Click for next page ( 11


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 10
1 Background and Overview Since World War I, the United States has maintained an extensive array of weapons containing chemical agents. To- day, as a result of the United States' decision to sign and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),~ the long- term storage of aging chemical warfare materiel (CWM) is no longer allowed. Also, the public is concerned about the risks associated with the long-term storage of CWM. Conse- quently, the United States and other signatories of the CWC are in the process of destroying all declared2 CWM by the treaty deadline of April 29, 2007.3 U.S. law and international treaties have divided CWM into two categories: "stockpile" and "non-stockpile." Stock- pile materiel includes all chemical agents available for use on the battlefield, including chemical agents assembled into weapons and in bulk ton containers. Stockpile materiel is stored at eight locations in the United States. Non-stockpile materiel is a diverse category that includes all other chemical weapon-related items.4 Much of this ma- iFormally, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Pro- duction, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction. The treaty was signed by the United States on January 13, 1993, and ratified by the U.S. Congress on Apnl 25, 1997. The CWC specifies the time period within which covered categories of Chemical Warfare Matenel (CWM) must be destroyed. 2CWM that remains buried is not subject to the treaty. Once the CWM has been recovered and charactenzed, it must be declared under the CWC and then be destroyed as soon as possible. 3Under the CWC, countries may apply for an extension of the deadline of up to 5 years. Late in the report review process, the Army announced that the U.S. would not meet the 45 percent chemical weapons stockpile destruction deadline of Apnl 29, 2004, and requested an extension of the deadline until December 2007 (DoD, 2003). However, the Product Manager for Non-Stock- pile Chemical Matenel has stated that the non-stockpile program intends to meet the Apnl 29,2007, deadline. Even if the non-stockpile destruction dead- line were extended, the schedule for construction of the Pine Bluff Non- Stockpile Facility would be relatively tight. However, for this report, the committee assumed that Apnl 29, 2007, is the official deadline. 4The category includes buried chemical warfare materiel, recovered chemical warfare materiel, binary chemical weapons, former production facilities, and miscellaneous chemical warfare matenel. 10 teriel was buried on current and former military sites but is now being recovered as the land is remediated. Some CWM also is buried at current and former test and firing ranges. Recovered chemical weapons materiel (RCWM) is now stored at several military installations across the United States. According to the CWC, non-stockpile CWM items in storage at the time of treaty ratification in April 1997 must be destroyed within 2, 5, or 10 years, depending on the type of chemical weapon and the type of agent. Non-stockpile CWM recovered after treaty ratification must be declared under the CWC and destroyed "as soon as possible" (U.S. Army, 2001a). Generally, non-stockpile items that are re- covered have been transported to the nearest stockpile site for safe storage.5 THE NON-STOCKPILE CHEMICAL MATERIEL DISPOSAL PROGRAM Before 1991, the U.S. effort to dispose of CWM was lim- ited to stockpile materiel. The Defense Appropriations Act of 1991 directed the Secretary of Defense to establish the Product Manager for Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel (PMNS CM) with responsibility for the destruction of non- stockpile CWM. The Pine Bluff Arsenal Non-Stockpile Inventory About 85 percent of the non-stockpile materiel in the United States is stored at the Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) in Arkansas, which is also a stockpile storage sited About 5An exception is recovered chemical agent identification sets, which contain small quantities of chemical agents and militarized industrial chemi- cals, used for training purposes. These are sometimes stored at the site where they are recovered. 6The Army is building a version of its baseline incineration system at PEA to destroy the stockpile materiel stored there. However, due to regula- tory and schedule issues, as well as public opposition, the stockpile incin-

