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Introduction

The disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile has been a major undertaking of the Army under a 1985 mandate from Congress (Public Law 99-145). This stockpile contained approximately 30,000 tons of chemical nerve agents GB or VX, and several forms of mustard agent. These agents were contained in about 3 million munitions of various types, as well as in bulk storage containers.

There were nine chemical stockpile storage sites at the start of the program. Eight were located in the continental United States and one was on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Hawaii. By Act of Congress, no stockpile was to be relocated (Public Law 103-337). Consequently, nine chemical agent disposal facilities were to be built contiguous to the stockpile storage sites. The locations, types, and percentage of stockpiled agent, and the range of munitions and containers that were stored at each of these stockpile sites, are shown in Figure 1-1.

Since 1984, the National Research Council (NRC) has provided scientific and technical guidance to the Army on important aspects of the stockpile disposal plans and programs with an overarching goal of safe and expeditious implementation of stockpile destruction. This guidance has taken the form of approximately 50 reports to date.

Initially, incineration (combustion) was selected as the destruction process of choice. But in the early 1990s, Congress required the Army to evaluate alternative, noncombustion technologies and utilize them if they were as safe and cost-effective as incineration (Public Law 102-484). At that time, all but four of the disposal facilities were either constructed or in design, with one facility, the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), in operation.1

Two basic processes are used in the disposal program: incineration and chemical neutralization. Five facilities employed incineration: Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), Tooele (Utah) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), Anniston (Alabama) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF), Umatilla (Oregon) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF), and Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF). These all had a mix of agent and weapons in the related stockpile. The two storage sites at Newport Chemical Depot (Indiana), and at the Edgewood Chemical Activity at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, stored nerve agent VX and mustard agent, respectively. The agent was stored only in bulk ton containers at these sites. The disposal facilities constructed at these two sites—namely, the Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (NECDF) and the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF)—used chemical neutralization. The final two facilities, at Pueblo (Colorado) and Blue Grass (Kentucky), are under design and construction. To destroy the agent and meet the international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty requirement for complete destruction of the agent and first-stage degradation products, neutralization followed

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The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), the U.S. Army’s first full-scale chemical weapons disposal facility, completed its mission in 2000. Available online at http://www.cma.army.mil/johnston.aspx.



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1 introduction The disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile disposal facilities were either constructed or in design, has been a major undertaking of the Army under a with one facility, the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), in operation.1 1985 mandate from Congress (Public Law 99-145). This stockpile contained approximately 30,000 tons of Two basic processes are used in the disposal program: chemical nerve agents GB or Vx, and several forms of incineration and chemical neutralization. Five facilities mustard agent. These agents were contained in about 3 employed incineration: Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent million munitions of various types, as well as in bulk Disposal System (JACADS), Tooele (Utah) Chemical storage containers. Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), Anniston (Alabama) There were nine chemical stockpile storage sites at Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF), Umatilla the start of the program. Eight were located in the con- (Oregon) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF), tinental United States and one was on Johnston Atoll and Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Chemical Agent Disposal in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Hawaii. By Act of Facility (PBCDF). These all had a mix of agent and Congress, no stockpile was to be relocated (Public Law weapons in the related stockpile. The two storage 103-337). Consequently, nine chemical agent disposal sites at Newport Chemical Depot (Indiana), and at the facilities were to be built contiguous to the stockpile Edgewood Chemical Activity at the Aberdeen Proving storage sites. The locations, types, and percentage of Ground, Maryland, stored nerve agent Vx and mustard stockpiled agent, and the range of munitions and con- agent, respectively. The agent was stored only in bulk tainers that were stored at each of these stockpile sites, ton containers at these sites. The disposal facilities con- are shown in Figure 1-1. structed at these two sites—namely, the Newport Chemi- Since 1984, the National Research Council (NRC) cal Agent Disposal Facility (NECDF) and the Aberdeen has provided scientific and technical guidance to the Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF)—used Army on important aspects of the stockpile disposal chemical neutralization. The final two facilities, at plans and programs with an overarching goal of safe Pueblo (Colorado) and Blue Grass (Kentucky), are under and expeditious implementation of stockpile destruc- design and construction. To destroy the agent and meet tion. This guidance has taken the form of approximately the international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty 50 reports to date. requirement for complete destruction of the agent and Initially, incineration (combustion) was selected first-stage degradation products, neutralization followed as the destruction process of choice. But in the early 1990s, Congress required the Army to evaluate alter- 1The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), native, noncombustion technologies and utilize them the U.S. Army’s first full-scale chemical weapons disposal facility, if they were as safe and cost-effective as incineration completed its mission in 2000. Available online at http://www.cma. (Public Law 102-484). At that time, all but four of the army.mil/johnston.aspx. 

