Given the possibility of augmenting the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant with a new technology, three members of the Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission visited the Anniston Field office in Alabama to get a firsthand look.
“They were impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of the Static Detonation Chamber,” said Tim Garrett, site project manager, Anniston Field Office. “The visit allowed the members of the Colorado commission to see operation of the technology. I believe they left with a much better understanding of the SDC and the need for implementation at PCAPP.”
The units are an option being considered to destroy 4.2-inch mortar rounds and problematic munitions from the stockpile in Pueblo, under a proposal by the Bechtel Pueblo Team and approved by the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program. Due to performance issues identified during the first year of pilot testing, and to complete destruction of the stockpile by 2023, this technology is being explored to augment the main plant.
“I thought the machine was fascinating. We have the information we need to take back and see how it fits into supporting the PCAPP facility,” said Terry Hart, co-chair, CAC.
“We’ve come away with a lot more information certainly than what we went in with and can provide better information to the stakeholders of Pueblo,” said Irene Kornelly, chair, CAC.
The proposed equipment uses thermal heat to detonate or deflagrate chemical weapons. This explosive destruction technology was successfully used in Alabama in the past to destroy problematic munitions.
“The SDC has minimal human interface, is non-intrusive, does not require liquid draining or processing and is low maintenance,” said Dan Cox, assistant project manager, Bechtel Pueblo Team.
“I am impressed by the limited worker contact,” said Col. Christopher Grice, commander, U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot.
“We received a better understanding of how the SDC works,” said Ken Griffin, member, CAC. “The insight will help me in future discussions on the SDC. I think it was a good visit.”
The commission is scheduled to discuss their visit to Alabama, the technology and plans for the Pueblo project at a public meeting at 6 p.m. MDT, May 30, at the Olde Towne Carriage House in Pueblo, Colorado.