Technicians are decontaminating and cleaning the Blue Grass facility following the end of the GB 8-inch projectile campaign in May.
“We’re taking care of the areas of the plant that were contaminated with liquid agent or high-agent vapor, mainly the Munitions Washout System room and the Agent Neutralization System room,” said Carl Reagan, operations support manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “By eliminating the agent, we’re making it safe for workers in lower levels of protective gear to work within the plant to prepare it for the next campaign.”
Toxic-area entrants gear up in their demilitarization protective ensembles and perform the work in a methodical manner, Reagan said. They spray down the ceiling, walls and floors of the contaminated rooms and any equipment in the rooms with a mixture of a caustic decontamination, solution and water. Then another wash is performed using a hot-water pressure washer. The used solution and waste water are pumped to the spent decontamination solution tank to be disposed of through a secondary process.
“The decontamination is important from a safety perspective for two reasons,” Reagan said. “One, this will minimize agent exposure for plant workers in those areas, and two, they remove the potential for heat stress for those workers who had to wear the heavy, hot and bulky entry ensembles in those areas.”
The next step for the process is to downgrade the monitoring system from agent-processing levels to a lower-level system. Once the room tests at 0.0 on the higher-level system, technicians will open monitors for the new system and start testing them and building a baseline to work against in the future, Reagan said.