Workers at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant achieved the most productive weeks yet for processing and destruction of chemical munitions.
“We are marking a huge dent in the agent in the stockpile,” said Walton Levi, acting site project manager, PCAPP, after important systems beat performance records during the latest set of Integrated Facilities Demonstration runs. “That’s because the plant is mature, it’s running, things are going well. We’re finally hitting, I think, our stride there.”
Workers processed 1,073 155mm munitions through the plant’s Munitions Treatment Units on April 23. It’s the first time an IFD run has processed over 1,000 rounds. The previous record was 933 projectiles, set just one week earlier on April 16. That beat the record of 748 units on April 12.
The Pueblo plant staff have been performing the IFDs to show proficiency at different tasks with the facilities operating as they were designed to run. More IFD runs are expected in May.
The Munitions Washout System’s daily record is now 1,225 units processed – the highest in two years – and the Projectile Mortar Disassembly’s single-day record is now 781, surpassing last year’s high of 648.
Plant Manager Kim Jackson attributed the growth to improvements at PCAPP.
“Before the recent plant improvements and changes, our throughput rate averaged 28.8 munitions per hour. Before restarting the IFDs, we’ve never surpassed 30 munitions per hour on both lines,” Jackson said. “However, because of plant improvements, we have performed well with the last two IFDs and have completed an impressive rate of 31 and 32.8 munitions per hour.”
On April 1, Levi announced the destruction of 25% of the mustard agent stored at the U.S. Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot. “Just two or three weeks later, we’re at the 28% mark,” he said in an update April 24 at the meeting of the Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission.
As of April 17, the plant was running all 10 of its Cavity Access Machines, both of its MTUs and two Agent Neutralization Reactors.
“This exceptional feat is proof that we have a phenomenal team working together to achieve this mission,” Jackson said.