation, and eventual special process- ing of munitions. Nearly every anomaly encountered during process- ing will interrupt or slow disposal operations. More- over, investigations to determine root causes and de- velop corrective actions and operational changes also contribute to delays in processing. The magnitude of such activities depends on the type of anomaly, its po- tential effect on worker and public safety, and its im- pact on operations. The types of anomalies that have been found are discussed briefly below. Progressive (Chemical-Related} Anomalies Progressive anomalies include the following: - agent and propellant stabilizer depletion gelling of agent - crystallization of agent sludging of agent - high-solids-content agent frothing and foaming mustard agent - hydrogen formation - propellant contamination - external leakage of agent - internal leakage of agent

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OPERATIONAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES The chemistry that causes some of these anomalies is presented in Chapter 2; only the actions taken during processing will be covered here. The last two leakage anomalies were discussed at length in Chapter 3 and will not be discussed in this chapter except insofar as they cause secondary effects. Corrective actions that have been taken for progres- sive anomalies include the following (Thomas, 2002b). Ge//ed or Crysta//ized GB Agent Gelled or crystallized GB agent requires adjustment of the processing rate and modification of the RCRA permit to allow agent to be destroyed along with the body of the munition in the deactivation furnace sys- tem (DFS) or the metal parts furnace (MPF), depend- ing on the munition involve. High So/ids Content HO Mustard agent that has a high solids content requires adjustment of the processing rate to reflect extended agent drain time, modification of the RCRA permit to allow increased agent loading in the MPF, and destruc- tion of the agent along with the body of the munition in the MPF. Among the problems encountered was dam- age to the multipurpose demilitarization machine (MDM) equipment when crimped burster tubes could not be reinserted into projectile bodies because of ex- cessive agent heel. Workers in demilitarization protec- tive ensemble (DPE) suits would then have to service the equipment to remedy the breakdown (U.S. Army, l999b). Foaming and Frothing HO To handle projectiles that exhibited foaming and frothing mustard during disassembly, vacuum nozzles were redesigned to envelop the projectile ogive and limit agent spillage (U.S. Army, l999b). Freezing the munitions and processing them in the MPF with 100 percent heel proved to be feasible (NRC, 2001b). The changed agent loading of the MPF required RCRA per- mit modification. Processing rates were adjusted as necessary to conform to permit limits (U.S. Army, l999c). 12See Assessment of Processing Gelled GB MSS Rockets at Anniston (NRC, 2003~. 41 Hydrogen Formation and Resulting Pressurization Advance detection of pressurized conditions due to the formation of hydrogen gas is desirable, especially for ton containers. The Army is experimenting with venting to safely relieve pressure. Special safety mea- sures are required to minimize the possibility of explo- sion when hydrogen pressurization is encountered. Prop e//an t Contamination Careful monitoring is necessary to detect physical changes and temperature rise that would indicate pro- pellant contamination by leaking agent. Separation of the propellant from the projectiles is relatively easily and safely accomplished for 105-mm projectiles and 4.2-inch mortar rounds. Internal leakage of M55 rock- ets is more difficult to respond to because it is difficult to detect. External Agent Leakage If a leaker is detected while the munition is in a stockpile igloo, it is overpacked and removed to a sepa- rate storage igloo, where it can be monitored more fre- quently. Overpacked munitions and those developing leaks during transport to the MDB are processed sepa- rately by workmen in DPE suits with due concern for the higher risk of operations with leaking munitions. The significant schedule impact to be expected from this type of handling is discussed later in this chapter. /nterna/ Agent Leakage Internal leakage is generally undetectable because current monitoring protocols do not call for intrusive monitoring. Consequently, no advance corrective ac- tion is possible. If evidence of internal leakage appears during processing, the munition may require handling as a reject item. This involves, first, isolating the muni- tion and, then, special processing by workmen in DPE suits using special tools and techniques. Stable Anomalies Related to Manufacturing and Handling Stable anomalies include the following: heavy metals in the agent improper fabrication of burster tubes

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42 EFFECTS OF DEGRADED AGENT AND MUNITIONS ANOMALIES ON CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS welding and brazing defects PCBs in M55 rocket shipping and firing tubes agent contamination from ton container reuse poor sample-plug fit and the use of brass con- tainer plugs flawed munition casing blanks problems with disassembly corroded M23 mine adapter plates Several corrective activities have been taken or are planned to address these stable anomalies. Heavy Meta/ in the Agent The pollution abatement system (PAS) particu- larly in third-generation baseline incineration system facilities equipped with the activated carbon PAS filter system (PFS ) may be effective in meeting RCRA per- mit requirements for heavy metal control. improper Fabrication of Burster Tube Improper burster tube fabrication is an anomaly that shows up in numerous ways tubes welded into the munitions casing, imperfect agent cavity seal due to burster tube roughness, tubes installed upside down, out-of-specification burster tube fabrication, the use of aluminum tubes instead of specified steel, and over- long tubes. Corrective action involves routine process- ing where possible but processing as a reject munition when required. We/ding and Brazing Defects Welding and brazing defects can result in either ex- ternal or internal agent leakage. Bomb casing seams and the attachment of the lifting lug are typical