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Effect of Environmental Regulation on Energetic Systems and the Management of Critical Munitions Materials and Capability

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Applied Vehicle Technology

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Critical Materials, Demilitarisation, Environmental, Explosives, Green Munitions, Munitions, Propellants, Pyrotechnics, Regulation


The armed forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries possess and use large quantities of munitions. The production, use and disposal of these munitions makes a contribution to the overall environmental impact. Handling of munitions with energetic materials requires great care and considerable cost. The environmental impact of the processes must be acceptable to an increasingly critical general population to avoid anti-military backlash or overpass any environmental law. Clean up and restoring areas where military activities has polluted the ground or water requires significant funding. Past practices such as dumping at sea or into land-fill sites are no longer generally acceptable. There is a need to know and minimise the environmental impact from munitions so we can handle and manage our land properly. This has been examined in previous RTG/RSM/RLS activities (115, 177, 179, 197, 243) Regulations are being introduced and intensified for the management and use of materials hazardous to the environment. These regulations will affect the availability of energetic components for munitions and require that data are generated to manage use and disposal. It will also affect the choice of new materials for future application. Critical examination of the impact of these regulations is essential to ensure that NATO has the equipment to meet future needs and will develop the technological base for future munitions in all NATO and NATO related countries.


The study will examine present and planned regulations to assess their impact on energetic systems. Active research options and programmes will be reviewed to determine if they provide options for compliance. It will also identify critical materials and attempt to define routes for providing equivalent capability.


The topics to be covered are: Review regulations and future developments (REACH etc) across NATO and partners Discuss impact and R&D developments with active bodies (industry, academia, institutes and regulatory bodies) Identify short term critical materials for immediate action and critically examine the action being taken. Assess existing research activities for options for compliance with planned regulation Assess the applicability of modelling and simulation to predict effects and assess options. Critical examination of data to satisfy regulations Propose research activities to cover gaps

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