O-075 Intrinsic Benefits of Insensitive Munitions

December 2002
Pascal Marchandin (Warheads & Fuzes)

NIMIC organised a workshop entitled "Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) for the Introduction of Insensitive Munitions into Service", which was held at Rimforsa Kursgård, Rimforsa, Sweden from 11th to 15th June 2001. Based upon the conclusions from the NIMIC Risk workshop, the main objective was to bring together experts in costs and benefits of IM to discuss and to establish a methodology to assess the costs and associated benefits (operational, financial, political, environmental and H&S) for each stage of the life cycle of an IM/MURAT munition in an existing or new weapon system (compared with a non-IM system).

This document summarises the activities, conclusions and recommendations of the workshop. It focuses on the activities of one of the groups, which was tasked to discuss and to make recommendations on Hazard Division reduction for IM, and on the follow-on activities pursued in March 2002 on Labelling and Hazard Classification of IM. Intrinsic benefits of reduced Hazard Classification for IM are reviewed and the existing reduced Hazard Classifications defined in some NIMIC Nations for less sensitive munitions are presented. Recommendations for a future hazard classification system for storage and handling are made based on the Maximum Credible Event (MCE) principle and aggregation rules for different types of munitions assigned to the same HD or to different HDs are proposed.

An additional recommendation of the CBA workshop was to develop an international accident database and to prepare presentations to promote the benefits of insensitive munitions to the identified stakeholders. A review of recent catastrophic accidents in the world (from 2000 until 2002) involving munitions is included using a new risk matrix developed to compare the consequences (operational, financial, political, environmental and H&S) in an incident when the munitions involved are IM or not.

Presentation details

This paper was presented to the 30th US Department of Defense Explosive Safety Seminar (DDESB) at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, USA