OCR for page 10
BA CKGRO UND AND OVERVIEW FIGURE 1-1 Diagram of the 4.2-in. mortar cartridge. SOURCE: U.S. Army (2003a). 97 percent of this materiel was either recovered from excavated burial pits on the PBA site or has always been in storage at the site; the other 3 percent was transported from other sites around the country. Table 1-1 presents the most current information available to the committee regarding the numbers, types of agent fills, and explosive configurations of recovered items currently stored at PBA. Recoverecl Munitions at the Pine Bluff Arsenal This report is concerned with the facilities and operations that will destroy the first item category in Table 1 - 1 recov- ered munitions. These 1,200-plus recovered munitions are the most problematic items in storage at PBA because (1) they contain full or residual amounts of agent and (2) nearly all of them also contain energetic materials whose stability may have deteriorated over time. Most of these are either 4.2-in. mortars containing sulfur mustard agent or 15-cm orator is not available for use in destroying the non-stockpile CWM stored at PBA, except perhaps for special cases in which the non-stockpile agent is identical to the stockpile agent being destroyed in a particular campaign and the non-stockpile vessel or munition is easily accommodated by the processing equipment of the baseline incineration system. German Traktor rockets (GTRs) containing a variety of fills, including nitrogen mustard agent and arsenical-based fills.7 A diagram of the 4.2-in. mortar round is shown in Figure 1-1. The round is 21 in. long with fuze and 4.19 in. in diam- eter. The overall weight with mustard agent fill is approxi- mately 23 lb, including approximately 6 lb of agent. The burster extends the length of the body cavity and contains 0.73 lb of tetryl (U.S. Army, 1998~. A diagram of the 15-cm GTR is shown in Figure 1-2. The rocket motor is at the head of the projectile, with the rear section, which contains the chemical fill, threaded to the motor section. If the rockets are in good condition, the motor and fill sections can be easily separated with the proper tools. The intact rocket head (motor) contains seven sticks of pro- pellant powder weighing 2 lb each. The chemical constitu- ents of the propellant are 62.5 percent nitrocellulose,33 per- cent nitroglycerine, and 4.5 percent other fillers. The total length of a GTR is 40 in., and the diameter is 6.2 in. The 7The arsenical fills appear to be mixtures of diphenylchloroarsine (DA), phenyldichloroarsine (PD), and small amounts of triphenylarsine (TPA). DA is classified as a vomiting agent (nonlethal) and is not covered by the CWC; PD is a blistering and vomiting agent, and it is not yet clear how it will be classified under the CWC or how the Army will dispose of it.

OCR for page 10
2 ASSESSMENT OF THE ARMY PLAN FOR THE PINE BLUFF NON-STOCKPILE FACILITY TABLE 1-1 Inventory of Non-Stockpile Items at the Pine Bluff Arsenal No. Containing a Chemical(s) No. H/HD/ Total No. Item Empty HN/HS/HT GA/GB/GD VX DM/L CG/CK DF QL Other Unknown of Items Chemical sample containers Ton container 2b 2b 4-in. cylinder lb lb Lab sample container 2b 2b Vial (L) lb lb Subtotal 1 b 2b 2b 1 b 6b Chemical agent ID set (CAIS) Mustard (H/HD/HS) 5,764b 5 764b Nitrogen mustard 50b ~ 50b (MN-1 and-3) Lewisite (L) 397b 397b Chloropicrin (PS) 396b 396b Phosgene (CG) 396b 396b Chloroacetophenone l7b l7b (CN) Adamsite (DM) 1 7b 1 7b Triphosgene (TP) 1 7b 1 7b Cyanogen chloride 33b 33b (CK) Diethyl malonate, etc. 33b 33b (GS) Subtotal 5,814b 4l4b 429b 463b 7,120b Binary agent precursor M20 56,820b 56,820b Drum 7b 293b 300b Box, container, can 3b 3b Subtotal 56,827b 296b 57,123b Empty ton container~ 4,375b 4,375b Total 873a 6,146a 2b 2b 4,789b 433b 56,827b 296b 463b 37a 69,868a NOTE: Items in the sha~d area represent the inventory to be disposed of at PBNSF. aData from Verrill and Salcedo (2001). bProvided to the Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Disposal Program by the Product Manager for Non- Stockpile Chemical Materiel on July 10, 2001. CInventory consists of individual CAIS items, not complete CAISs. ~Sampling of some of these containers indicated that they may be contaminated with lewisite, arsenic, and/or mercury.

