The control room of the plant that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County became operational over the weekend.
Beginning Saturday, operators manned the control room 24 hours a day as part of the plant's start-up. They will continue a 24/7 schedule as the physical plant is commissioned.
The plant south of Richmond is being built to destroy a stockpile of 523 tons of chemical weapons stored at Blue Grass Army Depot.
During operations, to minimize the risk to workers, the processing and destruction of the chemical agents will be performed remotely using automated systems and robots. Closed-circuit television cameras throughout the plant will allow control-room operators to monitor and control the destruction process.
Substantial completion of the plant is expected by the end of the month. The destruction of chemical weapons is scheduled to be finished in 2023.