Meeting planned about proposal to explode some mustard-agent projectiles at army depot

April 10, 2014 

The explosive containment vestibule inside the Munitions Demilitarization Building at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Demilitarization Pilot Plant near Richmond includes a rocket-cutting machine. No humans will be in this area once the plant is in operation.

CHARLES BERTRAM — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

A public meeting will be held Monday to answer questions and solicit comments about a proposal to explode mustard-agent projectiles inside steel detonation chambers at Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Rooms A and B of the Carl D. Perkins Building, Kit Carson Drive, at Eastern Kentucky University. Parking is next to the Perkins Building.

A panel of representatives will discuss the process, which requires a permit modification.

A 2011 X-ray assessment of the Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpile confirmed the solidification of mustard agent in a significant number of 155mm projectiles. That renders them unsuitable for robotic disassembly and processing in the pilot plant, under construction at the depot, that will be used to destroy nerve agent.

These munitions require a different approach for their destruction. Trying to remove the mustard agent by hand, for instance, poses a greater risk to workers than exploding the rounds in steel vessels.

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