Preparations Continue to Destroy Chemical Weapons

Tue, 12/27/2011 - 6:46am

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Construction is nearly half finished on a plant in Kentucky that will begin to destroy a stockpile of chemical weapons in about five years.

Work on the plant at Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond is 45 percent complete. The plant won't be finished until 2016, and destruction of the 523 tons of weapons won't be finished until 2021, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader (, citing current schedules.

"We've had good progress over the last 12 months," site project manager Jeff Brubaker said at a recent public meeting in Richmond.

The work in Kentucky comes as the destruction of chemicals weapons was completed in 2011 in Anniston, Ala., and Umatilla, Ore.

A milestone in the Kentucky plant's construction came in October when workers finished installing the vessels that will neutralize the chemical agents and explosive components inside the World War II-era rockets and projectiles.

The vessels, or reactors — not to be confused with nuclear reactors — are the heart of the pilot plant. Two 3-ton reactors will neutralize the chemical agents, and three 6-ton energetics reactors will neutralize the warheads, bursters and propellants.


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