D3 Operational Support
Decommissioning, decontamination, and demolition (D3) of facilities used for the processing of energetic materials requires a unique explosives-safety skill set. Energetic materials and compositions can accumulate over time within process equipment, ventilation systems, process and vacuum piping, electrical equipment, drains and sumps, and other hidden spaces, therefore posing considerable potential risk to personnel performing D3 operations.
SMS has developed safe and reliable risk management systems to assess, categorize, decontaminate, disassemble equipment, and demolish such facilities. SMS has evaluated the suitability of various technologies for remote pipe cutting, boroscope inspection, thermal and/or chemical treatment, and destruction in place. Whether items are meant for reuse, recycle, or disposal, SMS can lead or assist your team to perform D3 activities in a safe and efficient manner.
We have successfully applied our risk-based approach to a wide variety of D3 operations. SMS provided key safety and design support for the D3 operations of the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) Chemical Systems Division manufacturing facility located in San Jose, California (2004 – 2009). The PWR facility consisted of over 230 structures on 5,200 acres. Utilizing systematic risk management, all high-hazard buildings with associated processing equipment have been safely removed, requiring over 900,000 man hours worked under difficult and challenging circumstances with no Lost Time injuries. Click here to read more on the details of the D3 work completed at the PWR facility.
D3 activities may provide sufficient energy for electrostatic discharge (ESD), friction, impact, or thermal stimulus to cause ignition (flame) or initiation (shock) of energetic materials. D3 operations render equipment, facilities, etc. safe from explosive hazards, and facilitates reuse, recycle, or disposal.
The scope of each D3 phase is as follows:
- Decommissioning: Current operations are brought to an ordered or orderly shutdown. A cursory cleanup may (or may not) be performed. The activities at this level are best described as: “Mop the floor, lock the door.” All further processing activities are suspended.
- Decontamination: Equipment and facilities are evaluated and designated a cleanliness level (e.g. 1X, 3X, 5X, or 0) that indicates the amount of energetic material potentially present. Equipment and contaminated areas are then decontaminated to an acceptable level.
- Demolition: The decontaminated structure is taken down and hauled away. Mechanical equipment (such as shielded excavators with hydraulic claws and bulldozers) are typically used.