Conference article

Environmental Research on Munitions at FOI

Joakim Häggvall
Swedish Defence Research Agency, Weapons and Protection, Tumba, Sweden

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Published in: Proceedings from the Third International Disposal Conference; Karlskoga; Sweden; 10-11 November; 2003

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 9:8, p. 43–49

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Published: 2003-11-07


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The environmental constraint on all activity in society increases. Conventional munition is not an exception and there is a rising need for new methods to evaluate and to limit the effect that munition has on the environment. This is the subject of a number of research projects at FOI in Sweden. The range of these projects is wide and varies from theoretical studies to the actual measurements at site. This presentation will cover two of these projects.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to examine the environmental impact of a service or a product over its whole life cycle. In LCA; data is collected from the cradle to the grave for a specific service or product. Using databases and evaluation codes; a picture of the environmental impact is drawn. Hereby; the life cycle part responsible for the most severe environmental impact can be identified; and comparison can be made between different impact sources and other systems. The study also includes the use of a simplified LCA called the MECO method. The MECO is a much faster method but it does not include all the data that a qualitative LCA does. The goals of the project are to get an idea of the impact of the munitions’ life cycle; to see which part/parts have the most severe environmental impact and to see if the qualitative and the simplified LCA differ in result.

The need for new demilitarization methods is accentuated these days; especially the reuse of higher value explosives. Here; the driving force is not only environmental; but also economical. The project aims at the reuse of HMX and RDX. Especially; already available methods are evaluated for different RDX or HMX containing explosives. The examined methods originate from TPL Inc and from Nexplo AB. The project aims to look at how well the selected methods fulfil current and future Swedish needs.


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