same level of processing safety and effectiveness for disposal of agents as the baseline system. The current status of potential alternative technologies ranges from some that are in commercial use for other applications to those that are based only on preliminary laboratory research.
Given the availability of a proven disposal system, it is the committee's view that the total risk will be minimized if the baseline disposal program proceeds expeditiously at a pace in keeping with reasonable and safe facility construction and operating schedules. At the same time, promising alternative technologies for agent disposal have been identified. These should be developed at an accelerated pace in order that they might prove beneficial within that expeditious schedule. Given the persistent storage risk, the disposal schedule should not be deliberately delayed or interrupted in order to foster the application of emerging alternative agent disposal technologies, particularly since the committee does not believe that any alternative disposal technology will significantly reduce the total processing risk.
The findings and recommendations are organized in seven categories: expeditious progress, risk analyses, public concerns, current systems, alternatives, stockpile safety, and staffing needs.
Finding 1. The storage risk will persist until disposal of all stockpile materials is complete. Both storage risk and disposal risk will increase with time as the stockpile deteriorates further. Existing analyses indicate that the annual storage risk to the public at each site is the same as or greater than the annual risk due to disposal. Thus, total risk to the public will be reduced by prompt disposal of the stockpile.
Recommendation 1. The Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program should proceed expeditiously and with technology that will minimize total risk to the public at each site.