Leakage rate of the nerve agent tabun from sea-dumped munition

Scientific article 2020
John Aasulf Tørnes Thomas Vik Tomas Tungen Kjellstrøm
The leakage rate of nerve agents from corroded munition on the sea floor has been estimated by using table sugar as a simulant for the nerve agent tabun. Laboratory experiments were conducted with a full-size model of a KC250 Aerial bomb immersed in a tank with sea water. An analytical model for the leakage rate has been suggested and compared with numerical simulations using Computational Fluid Dynamics. If the corroded openings are facing upward, the leakage rate of the denser-than-water nerve agent is very low, allowing tabun to hydrolyse to much less toxic products before leaking out to the surrounding water. If the corroded openings are not facing upwards, both tabun and some of the decomposition products will leak out and hydrolyse fairly rapidly due to their higher density compared to sea water. The size of the hazardous area is therefore to a large degree determined by the size of the corroded opening and the half-life of tabun in sea water.

Publisher information

Tørnes, John Aasulf; Vik, Thomas; Kjellstrøm, Tomas Tungen. Leakage rate of the nerve agent tabun from sea-dumped munition. Marine Environmental Research 2020 ;Volum 161.

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