After seven weeks of pilot testing activities at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), months of practice and preparation are resulting in safe and sustained operations.
“Trigger Training has helped reduce accidents and injuries,” said Rick Holmes, Bechtel Pueblo Team project manager, at the Oct. 26 Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting. “Good decisions are being made by staff, which has allowed plant operations to proceed safely.”
As of Oct. 24, more than 8,000 155mm projectiles have transferred from storage at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) to PCAPP without incident or injury, said Dan Hancock, deputy to the commander, PCD.
“We moved from joint training [with PCAPP personnel] to joint execution,” Hancock said.
One of the goals of pilot testing is to ramp up slowly to full operating capacity. On the first day of operations, only 10 rounds were processed. As of Oct. 21, 3,579 projectiles have been processed, said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP.
“We are increasing the ramp rate of the Projectile/Mortar Disassembly (PMD) system and anticipate we can process between 275 and 300 munitions through the PMD per day at 50 percent of capacity,” Holmes said.
Additionally, the plant has processed two mustard agent batches through Agent Neutralization Reactors. The processed batches are being stored in a 30-day Holding Tank until enough hydrolysate accumulates for subsequent treatment in the Biotreatment Area, said Ryan Williams, deputy site project manager, PCAPP.
“Sampling has verified that we have successfully neutralized the mustard agent,” Williams said.