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.
- As of Sept. 30, approximately 695,000 munitions have been destroyed throughout the duration of the PCAPP demilitarization project. This accounts for approximately 89.10% of the munitions in the original chemical weapons stockpile stored at PCD. Approximately 85,000 munitions 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 September, an average of approximately 107 4.2-inch mortar rounds were destroyed daily.
- Ryan Williams assumed the role of principal deputy for the PCAPP project. In his new role, Williams manages the project’s government and support contractor Field Office staff, overseeing the systems contractor and the chemical weapons destruction mission in Pueblo.
- In September, James Watson Jr., the recently named Special Assistant to Program Executive Officer Michael Abaie, toured PCAPP. Dr. Watson’s duties include assisting with oversight of all aspects of chemical demilitarization in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Main Plant Update:
- The Bechtel Pueblo Team, the systems contractor selected to design, build, test and operate PCAPP, was awarded the contract to manage closing the plant. Closure activities as outlined in the contract will conclude 30 months after the final 4.2-inch mortar round is destroyed in 2023.
- In September, Cavity Access Machines equipped with a Burster Rotating Adaptor Device allowed for the destruction of some 105mm and 155mm projectiles previously rejected for processing PCAPP’s automated systems. Approximately 200 rejected 155mm projectiles and approximately 40 rejected 105mm projectiles were successfully destroyed.
- 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.
- 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 11,000 rounds have been destroyed. In September, more than 3,200 rounds were destroyed. The original stockpile contained more than 97,000 4.2-inch mortar rounds.
- In September, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment gave its approval for the PCAPP SDC units to operate concurrently at 75% capacity. Each SDC unit may now process approximately four munitions per hour. Since approval was given on Sept. 8, the SDC units have destroyed an average of 107 4.2-inch mortar rounds per day.
Permitting Working Group and Biotreatment Utilization Group Meetings
Oct. 26, 2022, at approximately 5 p.m. MDT
Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission Meeting
Oct. 26, 2022, at approximately 5 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.