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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant INTERIM DESIGN ASSESSMENT FOR THE Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Committee to Assess Designs for Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants Board on Army Science and Technology Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. W911NF-04-C-0045 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09698-7 Limited copies of this report are available from: Board on Army Science and Technology National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Room 940 Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3118 Additional copies are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Lockbox 285 Washington, DC 20055 (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant COMMITTEE TO ASSESS DESIGNS FOR PUEBLO AND BLUE GRASS CHEMICAL AGENT DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANTS ROBERT A. BEAUDET, Chair, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CHARLES BARTON, Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines JOAN B. BERKOWITZ, Farkas Berkowitz and Company, Washington, D.C. RUTH M. DOHERTY, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Maryland LAWRENCE E. EISELSTEIN, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Menlo Park, California HAROLD K. FORSEN, Bechtel Corporation (retired), Kirkland, Washington WILLARD C. GEKLER, PLG (retired), Los Alamitos, California CLAIR F. GILL, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. CHANDRA M. ROY, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Irvine, California KENNETH A. SMITH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MICHAEL K. STENSTROM, University of California, Los Angeles THOMAS WEBLER, Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, New Hampshire (member until March 22, 2005) Staff DONALD L. SIEBENALER, Study Director HARRISON T. PANNELLA, Senior Program Officer DETRA BODRICK-SHORTER, Senior Program Assistant JAMES C. MYSKA, Research Associate
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant BOARD ON ARMY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY JOHN E. MILLER, Chair, L3 Communications Corporation, Reston, Virginia HENRY J. HATCH, Vice Chair, Army Chief of Engineers (retired), Oakton, Virginia SETH BONDER, The Bonder Group, Ann Arbor, Michigan JOSEPH V. BRADDOCK, The Potomac Foundation, McLean, Virginia NORVAL L. BROOME, MITRE Corporation (retired), Suffolk, Virginia ROBERT L. CATTOI, Rockwell International (retired), Dallas, Texas DARRELL W. COLLIER, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (retired), Leander, Texas ALAN H. EPSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ROBERT R. EVERETT, MITRE Corporation (retired), New Seabury, Massachusetts PATRICK F. FLYNN, Cummins Engine Company, Inc. (retired), Columbus, Indiana WILLIAM R. GRAHAM, National Security Research, Inc., Arlington, Virginia PETER F. GREEN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor EDWARD J. HAUG, University of Iowa, Iowa City M. FREDERICK HAWTHORNE, University of California, Los Angeles CLARENCE W. KITCHENS, Science Applications International Corporation, Vienna, Virginia ROGER A. KRONE, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania JOHN W. LYONS, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (retired), Ellicott City, Maryland MALCOLM R. O’NEILL, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland EDWARD K. REEDY, Georgia Tech Research Institute (retired), Atlanta, Georgia DENNIS J. REIMER, DFI International, Washington, D.C. WALTER D. SINCOSKIE, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., Morristown, New Jersey JUDITH L. SWAIN, University of California, San Diego WILLIAM R. SWARTOUT, Institute for Creative Technologies, Marina del Rey, California EDWIN L. THOMAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge BARRY M. TROST, Stanford University, Stanford, California Staff BRUCE A. BRAUN, Director WILLIAM E. CAMPBELL, Manager, Program Operations CHRIS JONES, Financial Associate ROBERT J. LOVE, Senior Program Officer MARGARET NOVACK, Senior Program Officer HARRISON T. PANELLA, Senior Program Officer DONALD L. SIEBENALER, Senior Program Officer DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Preface For the last two decades, the U.S. Army has been engaged in destroying its aging stockpile of chemical agents and munitions, which are located at eight sites in the continental United States.1 Approximately 35 percent of the original stockpile of more than 30,000 tons of nerve and blister (mustard) agents has been destroyed to date. As a signatory to the international treaty known as the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was ratified by the international community on April 29, 1997, the United States had 10 years to destroy its stockpile, with an allowable extension of 5 additional years. The United States has acknowledged that it will require the 5 additional years or more to complete destruction operations. At four stockpile sites (Tooele, Utah; Umatilla, Oregon; Anniston, Alabama; and Pine Bluff, Arkansas), the destruction process is based on incineration. Two other sites have never had any assembled chemical weapons (i.e., munitions containing both energetic materials and chemical agent) but have chemical agents stored in bulk ton containers. The mustard agent at Aberdeen, Maryland, has now been completely destroyed by neutralization with hot water, though all the ton containers that contained the agent have not yet been decontaminated. Secondary treatment of the hydrolysate from Aberdeen was carried out at the DuPont Secure Environmental Treatment facility for industrial waste in Deepwater, New Jersey. The VX nerve agent at Newport, Indiana, will also be destroyed by neutralization, but with hot caustic. Destruction operations began there in May 2005. The Army is hoping to send the VX hydrolysate from Indiana to Deepwater as well, but some citizens and government agencies in states along the transportation route are opposing the transport of the hydrolysate. In 2003, at the request of the Program Manager for the U.S. Army’s Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (formerly, Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment) program, the National Research Council (NRC) formed its Committee to Assess Designs for Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants (ACWA Design Committee), tasking it to review and evaluate the initial and intermediate facility designs for the prospective pilot plants at Pueblo, Colorado, and Blue Grass, Kentucky. The committee’s first report, Interim Design Assessment for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant, was published in January 2005. Specifically, for the Blue Grass Army Depot, the Department of Defense chose hydrolysis (neutralization) followed by secondary treatment with super-critical water oxidation to destroy the chemical agents and energetic materials in the chemical munitions. The contract for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) design was awarded to the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team, which includes a group of subcontractors well experienced in chemical demilitarization matters. This interim report highlights the assessment that the ACWA Design Committee has made based on its 1 The Army completed destruction of munitions stored at a ninth site, on Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean, in November 2000.
