Study of the Environmental Impacts of the Blow-in-Place Procedure of Various Explosives, Munitions and Charges


  1. Dubé, P.
  2. Brochu, S.
  3. Brousseau, P.
  4. Thiboutot, S.
  5. Ampleman, G.
  6. Lewis, J.
  7. Bouchard, M.
  8. Gagnon, A.
  9. Marois, A
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);BCR Polysyntech Inc, Val-Belair QUE (CAN)
A relatively large proportion of munitions used in live-fire exercises does not detonate as expected and generate unexploded ordnances (UXOs) in training areas. This percentage of non-functioning munitions can be evaluated to be between 3 and 10% of the fired ammunition, while for some type of munitions, such as antitank weapons, this proportion can be as high as 50%. These UXOs night bury themselves or lie at the surface in the training areas. Once a year, military experts of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) perform a clearance level one (surface clearance) in all training areas to get rid of the surface UXOs. Because they are considered unsafe to move, UXOs are blown in place with a charge of C4. These critical activities are considered dangerous but needed for the safety problem that these UXOs represent. The environmental impact of this particular activity has not been highly documented and a systematic study was needed. DRDC Valcartier designed specific experiments in which various munitions and charges were detonated using either C4 in various quantities or shaped charges, both commercial and military, with ammunitions either fused or un-fused, to verify the relative environmental impacts of each event. An experimental set-up involving the use of witness plates and the collection of detonation residues for analysis of their energetic material contents was designed. Despite the presence of contamination in some trials, some generalizations could be made. The gr

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Blow-in-place detonation;Unexploded ordnances;Explosive residues;NG;TNT;Training ranges;Surface sampling;High-explosive projectiles
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2003-370 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2004
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;CD ROM

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