Explosive Destruction Technology Overview
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, is safely and efficiently destroying the chemical weapons stockpile currently in storage at the Blue Grass Army Depot. A majority of the chemical weapons are being destroyed using neutralization. However, the use of an explosive destruction technology (EDT) was necessary to destroy a portion of the inventory of chemical munitions that presented a problem to process in the main plant. The EDT chosen to augment the main plant is the Static Detonation Chamber (SDC).
A 2011 X-ray assessment of the Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpile confirmed the solidification of mustard agent in a significant number of 155mm mustard projectiles, rendering them unsuitable for automated processing in the main plant. These problematic munitions, together with some 200 mustard projectiles that leaked in the past and were overpacked, required a different technological approach for their destruction. To resolve this issue, an SDC was used to destroy all of the approximately 15,000 mustard projectiles, as well as two 3-gallon Department of Transportation bottles containing mustard agent.
In 2019, to further enhance worker safety, the decision was made to also use SDC units to process rocket warheads from which the nerve agent has been drained. After being containerized, these drained warheads are processed in the SDC 1200 and SDC 2000. Some containerized, undrained rocket warheads will also be processed in the SDC units at the Blue Grass plant. The SDC 2000 is also being used to destroy rockets deemed unsuitable for processing in the main plant and overpacked rockets. The SDC 2000 began operations in January 2023.