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant review of data and information on the initial BGCAPP design and on some data on the intermediate design that were made available to it during drafting of the report. The committee received regular presentations on the design, members made site visits to locations where the testing and construction of equipment was under way, and selected members attended periodic design reviews given by the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team. Funding constraints delayed the further design of the secondary treatment process, supercritical water oxidation, until August 2005. Delivery of sufficiently detailed written information concerning the initial design for the Blue Grass facility was complicated and delayed by the security concerns that arose after September 11, 2001. The new security requirements were not entirely compatible with existing NRC policies. The sponsor and the NRC continue to work to resolve security concerns and to establish effective procedures for the timely acquisition of data and information. The committee is indebted to both the Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives and the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team for their candor and cooperation during the committee’s data-gathering sessions and resultant discussions. Appreciation is extended to Joseph Novad and Yu-Chu Yang from the Army Program Office and to Chris Haynes, Chris Midgett, and John Ursillo from the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team, who were the committee’s primary points of contact during this study. Fortunately for the members of this committee, all of whom are volunteers, the NRC provided extensive logistics support. The committee is indebted to the NRC staff for their assistance, particularly to the study director for this report, Donald L. Siebenaler, to Harrison T. Pannella, who helped to organize and edit the report, and to James Myska and Detra Bodrick-Shorter, who provided much technical and administrative assistance throughout the study. Robert A. Beaudet, Chair Committee to Assess Designs for Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Judith A. Bradbury, Battelle, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence B. Evans, Aspen Technology, Inc., L. Louis Hegedus, Arkema Inc., Frederick J. Krambeck, ReacTech Inc., Ronald M. Latanision, Exponent, Inc., Dan Luss, University of Houston, Richard S. Magee, Carmagen Engineering, Inc., James F. Mathis, Exxon Corporation (retired), Raymond R. McGuire, Consultant, Douglas Medville, MITRE (retired), George W. Parshall, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (retired), Carl R. Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (retired), and John A. Sanchez, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Hyla S. Napadensky, Napadensky Energetics, Inc. (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 Background, 7 Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives Program, 7 Involvement of the National Research Council in the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives Program, 8 Statement of Task, 8 Description of the Blue Grass Chemical Munitions Stockpile, 8 Design Strategy for BGCAPP, 10 Scope of the Report, 12 Brief Description of the BGCAPP Process, 12 Unpack Area, 13 M55 Rocket Processing, 13 Projectile Processing, 13 Agent Neutralization, 13 Energetics Treatment, 13 Offgas Treatment Systems, 13 Integrated Operation and Throughput Management, 14 Permitting Considerations and Public Acceptability, 16 Regulatory Permitting Activities, 16 Public Participation Outside the Formal Permitting Processes, 17 Organization of the Report, 18 2 TECHNICAL RISK ASSESSMENT ISSUES 19 3 DELIVERY AND DISASSEMBLY OPERATIONS 26 On-site Munition Transportation, 26 Transport from Igloos to Unpack Area, 26 Unpacking Projectiles Without Bursters, 28 Accessing of Agent and Energetics in GB and VX M55 Rockets, 29 Accessing of Energetics in Projectiles, 32 Accessing of Agent in Projectiles by Munitions Washout System, 33
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant 4 CORE PROCESSES FOR AGENT AND ENERGETICS DESTRUCTION 34 Agent Hydrolysis, 34 Agent Hydrolysis Chemistry, 34 Agent Collection System, 35 Agent Neutralization System, 35 Analysis Issues Concerning Agent Destruction Removal Efficiency, 37 Potential Contamination of Mustard Agent with Mercury, 38 Energetics Hydrolysis, 38 Energetics Hydrolysis Chemistry, 38 EBH Input Streams, 41 Energetics Process Flow, 41 Energetics Offgas Treatment System, 45 5 TREATMENT OF HYDROLYSATES AND RESIDUAL WASTES 48 Supercritical Water Oxidation, 48 Basic Principles, 48 SCWO Reactor Design for BGCAPP, 50 SCWO Reactor Testing, 52 Dunnage Particulate Emission Control System, 54 Metal Parts Treater, 54 MPT Offgas Treatment System, 54 Heated Discharge Conveyor, 56 Secondary Wastes, 56 6 GENERAL FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 58 REFERENCES 60 APPENDIXES A Summary Responsibilities of Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team Members 65 B Diagrams of Chemical Munitions at Blue Grass Army Depot 66 C Information on Current Composition of Levenstein Mustard Agent at Blue Grass Army Depot 68 D Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 74 E Committee Meetings and Site Visits 77
