Department of Defense Explosives Safety Criteria: Risk-Based Approach as a Complement to the Quantity-Distance Approach
PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LAB RICHLAND WA
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At present, the Department of Defense uses deterministic explosive safety criteria for operations involving munitions and explosives. This approach provides default criteria over a broad range of diverse applications. A strength of this approach derives from its simplicity and relative ease of application. A weakness of this process is that its criteria are inflexible and require obtaining waivers or exemptions for a noncompliance. The quantitative risk-based approach provides flexibility in site-specific placement or handling of explosives since incremental increases in quantities of explosives may be shown to have acceptable incremental increases in risk. However, the process of a risk-based approach is more complex than a deterministic quantity-distance approach. This paper examines a risk-based approach for explosive safety criteria. Other governments are currently using risk-based criteria. For example, the Department of Defense of Switzerland has been using the risk-based approach for some 25 years. Their approach focuses on lethality as a measure of risk. Although this is a very important risk measure, other measures such as risk to loss of mission may have considerable importance to U.S. operations. The paper includes a comparison of the results from a deterministic analysis and the risk-based approach.
- Administration and Management
- Safety Engineering
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Ammunition and Explosives