Munitions handlers and a mechanic exchanged air filters for the building that temporarily stores the mustard munitions awaiting destruction in the Static Detonation Chamber Aug. 3.
“We changed out six 100-pound carbon filters, one High Efficiency Particulate Air filter and a pre-filter,” said Dave Webb, Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT) plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG). “It was a first-time evolution that was made more complicated by the potential for chemical agent contamination on the filter elements.”
Activity personnel worked with multiple plant divisions including Environmental Compliance, Engineering, Safety and Waste Management to put a detailed plan together to perform the filter replacement, Webb said. All steps were evaluated and discussed in advance of the work.
Workers encapsulated the area and donned proper protective gear for the activity, said Chad Hieronimus, EDT shift plant manager, BPBG. Attention was focused on the physical hazards of lifting and moving the heavy filters in a tight space as well as any potential agent hazard.
“We repeatedly discussed the safety topics at our pre-work meetings,” Hieronimus said. “The team knew what to expect and we had people standing by in case they needed assistance. The change-out went smoothly and no agent readings were found during monitoring.”
Testing was completed and the filtration system was returned to service the same day.
The filter changeout was procedurally required due to the discovery through routine monitoring of a projectile leaking agent vapor June 9. The projectile and a contaminated one next to it were isolated and overpacked June 19. These activities are something for which crews have prepared and practiced, and the overpacked projectiles were destroyed in the Static Detonation Chamber July 28.