Workers removed a piece of the off-gas treatment system at the former Blue Grass mustard-agent processing facility in January in preparation for installation of new equipment designed for nerve-agent processing.
“This was our workers’ first time to do demolition work,” said Rusty Davis, Static Detonation Chamber 1200 deputy plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “The work went well, and they finished a couple days ahead of schedule. It was a great teaming effort with all of the project’s supporting departments.”
Facility workers cut the decontaminated and cleaned pressure wave attenuation buffer tank, which smoothed out pressure excursions in the waste gases from the destruction process, into small pieces. They placed the pieces in waste totes which were sent out as non-contaminated scrap. The tank and its enclosure were removed to make room for the larger tank slated for the next campaign to process drained VX nerve-agent rocket warheads.
The original plan called for the old tank to be removed through an opening in the roof and the new one to be placed through the opening, Davis said. Instead, the facility turned to demolition of the old tank within the building while awaiting approval of the mustard-agent to VX nerve-agent changeover plan from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection to be able to open the roof.
“Changing the plan helped us keep moving in getting ready to process the drained VX rocket warheads,” Davis said. “Being able to continue with preparation work for that activity, especially without having to deal with a big hole in the roof during these winter weather conditions, is helping with our changeover schedule.”
The team is scheduled to start opening the roof around the end of March, with the new tank installation following closely. The new buffer tank will be set in place through the roof opening with a crane.