Vapor Containment Structure Testing Update
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EXPLOSIVES SAFETY BOARD ALEXANDRIA VA
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The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville is actively involved in the location and removal of buried unexploded munitions at formerly used defense sites FUDS. In some cases the munitions are liquid filled which may indicate hazardous chemical agents. A critical parameter for chemical warfare material CWM safety siting is the downwind hazard in the event of an accidental detonation. A environmental steel arch vapor containment structure VCS over a munition removal site can reduce the downwind hazards resulting from the accidental detonation of CWM. This decrease in downwind hazards allows significant reductions in the required evacuation distance. The initial development of the VCS was in support of the Spring Valley Washington, D.C. removal project. A discussion of the Spring Valley development, deployment, and lessons learned will be discussed in this paper including a description of the VCS, structural features of the structure pertaining to blast and chemical agent containment, the model munitions, as well as an overview of the tests conducted and a brief summary of the test results, are presented in this paper. Tests were conducted using replica scale models of the Livens and the 4.7-inch munitions, filled with an inert agent simulant and detonated inside of a full scale VCS. Additional tests on the VCS are being conducted to enhance the usability of the VCS. A maximum allowable bare explosive charge limit has been established for the VCS and the tests conducted to establish this limit will be covered in this paper. Capture efficiency tests for two to three charge weights will be conducted in fiscal year 1997. This will allow for the use of the VCS for charge weights up to the explosive limit.
- Ammunition and Explosives