The Static Detonation Chamber facility went on lockdown April 5 in preparation for upcoming operations.
“Lockdown means we are treating everything exactly as it will be while we are processing the chemical weapons, from security measures to operating procedures to personal protective equipment,” said Chad Hieronimus, shift plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “This is designed to familiarize the workforce with the proper procedures and facility function and work out any final issues before the munitions are introduced to the facility.”
Lockdown is one of the last steps before operations begin, Hieronimus said. Integrated Operations Demonstrations, where each of the plant operations such as munitions movement and detonation-chamber processing are performed from beginning to end, are the next major step. Government and oversight agency start-of-operations approvals are also in process.
“The demonstrations are scheduled to begin May 7 and run for nine days,” said Fred Barnes, mechanical engineer lead, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “They are designed to prove the equipment, procedures and people are fully functional for the goal of safely destroying the mustard munitions before we actually begin doing so.”
Start-up for the Static Detonation Chamber facility is currently scheduled for on or about May 30.