Bechtel officials said the engineering, construction and project management company recently destroyed the final inventory of projectiles containing mustard agent.
The company’s Kentucky team initiated the third of five chemical weapons destruction initiatives completed at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant near Richmond, Kentucky. Employees processed over 15,000, World War II-era projectiles in a sealed Static Detonation Chamber.
“The safety performance of our team was outstanding throughout the entire campaign,” Ron Hink, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass project manager, said. “Our team faced numerous challenges with the destruction of the mustard projectiles, but we were able to overcome those challenges and safely and successfully complete their destruction.”
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is operated under contract to the Department of Defense’s Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass serves as a joint venture of Bechtel National Inc. and Parsons Government Services Inc.
Over 31 percent of the original 523 tons of chemical agent has been destroyed in Kentucky as of Aug. 27, 2021, officials indicated. The chemical weapons stockpile originally consisted of 155mm projectiles containing mustard and VX nerve agent, 8-inch projectiles containing GB nerve agent and M55 rockets containing GB and VX nerve agent.
It is projected the government and Bechtel are slated to eliminate the Kentucky and Colorado chemical weapons stockpiles by 2023, per authorities.