Construction of Energetic Waste Incinerator and Contaminated Waste Processor (EWI/CWP)

Closed 2 days ago

Date published
Closed 33 days ago
Closed 2 days ago
- None

Philip Mathews
United States


Construction of a new Energetic Waste Incinerator/ Contaminated Waste Processor (EWI/CWP) at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) in Radford, Virginia.  RFAAP is a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GOCO) energetic materials manufacturing facility located in Radford, Virginia, established in 1941.  RFAAP is the only producer of nitrocellulose (NC) in the National Technology and Industrial Base (NTIB), and the only domestic source of NC propellant used in the manufacture of ammunition and missiles. The manufacturing processes from production of NC propellants for small, medium, large caliber and MK90 ammunition generates multiple types of energetic waste that need to be treated on-site.  

The construction of the new EWI/CWP will replace the current aged EWI facilities, relocate the waste treatment and decontamination activities into one centralized facility, and reduce/eliminate open burning conducted at RFAAP.  The new EWI/CWP will treat at a minimum, 95 percent of all hazardous energetic waste streams from RFAAP, in an efficient, emission controlled thermal treatment facility that is compliant with the plant operating permits and Army policy. The Assistant Secretary of the Army issued a Memorandum for Open Burning (OB) of Certain Waste Material dated 26 November 2019.  The memo provides Army policy concerning the use of OB and requires that a new contained technology should be in place and operational no later than 01 October 2026. The construction of the new EWI/CWP facility addressed by this plan will meet this requirement.

The new EWI/CWP will be able to process Energetic Waste classified as 1.1 explosives on-site.  The EWI/CWP will process all of the production wastes and a minimum of 95 percent of wastes currently treated at the open-burning grounds (OBG).  There are two types of wastes, Energetic Waste (EW) and Energetic Contaminated Waste (ECW).

EW generated at RFAAP comes from multiple sources, such as process waste (shavings), rejected material, pit waste, and other direct process sources.  EW typically meets one of several hazardous waste classifications under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Currently, all EW generated at the RFAAP is either destroyed in one of two Energetic Waste Incinerators (EWIs) or at the open-burning grounds (OBG).  Both of these facilities are permitted under the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hazardous waste program. 

ECW is generated from material handling sources, such as pallets, filters, hoses, pipes, gloves, etc., that are slightly contaminated with energetics, but are not classified as a RCRA hazardous waste.  ECW can be either combustible solid waste (fiber drums, plastic drums, and plastic bags) or non-combustible contaminated metals.   

The EWI/CWP major systems include the Grinder for EW (nitrocellulose), a Contaminated Waste Feed System for combustible ECW, two Rotary Kiln Incinerators for EW and ECW (slurry and solids) with Air Pollution Control systems, a Contained Burn Chamber for non-grindable EW and combustible ECW, and a Car Bottom Decontamination Oven for non-combustible ECW (flue gas exhausts through an afterburner into one of the two Air Pollution Control systems).  The major systems are supported by the operations control center, motor control center, and maintenance and storage.

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