Decontaminated projectile bodies processed through the Blue Grass Static Detonation Chamber are considered clean of chemical agent per U.S. Army standards and delivered to a metal recycling facility for further destruction.
“This is one of the last steps in the destruction of an entire class of weapons,” said Tom Reinhardt, quality assurance specialist ammunition surveillance, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “The final step is the smelting of the bodies for complete destruction.”
Roll-off waste containers each holding approximately 250 155mm projectile bodies are trucked to the facility after processing in the Static Detonation Chamber and monitoring to ensure their decontamination, Reinhardt said. Recycling facility workers remove the brass rotating band found toward the bottom of the body and score the fuze well threads, per destruction requirements. The high-quality steel bodies then proceed to a smelter to be melted down and reused.
“The destruction process is observed and verified from beginning to end,” Reinhardt said. “We visit the recycling facility to visually confirm the requirements are being met. It’s good to know these obsolete weapons are meeting their final end.”
The recycling facility will also destroy the projectile bodies processed by the main plant after it begins operations, currently scheduled for early 2020.