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Title: An investigation of the Royal Air Force’s World War II chemical weapon legacy sites in the United Kingdom : the development of a spatial hazard assessment tool & a novel screening method for detecting mustard gas breakdown products using dogs
Author: Farmer, Timothy Paul
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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The RAF has been undertaking Land Quality Assessments across the retained estate. As part of this study the author has been interested in the environmental hazard posed by disposal to land by burial and or burning of the Royal Air Force's WWII (World War 2) Chemical Weapons (CW) stockpile. The investigation describes a Hazard Rating strategy to address the potential contamination. The development of a novel method of screening sites using dogs is also described. The study charts the development of chemical weapons for use by the RAF and looked at the production and distribution of these weapons from factories to stations. Mustard gas was the major chemical weapon agent adopted by the United Kingdom government during this period. The 65 Ib Light Casing (LC) bomb was deemed to be one of the most potentially successful weapons in the CW arsenal. As of 1 April 1945 the total number of 65 Ib LC bombs manufactured for use in Northwest Europe was 389,937 of which 388,800 were available for use by the RAF and 1,137 were transferred to the USAAF. The study describes the problems of leakage especially with the Mk 1 variant and its associated Mk 1 wooden crate. It is highly likely that leaking weapons were buried on RAF sites and that by the end of the war a considerable quantity of mustard gas agent has potentially leaked into the ground. Mustard gas is likely to remain on stations. American weapons, distribution and potential storage sites have also been discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available