How Neutralization Works
The Blue Grass main plant used neutralization to destroy the nerve agent stockpile. Extensively trained, knowledgeable, skilled workers and state-of-the-art robotics systems ensured the safe destruction of the stockpile.
Neutralization of Agent
Robotic equipment disassembled the munitions and the nerve agent was drained and separated from the explosive components (energetics). The Rocket Warhead Containerization System further processed the drained rocket warheads. The nerve agent was mixed vigorously with hot water and sodium hydroxide to destroy, or neutralize, it. The resulting product, known as hydrolysate, was held and tested to ensure chemical agent destruction before being shipped to an off-site treatment, storage and disposal facility for processing.
Disposing of the Metal Parts
The metal parts of the projectiles were first heated to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 15 minutes in the Metal Parts Treater for thermal decontamination. The metal parts were then safely recycled. (A portion of this image has been blurred in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines.)
Rocket Handling System
After the M55 rocket warheads were separated from the rocket motor and drained of chemical agent, a state-of-the-art robotics system placed the warheads into containers for safe transfer to the Static Detonation Chamber for destruction.
Gases were filtered through a series of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and carbon filters before being released into the atmosphere.