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EU program tests innovative approaches to mine clearing

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 01:50

Scientists join forces under EU program which aims to develop cheap and accessible mine clearing methods. Roselle Chen reports.

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Unexploded mines left over from past conflicts are an ongoing global problem. Experts think there are more than 100 million of them world-wide. The European Commission is co-funding 28 teams of scientists to detect and neutralize unexploded landmines, in a project called TIRAMISU. Professor Adam Januszko's team from Wroclaw's Military Institute of Engineering Technology has put forward five designs. This device targets a mine's detonator, making it inoperable and safe to dispose of. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) MILITARY INSTITUTE OF ENGINEER TECHNOLOGY IN WROCLAW SCIENTIST, PROFESSOR ADAM JANUSZKO, SAYING: "We use an explosive charge placed in the housing, which is detonated by a fuse, and in this section we placed a very important element. We call it an insert, which means that we can shoot it at the mine's detonator trying to neutralize it. A mine without a detonator will not explode." Affordability is crucial to each projects' feasibility, along with ease and safety of use - even by inexperienced operators. Other devices created by the team involve a substance burning at more than 2,500 degrees Celsius, which destroys the mine without causing an explosion. They've also built a tractor-based mine detonating vehicle and a modified explosives transportation container, which can be hauled by a tractor and has a modified lid, allowing for the escape of a possible explosive blast upwards. The tools will be tested and validated in mine-affected countries. The most successful could eventually be used by governments, private firms and NGOs involved in demining projects.

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EU program tests innovative approaches to mine clearing

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 01:50