We thermally decontaminated this explosives contaminated washout facility which allowed our demolition operations to be performed safer.
Located about 30 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, UT, the Tooele Army Depot stores, issues, receives, renovates, modifies, maintains and demilitarizes conventional munitions. Building 1245, which was used as a trinitrotoluene (TNT) washout facility, was identified by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (USAESCH) for decontamination using thermal convection. We recommended the equipment within Building 1245 be selectively vented through the application of limited explosive procedures and disassembled using remote cutting, followed by the thermal decontamination using the Thermal Convection System (TCS). The client required two separate types of operations which were 1) to safely decontaminate the explosives contaminated structure and its contents, and then to 2) handle the hazardous materials created by the process and demolition activities. We were contracted to provide these services using our TCS process.
First, we performed an initial Site Investigation and Building Hazard Analysis to determine the potential types and quantities of contaminants and hazards present in the building and process equipment. After utility disconnections were performed, hazardous and non-hazardous items of environmental concern, including asbestos were removed from the building. All project-derived wastes were properly manifested and disposed of in accordance with Federal, State, and local regulations.
This case required us to engineer, design, and build the appropriate TCS application to process the building and its unique TNT washout areas and equipment. We followed this action by preparing the Explosive Safety Submission (ESS) which defined the anticipated explosive hazards and the procedures we would use to safely render the building safe for demolition. The ESS was submitted and approved by the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board (DDESB) prior to implementation of the explosives decontamination effort.
We initiated the decontamination and demolition (D&D) of the process equipment, piping, and structures at the former TNT washout facility through the application of limited explosive procedures and remote cutting procedures to disassemble equipment. This step was followed by thermal decontamination using PIKA’s innovative TCS technology, with the subsequent hazardous waste and scrap handling.
All interior process equipment, piping, ancillary equipment, and associated items that presented an explosive residue hazard were disassembled and vented by our UXO certified professionals utilizing a combination of DDESB-approved technologies to allow a Material Documented As Safe (MDAS) certification level (free of explosive hazard) to be reached through the use of thermal convection decontamination. Non-process piping and equipment (i.e., fire suppression, air lines, etc.) were removed and certified “safe”. Once certified “safe”, we sent these items off-site for recycling and salvage. As with our other D&D projects, all materials were inspected and detailed records of amount, location, description, condition, and disposition of any Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) encountered provided.
We have worked diligently to develop our remotely operated TCS, which allows us to successfully perform the desensitization of residual explosives contamination, after which building structures may be either reused or safely demolished. Our TCS process renders building materials and structural steel “safe” for recycling reducing the amount of waste being returned to the environment. In addition, for this project, concrete construction and demolition debris was reused onsite as clean hard fill and sent off-site for disposition, respectively.
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