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Evaluation of Safety Distances for UXO Disposal Operations

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Conference paper

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In this paper an evaluation of danger areas to be evacuated during UXO disposal operations will be made. It is based on the following research programmes currently underway at the TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory PML. An evaluation of the safety distances prescribed in the currently-used Dutch directive concerning evacuation distances for UXO disposal operations has been made. The main conclusion of this study is that the safety distances for different net amount of explosive charge show little consistency. It is suggested to conduct a risk analysis to determine new guidelines for safety distances. A study is underway on blast propagation and interaction with multiple urban structures. The main objective of this study is to provide a simple practical model which describes the influence of obstacles, like buildings and houses, on the propagation of blast waves. This model can be used to improve guidelines for blast damage to residential areas. Preliminary results have indicated that due to shielding, safety distances can be allowed to be smaller than follows from present-day risk analysis, which is based on the free-field pressure decay of the blast wave. The main results of an experimental programme aimed at developing a bomblet or mine attenuator will be described. This attenuator can be placed over small UXO-items to protect EOD personnel and vulnerable objects against explosion effects. By using this kind of protective tools the safety distances for UXO disposal operations on small ordnance items can be reduced. Within this framework also the reduction of confined explosion effects by water has been examined.

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  • Ammunition and Explosives

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