Technicians are remotely operating equipment that will process the Kentucky mustard munitions stockpile.
Operating the Static Detonation Chamber, a type of Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT), remotely moves the facility one step closer to destroying chemical weapons.
“We had previously been operating equipment at the local level, which means at the piece of equipment itself,” said Mitchell Chapman, EDT automation lead, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG). “Operating in remote mode means the equipment is controlled from a centralized location, the Control Room, or CON. This not only allows the operation of the equipment, but also for CON operators to see the status of all operating plant systems.”
The change of equipment from local operation to remote is important because it removes operators from field activity, which multiplies the operators’ safety margin, said Chad Hieronimus, EDT shift plant manager, BPBG. The facility was designed for remote operation to keep workers from handling the mustard munitions more than absolutely necessary, plus there are additional safeguards in place.
“Now equipment is being controlled by the CON, operational interlocks are an essential part of the process,” said Chapman. “These safety devices will automatically keep equipment from operation if operating parameters are not met, providing further protection for the workers, community and environment.”
The next step for the EDT is a dry run of the Off-gas Treatment System, which will clean the hot gases coming from the destruction process.