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A team led by Bechtel National, Inc. and Parsons Government Services Inc.  will design, build, systemize, test, operate and close a plant to safely destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. The 15,000-acre depot stores mustard and nerve agent in projectiles and rockets. Our design concept for the pilot plant maximizes the use of existing designs and unit operations from other successful chemical demilitarization facilities. Approximately 80% of the design developed for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado, also being managed by Bechtel, is directly applicable to the unit operations selected for the Blue Grass stockpile.

The process chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense as the method of destruction - neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation - involves several steps:


  • Disassembling the munitions using modified reverse assembly
  • Removing the chemical agent and energetics from projectiles and rockets
  • Neutralizing the agent and energetics through hydrolysis
  • Destroying the energetics and agent hydrolysates in supercritical water oxidation,where they are subjected to very high temperature and pressure and break down into carbon dioxide, water, and salts
  • Decontaminating the projectile and munitions bodies
  • Treating the secondary wastes

Key features include:

  • Modular design
  • Single agent and energetic processing
  • Building 3D model to minimize construction interferences
  • Collaboration with the Pueblo, Colorado chemical demilitarization facility