Experts have made improvements that aim to reduce entries into hazardous areas and enhance operations in the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant since destruction operations were paused in September.
“Plant downtime has allowed us to work on project improvements and equipment availability,” said Ryan Williams, deputy site project manager, PCAPP. “Once the plant is back up and operating, we’ll see the benefits of those improvements.”
Due to erosion from high pressure water, Munitions Washout System ram nozzles were replaced with hardened spray nozzles that are more resistant to erosion.
“We routinely had to make entries to replace the entire ram,” said Williams.
Additional modifications include placing a structural enclosure over the 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tanks, as well as the Biotreatment Area to keep rainwater or snow from collecting in the containment area. The enclosures will keep the tank area clear of moisture and reduce impacts from inclement weather.
The suction height nozzle was raised in the 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tanks to allow better solids settling in the tank and to prevent solids from travelling downstream. A strainer is also planned for installation just downstream of the tanks to remove solids that get past the tanks, Williams said.
“With the suction height nozzle raised and strainer installed, the solids impacts downstream should be improved,” Williams said.
Other project improvements include improving air monitoring times in the Explosive Containment Rooms. Previously, the cycle time was every five minutes, but now, after adding additional Miniature Continuous Air Monitoring Systems, the sample times are down to two-and-a-half minutes. If there is a leaker, the MINICAMS will detect it and confine it to the completely automated Explosion Containment Room. This will prevent the contamination of other rounds and equipment. Additional project improvements are planned to reduce the impacts from a leaker and/or improve the ability to recover from such an event, said Williams.