Assessment Of Processing Gelled Gb M55 Rockets At Anniston

Assessment Of Processing Gelled Gb M55 Rockets At Anniston
by National Research Council / / / PDF


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In 1985, Congress mandated the destruction of the stockpile of M55 rockets stored at several chemical weapons storage sites in the United States and its possessions because of the risk that the rockets may self-ignite. Risk assessments performed by the Army indicate the risk to the public is dominated by M55 rockets containing the nerve agent sarin (GB). During the disposal of these GB M55 rockets at a site in Tooele, Utah, it was discovered that the agent had gelled in a significant percentage of the rockets. In these cases, the standard destruction method would not work. The Army devised an alternate mechanism for incinerating the gelled rockets, but the State of Utah limited their disposal rate using this process. The Army, however, has since developed plans for increasing the destruction rate of gelled rockets and proposes that this method be used at Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) in Anniston, Alabama. To assist in this effort, the Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to evaluate the Army's plan for higher destruction rates. Former Congressman Robert Riley (now Alabama's governor) also requested an NRC assessment. This study was carried out by the NRC ad hoc Committee on Review of Army Planning for the Disposal of M55 Rockets at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.

In 1985, Congress mandated the destruction of the stockpile of M55 rockets stored at several chemical weapons storage sites in the United States and its possessions because of the risk that the rockets may self-ignite. Risk assessments performed by the Army indicate the risk to the public is dominated by M55 rockets containing the nerve agent sarin (GB). During the disposal of these GB M55 rockets at a site in Tooele, Utah, it was discovered that the agent had gelled in a significant percentage of the rockets. In these cases, the standard destruction method would not work. The Army devised an alternate mechanism for incinerating the gelled rockets, but the State of Utah limited their disposal rate using this process. The Army, however, has since developed plans for increasing the destruction rate of gelled rockets and proposes that this method be used at Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) in Anniston, Alabama. To assist in this effort, the Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to evaluate the Army's plan for higher destruction rates. Former Congressman Robert Riley (now Alabama's governor) also requested an NRC assessment. This study was carried out by the NRC ad hoc Committee on Review of Army Planning for the Disposal of M55 Rockets at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.

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