2015 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 01:25:15 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] "Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass [KY] Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant"
Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant 

National Academies Press

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) is being constructed under the direction
of the Program Executive Officer for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA).
BGCAPP is scheduled to begin its operations to destroy chemical munitions in 2018. Following
munitions access and hydrolysis of nerve agents and energetics, BGCAPP will use a first-of-a-kind
(FOAK) technology known as supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) to treat the hydrolysate and a water
recovery system (WRS) to recover water for reuse as quench water in the SCWO reactors. Except for
scheduled maintenance, the SCWO and WRS systems are intended to operate continuously for over 3

In an attempt to address potential issues with the systems that will be used to treat hydrolysate,
BGCAPP will conduct preoperational testing. This testing will take place concurrent with plant
systemization and will address process and equipment problems that were identified during and after
FOAK testing. These measures should help to address anticipated problems as BGCAPP begins the actual
munitions destruction process. The SCWO and WRS systems should be able to be operated successfully.

Yet there remain a number of factors that could cause the SCWO and WRS to underperform. For
example, the agent and energetic hydrolysates to be generated at BGCAPP constitute a very complex
matrix. As another example, the actual SCWO system that will be used at BGCAPP has never processed
actual agent or energetic hydrolysates. Further, the SCWO and the WRS have never been operated
together. These and other factors could lead to the SCWO and WRS underperforming and possibly delay
the destruction of the chemical munitions stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. These munitions have
now been stored for over five decades. Many of them have leaked and, although the chemical munitions
are stored in a protective manner, continued storage of these munitions represents an ongoing risk to the
local community. These munitions must be destroyed safely and efficiently, and it is therefore important
to ensure that problems with the SCWO and WRS do not delay this process. All the more so since there
will be long lead times associated with implementing any alternatives to processing hydrolysates through
the SCWO and WRS. The Army needs a backup plan for treating the BGCAPP hydrolysate and needs to
be in a position to implement it expeditiously if necessary.


To download or order the document, go to


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650-961-8918 or 650-969-1545
Fax: 650-961-8918

Military mailing list

  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] PFCs: "Brunswick Landing [ME] water contamination remedies in dispute"
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] REUSE: Plattsburgh Air Force Base (NY) 22 years later
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] PFCs: "Brunswick Landing [ME] water contamination remedies in dispute"
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] REUSE: Plattsburgh Air Force Base (NY) 22 years later

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index