Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Monthly Recap – August 2022

Chemical Weapons Destruction at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP):

PCAPP is destroying the remaining U.S. chemical weapons stockpile stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado. The original stockpile consisted of approximately 780,000 total chemical weapons containing mustard agent. The Colorado stockpile originally comprised three chemical munition types: 155mm and 105mm projectiles, and 4.2-inch mortar rounds.


Project Update:

  • As of Aug. 26, approximately 691,000 projectiles have been destroyed throughout the duration of the PCAPP demilitarization project. This accounts for approximately 89% of the projectiles in the original chemical weapons stockpile stored at PCD. Approximately 89,000 projectiles remain.
  • Following the 105mm projectile destruction campaign, which ended on July 20, Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) destruction is the focal point of PCAPP operations. In August, an average of approximately 75 4.2-inch mortar rounds were destroyed daily.

Main Plant Update:

  • PCAPP technicians are preparing to safely destroy some projectiles previously classified as rejects. Cavity Access Machines equipped with a Burster Rotating Adaptor Device will be used to release stuck bursters that had prevented a small number of 105mm and 155mm projectiles from undergoing automated destruction in the main plant. Approximately 50 105mm projectiles and 200 155mm projectiles have been classified as rejects and will be destroyed in the main plant.
  • A plan to destroy a portion of the 4.2-inch mortar rounds in the main plant is under review by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulators. The plan would incorporate an Improved Cavity Access Machine, or ICAM. Plant officials said the use of ICAM technology will increase the rates of 4.2-inch mortar round destruction.

SDC Update:

  • Three SDC units augment operations at PCAPP by destroying problematic munitions, including 4.2-inch mortar rounds. SDC technology uses thermal heating to safely detonate or deflagrate munitions, mustard agent and explosive components.
  • Since 4.2-inch mortar round destruction began Feb. 19 at the plant’s SDC units, more than 8,600 rounds have been destroyed. In August, more than 2,400 rounds were destroyed. The original stockpile contained more than 97,000 4.2-inch mortar rounds.

Upcoming Meetings

Permitting Working Group and Biotreatment Utilization Group Meetings
Sept. 28, 2022, at approximately 2 p.m. MDT

Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission Meeting
Sept. 28, 2022, at approximately 2 p.m. MDT

Zoom meeting information:

Phone:1 346 248 7799
Meeting ID: 851 2579 5932

New to PCAPP?

PCAPP is a facility built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile stored at PCD. The main plant uses neutralization followed by biotreatment to destroy 155mm and 105mm chemical weapons. The safety of the workforce and neighboring communities is the project’s priority.

The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives is targeting completion of the destruction of the remaining stockpile by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. Public Law 99-145 mandates stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023.

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