sives are less powerful. On the other hand, using them also requires a detonation intensifier, a so-called intermediate detonator or booster, in the mechanism of the explosive device. Such boosters must be made from powerful explosives such as TNT, hexogen, octogen, and others.
This is necessary because the detonating fuse or blasting cap simply will not detonate the simplest explosives due to their low sensitivity. Therefore, terrorists use powerful explosives such as TNT, hexogen, and plastic explosives in order to achieve a compact and reliably functioning charge.
Thus, the first measures that would help to restrict their uncontrolled spread could be taken right at the factory. I will cite several examples of such possibilities:
One such example in Russia is the system for placing serial numbers on cartridges and other products including civilian explosives such as TNT with saltpeter 6ZhV, 79/31, and others.
The mining industry uses about a billion such cartridges annually in 32-, 36-, 45-, 60-, and 90-mm diameters. To limit the uncontrolled spread of these cartridges and related products, each cartridge is assigned an individual number and each blaster must sign for the cartridges he receives, with the numbers being recorded. Thus, if a numbered cartridge is found anywhere, its path can be traced along the entire “producer-consumer” chain, from its manufacture at a plant to a specific mine, warehouse, shift, and individual blaster. All potential sources of losses can therefore be discovered and eliminated.
To put this system into place, 32 special cartridge numbering and packing lines with a capacity of 200 cartridges per minute each were designed, manufactured, and put into operation. All Russian plants producing civilian explosives are equipped with such lines. This is an expensive undertaking, since it entails major costs, detailed accounting, and so forth. But with the introduction of this system in the 1980s, losses and thefts of explosives were reduced to a level of 10−6 of total output. Serial numbers are also placed on explosive blocks, boosters, et cetera.
A nationwide audit is also conducted regularly regarding the production and consumption of civilian explosives and associated detonating mechanisms. The audit begins with comparing orders from customer firms with inventory logs at the producing plants regarding shipments and utilization of these explosives.
Without a special permit issued on the basis of such an audit, these substances cannot be shipped to customers, stored, or used. The system stipulates strict accountability on the part of producers and consumers. Those providing incorrect information can be held legally responsible, and violations of these rules will lead to loss of licensure by consumers and producers alike.
One effective means of limiting the use of powerful explosives in mining is the shift to ammonia nitrate emulsion civilian explosives, which are manufactured at the place of use. This has become a basic method worldwide over the