DAVINCH technology were provided in previous NRC reports (NRC, 2006 and 2009a).
To date, the DAVINCH technology has not been used in the United States. A DV60 (60-kg TNT-equivalent explosion containment capacity) had been leased from Kobelco by the U.S. Army for use at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), in Utah. However, an alternative method of destroying the munitions became available before the DAVINCH was due to start up in early 2012. Because this alternative was successful, it was decided in late 2011 not to use the DAVINCH at TOCDF.
The DAVINCH technology was used at Kanda Port in Japan to destroy recovered Second World War–era bombs containing chemical warfare materiel. Some of the bombs contained a mixture of mustard agent and lewisite; others contained Clark I and Clark II vomiting agents (DC/DA). As of 2009, 2,050 of these bombs had been destroyed (NRC, 2009a).
The Belgian Ministry of Defense has installed a DAVINCH system having a 50-kg TNT-equivalent explosion containment capacity at a Belgian military facility at Poelkapelle. By December 2011, over 4,000 munitions containing chemical agent had been destroyed.
FIGURE 4-7 DAVINCH three-stage destruction mechanism. SOURCE: NRC, 2006.
People’s Republic of China
DAVINCH units are being used in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to destroy Second World War–era Japanese chemical munitions filled with blister, choking, vomiting, and other agents. These munitions are primarily artillery shells and bombs ranging in size from 75 mm to 150 mm. The site with the most RCWM, Haerba-ling (northeastern China), contains an estimated 300,000-400,000 munitions; another 47,000 munitions have been recovered at 26 other locations. At Haerba-ling, both a DAVINCH and a Dynasafe SDC will be used to destroy munitions recovered from pits where they are buried. The second largest site in the PRC is in Nanjing, where 36,000 chemical munitions have been recovered. At this location, two DAVINCH DV-50 units, operating in tandem, are in use. Between September 1, 2010, and June 10, 2011, 25,000 overpacked and boxed munitions were destroyed.
In addition to these transportable (but barely so) units, Kobelco states that a lighter, more mobile version of DAVINCH, called DAVINCHlite, is being developed. The committee believes that, as of early 2012, the DAVINCHlite had not even been manufactured much less used to destroy any RCWM in the PRC.
As indicated previously, the treatment technology for RCWM will involve either the EDS, one of the EDTs, or perhaps a combination of these technologies. Each of these technologies will produce a number of secondary waste streams (see Table 4-2) that will then need to be managed