The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, is a full-scale pilot plant designed to safely and efficiently destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. The depot has safely stored two types of chemical weapons since the 1940s: projectiles containing mustard agent and projectiles and rockets containing nerve agents, GB and VX. The Department of Defense’s Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, known as PEO ACWA, is responsible for safely destroying these weapons, thereby eliminating the risk associated with continued storage. The safety of the workforce, neighboring communities and the environment is the program’s top priority.
Two technologies will safely destroy the Blue Grass stockpile.
The Blue Grass plant will use neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation, known as SCWO, to destroy the nerve agent stockpile. Extensively trained, knowledgeable, skilled workers and state-of-the-art robotics systems will ensure the safe destruction of the stockpile.
An X-ray assessment of the Blue Grass stockpile determined that a number of projectiles contained solidified mustard agent and therefore could not be easily processed by the plant’s automated equipment. As a result, the Static Detonation Chamber was chosen to destroy the mustard agent stockpile.