Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) technicians tested the rotation of all three of the Energetics Batch Hydrolyzer (EBH) drums for the first time March 8.
“This accomplishment is a credit to everyone who has worked on this equipment, from acquisition to installation to systemization,” said Bill Berryman, deputy start-up supervisor, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “We tested the instrumentation and the drive units and then started up the drums one at a time without a hitch.”
The drums, which will be used for the neutralization of the M55 rocket energetics, were first tested slowly, to check initial operation of the systems, said Berryman, then were ramped up to full operating speed. An EBH will rotate at two revolutions per minute in the forward direction for the neutralization process and up to nine rpm in reverse to unload cleaned metal parts.
“This system is where the ‘magic’ happens,” said Marshal Mayhew, government shift representative, BGCAPP. “Once the rocket warhead enters and goes through the process, it will no longer be part of a chemical weapon and the community need not worry about it any longer.”
The drums will be rotated periodically for maintenance and to train technicians and Control Room operators, said Mayhew. The next step for the EBHs is system demonstration testing, where they will perform as part of the bigger destruction system, to ready them for eventual operations.