OCR for page 10
BA CKGRO UND AND OVERVIEW ~~ chew .4 c~n ~ 7 Ome ~ `.~.~w stenciled ~ 'I ~ ~ volume ~`r,~ of- ~ ~ Prearm ~3 S L'U;~e Bt l'StCF Large it,.. ~ opera t ease Act ca~ I FililnO 'jfel-,lUr' Charge FIGURE 1-2 Diagram of the 15-cm German Traktor rocket (drawing not to scale). SOURCE: U.S. Army (2003a). Overall weight is 79 lb, including 7 to 10 lb of chemical fill, depending on fill type. The burster tube, which is threaded into the aft end, contains 3.4 lb of a mixture of pentaerythritol tetranitrate/wax (95/5) and picric acid (U.S. Army, 1998~. The remainder of the recovered munitions in the PBA non-stockpile inventory are small numbers of M70 bombs, 200-mm Livens projectiles, and 155-mm, 105-mm, and 75- mm projectiles. Significantly, many of the rounds at PBA are believed to be empty of chemical fill, and fewer than half of the items are believed to contain energetics. Munitions that are empty of fill or energetics can be processed more quickly. Only 36 of the 477 GTRs contain propellant, and these GTRs with intact motors are considered to be the biggest challenge for disposal.8 (Various sources cited slightly differing numbers of GTRs in submissions and presentations to the committee, in part because the number of such rockets that need to be destroyed has changed over time. For example, seven rock- ets were utilized in testing access and decoupling technolo- ~William Brarlkowitz, Deputy Product Manager, Non-Stockpile Chemi- cal Matenel Product, "Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Product Over- view," beefing to the committee on March 19, 2003. 13 gies, so 470 rockets are now available, but 477 were on the original inventory.) Other Non-Stockpile Items at the Pine BluffArsenal Numerically, the largest number of items (about 57,000) listed in Table 1-1 are the binary agent precursor canisters and drums. The Army plans to destroy these precursors by water hydrolysis using a building and equipment left over from the integrated binary former production facility at PBA, with secondary wastes to be sent off-site for posttreatment at a commercial treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). Binary precursors will not be discussed further in this report. Over 7,000 chemical agent identification set (CAIS) items are stored at PBA; these are for the most part individual vials or bottles of training materials rather than complete CAIS sets. They are to be characterized and then destroyed by chemical oxidation or hydrolysis in the Rapid Response Sys- tem (RRS), a mobile glove box that was used successfully to destroy CAIS stored at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah and at Fort Richardson, Alaska. The neutralized wastes will be sent off-site to a commercial TSDF for disposal. The de- struction of CAIS in the RRS was reviewed in an earlier

OCR for page 10
14 National Research Council report (NRC, 1999) and is not discussed further here. Over 4,000 "empty" ton containers are stored at PBA, some of which may be contaminated with lewisite, arsenic, and/or mercury. These will be decontaminated and subjected to a cut-and-clean operation at PBA, with secondary wastes to be sent off-site for posttreatment at a commercial TSDF. The empty ton containers will not be discussed further in this report. Table 1-1 lists six "chemical sample" containers of vari- ous sizes and containing several different chemical fills. Those containing the nerve agents sarin (GB) or VX may be destroyed by the baseline incineration facility at PBA. The 4-in. cylinder containing mustard agent and the vial contain- ing lewisite could be destroyed either in the Pine Bluff Non- Stockpile Facility (PBNSF) or the explosive destruction sys- tem (EDS) (see below). The disposal of the chemical samples will not be addressed further in this report. Systems for Assessment and Destruction of Non-Stockpile Chemical Weapons Materiel at the Pine Bluff Arsenal The Army plans to construct and operate a mix of fixed and mobile systems for assessment and destruction of the PBA non-stockpile inventory. These systems are described briefly below. Figure 1-3 is a flow chart summarizing the disposition of RCWM at PBA. The dotted box highlights the operations that are the primary focus of this report. The Pine Bluff Munitions Assessment System RCWM at PBA are currently stored in 30- to 85-gallon drum overpacks in four igloos at PBA. About 10 percent of the RCWM items are singly overpacked, and these have been assessed by both x-ray and portable isotopic neutron spec- troscopy systems.9 The other 90 percent of the RCWM items is stored at up to 15 items per drum and has been assessed only by x-ray (Figure 1-4~. Using these techniques, explo- sive ordnance disposal representatives from the Army Tech- nical Escort Unit determined the transportation status of each drum and assigned it to one of three categories. Green drums can be safely transported from their storage site to the Pine Bluff Munitions Assessment System (PBMAS). Yellow drums are those whose explosive train status could not be positively determined to be safe and that therefore require special handling during movement. Red drums denote muni- tions whose fuze or explosive train status is determined to pose a hazard for transporting and that therefore require spe- cial handling during transport (Verrill and Salcedo, 2001~. 