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An Overview of Disposal of Ammunition in the Dutch Section of the North Sea
Present Practice and Development of Safety Measures
As a legacy of the First and Second World War, there are still large amounts of explosives present in the (Netherlands part) of the North Sea. Since the war, several accidents happened when explosives were encountered during human activites at sea. In 2005, 3 people were killed by the explosion of a WW II US 500 lbs.bomb which exploded on board of the fishing vessel Maarten Jacob. As a result of that incident, the clearing of historic ordnance was intensified, and MCM/EOD teams are active every week, carrying out clearance operations at sea.
An overview of present practice, scale of clearing operations and modus operandi will be given. To study the possibilities to mitigate undesired effects of ordnance disposal, both for limiting infrastructural damage and environmental safety, the Royal Netherlands Navy recently started a research campaign to measure the effects of clearing of different types of ordnance. An overview of the measuring campaign will be given.
Lodewijk de Waard
Netherlands Ministry of Defence
Royal Netherlands Navy, Diving and Ordnance Disposal Group
Defense Materiel Organisation & Department of Transportation, Public Works and Water Management
P.O. Box 20701
The Hague / The Netherland