“It has been a great team effort through two different destruction campaigns and a pandemic to get us to this point,” said Mike Noyes, plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “Everyone worked safely and compliantly to reach this milestone.”
The stockpile originally contained VX agent in 155mm projectiles and M55 rockets. The VX projectile campaign began in January 2021 and was completed in May. The VX rocket campaign began in July. The VX agent is neutralized in the Agent Neutralization System, with the resultant hydrolysate being shipped to Texas for destruction.
The project is working toward the destruction of chemical weapons by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. Public Law mandates stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023.
“It’s good to know we’re getting closer to our ultimate goal of destruction of all of the chemical weapons,” said Karl Slaughenhaupt, principal deputy, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “With each weapon destroyed, the community is a safer place.”
The VX rocket campaign is expected to be complete in early 2022, followed by a six-month change-over period. The GB M55 rocket campaign is scheduled to begin in July 2022.