9Portable isotopic neutron spectroscopy systems spectra contain scatter- ing peaks that indicate the presence of heavy atoms in the fill (e.g., chlorine and arsenic) that are diagnostic of a particular fill. ASSESSMENT OF THE ARMY PLAN FOR THE PINE BLUFF NON-STOCKPILE FACILITY , ~ WE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ / I: ::/ : 1':~ jig Yes ~: 1~ A~cess~d ... . . lileUtr;?li~in EDS ~ ~ . Juno .~ ~ ,rri~ kiwi .1~ : 9 F .r . ~~ ~A00665 :3lrld ~ . ~ . . it Neutralize in ~ P~B~LI~SF ~ At PBA '~ . ~ . .~ ~ . E: ~~ . .t . ~ :~ ~ ~ ~ E ~ ~: :AtTEDF if: . E ~ : . ~ ~ ~~ ~~ L ~ ~ L l~ ~ r E I' 'it : .[ :: ~ I~ ~ ~ It ~ : ~ Process RRS: ~~ Poems P:~SI1F ~ ~Pror~s EDS: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .r waste ~ :~f~ste ~ waste: ~ E : *A ~~0!:-~PW ~~ -~ 2[ L ~ . , rem ~' Ir ~ Ir ~ ~ :: : :: i: : : ::: i: ~ : O~ff~ite~ Tre;atmer~ttDispos;31 of ::Secon~;ary Waste: ~transport? j~~ = : = FIGURE 1-3 Flow chart for the disposition of RCWM at PBA. NOTE: Operations in the dashed box are the focus of this report. The PBMAS will be made up of a series of interconnected steel rooms co-located with the larger PBNSF (see below) and having specialized equipment for warming the drums, opening them, removing the individual munitions, assessing their contents, and repackaging them individually. The as- sessment will be made by x-ray and portable isotopic neu- tron spectroscopy systems. The individually packaged and characterized munitions will then be distributed to the vari- ous destruction systems for NSCM at PBA, as illustrated in Figure 1-3. PBMAS is expected to be operational between June 2004 and June 2005, about 2 years before PBNSF is to become operational (June 2006 through March 2007~. The Pine Bluff Non-Stockpile Facility Munitions that are assessed by PBMAS as safe to trans- port will be destroyed in the PBNSF. The current design of this facility is the main focus of this report and is discussed in detail in subsequent chapters. Briefly, munitions contain- ing energetics will be drilled and drained in an explosive containment chamber, and the fill will be piped to a reactor, where it will be chemically neutralized. Nonexplosive 4.2-in.

OCR for page 10
BA CKGRO UND AND OVERVIEW ... FIGURE 1-4 X-ray of 85-gal drum containing eight German Traktor rockets. SOURCE: Verrill and Salcedo (2001~. mortars and GTR warheads that are nonexplosive will be accessed at a projectile washout system, where a liquid jet will rinse the fill contents out of the munition body. Follow- ing overnight soaking in a heel-dissolvingi tank, munition bodies containing energetics will be detonated in a detona- tion chamber, and those without energetics will be cut prior to final surface decontamination. Liquid wastes will be sent to a commercial TSDF for posttreatment, by an alternative treatment technology if feasible or by incineration (NRC, 2002a). Solid wastes will be further treated as required by regulation and subsequently disposed of or recycled. PBNSF is being designed to process 10 RCWM items per shift. Explosive Destruction System Munitions that are judged unsafe to transport (e.g., fuzed and armed, or unstable due to degradation) will be destroyed in an EDS operated in tandem with PBMAS. EDS mobile units, which utilize explosive accessing to open the munition and detonate the energetics, followed by chemical neutral- ization of the fill, were successfully used to destroy RCWM at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado; Camp Sibert, Ala- bama; and Spring Valley, Washington, D.C.~i Secondary iA heel is solid or semisolid residue found in some stored munitions and containers. ~ William Brankowitz, Deputy Product Manager, Non-Stockpile Chemi- cal Matenel Product, "Non-Stockpile Chemical Matenel Product Program Status Update," beefing to the committee on June 12, 2003. 15 waste streams from the EDS will be sent off-site to a com- mercial TSDF for posttreatment. There are two sizes of EDS. The smaller EDS Phase 1 (EDS-1) is available for destroying munitions containing less than 1 lb trinitrotoluene-equivalent energetics. A larger EDS Phase 2 (EDS-2) is undergoing testing; it is designed to de- stroy munitions containing up to 3 lb trinitrotoluene-equiva- lent energetics. The EDS and its waste streams were dis- cussed in a previous National Research Council report (NRC, 2001a). Other Technologies A review of other mobile treatment systems, including the RRS, the Single CAIS Accessing and Neutralization System, and the Donovan Blast Chamber, was undertaken in Systems and Technologies for the Treatment of Non- Stockpile Chemical Warfare Materiel (NRC, 2002a). Further review of these systems is