Ramp-up of new nerve munition detonation chamber continues this week
As disposal of chemical weapons enters what’s expected to be a final phase, crews at the Blue Grass Army Depot are using a new facility. The Static Detonation Chamber 2000 destroyed its first drained rocked warhead late last week. Some 200 M55 nerve agent-leaking rockets, that have been overpacked, will also undergo implosion. Candace Coyle is the site project manager for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. Coyle said several safety measures are in place.
“Of course we do everything on our part from the infrastructure, and equipment, and enclosures to make sure we have everything under engineering control. People have the appropriate level of PPE or personal protection equipment to safety conduct all operations here,” said Coyle.
Coyle said the SDC 2000 is new to the Madison County Depot, but is not new technology.
Coyle noted the static detonation chamber is monitored down to the workers’ protection level, so that it can then be sent off for recycling. As operations ramp up the facility will be used for leaking nerve agent rockets that have been overpacked for protection.
An international treaty calls for the chemical weapons disposal program to be completed by the end of September.
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