The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) recently destroyed all 8-inch projectiles containing GB nerve agent.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) will destroy one of the most complex chemical weapons remaining in the United States: M55 rockets. At 6.5 feet tall, the M55 rocket is the longest of three types of munitions in the Blue Grass Army Depot stockpile. Originally developed to be fired from M91 launchers on the battlefield, M55 rockets were never used and have been safely stored for decades.
Inch by inch, technicians are testing nearly 40 miles of a complex piping system at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). The pipes will transport liquids as part of the destruction of chemical weapons containing nerve agent. The workers use a soapy solution, known as snoop, to test the pipes for air leaks during pressurization testing.
Technicians and operators loaded the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) filter banks with carbon trays to prepare them for operations. These filter banks will clean facility air during operations and are one of many systems designed to protect the workforce, community and the environment. The main filter-loading process concluded in December 2017. Watch the video to see how plant workers completed the task safely and efficiently.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, is a full-scale pilot plant designed and constructed to safely destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. The depot stores three types of chemical weapons: 155mm projectiles, 8-inch projectiles and M55 rockets. BGCAPP will use neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation, or SCWO, to destroy the nerve agent stockpile. Meanwhile, the site’s Explosive Destruction Technology, the Static Detonation Chamber, will destroy the mustard agent stockpile.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) Laboratory team is preparing for operations by testing the plant’s air monitoring equipment. Laboratory technicians analyze perimeter monitoring data to determine impacts from seasonal changes. As chemical agent destruction operations draw nearer, Laboratory staff will perform baseline testing to ensure their methods meet program requirements.
In January 2016, the Static Detonation Chamber was installed at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. This system will augment the main plant to destroy approximately 15,000 155mm mustard projectiles in the Blue Grass stockpile.
When chemical agent and energetics will be neutralized in the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP), the resulting product is called hydrolysate. This liquid will be broken down further using supercritical water oxidation, or SCWO, which turns hydrolysate into water, carbon dioxide and salts. BGCAPP Deputy Chief Scientist George Lucier and Government Shift Representative Kyle Conway explain this complex process.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) will destroy Kentucky’s nerve agent stockpile, but at an alternative system is required to destroy the mustard agent. The Static Detonation Chamber was chosen to eliminate mustard projectiles, but does not allow access to the cavity for agent verification, a Chemical Weapons Convention treaty requirement. BGCAPP will use experienced personnel from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center to sample the mustard munitions in order to fulfill treaty obligations and destroy the weapons in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
The Container Handling Building will provide a safe and secure storage area as munitions arrive at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. Workers will transfer munitions from this facility to start the destruction process in the Munitions Demilitarization Building.