beyond the scope of this report. Management of Seconclary Waste Streams Secondary waste streams from PBNSF will include liq- uid wastes such as effluent from the agent neutralization pro- cess, rinsate, and decontamination solution as well as solid wastes such as spent carbon filters, munition bodies, and workers' protective suits. The Army does not intend to posttreat these secondary wastes on-site but will send them instead to a commercial TSDF for treatment and final dis- posal or recycling (U.S. Army, 2002b). Typically, a TSDF would destroy these materials in a high-temperature incinerator; however, in recent years there has been growing public opposition to incineration in gen- eral and incineration of CWM in particular. Therefore, the PMNSCM has invested considerable resources in testing a variety of alternative (nonincineration) technologies for post- treatment of non-stockpile waste streams (NRC, 2001b). If an alternative technology proves effective in treating these wastes, is economically attractive, and can receive regula- tory approval and permitting in a timely way, the Army plans to fund the construction and permitting of such facilities at the TSDF receiving the waste. If no alternative technology proves feasible, the Army plans to proceed with incineration of these wastes at the TSDF. SCOPE OF THIS REPORT The statement of task (see Preface) makes it clear that the committee's focus is to be PBNSF rather than other non- stockpile destruction systems at PBA. Nonetheless, some is- sues surrounding the operation of ancillary facilities such as the PBMAS, the RRS, and the EDS have a bearing on the plans for PBNSF and, as such, are discussed. The committee has also addressed some issues pertaining to the Army's plans for off-site treatment of secondary wastes. Issues relat-

OCR for page 10
16 ing to other non-stockpile activities at PBA, such as destruc- tion of the binary precursor agents DF and QL, destruction of the former binary agent production facility, and the empty ton container cut-and-clean operations, are beyond the scope of the study. Two nontechnical issues are expected to strongly affect the operational schedule for PBNSF: (1) regulatory approval and permitting and (2) addressing the concerns of affected interest groups. Because the committee believes that the han- dling of these issues will directly affect the ability of PBNSF to accomplish its mission of destroying NSCM at PBA by April 2007, they are reviewed here. COMMITTEE APPROACH As this study began, the engineering design for PBNSF was still evolving. In fact, during the information-gathering phase of the study, the committee had access to only 35 per- cent of the facility design. At that stage, the gross facility fea- tures, treatment technologies, and major equipment to be used were specified, but some basic design matters were unre- solved. These include the design basis for the internal pres- sure that the building must resist, the agent and explosive con- figuration of the 4.2-in. mortar rounds, and the operational requirements for the explosive containment chamber and the projectile washout system units. All of these matters impact the finalization of the piping and instrumentation diagrams, the structural design, and the detailed design of the facility. Since the final design of PBNSF remained unclear and data- collection activities were to end on August 1, 2003, the com- ASSESSMENT OF THE ARMY PLAN FOR THE PINE BLUFF NON-STOCKPILE FACILITY mittee believed that it could best contribute by addressing the significant issues that needed to be considered as the final engineering design was being prepared. As noted above, the committee believes that nontechni- cal issues namely, regulatory approval and permitting and public involvement will be as important as the technical issues in determining whether PBNSF will achieve its mis- sion by the April 2007 CWC deadline. The committee at- tended local meetings of the affected public and examined the Army's plans for involving the public. It also partici- pated in a conference call with regulators from the Arkan- sas Department of Environmental Quality. This report therefore contains both technical and nontechnical findings and recommendations. STRUCTURE OF THIS REPORT Chapter 2 describes the building and site layouts of PBNSF as they were presented to the committee at the time this report was being prepared. It examines the processes that will be used to destroy RCWM at PBNSF, the details of their integration, and the Army's planned schedule of opera- tions. The facility plans for protecting workers, the public, and the environment during PBNSF operations and closure are explored in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, the committee evalu- ates the Army's plans for managing the waste streams from PBNSF. Chapter 5 examines key regulatory and public in- volvement issues. In Chapter 6, the committee presents al- ternative approaches to the destruction of non-stockpile chemical materiel stored at PBA.