prob- lem areas. Weld or braze material has been found to be cracked or porous in certain defective lots, permitting agent migration and leakage. If external leakage oc- curs, the munition must be overpacked and specially processed. Internal leakers are handled in a manner similar to munitions with improper burster tube fabri- cation anomalies that is, routinely when possible; as rejects when necessary. PCBs in M55 Rocket Shipping and Firing Tubes PCBs are normally destroyed during routine pro- cessing with no special provision required for permit compliance. Agent Contamination from Ton Container Reuse Cases of contamination with chemicals not coming from the stored agent have been traced to residual ma- terial from earlier use of the containers. The permit needed to be modified to allow these unexpected sub- stances to be processed at disposal facilities. Among the substances requiring permit modification is arsenic, which is believed to have come from earlier storage of lewisite. Poor Samp/e-P/ug Fit and the Use of Brass Container Plugs To secure an agent-tight seal, ton containers subject to leakage at threaded plug holes have required refitted plugs or retrofit, with steel plugs replacing brass plugs, which are subject to acid attack when agent deterio- rates. F/awe d Munition Casing Blanks In a very small number of cases, flawed steel muni- tion casings developed cracks and subsequently leaked. The affected munitions are overpacked and stored sepa- rately. Disassembly Problems Manufacturing error, metal corrosion within threaded sections, incompatibility of soft aluminum projectile casings and metal gripper jaws in processing machinery, and careless handling are generating or can generate anomalous conditions that make disassembly of munitions difficult or impossible with the equip- ment intended for this purpose. One of the more suc- cessful corrective actions was the development and employment of the gimbal cam device at JACADS and its subsequent deployment at other facilities. This modification to the projectile/mortar disassembly

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OPERATIONAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES (PMD) equipment solved the majority of these prob- lems without interrupting the routine processing cycle (U.S. Army, 2000b). The few munitions that cannot be handled in this way are set aside for special processing at the end of the campaign. For example, nose-cone- removal grippers that become fouled require correc- tive action by workers wearing appropriate protective clothing. Corroded M23 Mine Adapler Plates The corrective action for corroded M23 mine adapter plates processed at JACADS was to slow the DFS rota- tion rate so the burster would detonate in a thicker- walled section of the kiln. Most remaining M23 mines were fabricated with plastic rather than metal adapter plates. The behavior of these plastic plates during pro- cessing is not yet known (U.S. Army, 2001c). WORKER RISK INCIDENT TO THE STORAGE AND PROCESSING OF ANOMALOUS MUNITIONS Facility and process design are intended to provide maximum safety for workers, the public, and the envi- ronment. Anomalous munitions add to the inherent risk since they may fall outside design parameters and es- tablished procedures. Chemical agents, with their ex- tremely high toxicity, will always add to the existing risk of working in a complex chemical processing fa- cility. Thus, assuring worker safety will always be a challenge. During disposal operations, risks to workers from anomalous stockpile munitions and containers can arise for one or more reasons: . Exposure to leaking munitions. Leaking muni- tions present a risk of exposure to chemical agent in the form of a liquid, a vapor, or both. Risk to workers is minimized by standard operating pro- cedures that prescribe steps for handling leakers safely. Monitoring to detect the presence of agent before a worker can be exposed is routine. DPE suits used during nonroutine processing of ex- ceptional munitions, such as overpacked leakers, are intended to minimize potential agent expo- sure. However, additional risk is imposed through the need for protective clothing. Even though 43 complete protection from agent exposure is pro- vided, proper management of DPE operations is necessary to preclude severe worker fatigue and hyperthermia. Operational impact from degraded agent. An ex- traordinarily high solids content, or agent gelling, or agent crystallization all delay or even prevent the extraction of agent from munitions, thus ex- tending the processing schedule. At TOCDF, the presence of gelled GB in M55 rockets led to a process change namely, the destruction of agent in the DFS rather than in the LIC. As a result, state regulatory authorities imposed a conserva- tive limit on the rate of rocket processing that extended the GB campaign schedule signifi- cantly.~3 In addition to extending the processing times, which prolongs the potential for opera- tional exposures, risk to workers is also affected when problems with high solids, gelled agent, or crystallized agent must be dealt with by workers in DPE suits. Maintenance and cleanup activities. Certain anomalies encountered during processing neces- sitate that workers clean explosives from the ex- plosive containment room (ECR) floor at regular intervals. Agent spills resulting from foaming and frothing mustard and those that occur during the correction of mechanical anomalies must be de- contaminated by workers. Debris falling from munitions or ejected by processing machinery must be collected and disposed of safely. PMD jaws require cleaning periodically, especially if they have been used to process aluminum projec- tile compounds. These activities must all be car- ried out by workers in DPE suits. Pressurized hydrogen gas. Hydrogen gas that has formed from mustard agent degradation in muni- tions and containers to perhaps as high as 200 psig presents a significant risk to workers because of its wide flammability/explosivity limits. Pressure fluctuations in the DFS during mine pro- cessing. The inability to remove the energetic com- ponents of the M23 mine can cause small detona- tions within the DFS and consequent pressure puffs (U.S. Army, 2001c). 13See Assessment of Processing Gelled GB MSS Rockets at Anniston (NRC, 2003~.

