The Blue Grass Chemical-Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) site project manager expects 2016 to be a year of important milestones at the main plant and Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT) site.
Two main startups this year are the Utility Building boilers and the Standby Diesel Generators, said Jeff Brubaker, Army site project manager. Additionally, simulated munitions will be introduced at BGCAPP for testing purposes.
The three Utility Building boilers will provide hot water and steam for plant processes and heating, Brubaker said. Three Standby Diesel Generators will provide back-up power for essential processes in case of power loss. Battery back-up systems will be installed to handle critical loads immediately after a power loss and allow for transition to the generators.
Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) Test Equipment, or ATE, are purpose-built inert munitions specifically designed for use in systemization of the pilot plant. Some contain water or ethylene glycol to simulate chemical agent, and all are made to closely match weapons the plant will destroy. Brubaker said they will be introduced into the main plant and used to test equipment this year.
A separate construction project continues to provide for the destruction of the mustard agent munitions. Brubaker said this year will see completion of the EDT Enclosure Building (EEB) and Control Room.
The Static Detonation Chamber, the heart of the EDT process, will be installed in the EEB, and ATE will be introduced to test that system as well, Brubaker said.
The SDC process is best described as loading munitions onto a conveyor, that moves them into an automated destruction process to deflagrate or detonate, Brubaker said. This will destroy the mustard agent and thermally cleanse the metal parts. Process gases will be cleansed through a pollution abatement system.
“This past year has been a momentous one for BGCAPP, and 2016 will bring even more progress toward our goal of the safe and environmentally sound destruction of the Kentucky chemical weapons stockpile,” Brubaker said.