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 REVIEW OF CLOSURE PLANS FOR THE BASELINE INCINERATION CHEMICAL AGENT DISPOSAL FACILITIES Newport Chemical Activity Umatilla Chemical VX -TC Depot (4.2%) HD-TC GB - P, R, B Edgewood VX - P, R, M, Chemical ST Activity (12.2%) HD - TC (5.3%) Deseret Chemical Depot Blue Grass H-P; HT - C, Chemical HD - C, TC Activity GB - C, P, R, B, TC HD - P VX - P, R, M,ST GB - P, R GA - TC VX - P, R (44.5%) (1.7%) Pueblo Depot Anniston Activity Chemical HD - C, P Activity Pine Bluff HT - C HD - C, P, TC Chemical Activity (8.5%) HT - C HD -TC GB - C, P, R HT - TC VX - P, R, M GA, GB, VX, H, HD, HT = Chemical agent GB - R (7.4%) VX - R, M TC = Ton container B = Bombs (12.6%) R = Rockets C = Cartridges M = Mines P = Projectiles ST = Spray Tanks FIGURE 1-1 Location and original size (percentage of original chemical agent stockpile) of eight continental U.S. storage sites. SOURCE: OTA, 1992. Figure 1-1 R01790 by biodegradation will be used in the case of Pueblo, and R01443 four baseline incineration facilities in the con- The copied from neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation editable vector typeStates—TOCDF, ANCDF, UMCDF, tinental United bitmapped map but in the case of Blue Grass. and PBCDF—are nearing the end of their missions. They will then go into closure operations in order to prepare the facility sites for future use. This report FaciliTies covered iN This rePorT addresses the issues and challenges that should be This report focuses on the four incineration or “base- focused on during the planning and the conducting line” facilities that are operating, as well as the Chemi- of closure operations for these facilities. The TOCDF cal Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS). was the first of these facilities to begin agent disposal Located at Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD) in Utah, operations in August 1996. At the time this study was CAMDS was a pilot facility for testing destruction initiated, it was thought that it would be the first of processes and equipment. Not included in the study are these facilities to close. The Army initially intended to ABCDF and the NECDF. These relatively small facili- use the closure plans for TOCDF as the programmatic ties have both completed their mission and have already closure plans and the basis for closure plans for the been dismantled. Regulatory closure of ABCDF and other three facilities. That no longer appears to be the NECDF has been completed. The destruction facilities case. It appears now that PBCDF will be the first of the for the Pueblo, Colorado, and Blue Grass, Kentucky, four facilities to undergo closure, with ANCDF most sites will be full-scale pilot plants. Their facility and likely to be the second facility closed. The committee process designs are completed, and the facilities are with the concurrence of the Army’s Chemical Materi- currently under construction under the auspices of als Agency (CMA), therefore, examined the available a separate DoD program, the Assembled Chemical information for all four baseline facilities and CAMDS Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program. These facili- and discussed closure plans with representatives from ties likewise are not addressed in this study. each of these facilities.

