State inspectors observed that munitions transport containers contained only related support equipment at the Blue Grass site Nov. 7.
“The Enhanced On-site Containers were received from other destruction sites and have been stored on-site here for more than six years,” said David Postley, inspector, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. “They were tested, inspected and cleared before shipment, but we are observing as they are opened to check nothing other than support equipment is inside.”
Support equipment includes inserts for the different types of munitions, said Jim Wangsgard, environmental compliance manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. Since the container is round, a shaped carrier insert will be required for the safe transport of the rockets and projectiles to the Blue Grass destruction facility from the Blue Grass Chemical Activity.
The inspectors were present as site personnel opened three containers slated to transport munitions from storage to the destruction facility when the plant is in operations.
“We expect to find inserts and trays inside the containers,” Wangsgard said. “We will be refurbishing all of the containers before operations to ensure safe and smooth functionality during processing.”
The Blue Grass plant received 68 containers and associated trailers from the now-closed Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Anniston, Alabama, destruction facilities in 2011. State inspectors will observe the opening of each container before destruction operations begin.