The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant began a phased approach to agent-destruction operations the first full week of June, following a review of safety, security and surety requirements.
“We received approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment June 4 and Facility Construction Certification authorization came June 5,” said Kim Jackson, plant manager, PCAPP. “These two items were the outstanding approvals needed for a slow ramp up to destruction operations.”
The initial focus of the plant is on the Agent Neutralization Reactors, which required modification to sustain operations. The vibration isolators were replaced with a flex hose design. Jackson said she is confident the new hoses will withstand the shaking that occurs when the mustard agent is neutralized.
The reactors are being tested with water batches before mustard agent is reintroduced.
“After successfully demonstrating the new design is working properly, we will move to the next step and drain the agent from the 155mm projectiles,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP.
“This is going to be a slow ramp up,” said Jackson. “We are ready. The crew has done a great job to get us to this point.”
The pilot facility has been working to resume agent-destruction operations since late last year.