Workers at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, have completed the first building on the Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT) project.
Constructed from eight-inch-thick reinforced concrete and equipped with a carbon filtration system, the EDT Service Magazine, or ESM, will be used to receive mustard munitions and serve as an interim holding location for them until they are moved to the Static Detonation Chamber for processing.
“We will transport the mustard projectiles to the ESM and then place them into processing from there,” said Fred Barnes, government EDT lead, BGCAPP. “This building allows us to have a buffer supply of munitions on the EDT site in case we aren’t able to transport munitions from storage that day. If conditions aren’t favorable for transport from storage, we will still be able to continue destruction of the mustard stockpile.”
Project personnel have completed ESM systemization tests except for the monitoring system, which will be installed at a later date, said Barnes. This means the building functions as it should, and is getting ready for the next step in the process.
“The completion of the Service Magazine is a big step toward our end goal of destruction,” said Terry Staggs, plant support specialist, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “After approval through a permitting, inspection, and certification process, we will move inert training munitions into the structure so EDT crews can begin their munition handling and environmental compliance training with this facility.”
During training, crew members will operate forklifts to unload, move and stack munition pallets. They will also train to perform environment inspections, munition accounting and perform contingency over-pack operations, said Staggs. The start of EDT operations is currently scheduled for late 2017.