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 INTRODUCTION Whereas each facility has unique characteristics and operations. These covered decision making and proj- issues, many of the issues and challenges for closure ect planning, personnel retention, acquisition strategy will be the same for all of them.2 Thus, this report and procurement, cost control, monitoring, security, addresses the general challenges while also considering safety, and public involvement (NRC, 2002). The CMA the specific issues related to each facility. Throughout Closure Committee has reviewed the report for appli- this report, CAMDS is addressed as part of the baseline cability to the closure of the other baseline incineration group of facilities. facilities, and it has included these considerations in the The CAMDS facility, a research and development development of and recommendations in this report to pilot facility colocated with TOCDF at the Deseret the extent that this information is applicable to the cur- Chemical Depot, has been undergoing closure opera- rent facilities’ closure situations The 19 recommenda- tions for some time. Closure operations at CAMDS tions are still applicable. The lessons learned as a result were initially undertaken under a separate contract that of the JACADS closure operations are of equal import has been terminated. Responsibility for the closure of and provide valuable insights that are incorporated in CAMDS and the requisite operations transferred to this report and are being incorporated into the Army’s the operating contractor for TOCDF. The Committee closure planning activities. to Review and Assess Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical commiTTee leTTer rePorT Agent Munitions Disposal System (CMA Closure Committee) previously addressed the CAMDS clo- A team of the committee undertook a preliminary sure (see Appendix A for this committee’s initial letter evaluation of the program closure planning for the report). In this current report, CAMDS is considered a facilities using TOCDF and CAMDS closure planning part of TOCDF. documents and presentations from October to Decem- ber 2009. The report of that evaluation (Appendix A) provided a set of key parameters for successful closure Jacads closure against which development and subsequent execution CMA currently provides managerial leadership and of closure plans can be evaluated. These parameters are oversight of the chemical stockpile disposal activities. part of the basis of the present report, which examines A predecessor organization of the CMA, the Program the closure planning process and configurations for Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (PMCD), had each of the four baseline incineration chemical agent requested the NRC to undertake a study of the closure disposal facilities. The preliminary report addresses of JACADS. This request culminated in the issuance the CAMDS closure, which is ongoing. The findings of the report Closure and Johnston Atoll Chemical of the preliminary report are incorporated into the cur- Agent Disposal System (NRC, 2002). That study was rent full report. undertaken before any closure activities were begun at JACADS. It examined the planning for closure and sTaTemeNT oF TasK closure operations from late 1999 through early 2001. The report reviewed planning but did not review or The CMA Closure Committee was given the follow- assess actual demolition activities because no such ing statement of task: activities had been undertaken before the report was The NRC will form a committee to provide two reports. The finalized. first is an interim report assessing the following: The JACADS report provided the Army with 19 • Examine the current closure plans for TOCDF and recommendations to help in closure planning and CAMDS and make recommendations as required. • Recommend key parameters to assess an integrated ap- proach to common closure requirements. • Assess planning for compliance with unique regulatory 2Depending on the particular site, the planning for closure of the requirements of the State of Utah towards closure of the chemical agent disposal facilities that are the subject of this report two chemical disposal facilities. is designed to achieve Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) clean closure to either industrial or residential standards. Following the issuance of the interim TOCDF-CAMDS The facility closure process includes management of waste gener- closure report, the National Research Council will issue a ated during processing operations as well as management of surplus comprehensive report as follows: buildings and equipment.

