A convoy of semitrailers carrying components for the first Static Detonation Chamber travels Aug. 6, 2019, through the Pueblo Chemical Depot towards the SDC construction site at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. Three SDCs will be used in the Pueblo plant’s mission to destroy the remaining chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado.
A worker on a lift unhooks a Static Detonation Chamber component from a crane after offloading it from a semitrailer Aug. 6, 2019, at a Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant construction site. Three SDCs will be used in the Pueblo plant’s mission to destroy the remaining chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado.
The first Static Detonation Chamber components arrived at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant on Aug. 6 in a convoy of more than a dozen flatbed trucks.
“We’re going through some absolutely exciting times,” said Mike Strong, deputy site project manager, PCAPP. “With the recent halfway point milestone in 155mm munition destruction, representing one-third of the total chemical stockpile in Colorado, and now such great progress with the SDCs that are starting to arrive, the plant is moving forward with confidence from the community.”
The Pueblo plant purchased three SDCs to augment the main plant and destroy U.S. Army mustard projectiles unsuitable for the facility’s neutralization and biotreatment process. “After permitting actions are taken care of, we will be putting the SDCs on the site,” Strong said.
Site construction for the SDC pads began in June after the plant received temporary authorization for limited work from Colorado and Pueblo County officials. The SDCs will be near the former site of the smaller, transportable Explosive Destruction System, which was used to destroy problematic munitions until last year.
“The components will be off-loaded and staged in the lot until we are ready for them,” said Matt Crookshanks, SDC manager, PCAPP. “We expect the start of SDC assembly to commence this fall.”
The components, when assembled, will form the first of three electrically heated SDC units at PCAPP and its off-gas treatment systems. SDCs are already in use at two other ACWA sites. One at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama started operations in 2010. A second unit started agent destruction operations at Kentucky’s Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in June.