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Brimstone safely identified, extracted, and disposed of over 3,500 items of UXO on a construction site in the UK.

Following on from unsuccessful remediation efforts by other contractors, Brimstone was appointed as the principal contractor to manage the UXO contamination on a housing development site in Staffordshire, UK. This required our full suite of UXO services, from an initial risk assessment and UXO survey through to ground remediation and UXO disposal.

At the request of the Health and Safety Executive, we conducted a Stage 2 Detailed UXO Risk Assessment. This identified the presence of a military scrap yard on-site during and after WWII. The yard was mostly engaged in breaking up surplus RAF aircraft. However, when the Home Guard disbanded in 1944, it appeared that unauthorised disposal of surplus ammunition occurred at the site.

Burntwood uxos found
More than 3,500 individual items of UXO were recovered from the site.

Deploying to site

We deployed an armoured excavator to uncover the UXO, supervised by one of our advanced UXO engineers wearing body armour and a ballistic helmet. The excavated soil was fed into one of our four conveyor systems, which had been constructed, to screen out dangerous items before reinstatement. Two labourers and one UXO engineer were assigned to each conveyor belt. During the project, we processed 80,000 cubic metres of ground.

Over the course of 12 months, more than 3,500 individual items of UXO were recovered from the site. Through a collaborative effort with the Health and Safety Executive and the local council, we formed a plan to destroy the items on-site using explosive demolitions.

Once an item of UXO was found, a dynamic threat assessment was made, and the item was dealt with accordingly, either being certified free from explosives (CFFE) or as UXO. We stored the items of ordnance on-site in a protected UXO store, constructed to military and international standards of safety. This stockpile of UXO was managed by former army ammunition technicians and bomb disposal officers.

The items most frequently found on site were No. 68 anti-tank rifle grenades, with over 2,500 being discovered and disposed of during our time on site. Small arms ammunition (SAA) casings, Z-rockets, fuzes and land and sea mine components were also found on site.

We completed over 100 explosive demolitions throughout the project, routinely destroying unsafe ordnance on-site across four or more demolitions per day. The quantity of explosives used never exceeded a total of 10kg, calculated through established safety distance formulae and using protective works.

The entire project was successfully carried out with no safety incidents involving UXO or the use of explosives. The site was handed back to the client with an ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) certificate, enabling them to proceed with their construction project with confidence.

Brimstone uxo on a site in burntwood, staffordshire

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