Historical research

What is the value of historical UXO research?

As a client and project developer you would like a full inventory of all risks involved in your project, before any groundworks commence. By means of a thorough historical study you can act instead of react. This often proves more time- and cost effective in the long run.

Is historical UXO research mandatory?

No it is not. A historical study into potential UXO presence on your project site is not mandatory in some countries such as Belgium and France*. However, it is more often than not strongly recommended by local authorities as it gives you a clear image about a possible safety hazard to you and your employees. 

*In some countries, such as the Netherlands, it is mandatory. Each country has it’s own legislation concerning UXO mitigation.

Can anyone conduct historical UXO research?

Basically they can, but the question is if this is advisable. For this reason Deminetec-ECG has opted to certify in accordance with the Process Certification of Explosive Remnants of War (CS-OOO) of The Netherlands, to ensure a quality label. This means our researchers need to adhere to specific training, education and experience regulations and that a number of obligatory sources must be consulted.

Does historical UXO research provide any guarantees?

Historical studies do not provide any guarantees about the presence of UXO on site. What it does do is provide factual evidence where UXO could be or shouldn’t be present. It thus answers the question: Is there, while executing planned works on site, a realistic chance of encountering UXO?

Risk analysis

When is the time to conduct a risk analysis?

A risk assessment can be advised when a historical UXO study provides factual evidence that indicates a project site is (partial) suspected of UXO contamination. The risk assessment becomes a valuable asset when it is expected that further studies will reduce the area suspected of contamination and gives a more comprehensive insight of the actual safety hazards. In more complex areas, a risk assessment can provide a very zone-specific advice.

Are risk analyses mandatory?

Risk assessment is not mandatory. However, it definitely has benefits. It can provide a deep insight and clear understanding of the correct survey and detecting process required as well as specific risks that need mitigation. Eventually, it can save you enormous costs and time.

Who is involved in risk analyses?

The research team for executing a thorough risk assessment comprises academically trained historians, GIS-specialists, civil engineers and ammunition experts. As such all facets are equally represented.

Geophysical survey

Is a geophysical survey always useful?

The value of acquired data is strongly dependent on location specific factors. Detection is the measuring of metal contents in the soil. When there are too many disturbing objects present in the area or soil, the data will be too blurred to allow an adequate interpretation.

What is the difference between a surface survey and a survey at depth?

Through a survey at depth measurements are made by cone penetration testing. These are literally pressed into the soil.  A surface survey is not intrusive, as only measuring signals are sent into the bottom.

How must an area be prepared for a geophysical survey?

The area must be made as level and clean as possible to ensure the best results. Disturbing objects such as fences, cattle, wild vegetation etc. must be removed. Should this not be possible, then Deminetec-ECG along with the client will look for a possible solution.

Can geophysical surveys be performed on water?

Absolutely. Deminetec-ECG has full capacity to perform full surveys off-, near- and in-shore.

UXO clearance

Is it dangerous to excavate and identify UXO?

Yes. From a survey report we get a list of suspected targets present in the soil, but only after fully excavating these objects can they be identified as UXO or not. This is why the clearance process is conducted by qualified, highly trained and experienced operators.

Can UXO clearance be performed in water?

Certainly. Deminetec-ECG has qualified and trained divers who are experienced in identifying ordnance underwater.

Are UXO the only objects excavated?

No. Other objects with a metal content or debris are often excavated as well. These objects often had measuring values close to those of unexploded ordnance and are therefore excavated with the same amount of care and precision as would be explosive remnants of war. Horseshoes, farm wire and other less deadly objects are often encountered during our excavations.

What is done with finds other than UXO?

These are either recycled, separated or handed over to the client as per upfront agreements. Historically important finds are always handed over to the client, who must report them to the authorities. When our excavations are accompanying archaeological digs, all non UXO finds are inventoried and treated by the registered archaeologists. When suspected criminal objects are found such as weapons or caches, the local police are informed. 

Does Deminetec-ECG also neutralize explosives?

No, in most European countries, this task is provided by national Explosive Ordnance Disposal services. We can provide services from historical studies all the way up to assisting EOD services after transferral of explosive remnants of war. The actual neutralization is always under the auspices of the country’s EOD. *

*Depending on local legislation, Deminetec-ECG can provide its own blast personnel and perform its own low-order and bulk demolitions. 

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