Technicians are installing new equipment to support changes made to how nerve-agent filled rockets will be processed at the Blue Grass plant.
“We’ve been working in the plant concurrently with the development and testing of equipment at the vendor location,” said Jeff Brubaker, technical advisor, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “The team is focusing on multiple areas including equipment removal, area preparation, electrical and mechanical, and making good progress.”
Removal of existing rocket line equipment that is no longer necessary is ongoing within the Munitions Demilitarization Building, now that the first nerve-agent destruction campaign has ended, Brubaker said. For example, a storage tank in the Energetics Batch Hydrolyzer Room, its associated piping and the concrete pad it sat on have been removed so new equipment can be placed.
“We also brought some equipment in before the plant started processing chemical agent in January to allow for the safety of the workers before the agent was introduced to the plant,” Brubaker said. “Technicians disassembled the equipment to take it through plant doorways and are now reassembling it and working on its installation in the plant.”
The next steps will be the full fabrication and esting of new vertical rocket cutting machines and the development of an X-ray machine to scan rockets before they enter the destruction process to identify any leakers, which will be overpacked before processing.