Decontamination of Explosives Contaminated Equipment and Building at an Ammunition Production Plant

Building Decontamination and Demolition Project
Spraying MuniRem Reagent solution to decontaminate the building

Building Decontamination and Demolition (D&D)
Demolition of the building after decontamination by MuniRem

Engagement details

Client:  United States Department of Defense

Site:   Active Munitions Manufacturing Plant

Task:  Removal of Explosive Hazard in Equipment and Building Fixtures - Building Decontamination and Demolition Project

Date:   Ongoing

Situation

The 1,750-square-foot former TNR production building was slated for demolition/removal. TNR was manufactured in this structure until the 1970s, when the building was closed to further use. During the manufacturing process, TNR laden vapor permeated the building materials. The explosive vapor condensed and crystallized on the surfaces and the interior of the wood frame walls and cracks. The crystal residue was determined to be an explosive shock hazard. Because Lead Styphnate was manufactured in a neighboring building, it was included among the potential explosives of concern.

Due to the building’s explosive hazard risk and its proximity to other nearby active munition production buildings, the building was not a candidate for normal demolition.  The ability to remove asbestos inside and out of the facility was precluded by the presence of explosives residues and the potential for explosion.  Due to regulatory concern over the inability to meet safety requirements, the EPA and LCAAP commissioned an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to identify a safer and cost effective solution.

Solution

Of the five technologies evaluated by the EE/CA, MuniRem was determined to be the safest and most cost-effective solution for removing the explosive hazard, so that the building demolition could be safely accomplished. The evaluation of MuniRem included a bench scale and pilot test conducted at the Army’s ERDC laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. At the full scale, the MuniRem solution was prepared and sprayed on the building exterior and interior fixtures to achieve surface decontamination. Therefore, the asbestos contaminated materials were safely removed for disposal. The MuniRem solution was sprayed into production vessels and pipes to destroy any accumulated bulk explosive. EXPRAY and Visual Inspection were used to confirm the complete removal of the explosive hazard by MuniRem. As a result, the building fixtures and concrete foundation were safely demolished and disposed per the regulations.

Result

Concentrated MuniRem solution was sprayed on the exterior and interior of the building to destroy the bulk and residual explosives. Equipment was decontaminated to US DoD 5x level by MuniRem alone. As a result, the initially planned follow-on thermal treatment was not required. The decontamination was completed ahead of schedule and on budget; significantly below the cost of thermal decontamination. Our MuniRem solution was effective in penetrating and destroying crystallized explosives in wall cavities and cracks in the concrete floor, thus the soil remediation option task was avoided. This project definitively established MuniRem Reagent as a preferred solution where explosive hazard existing in a Building and Equipment Decontamination and Demolition (D&D) project.

Leave a Reply