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44 EFFECTS OF DEGRADED AGENT AND MUNITIONS ANOMALIES ON CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS CSDP PROGRAMMATIC IMPACTS General Anomalies, by definition, are nonroutine occur- rences that involve nonnormal stockpile munitions or containers. In some cases, process planning in the CSDP was broad enough to accommodate the impact of the anomaly. In other cases, anomalies have had a negative effect on program execution. They have caused schedule extensions, cost increases, permit modifications, process modifications, stakeholder con- fusion and loss of confidence, and greater worker risk. Schedule and Cost The committee recognizes that the presence of anomalous items in the stockpile delays normal dis- posal operations and increases the duration of expo- sure to stockpile risk. Knowledge about the types and locations of anomalous items helps minimize delays, but there are limited programmatic data available to help anticipate the extent of delays. In some cases, cost data can be used as a surrogate for the extent of delays and the additional operational requirements associated with handling and disposal of anomalous items. Since each baseline incineration system facility costs approximately $300,000 per day to operate or to main- tain in a standby mode, delays in conducting disposal operations due to anomalous stockpile items can have significant cost ramifications. Very little, if any, quan- titative data exist on the effects of anomalous stockpile items on the schedule or cost of the stockpile disposal program. There is, however, significant anecdotal in- formation that anomalous munitions and containers extend processing schedules and increase costs. Some cost and schedule information has been developed that gives an idea of the significant impacts of processing anomalous stockpile items on disposal operations. At TOCDF, the cost of processing a standard M55 rocket was about $2,000 per rocket, and that of pro- cessing a leaking or gelled rocket was more than three times as high ($7,200~.~4 The impacts on cost were essentially time related. Drainable rockets were pro- cessed at a rate of six or more per hour, as most of the 14Tim Thomas, Program Manager for Chemical Demilitariza- tion, personal communication to Peter Lederman, July 31, 2003. agent was drained and processed in the LIC.~5 Gelled rockets could only be processed at the rate of about one per hour, a limitation imposed by RCRA permit re- quirements.~6 The rate at which leaking rockets could be unpacked by a team in DPE suits was a limiting factor. Consequently, about one leaking rocket or gelled M55 rocket was processed every hour on a sus- tained basis, with a maximum rate of about two per hour. The processing of 4.2-inch mortar rounds filled with mustard agent at JACADS encountered a number of anomalies. These included frothing of agent and gelled agent such that the agent could not be drained. These and other issues, such as not being able to reseat the burster casing, increased the time required to complete the demilitarization of the mortar rounds from a sched- uled 4 months to 5 months. Such prolongation signifi- cantly increases the cost of a program for example, the approximate cost of operating the JACADS facility for a month was about $10 million.~7 Anomalies vary with respect to frequency, distribu- tion, and effect. Some have been associated with spe- cific lots, as shown in the STS Lot Book. Some occur so infrequently that there is very little effect on the cost and schedule of disposal operations. To the extent that certain anomalous munitions are believed to have been completely processed and further occurrences are con- sidered unlikely, their effect on future operations is moot. Others have now been reduced to routine han- dling through the introduction of equipment or process- ing modifications. However, there is no assurance that old problems thought to have been solved will not re- cur or that new problems will not be discovered. Should this occur, the effects on stockpile disposal schedules and costs will depend on the number and locations of the munitions involved and the particular consequences that would need to be addressed. Systematic, standard- ized monitoring can help to identify new anomalies and will allow the program to deal with them efficiently. isTim Thomas, Program Manager for Chemical Demilitariza- tion, personal communication to Peter Lederman, July 31, 2003. i6The RCRA requirement for processing gelled GB MSS rock- ets at TOCDF limited processing to 1.6 rockets per hour if only rockets were being processed or 1 rocket per hour if the rockets were being coprocessed with other munitions. i7Tim Thomas, Program Manager for Chemical Demilitariza- tion, personal communication to Peter Lederman, July 31, 2003.

