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Activity title

Sea Dumped Munitions and Environmental Risk

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Applied Vehicle Technology

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Demilitarisation, Environmental, Explosives, Green Munitions, Munitions, Propellants, Pyrotechnics, Sea Dumping, Underwater


Significant work has been carried out in NATO on the Methods for Disposal of Munitions (AVT115, AVT 177); on the Development of Greener Munitions (AVT179), and on Studies of Munition Land Contamination (AVT197). One area that has been identified as needing further study and understanding is the handling and management of munitions dumped underwater. This area includes sea-dumping on the continental shelf as well in river mouths and lakes. NATO needs to be able to assess the risks posed by such dumping at sea and the effect of the different water environments. The methods available for handling these risks also need evaluation with gaps identified. The tools available should be applicable to both organized dumping as well as war casualties and their advantages and limitations understood. A recent Workshop (AVT 269) in Varna, Bulgaria reported on and examined the state of the art and agreed that further NATO action was desirable.


To examine activity gaps for the management of underwater dumped conventional munitions and propose NATO STO activities to help fill these gaps and to work with other groups to help produce a coordinated approach..


The topics to be covered are: • Hazardous shipwrecks – munitions and danger of mass explosion • Corrosion of munitions in various environments – Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea North Sea, Fresh Water • Technology coordination and watch with communication • Inward and outward exploitation • Effects and impact of new technologies • Links to Non –NATO programmes such as Daimon, JPI-O as well as with other NATO bodies • Procedure development for underwater testing sites • Standard operating protocols and development – possibility including ways of producing a STANAG? • Shock wave effect on organisms and damage mitigation • Toxic effects and assessment • Modelling

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