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Old December 3, 2012, 02:26 PM   #1
DaleA
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Six Million Pounds of 'Guncotton'

Hmmm...maybe this should be in the reloading section....

Quote:
Boxes and small barrels of an M6 artillery propellant were found both outdoors and crammed into unauthorized buildings leased by Explo Systems Inc. at Camp Minden, about 270 miles northwest of New Orleans.
http://news.msn.com/us/true-blood-to...ound?GT1=51501

Well pardon me for being incredibly naïve but I always figured a large company making ammunition (and I think 6 million pounds of propellant qualifies as ‘large’) would take reasonable care of the stuff until they shipped it out. I guess I thought they’d be inspected and checked out regularly.

This is just ridiculous.

I hope somebody is concerned about our military getting this stuff as well as the danger to the town where this company is located.
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Old December 3, 2012, 03:26 PM   #2
Bart Noir
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This stuff is propellant. If not confined into a cannon barrel where the pressure can build up, it is not going to cause an explosion.

A big hot fire, yeah, it could happen. But that would not endanger the countryside for miles around.

I think that the mass evacuations were a bit of over reaction, although I can understand that nobody wanted to be the one who said "Aw, it's safe in your house a mile away."

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Old December 4, 2012, 10:07 PM   #3
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Parts of Camp Minden look to be less than half a mile from Clark's Custom Guns. Maybe the Clarks and Miculeks can help burn some of the surplus.

Regards,
Tom
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:33 AM   #4
DaleA
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Quote:
Authorities slowly moving 6 million pounds of explosives improperly stored at a munitions recycling facility
http://www.thetowntalk.com/viewart/2...mp-Minden-site

I guess if it is a munitions recycling facility my concern that this stuff might be passed on to our military after being improperly stored were unfounded.

I wonder what recycling in this case means.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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"Remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder"
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
This stuff is propellant. If not confined into a cannon barrel where the pressure can build up, it is not going to cause an explosion.

A big hot fire, yeah, it could happen. But that would not endanger the countryside for miles around.

I think that the mass evacuations were a bit of over reaction, although I can understand that nobody wanted to be the one who said "Aw, it's safe in your house a mile away."

Bart Noir

Not necessarily.


The M6 propellant has a reputation for going high order (exploding). The stabilizer in the mix can only absorb or neutralize so much nitric acid and the propellant will become unstable after time. Once it starts to heat up or you see a reddish tint on the labels or lids, about the only thing you can do is to put it under water.

Last edited by EOD Guy; December 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Propellant will burn to detonation. I replaced the CDR of the 45th EOD Ft Polk after he learned that the hard way.

He exceeded the range limit by about 9,900 pounds. Burning the same type propellant. The blast wave traveled down a valley and struck the CGs office just as he was having his morning cup of coffee. We never knew which upset the 2 Star more, the imploding window or the hot coffee in his lap.

Due to some fast footwork the Cpt's career was saved.

On a more serious note: The facility is one of 2 or three which were licensed by the EPA to receive, store and treat propellant and explosives. Unfortunately, they accepted more than they could treat.

This only one of many examples were the EPA and the greens have increased the hazard to the public in the name of the Environment and safety of the populace.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:35 PM   #8
EOD Guy
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The 45th was my first unit out of Indian Head. I got there in Jan 1966 and left to go to Vietnam in late July. I don't remember what our range limit was but it wasn't more than a couple of hundred pounds.

Last edited by EOD Guy; December 5, 2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:50 PM   #9
ltc444
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Arrived in 1975. As my control officer and the Range Safety Office beat into my head the range limit was 100 pounds.

Was top Adams there when you were there.
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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No. MSG Gerald Gravatt was the Senior Supervisor. He went to Vietnam shortly after I did. He was wounded in a VC ambush and after he got out of the hospital was reassigned to the 42d at Bien Hoa where I was assigned.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:48 PM   #11
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OK, I admit to being not too informed on this subject. Thanks for correcting me. But I still say that labeling it all as explosives was sloppy reporting.

Although the way it might become explosive, over a long time period, would certainly have been a fact to report.

So a "range limit" means what? Is that the max you can dispose of in a noisy fashion?

If so, having a limit of 100 pounds and setting off 10,000 pounds was the problem? Hey, it is only a mistake with the decimal point and I used to do that all the time,way back when. On a slide rule

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Whose mining engineer dad told him firmly to stay clear of old powder magazines and to truly fear sweaty dynamite.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Here's the way it was in Brescia Italy in the 1700s. They stored 90,000 kg of black powder .The building was hit by lightning .The explosion destroyed 1/6 th of the city , killed 3,000 people .[Wikipedia]

In "Hatcher's Notebook" there is a description and photos of an explosion in NJ at Lake Denmark Nava Depot. BIG !!
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Old December 7, 2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Remember, the original gunpowder, which we now call black powder, is considered an explosive. It was used in blasting rock prior to dynamite. And it could be set off by static electricity. Lightning - yikes!

