Static Detonation Chamber trial testing at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant has ended, bringing the complex one step closer to full operations.
“In the six months since the complex received Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the SDC team has completed non-agent trial testing, conducted Integrated Operations Demonstrations, and now completed agent trial testing across all three units in the complex,” said John Jackson, SDC deputy plant manager.
To demonstrate the complex would operate as designed, CDPHE required two phases of trial testing. During the non-agent testing phase, which began last October and lasted approximately 14 weeks, the complex processed surrogate chemicals, inert munitions and conventional ammunition.
Agent trial testing began in February 2022 when the complex destroyed its first mustard agent-filled 4.2-inch mortar round, officially marking the beginning of SDC chemical weapons destruction operations. Since then, nearly 2,000 mortar rounds have been destroyed. SDC destruction will remain limited pending CDPHE approval of the trial testing report.
“Now, as we compile trial testing data, perform analysis and seek report approvals from CDPHE, we will continue to process at 50% rates on one SDC unit at a time,” Jackson said.