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"Department of Energy Explosives Safety Manual"

University of California
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Hazards Control Department

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Department of Energy Explosives Safety Manual

University of California
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Hazards Control Department
26 May 2001


The official Safety Manual from the people who design, build, and test the world's largest bombs.  Published to provide personnel at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (who, along with Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs, are responsible for nuclear and thermonuclear weapons) with one reference that answers every question.

It is intended for both DOE and contractors involved with the development, testing, handling, and processing of explosives or assemblies containing explosives.  It reflects the state-of-the-art in explosives safety, and tells exactly how the nation's weapons makers minimize the risk of death or serious injury in explosives operations.

"This Manual applies to all DOE facilities engaged in development, manufacturing, storing, transporting, processing, or testing explosives, pyrotechnics and propellants, or assemblies containing these materials, and to the safe management of such operations."

The text also mentions handling of nuclear explosives, plutonium, and similar materials.

This document was written, it says, to provide a "level of safety at least equivalent to that of the best industrial practice, [with] the risk of death or serious injury limited to the lowest practicable minimum."

"Due to the unique nature of DOE's highly active role in research development in new explosives formulations, explosives synthesis, charge geometry, and explosives assemblies, as well as the proximity of explosives to weapon components, it is necessary to maintain the level of explosives safety standards commensurate with the risks."

A comprehensive presentation of the rules, from the people who design, build, and test America's nuclear arsenal.  Covers the spectrum of professional operations in industrial laboratories, plants, warehouses, and transportation. 

Sample illustrations and tables, greatly reduced in size and resolution


If you're thinking of working with propellants, pyrotechnics, explosives, or rockets, this book could save your life!  Includes working with:

  • Lead azide
  • Lead styphnate
  • Mercury fulminate
  • CP
  • Propellants
  • Pyrotechnics
  • High explosives
You'll find this thick and comprehensive book covers every aspect of explosives safety, down to the finest detail.  It's a fascinating read, full of keen information and data we've not seen elsewhere.  Particulars about:
  • Access to explosives areas and protection of explosives
  • Blast doors and slide escapes
  • Cleaning explosives machinery and buildings
  • Hot work operations
  • Remote operations
  • Electrical storms and lightning protection
  • Static electricity
  • Bonding and grounding of equipment
  • Testing bonded equipment grounds
  • Conductive floors, shoes, mats, wristbands
  • Conductive floor, work surface, and wristband specifications
  • Conductive floor tests
  • Humidification
  • Electrical equipment and wiring
  • Hand-held, Battery-powered lights and instruments
  • Vacuum equipment
  • Explosives dust exhaust ventilation and collection
  • Drains and sumps
  • Heating, drying, and thermal conditioning
  • Explosives pressing operations
  • Explosives extruding and machining operations
  • Dry screening, blending, and melting of explosives
  • Assembly and disassembly operations
  • Synthesis of explosive compounds (lab-scale and pilot- or processing-scale)
  • Mixing, ball or jar milling, roll milling
  • Contamination prevention
  • Test setups and firing
  • Warning signals
  • Firing leads
  • Test firing in tanks or chambers
  • Gun firings
  • Ballistic, environmental, physical property, and sensitivity testing
  • Testing of hazardous radioactive materials
  • Test failures and misfires
  • Electrical instruments for use with explosives systems
  • Materials handling
  • Explosives storage and magazine facilities
  • Storage compatibility groups
  • Decontamination and cleaning
  • Waste collection and disposal
  • Laboratory operations
  • Explosives and personnel limits and control
  • Personal protective clothing and equipment
  • Training
  • Quantity-distance and level-of-protection criteria for explosives activities
  • Fire protection
  • Operating procedures
  • Formulation scaleup
  • Testing of sensitive high explosives
  • Toxicity hazards
  • Laboratory operations
  • Remote operations
  • Smoking, matches, lighters, metal articles
  • Cooking and eating
  • access to explosives areas
  • Electrical storms and lightning protection
  • Static electricity
  • Bonding and grounding of equipment
  • Conductive floor, work surface, and wristbands
  • Humidification
  • Cords and wiring
  • Processing, heating, drying
  • Pressing and extruding
  • Machining
  • Dry screening, blending, melting
  • Assembly and disassembly
  • Inspection
  • Testing (covers many, many types)
  • Explosives storage
  • Decontamination and cleaning
  • Waste disposal
  • Training
  • Hazard classes
  • Formulation scale-up
For a detailed table of contents, please click here .

We recommend two important books before you begin working with propellants, explosives, pyrotechnics, or energetic chemicals.  This one, and our Safety Manual for Amateur Rocket Scientists.  With both books together you'll have the information and data you'll need to begin working with these hazardous materials safely.

If you're building an explosives or pyrotechnics library, this is one of the most modern books around on industrial explosives safety procedures. 

Includes many references and a detailed index.  Reprinted from an original DOE digital file with high-quality machinery using bright-white, acid-free paper.  11 x 8-1/2" size, loaded with diagrams, 155 pages, and quality bound.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW     $24.95

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