Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant chemical agent original tonnage destroyed
Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant chemical agent original tonnage destroyed
BGCAPP Stats at a Glance
Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP)

BGCAPP safely destroyed a stockpile of chemical weapons previously stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. A portion of the destroyed munitions included M55 rockets. After the rocket warheads were punched and drained, they were sealed into individual containers and returned to a storage igloo. The rocket motors were secured for shipment for destruction in a Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) in Alabama. The drained warheads that remain in storage may contain residual chemical agent and are being destroyed in an SDC at BGCAPP. The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program will continue until this agent-contaminated secondary waste is destroyed.

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Current Project Phase:
Closure
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Chemical Agent Destroyed:
523.4 U.S. Tons

The Blue Grass Army Depot originally stored more than 523 tons of mustard and nerve agent in rockets and projectiles.

BG 155mm

155mm Projectiles

MUSTARD CAMPAIGN INITIATED: JUNE 7, 2019; COMPLETED SEPT. 4, 2021
VX CAMPAIGN INITIATED: JAN. 10, 2021; COMPLETED MAY 28, 2021

The 155mm projectile is a World War II-type munition. The 155mm projectiles in the Blue Grass stockpile contained mustard agent (H) or nerve agent (VX). Up to three colored bands, signifying the chemical agent within the munition, characterize its gray projectile body. The shell contained an adapter and a burster casing that screwed into the nose of the shell, also allowing a fuze to be screwed into the nose of the projectile. The VX projectile cavity contained 6 pounds of liquid agent and included a burster well but no burster; the mustard agent projectiles contained 11.7 pounds of liquid agent and a burster.

155mm Projectile details
BG 8-inch

8-inch Projectiles

CAMPAIGN INITIATED: JAN. 17, 2020
CAMPAIGN COMPLETED: MAY 11, 2020

The 8-inch projectile had a hollow, one-piece steel shell that was press fitted with a burster casing. The fuze cavity was sealed with a closing plug and gasket. The GB projectile cavity contained 14.5 pounds of liquid nerve agent. A lifting lug was installed into the fuze cavity to ease handling and shipping.

8-inch Projectile details
BG M55 Rockets

M55 Rockets

VX CAMPAIGN INITIATED: JULY 9, 2021;
COMPLETED APRIL 19, 2022
GB CAMPAIGN INITIATED: JULY 6, 2022

The M55 rocket, produced in the late 1950s, provided toxic chemical offensive capability for large target areas at long range. Originally intended for battlefield use, the rocket consisted of an aluminum nozzle assembly with spring-loaded fins, a rocket motor and a fused warhead containing chemical agent. Designed to carry approximately 11 pounds of agent, the rockets were packed in cylindrical fiberglass shipping and firing tubes.

M55 Rocket details
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Chemical Weapons Destruction Technologies

MAIN PLANT

START DATE: JAN. 17, 2020
END DATE: JULY 7, 2023
BGCAPP nerve agent neutralization

Neutralization

Neutralization was selected to destroy the nerve agent stockpile at the Blue Grass plant. Extensively trained, knowledgeable, skilled workers and state-of-the-art robotics systems ensured the safe destruction of the stockpile.

EXPLOSIVE DESTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY

START DATE: JUNE 7, 2019
STATUS:
SDC 2000 – OPERATIONAL (START DATE: JAN. 27, 2023)
SDC 1200 – OPERATIONAL (START DATE: OCT. 25, 2023)
BGCAPP Static Detonation Chamber

Static Detonation Chamber

Static Detonation Chamber, or SDC, units were chosen to be part of the chemical weapons destruction process at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. SDC units augmented the main plant by destroying the entire mustard munition stockpile and nerve-agent containerized, undrained warheads; rockets unsuitable for destruction in the main plant; and overpacked rockets and overpacked rocket motors. The SDC units are destroying containerized, drained rocket warheads, considered agent-contaminated secondary waste, as part of the plant’s closure phase.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission and Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Sept. 4, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. ET in Rooms A and B of Eastern Kentucky University’s Carl D. Perkins Building on Kit Carson Drive in Richmond. It also will be livestreamed online on the PEO ACWA YouTube and Facebook pages.

    For information, please contact the Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office at (859) 626‑8944, or bgoutreach@iem.com.

Slide 1

“We have a great crew. We work well together and we look out for each other.”

LESLY M.
CONTAINER HANDLER BUILDING AND UNPACK AREA OPERATOR
Slide 2

“It’s interesting work. It’s great that we’re getting these things done.”

JESSICA Y.
CONTROL ROOM OPERATOR
Slide 3

“What motivates me to do my job is seeing things done correctly and as efficiently as possible.”

KIRK F.
PLANT SHIFT REPRESENTATIVE
Slide 4

“I like working with other scientists, collaborating and developing methods.”

SHANGA L.
LABORATORY ANALYST
Slide 5

“I am glad we finished with the VX weapons and look forward to the last campaign as we make the world a safer place.”

ADRIENNE M.
CONTAINER HANDLER BUILDING AND UNPACK AREA OPERATOR
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