I toured a mine reopened in Virginia City, Nevada. The old miner who opened it back up told me of the stash of century-old blasting powder (version of black powder gunpowder). He said everybody was nervous and the street was closed while they removed the powder. The entrance to the mine is through a nice old bar!

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Old December 7, 2012, 07:37 PM   #14
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Black blasting powder is used today in some specialized quarry operations. Unlike black powder for guns, black blasting powder is not graphited.
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:47 AM   #15
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Since we are talking about black powder, Dupont in the early 1800s was the major producer of Black Powder. His modern plant blew up 6 miles of Brandywine creek near Wilmington Delaware. Following the accident he established the first comprehensive safety rules for manufacturing explosives.

He had rudimentary Quanity Distance rules to prevent massive explosions and fires. He also required that his plant managers and their families live on the plant. The latter rule probably accounts for the safety of his plants.

Recycling is a process were a material is collected reprocessed and reused. In the case of some propellants and explosives they can be processed and certain basic ingredients can be reused in the manufacture of new energetic s. Catazine is one of those materials. It cost (in 1982) roughly $1,000 per pound. The material could be reclaimed at a cost of $250 per pound.

Treatment is a method of rendering the material into its nonhazardous components. The safest method is open burn/open detonation. Unfortunately, the environmentalist have so limited this method that it is virtually impossible to use this method.

That is why several million pounds of out dated materials like 57 mm recoil-less rounds were some how mis shipped to the gulf and were blown up.

The only approved method of treatment is to run the material through an incinerator. This is a slow, extremely dangerous and costly method of eliminating the materials.

Poor management, bad luck, greed by some unscrupulous operators/companies and a failure to properly oversee the operation by the Dod, BATF and state agencies allow these type of quantities to accumulate.

these material were shipped to the facility using a Hazardous Waste Bill of Lading. A copy of that BOL is forwarded to the State Of Louisana's Environmental agency. The state knew the quantity on site and by law were required to inspect it.

Since the many of the materials were DoD the Defense Contract Management Agency (or what ever their current name is) based out of Dallas is required to inspect the facility once per quarter.

These people obviously exceeded their quantity distance tables (the greater the quantity of material the greater the distance to different types of buildings). Now it will be moved into magazines on the old Louisiana Ammunition Plant and be stored at government (our) expense until a location and method to treat or dispose of it is found.
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Old December 8, 2012, 09:31 AM   #16
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i managed the destruction of unserviceable US Army ammo in Saudi Arabia at the end of Desert Storm; some 15,000+ tons of it.

Among the ammo we destroyed was 750-1,000 tons of artillery propellant.

i've never had propellant detonate while burning. At KKMC we destroyed 10,000-40,000 pounds of artillery propellent in each burn. We laid the propellant out in long single lines: The primers were burned with small arms. IMO: So long as the stuff is not piled up it won't detonate.

Prior to my arrival at KKMC four US Army members were burned to death when a warrant officer piled propellant in a hole, drove up and threw a thermite grenade into the pile.
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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Yes I have done the same thing. I burned MLRS propelleant and MK 104 propellant 10,000 pounds at a time.

The thickness of the propellant layer, wind velocity burn into the wind. When stored in tightly stacked barrels and containers You will get a detonation.

There was an incident were 500 lbs of Amonium Perchlorate detonated. What occurred was a 5 gallon pot of uncured viper propellant was set roughly 10 feet from the AP. The heat from the large burn was to set off the Viper materials. Unfortunately, the pot was not buried. It ignited internally, vented and set a jet of flame across the AP. The AP burned to detonation.

In tight packed storage situations a detonation will occur. following is a picture of an explosion which occurred near Camden AR. This was a standard magazine containing 143,000 pounds of propellant. It was earth covered and stood over 20 fee tall at the peak of the ground cover. Now there is a hole in the ground.

http://www.atf.gov/publications/news...1-09/page2.htm
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:17 PM   #18
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Yikes

Damaged bunkers half a mile away!!

My previous posts were so ignorant that I would prefer ya'll just ignore them. That propellant stuff is bad news.

Now I'm afraid to visit any store that stocks { fill in any smokeless powder here }

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Old December 15, 2012, 01:50 AM   #19
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why does this make me think about an old Jules Verne novel?
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