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Tables and Figures TABLES 1-1 Physical Properties of the Pure Forms of Chemical Agents at BGAD, 9 1-2 Description of the Chemical Weapons in the BGAD Stockpile, 10 1-3 BGCAPP Process Wastes, 11 1-4 BGCAPP Secondary Wastes, 11 1-5 Overall BGCAPP Train Availability, Including Facility Shutdown, 15 1-6 Average Processing Rates, Including Train Availability, 15 2-1 Probability, Consequence, and Risk Weighting Factors for BGCAPP Design-Build Plan Technical Risk Assessment, 20 2-2 Summary of Technical Risk Reduction Projects for BGCAPP as of February 15, 2005, 21 4-1 Agent Neutralization Parameters, 37 4-2 Energetic Materials in BGAD Chemical Munitions, 40 4-3 EBH Processing Cycle Sequence for M55 Rocket Parts, 43 5-1 Treatment Methods for Different Waste Stream Materials During Normal Disposal Campaigns and Closure, 49 5-2 Rates of Feed to SCWO Reactor During Test Runs, 52 5-3 General Types of BGCAPP Secondary Wastes to Be Managed, 57 C-1 Composition of Liquid H (Levenstein Mustard), 16-42 wt% (Average = 31 wt%) of Agent Fill in the 10 155-mm H Projectiles Tested During Munitions Washout System Testing, 69 C-2 Composition of H Heels, 58-84 wt% (Average = 69 wt%) of Agent Fill in the 10 155-mm Projectiles Tested During Munitions Washout System Testing, 70 C-3 Liquid Chromatography–Electrospray Ionization–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of 14 Solid H Samples, 72 C-4 Liquid Chromatography–Electrospray Ionization–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Solids (Filtered from Liquid H Samples), 73 C-5 Estimated Total Iron Contents in Liquid and Solid Phases of H Mustard Agent Fill in 155-mm Projectiles, 73
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant FIGURES ES-1 Block flow diagram for BGCAPP, 3 1-1 Block flow diagram for BGCAPP, 13 3-1 Rocket and projectile disassembly flow diagram, 27 3-2 Cut points for RSM cutting of M55 rockets, 30 3-3 Detail drawing showing planned BGCAPP RSM Cut 4 of M55 rockets, 30 4-1 Flow diagram for the agent neutralization system, 36 4-2 Drawing of EBH design for BGCAPP, 39 4-3 Peak VX EBH processing cycle, 42 4-4 Flow diagram for OTE system, 46 5-1 Flow diagram for OTM system, 55 A-1 Responsibilities of the members of the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team, 65 B-1 Schematic drawing and specifications for M55 rocket, 66 B-2 Schematic drawing and specifications for 155-mm projectile, 67 B-3 Schematic drawing and specifications for 8-inch projectile, 67
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant Acronyms ACS agent collection system ACWA Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives2 AEL airborne exposure limit AFS aluminum filtration system ANR agent neutralization reactor ANS agent neutralization system ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers BGAD Blue Grass Army Depot BGCAPP Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant BGCSOO Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office CAC Citizens’ Advisory Commission CAM cavity access machine CDCAB Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board CF caustic fill CHB container handling building DBP design-build plan DPE demilitarization protective ensemble DSH dunnage shredding and handling EBH energetics batch hydrolyzer ECR explosion containment room ECV explosion containment vestibule EIS environmental impact statement ENR energetics neutralization reactor EONC enhanced on-site container GB nerve agent (Sarin) H Levenstein mustard agent HD distilled mustard agent HDC heated discharge conveyor HT mustard agent containing mustard-T HVAC heating, ventilation, and air conditioning IPT integrated product team KDEP Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection LPMD linear projectile/mortar disassembly (machine) LSS life support system MCE maximum credible event MDB munitions demilitarization building MPT metal parts treater MWS munitions washout system 2 Formerly the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment program.
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Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant NCR nose cone removal (machine) NOI notice of intent NRC National Research Council OTE energetics offgas treatment OTM MPT offgas treatment PCAPP Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant PCD Pueblo Chemical Depot PMACWA Program Manager, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives RD&D research, development, and demonstration RFP request for proposal RM rocket motors ROD Record of Decision RSM rocket shear machine SCWO supercritical water oxidation SSMP System Safety Analysis Management Program T bis[2-(2-chloroethylthio)ethyl] ether TMA toxic maintenance area TRA technical risk assessment TRRP technical risk reduction project UL unload liquids UPA unpack area US unload solids VX nerve agent WH warhead WRS water recovery system