The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is working toward resuming agent destruction operations.
“A series of challenges led to a pause in destruction operations in September,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP. “The amount of solids being washed from 155mm projectiles is greater than anticipated and has caused issues with plant process pumps and other systems.”
The solids have impacted several systems including Agent Neutralization Reactors and associated pumps in 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tanks. Mohrman said the management of these solids is the focus of ongoing engineering and scientific evaluation. In some cases, the solution is relatively straightforward, such as raising the intake piping in the 30-day tanks to keep solids from being pumped into the biotreatment system.
In November, the pause in agent destruction activities was extended due to an issue involving corrosion in a heat exchanger for the Off-gas Treatment System. After an extensive repair and a complete engineering evaluation of all associated piping, the OTS was put back into operation, Mohrman said.
“Plant systems and procedures are being worked while destruction operations are temporarily paused,” said Mohrman. “We continue to work to find and implement solutions to these complex problems to enable sustainable operations throughout the plant.”