An Evaluation of the Separated Bay Concept for a Munition Assembly Facility,
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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The Department of Energy Munition Assembly Complex, Building 12-64, located at Pantex, TX, uses the separated bay concept to isolate adjacent bays from one another. Tests were conducted by the US Army Waterways Experiment Station to investigate the possibility of an accidental explosion in one bay propagating to an adjacent bay, and to collect data that can be used to improve future designs of this type. Tests, simulating an accidental explosion, were conducted in a full-size donor bay with a partially completed adjacent acceptor bay, and in a 12-scale donor bay with complete adjacent acceptor bay, access tunnels, and blast doors. Data from these tests indicate that the separated bay concept is a cost-effective way to insure the safety to adjacent bays in case of an accidental explosion. Validation of the separated bay concept has resulted in significant cost savings for the current expansion project at the DOE Pantex facility, and should result in more cost-effective designs for similar weapon storage and assembly facilities in the future.