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 REVIEW OF CLOSURE PLANS FOR THE BASELINE INCINERATION CHEMICAL AGENT DISPOSAL FACILITIES decommissioning and closure objectives, regulatory • Update the 2002 NRC report Closure and Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, as required. drivers, and expectations for future use. A brief discus- • Using the key parameters to assess an integrated approach sion of the status of the planning for each of the four to common closure requirements (as recommended in facilities is also presented, as is a summary of the avail- the interim TOCDF-CAMDS closure report), determine able and planned closure documents for each facility. applicable lessons learned from the closure of JACADS, It should be noted here that, as is discussed in more ABCDF, and the ongoing closure of NECDF for potential use during incineration facility closure. detail throughout the report, all four facilities present different challenges because the closure goals are in As described previously, at the time the committee some ways different for each facility. commenced its study activities, it became apparent to In Chapter 3, the committee identifies a series of key the members, and was acknowledged by CMA, that parameters along with associated metrics for overall closure planning for TOCDF—and to a lesser extent management of the current and upcoming closures. CAMDS—had not evolved to a point that would allow for These parameters and metrics are differentiated into detailed evaluation of those plans either for those facilities program- and project-level considerations and activi- or as models for the other sites. Therefore, the committee ties. It is left to the Army and its contractors to develop examined closure documents that were available from all a similar set of parameters and metrics applicable to four incineration facilities as well as applicable documents work at the task level. The relevance of using leading from ABCDF and NECDF. As a result, the committee’s indicators is discussed in view of the transition from focus, with the concurrence of the CMA Program Man- disposal operations to the new types of activities being ager, considered each of the four facilities, particularly undertaken as deconstruction becomes the central those that would be closing before TOCDF. activity. Chapter 4 examines the Army’s lessons learned process as it pertains to closure operations. The chapter The commiTTee’s aPProach also discusses the Army’s use of a more recent but key The committee focused its attention primarily on the management tool, the eRoom. The lessons learned pro- approach to closure planning by the Army and, where gram has, by the nature of activities to date, emphasized available, on the closure plans for those chemical agent operations and must for the next several years place disposal facilities that were currently expected to be equal emphasis on closure planning and eventually clo- the first to close and whose closure planning was the sure execution. The contractor-operated eRoom is an furthest evolved. These are PBCDF and ANCDF. At invaluable tool for viewing and obtaining detailed plans the time this report was prepared, it was anticipated and documents. Provided that accessibility is properly that PBCDF would be the first facility to begin closure structured, it can be a valuable aid in the closure plan- operations, followed by ANCDF and then, depend- ning process as well as being a useful tool for reviewing ing on the situation at the time, by either UMCDF or similar documents for consistency between sites. TOCDF. A summary of available and planned closure Chapter 5 examines regulatory issues and constraints documents for the facilities is found in Chapter 2. including general and site-specific Resource Conserva- tion and Recovery Act (RCRA) closure requirements, programmatic constraints, and installation-specific sTrucTure oF The rePorT constraints. These constraints are often facility specific This chapter summarizes the history of the Army’s and if not properly managed can be very time-consum- chemical stockpile disposal program and chemical ing and costly. agent disposal facilities. The first full-scale facility, Chapter 6 examines the monitoring and analytical JACADS, operated from 1986 until its closure in 2001. challenges that will be new and different from those Four second-generation facilities—TOCDF, ANCDF, experienced during the disposal operations phase of UMCDF, and PBCDF, constructed from 1989 through the facility. The role of the usual RCRA extractive 2005—are in various states of preparation for closure analysis testing of waste and the difficulty in using that in the 2013–2015 time frame. traditional methodology is discussed. The use of vapor In Chapter 2, the committee examines the overall screening as a monitoring tool that will be protective of closure planning for the four baseline incineration workers and the general public while allowing for effi- chemical agent disposal facilities, including facility cient deconstruction, or mass demolition, is evaluated

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 INTRODUCTION reFereNces in detail. The committee concerned itself primarily with the waste materials that have been or could have been in OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). 1992. Disposal of Chemical contact with agent during the life of the facility. Material Weapons: An Analysis of Alternatives to Incineration. Washington, not in those categories is discussed in an earlier report D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. NRC (National Research Council). 2002. Closure and Johnston Atoll on secondary waste (NRC, 2008). Waste of a general Chemical Agent Disposal System. Washington, D.C.: The National industrial or commercial nature can be managed as Academies Press. such waste materials are routinely handled. Therefore, NRC. 2008. Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants. Washington, the committee considered that it could not contribute D.C.: The National Academies Press. additional advice regarding their management. Throughout the report, findings and recommenda- tions follow the relevant discussion.