since the subsurface location, excavation, and soil treatment steps are not needed.

For sealed munitions, it is expected that DRCT (X-ray) and PINS will be used to determine the quantity of fill and the chemical content of the munition. For munitions that have been previously opened and burned or otherwise treated, as well as for potentially contaminated scrap metal, it is expected that agent monitors will be used to determine whether further treatment is required. Finally, it is expected that recovered items for which no agent is detected will be disposed of in accordance with environmental regulations.

It is not possible know in advance the processing needs for every RCWM at every site. Therefore, the committee cannot recommend site-specific treatment options. It can only identify and recommend general needs for modifications to the supporting technologies listed in the second bullet item of the statement of task. The committee hopes that these modifications will enable the supporting technologies to better meet the Army’s needs at RCWM sites, based on the very limited information about the quantities and characteristics of the CWM at these sites.

Also, it may well be that modifications to existing technologies—for example, a more accurate PINS, a faster EDS, or more easily transported EDTs—may be necessary but not sufficient to meet the Army’s needs, especially at the large burial sites, where hundreds of thousands of potentially contaminated items will have to be assessed and treated and where existing procedures, while effective, may prove to be too slow or cumbersome for the quantities involved. It is possible that at these sites, it will be necessary to design and construct facilities where recovered items, whether found in burial pits or in the open, can be efficiently assessed for agent content and remaining contamination and treated accordingly.

The existing approach has been effective in disposing of small quantities of RCWM, and processing rates and urgency in identification of fill have not been an issue. For example, at the Pine Bluff Explosive Destruction System (PBEDS) facility in Arkansas, between June 2006 and April 2010, two EDS units destroyed 1,225 4.2-in. mortar rounds and Second World War–era German Traktor rockets (an average processing rate of nearly 27 munitions per month). For those sites containing tens to hundreds of thousands of potentially chemically contaminated items, processing at this rate may not be sufficient. For these sites, new technology capabilities may well be required. Technology research that could lead to the development of such capabilities is described below, and technology-related findings and recommendations are provided.


Finding 6-1. The committee finds that the following technologies are sufficiently developed and identifies no research and development needs for them:

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

•  Personal protective equipment.

•  Conventional excavation equipment.

•  CWM storage (interim holding facilities, igloos, bunkers).

•  Vapor containment facilities and filtering techniques.

•  Single Chemical agent identification set Access and Neutralization System (SCANS).

•  Digital radiography and computed tomography.

•  The CH2M HILL transportable detonation chamber (TDC).


•  The explosive destruction system (EDS).

•  Secondary waste storage and disposal.


Robotic Excavation Equipment

As discussed in the section on robotic excavation equipment in Chapter 4, robotic technology has continued to grow in versatility and reliability. To reduce risk to workers, its use in the remediation of buried chemical materiel should be investigated and developed.

Finding 6-2. The committee believes that existing robotic systems are capable of accessing and removing buried CWM, resulting in improved safety.

Recommendation 6-1. The Army should demonstrate that robotic systems can be reliably utilized to access and remove buried chemical warfare materiel, and, where applicable, it should use them.

CWM Packaging and Transportation

As described in Chapter 4, the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project (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.

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