C
Methods of Treating Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel

This appendix describes the five types of non-stockpile chemical warfare materiel and the disposal methods being developed for their demilitarization.1

TYPES OF NON-STOCKPILE CHEMICAL MATERIEL

The Army has defined five categories of non-stockpile chemical warfare materiel:

  • Binary chemical weapons form lethal chemical agents by mixing two less toxic chemicals. Army policy requires that the components of binary weapons only be loaded together into a munition immediately prior to use on the battlefield, thus forming the lethal chemical agent during flight to the target. As a result, binary components were manufactured, stored, and transported independently.

  • Buried chemical warfare materiel includes any buried materiel. Land burial was a principal means of disposing of hazardous materials for many years, and records indicate that chemical warfare materiel was disposed of by land burial until the late 1950s.2 (Ocean dumping was also an acceptable means of eliminating chemical warfare materiel until the late 1960s.) In most cases, the materiel was treated (burned or chemically neutralized) prior to burial. The Army is researching various methods and technologies to remediate burial sites for chemical warfare materiel.3

1  

 This appendix was compiled from information on the Internet World Wide Web site for the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Program. See URL: http://www-pmcd,apgee,army.mil/text/NSCMP/index.html.

2  

 During World War I, several types of munitions were field tested and used for Army training around the country. One such munition was the WWI Livens Drum, which was typically filled with the chemical agent phosgene (choking agent) and chloropicrin (teat agent). The Livens Drum could also be used with an incendiary (flammable) or explosive fill. The Livens Drum was a short-range munition that became obsolete with the production of many long-range World War II munitions, such as the 155-mm projectile. During World War I, the Livens Drum was produced at Army facilities, such as the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland and Camp American University in Washington, D.C.

3  

 The U.S. Army created five classifications for buffed chemical warfare materiel at non-stockpile sites to guide cost and resource requirements for remediating a particular site. Classification data were obtained through site visits, examination of records, interviews, and physical assessment of the sites. Class 1 indicates that the existence of buried chemical warfare materiel has been confirmed by a site assessment or actual recovery. Class 2 indicates that the knowledge of buffed chemical warfare materiel is based on documents or interviews. Class 3 indicates that the presence of buffed chemical warfare materiel is strongly suspected, based on documents indicating that chemical training, testing, and disposal activities occurred at these sites. Class 4 indicates that buffed chemical warfare materiel might be found, based on evidence of past agent manufacturing, storage, or training. Class 5 indicates that a site has been assessed and that no further activity is required or that the site is no longer accessible.



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Disposal of Chemical Agent Identification Sets: Review of the Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Material Disposal Program C Methods of Treating Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel This appendix describes the five types of non-stockpile chemical warfare materiel and the disposal methods being developed for their demilitarization.1 TYPES OF NON-STOCKPILE CHEMICAL MATERIEL The Army has defined five categories of non-stockpile chemical warfare materiel: Binary chemical weapons form lethal chemical agents by mixing two less toxic chemicals. Army policy requires that the components of binary weapons only be loaded together into a munition immediately prior to use on the battlefield, thus forming the lethal chemical agent during flight to the target. As a result, binary components were manufactured, stored, and transported independently. Buried chemical warfare materiel includes any buried materiel. Land burial was a principal means of disposing of hazardous materials for many years, and records indicate that chemical warfare materiel was disposed of by land burial until the late 1950s.2 (Ocean dumping was also an acceptable means of eliminating chemical warfare materiel until the late 1960s.) In most cases, the materiel was treated (burned or chemically neutralized) prior to burial. The Army is researching various methods and technologies to remediate burial sites for chemical warfare materiel.3 1    This appendix was compiled from information on the Internet World Wide Web site for the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Program. See URL: http://www-pmcd,apgee,army.mil/text/NSCMP/index.html. 2    During World War I, several types of munitions were field tested and used for Army training around the country. One such munition was the WWI Livens Drum, which was typically filled with the chemical agent phosgene (choking agent) and chloropicrin (teat agent). The Livens Drum could also be used with an incendiary (flammable) or explosive fill. The Livens Drum was a short-range munition that became obsolete with the production of many long-range World War II munitions, such as the 155-mm projectile. During World War I, the Livens Drum was produced at Army facilities, such as the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland and Camp American University in Washington, D.C. 3    The U.S. Army created five classifications for buffed chemical warfare materiel at non-stockpile sites to guide cost and resource requirements for remediating a particular site. Classification data were obtained through site visits, examination of records, interviews, and physical assessment of the sites. Class 1 indicates that the existence of buried chemical warfare materiel has been confirmed by a site assessment or actual recovery. Class 2 indicates that the knowledge of buffed chemical warfare materiel is based on documents or interviews. Class 3 indicates that the presence of buffed chemical warfare materiel is strongly suspected, based on documents indicating that chemical training, testing, and disposal activities occurred at these sites. Class 4 indicates that buffed chemical warfare materiel might be found, based on evidence of past agent manufacturing, storage, or training. Class 5 indicates that a site has been assessed and that no further activity is required or that the site is no longer accessible.

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Disposal of Chemical Agent Identification Sets: Review of the Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Material Disposal Program Recovered chemical weapons include items recovered during range-clearing operations, from chemical burial sites, and from research and development testing.4 Former production facilities include government facilities that produced chemical weapons and agents prior to the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention. These facilities produced chemical agent, precursors, and components for chemical weapons or were used for loading and filling munitions. Miscellaneous chemical warfare materiel includes unfilled munitions, support equipment, and devices designed to be used with chemical weapons. These include complete assembled rounds without chemical fill, with or without bursters and fuzes; simulant-filled munitions; inert munitions; dummy munitions; bursters and fuzes; empty rocket warheads and motors; projectile cases; and other components of metal and plastic parts. DISPOSAL TECHNOLOGIES, SYSTEMS, AND FACILITIES The NSCMP is developing a number of technologies, systems, and facilities for identifying, storing, and treating the contents of recovered chemical warfare materiel. The portable isotopic neutron spectroscopy (PINS) device has the capability of identifying the contents of unopened munitions. The presence and relative concentration of a specific chemical element can be determined from characteristic emitted gamma-ray peaks. PINS uses a neutron source, a gamma ray detector, and a multichannel analyzer to identify the chemical elements. A neutron source located near the item being analyzed penetrates the munition's shell and interacts with its contents. The gamma ray detector and multichannel analyzer monitor the energies and intensities of the released gamma rays. The Raman spectrophotometer analyzes the contents of chemical agent identification sets (CAIS), which consist of chemical agents in glass ampoules, vials, and bottles packed in metal shipping containers or wooden boxes. The Raman spectrophotometer uses a laser to penetrate the glass vials or bottles and identify the contents. The Mobile Munitions Assessment System (MMAS) is a transportable commercial center that provides on-site information about the contents of unopened recovered munitions and distributes the information to the appropriate authorities and emergency personnel. The MMAS is capable of assessing recovered munitions on site without moving the materiel and also monitoring air at the site. It can determine the contents and stability of either conventional or chemical-filled unopened munitions. Munitions are then analyzed by the PINS. A portable x-ray device may also be used to determine the presence of internal explosive materiel. The MMAS also contains a weather monitoring system. If a leaking munition is present, the weather equipment helps determine the safe evacuation zones away from the site. Cameras are used to monitor all activity around the site. Because the MMAS is powered by a portable gas generator, it can remain on site for 4    Recovered chemical warfare materiel is overpacked and either stored on site or transported and stored at a permitted Department of Defense site following recovery from range-clearing operations and burial. After identifying the type and the quantity of recovered materiel at a site, the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Program (NSCMP) conducts a destination analysis to support the decision to transport or store the materiel. If the decision is to store it on site, the NSCMP prepares an Interim Holding Facility Plan. If the materiel is to be moved for storage and ultimate destruction, the Army prepares a Transportation Plan. The NSCMP considers risk to the public and the environment in deciding on the storage or transportation of the materiel. As required by law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reviews the plans and recommends precautionary measures to protect public health and safety.

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Disposal of Chemical Agent Identification Sets: Review of the Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Material Disposal Program months. Redundant computer systems provide data protection in the event of equipment failure, and a backup battery system ensures that no data are lost. The system can be transported by a C-141 cargo aircraft, if necessary, and then driven to a site. The entire MMAS system is equipped to provide access to sites with varying types of terrain. Once at a site, the full system can be set up in as little as 25 minutes. All communications, photographs, video, x-ray pictures, and computer data can be transmitted immediately via onboard satellite link, cellular phone, and short-wave radio to ensure that the responsible Army officials, state regulators, and local emergency personnel have access to the information and can take necessary actions. Upon completion of the assessment, the MMAS is equipped to decontaminate protective gear and suits, if necessary. Currently, a fully functional MMAS has been fabricated and provided to the Army's Technical Escort Unit for use at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Interim holding facilities (IHFs) provide temporary storage for recovered non-stockpile chemical materiel at sites where permanent storage facilities, such as igloos and bunkers, are not available. An IHF is constructed of fireproof, corrosion-resistant materials, and all electrical fixtures and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are designed to reduce the risk of fire. A secondary containment area below the floor collects any leaking material inside the IHF. The Rapid Response System (RRS) has the capability of receiving, containing, characterizing, monitoring, and treating (or repackaging) recovered CAIS. The RRS consists of an operations trailer and a utility trailer. Chemical operations, including repackaging and agent neutralization, take place in the glove box, which is housed in the operations trailer. Air circulating through the glove box is vented through charcoal filters to trap agent or other industrial chemicals prior to the discharge of air from the trailer. Air monitoring instruments are also housed inside the trailer. The utility trailer contains electrical generators and other support equipment. Once an agent has been treated, the neutralization wastes are transported to a commercial hazardous waste treatment facility for disposal. Industrial chemicals are also repackaged for transportation to a commercial waste treatment facility. The Munition Management Device (MMD) has the capability of receiving, containing, accessing, and monitoring buried chemical warfare materiel other than CAIS. Recovered items may be bombs, artillery projectiles, or vials or bottles of agent of various configurations. The MMD consists of two trucks, one for processing and one for control. A munitions treatment vessel, which provides containment of liquid and vapors, tools for accessing the chemicals, and a decontamination solution, is the major component of the system. Other components include a liquid reactor system, a gas reactor/recycling system, a control room, a process laboratory, and a standby generator. The chemical treatment process entails three basic steps: (1) accessing the chemical container; (2) analyzing the chemical; and (3) neutralizing the chemical using a decontamination solution.