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OPERATIONAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS OF ANOMALIES Stakeholder Perceptions and Reactions Three anomalies have come to the public' s attention through news stories and other sources: the occurrence of leakers, gelled GB M55 rockets, and the potential for autoignition of M55 rockets. Significant public at- tention has been focused on the overall CSDP, particu- larly the debate over baseline incineration technology versus neutralization (hydrolysis) processes (the latter will be used at the Aberdeen, Newport, Pueblo, and Blue Grass sites). However, except to the extent they might contribute to heavy metal emissions or occasion- ally upset conditions in furnace operations, anomalies do not appear to be a major issue with the public. The public continues to be told about leaking munitions in storage igloos by various news media, and although they are a matter of concern, the public seems to be- lieve the Army is managing the problem adequately. The U.S. Congress started the CSDP in the mid-1980s out of concern about the stability of M55 rockets, and the Army has consistently told the public that the con- tinued storage of these munitions poses the greatest risk. However, some individuals and groups believe that incineration (versus hydrolysis with extended stor- age) poses a more immediate risk. Nonetheless, there is general agreement in the pub- lic sector that early destruction of the stockpile is a proper objective. While the public insists on protection during disposal operations, differences of opinion exist among public stakeholders on the particulars of how prompt, safe destruction can best be achieved for ex- ample, should there be onsite or offsite disposal of sec- ondary wastes from disposal facilities? If the stockpiles were completely dormant, the public would probably consider that time invested in the study of ever safer processes was justified. However, the discovery of leakers and the uncertainty surrounding autoignition of rockets have strengthened some residents' insistence on disposing of the stockpile as rapidly as possible. In parallel with the planning, construction, and op- eration of stockpile disposal facilities, the Army has funded the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Prepared- ness Program (CSEPP). This program to prepare the communities surrounding each site for the agent dis- posal operations has been a significant component of the cost of the CSDP, which has a current life cycle cost estimate of $24 billion to complete disposal activi- ties at all storage sites. The emergency management plans and infrastructure that guide CSEPP preparations for disposal operations are applicable as well to unin- 45 tended releases of agent from storage areas as a conse- quence of accidents (e.g., autoignition) or natural oc- currences such as earthquakes or lightning strikes. As noted previously, the significant quantities of chemical munitions and bulk containers in the storage igloos at each site present greater risks to the general public than do the more limited quantities of agent that are being handled in disposal facilities at any given time (NRC, 1994a, 2002~. Regulatory officials have supported the concept of prompt destruction while requiring strict adherence to permit regulations. In most jurisdictions, the regula- tory requirements are clear and reasonable given the complexities that arise from legal requirements, public concerns, and political and activist pressures. SUMMARY The presence of anomalous items in the aging chemical stockpile is well documented. Anomalies contribute to the risk that the stockpile poses to the general public, the environment, and, especially, to workers. Since the stockpile was originally intended for use in battle, the impact of anomalous munitions on disposal operations was not anticipated, and in some cases the anomalies have necessitated substantial pro- cess and permit modification. Moreover, there is no assurance that all anomalies to be encountered before the entire stockpile has been destroyed have already been discovered. Available data do not clearly link stockpile degradation with age; however, autocatalysis could still emerge as an important and dangerous new condition affecting stockpile storage risk. Anomalies, especially leakers and the possibility of rocket auto- ignition, are of continuing concern to the general pub- lic, political leaders, regulatory officials, and several activist organizations. Continuing degradation of the stockpile involving various anomalous manifestations, both known and possibly yet to become apparent, will continue over the duration of the disposal program. The extent to which anomalies will be encountered is difficult to predict, although in some cases (e.g., solids content, gelling), estimates have been made. This situ- ation places a premium on the following activities: Regular testing, monitoring, and data recording and interpretation in a standardized mode; Detailed assessment of operational risks to work- ers using a HAZOPs analysis or QRA and devel-

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46 EFFECTS OF DEGRADED AGENT AND MUNITIONS ANOMALIES ON CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS . opment of procedures and training to safeguard workers associated with identifiable anomalous operations; Credible statistical analysis of improved data- bases to discover possible trends at the earliest possible time; Regular intersite communication through direct contact and the program's lessons-learned data- base to ensure that anomaly detection is made known as soon as possible to all concerned; Regular public advisories on demilitarization op- erations with as much information disclosure as can be permitted consistent with security con- cerns; and Sustained and systematic efforts to destroy the aging stockpile, with emphasis on attending to those munition types and anomalies that pose the greatest actual or potential risks.