site disposal options, and how public acceptance could influence the disposal of the separated rocket motors. The coverage of the report begins after the M55 rockets have been cut and the separated rocket motors have been monitored and cleared for transportation and disposal off-site.

OVERVIEW OF REPORT

Chapter 2 focuses on safety—energetics safety, electrical safety, and lead. Although the chemical agent warheads will no longer be present when the separated rocket motors are handled, the separated rocket motors are hazardous in their own right because they contain M28 propellant, which has aged and degraded and will continue to degrade. Explosives safety precautions are necessary in all handling and storage operations that involve the separated rocket motors. Chapter 2 also addresses hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance and risks posed by electrostatic discharge if the igniter leads and shunting are damaged when the rockets are cut.

Chapter 3 is an overview of technologies—primarily chemical and thermal treatment methods—that could be used to dispose of the separated rocket motors. The chapter presents information on both thermal treatment options (open and contained) and chemical treatment options, such as base hydrolysis and supercritical water oxidation. Recycling of the rocket motors is unlikely in that the M28 propellant is old and degraded and contains lead. It would not be practical or cost-effective to reuse the propellant, recover its ingredients, or work it into another form, such as fertilizer. In addition, the SFTs contain polychlorinated biphenyls. The committee envisions that the separated rocket motors will be removed from the SFTs before disposal of the motors, in part to avoid the contamination of disposal waste streams with polychlorinated biphenyls; this is discussed in more depth in Chapter 5. The discussion in Chapter 3 includes recommendations of the technologies that may be best suited for disposal of the separated rocket motors.

The storage of separated rocket motors is discussed in Chapter 4. The storage of the separated rocket motors is a potentially limiting step in M55 rocket disposal at BGCAPP, inasmuch as their disposal will probably proceed at a lower rate than the rocket-cutting operations at BGCAPP. Although the storage of the separated rocket motors is not an explicit item in the statement of task, it is central to the timely processing of M55 rockets through BGCAPP. If the separated rocket motors cannot be transported to a storage or disposal site outside BGCAPP at least as quickly as they are accumulated in BGCAPP, rocket-cutting and warhead-processing operations at BGCAPP would need to be slowed or halted.

Chapter 5 presents some of the specific issues that BGCAPP project management will need to consider when selecting the most appropriate location for disposal of the separated rocket motors. On-site disposal options reviewed by the committee include open burning of the propellant grain at the BGAD permitted explosive hazardous-waste treatment facility; using the D-100 detonation chamber currently operational at BGAD; using alternative technologies, such as explosive destruction technologies, which can be added to BGAD capabilities; and disposal at BGCAPP after completion of all chemical agent destruction operations. Off-site disposal options, in which all the separated rocket



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement