The U.S. military has a stockpile of approximately 400,000 tons of excess, obsolete, or unserviceable munitions. About 60,000 tons are added to the stockpile each year. Munitions include projectiles, bombs, rockets, landmines, and missiles. Open burning/open detonation (OB/OD) of these munitions has been a common disposal practice for decades, although it has decreased significantly since 2011.
OB/OD is relatively quick, procedurally straightforward, and inexpensive. However, the downside of OB and OD is that they release contaminants from the operation directly into the environment. Over time, a number of technology alternatives to OB/OD have become available and more are in research and development. Alternative technologies generally involve some type of contained destruction of the energetic materials, including contained burning or contained detonation as well as contained methods that forego combustion or detonation.
Alternatives for the Demilitarization of Conventional Munitions reviews the current conventional munitions demilitarization stockpile and analyzes existing and emerging disposal, treatment, and reuse technologies. This report identifies and evaluates any barriers to full-scale deployment of alternatives to OB/OD or non-closed loop incineration/combustion, and provides recommendations to overcome such barriers.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Alternatives for the Demilitarization of Conventional Munitions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25140.
|2 An Overview of the U.S. Army Demilitarization Program, the Demilitarization Stockpile, and Factors Bearing on the Program||13-29|
|3 Review of Conventional Open Burning/Open Detonation Technologies||30-39|
|4 Review of Candidate Alternative Technologies||40-66|
|5 Evaluation Criteria||67-70|
|6 Regulatory Requirements Applicable to Open Burning, Open Detonation, and Alternative Technologies||71-77|
|7 Applicability of Treatment Types to Munitions and Energetic Types||78-84|
|8 Comparative Assessment of Demilitarization Technologies||85-91|
|9 Barriers and Other Considerations||92-96|
|Appendix A: Committee Activities||99-101|
|Appendix B: CEASE FIRE! Campaign Technology Criteria||102-103|
|Appendix C: Military Munitions Rule||104-105|
|Appendix D: Public Concerns About Open Burning/Open Detonation and Alternative Demilitarization Options||106-109|
|Appendix E: Committee Biographical Information||110-113|
|Appendix F: Acronyms||114-116|
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