A multi-disciplinary team safely removed used carbon filters from the air filtration system in the Blue Grass Explosive Destruction Technology facility.
“The activity took about a day per bank for the two banks of filters, where each bank consisted of 48 cells weighing close to 100 pounds apiece,” said Rusty Davis, Static Detonation Chamber 1200 deputy plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “The planners focused on ergonomics as well as personal protection to keep everyone safe from injury. With prior planning and a group of focused individuals from multiple Blue Grass teams such as Waste Management, Safety and Quality Control, the effort went safely and smoothly.”
The carbon filters were used during the destruction of mustard-agent projectiles as part of the facility’s negative-pressure ventilation system to ensure any mustard agent vapor would be captured before it could leave the facility, Davis said. The facility is being converted into the Static Detonation Chamber 1200 to process VX nerve-agent rocket warheads previously drained and containerized in the main plant. To ensure successful air filtration for the destruction of those warheads, the old filters needed to be removed and replaced with new ones.
“The filters are the last line of defense in a robust system to keep agent vapors from leaving the facility, and they are very effective at what they do,” Davis said. “We are planning for the installation of the new filters and will maintain the same focus on detail and personal safety as we did with the removal of the old ones.”
The old filter materials will be disposed of as hazardous waste in the plant’s waste-disposal process. Installation of the new filters is planned for later this year.