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18.9.2021 : 10:37 : +0200

Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS): Excess Stockpiles as Liabilities rather than Assets

By Eric G. Berman and Pilar Reina, June 2014

Unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) are a significant safety concern for governments and a major security challenge for the international community. The Small Arms Survey has documented more than 500 such incidents over the 35-year period from 1979 to 2013. (Updated information is available and covers incidents recorded until June 2016.)

This Handbook contains analysis of this data, with many helpful tables, figures, maps, and annexes. It serves three primary purposes, striving to:

  • support best practice by explaining the scale and scope of the challenge that policy-makers face;
  • encourage states to manage their stockpiles effectively;
  • help generate better data capturing and record keeping; and
  • serve as a reference tool and a training tool.

An online version of the Handbook provides an overview of the subject and offers details of the actors who undertake activities or provide services with a goal of securing munitions safely or identifying and destroying surplus munitions, listed both by type and by the activities they engage in. tools/uems-handbook.html


Download the sections:

  • Preliminary pages: Contents, Contributors, Foreword, Preface, Acknowledgements, List of boxes, figures, maps, and tables, and Abbreviations and acronyms.
    Download (152.83 KB)
  • Introduction and Part I: Scale and Scope
    Download (1.8 MB)
  • Part II: UEMS Incident Reporting Template (IRT)
    Download (142.58 KB)
  • Part IV: Annotated Bibliography and Review of Selected Tools
    Download (1.6 MB)
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Download the full book:

  • Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS)
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For further information and resources on UEMS, please visit this section.



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