Inspection: walkie-talkie in Veenhuizen bunker is a risk, but there is no safer device

Personnel at the ammunition complex in Veenhuizen may be in danger due to the use of walkie-talkies. Ammunition stored in a bunker can potentially explode due to the signals emitted by the devices.

This is stated in a research report by the Defense Security Inspectorate that concerns the management of security risks. The investigation was carried out in collaboration with the Military Inspectors of Dangerous Substances.

Walkie-talkies are used to communicate in bunkers. If this device is not allowed into the bunker due to the risk of explosion, this poses another risk, the report states.

“In the event of an emergency in the ammunition bunker, the employee cannot immediately warn his colleagues,” the researchers write. A dilemma, they realize. But more secure means of connection are not available. The safety risk when using walkie-talkies is ‘very small’, experts say.

State Secretary Christophe van der Maat sent the report to the House of Representatives yesterday. The inspectorate sees that initiatives at Defense to handle ammunition more safely are starting to bear fruit. However, there are also areas for improvement. That is why the inspectorate also makes a number of recommendations. For example, it is recommended to improve the structural exchange of knowledge about the management of ammunition safety risks.