recoveries, and cleanup activities concerning non-stockpile CWM can be made more efficacious and effective.


The NSCMP is the key provider of services and equipment for CWM destruction, both planned and in response to emergencies. In planned response operations such as those in Spring Valley in Washington, D.C., and Camp Sibert in Alabama, NSCMP would normally operate under the direction of a project manager from the USACE. In emergency response operations, such as remediating the 75-mm chemical munitions discovered at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, it would operate under its own direction.

The NSCMP is responsible for managing all projects for the assessment and disposal of RCWM. Activities include identification of assessment and disposal costs, disbursement of funds for assessment and disposal, and preparation of project schedules. The NSCMP prepares the relevant documentation and obtains the approvals needed. The documents include the site plan, the site safety submission, the destruction plan, and the environmental permits. If a recovered munition is identified as a possible chemical fill, all information germane to that munition must be forwarded to the Materiel Assessment Review Board (MARB), which conducts an assessment of the munition to determine its chemical fill and explosive configuration. The NSCMP has responsibility for satisfying the obligations of the CWC.

NSCMP provides the equipment used for assessment, storage, and destruction of recovered munitions, and it has an active, ongoing program to improve this equipment and to develop new technologies.

In addition to the NSCMP, the MARB, and the USACE, other organizations are involved in hands-on aspects of remediation of buried CWM: the 20th Support Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Analytical and Remediation Activity (CARA); the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC); the U.S. Army Technical Center for Explosives Safety (USATCES); and the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB).


The committee’s other main responsibilities involved (1) the review of the technologies now in use for cleanup of CWM sites and identification of any deficiencies and (2) the development of recommendations for targeted research and development to correct these deficiencies. Many technologies are employed, as exemplified by a typical project in which suspected subsurface CWM are located through the application of geophysical technologies, typically magnetometry or active electromagnetic sensors. An object is uncovered by mechanized or manual excavation and the air around the site is monitored for agent. Qualified personnel remove and evaluate the suspected CWM and package it in a container approved for on-site transport to an installation bunker or an interim holding facility (IHF).

The suspected CWM will then be removed from storage and a mobile munitions assessment system (MMAS) sent to the site to provide a nonintrusive assessment of its contents. The key MMAS tools are these:

•  Digital radiography and computed tomography (DRCT),

•  Portable isotopic neutron spectroscopy (PINS), and

•  Raman spectrometer.

The RCWM is again placed in interim storage to await review of the assessment by the MARB. In this scenario, the IHF may be off-site. If transport is required, the RCWM is packaged in a multiple round container (MRC) that has been certified by the Department of Transportation and can then be carried over public roads by CARA.

After the contents have been assessed by the MARB, they are destroyed or treated by one of the following technologies:

•  Explosive destruction system (EDS),

•  Transportable detonation chamber (TDC),

•  Detonation of ammunition in a vacuum integrated chamber (DAVINCH), or

•  Static detonation chamber (SDC).

If the RCWM is a chemical agent identification set (CAIS), the single CAIS access and neutralization system (SCANS) is used to destroy the CAIS. Secondary waste is transported to a commercial facility for final disposal.

The committee had no recommendations to make on any research and development for the following aspects of the aforementioned technologies:

•  Geophysical detection. Other organizations have large R&D programs under way in this area. The best policy for NSCMP is to track developments in these programs.

•  Personal protective equipment. No needs identified.

•  Conventional excavation equipment. No needs identified.

•  CWM packaging and transportation. As described in Chapter 4, the NSCMP is developing a universal munitions storage container. It is fabricated from high-density polyethylene, and its use will allow the destruction of overpacked munitions in the EDS without removing them from the overpack. No additional R&D needs identified.

•  CWM storage. No needs identified.

•  SCANS. No needs identified.

•  DRCT. No needs identified.

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