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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

Effects of the Deletion of
Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the
Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

Committee on Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout
on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

Board on Army Science and Technology

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by Contract No. W911NF-15-1-0465 with the U.S. Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-38948-8
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-38948-8
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/21884

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/21884.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

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The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

COMMITTEE ON EFFECTS OF THE DELETION OF CHEMICAL AGENT WASHOUT ON OPERATIONS AT THE BLUE GRASS CHEMICAL AGENT DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANT

GARY S. GROENEWOLD, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Chair

HEREK L. CLACK, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

RICHARD C. FLAGAN, NAE,1 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

REBECCA A. HAFFENDEN, Argonne National Laboratory, Santa Fe, New Mexico

THOM J. HODGSON, NAE, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

MURRAY GLENN LORD, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas

WILLIAM J. WARD, NAE, GE Corporate Research and Development (retired), Niskayuna, New York

Staff

BRUCE BRAUN, Director, Board on Army Science and Technology

JAMES C. MYSKA, Study Director

NIA D. JOHNSON, Senior Research Associate

DEANNA SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

___________________

1 Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

BOARD ON ARMY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DAVID M. MADDOX, NAE,1 Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia, Chair

JEAN D. REED, National Defense University, Arlington, Virginia, Vice Chair

SCOTT BADENOCH, Badenoch, LLC, Southfield, Michigan

STEVEN W. BOUTELLE, CISCO Consulting Services, Herndon, Virginia

CARL A. CASTRO, Center for Innovation and Research and Military Families, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

DAVID E. CROW, NAE, University of Connecticut, Glastonbury

REGINALD DESROCHES, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

EARL H. DOWELL, NAE, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

FRANCIS J. DOYLE III, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

JULIA D. ERDLEY, Pennsylvania State University, State College

LESTER A. FOSTER, Electronic Warfare Associates, Herndon, Virginia

JAMES A. FREEBERSYSER, BBN Technology, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

PETER N. FULLER, Cypress International, Springfield, Virginia

R. JOHN HANSMAN, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

J. SEAN HUMBERT, University of Colorado, Boulder

JOHN W. HUTCHINSON, NAE/NAS,2 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

JENNIE HWANG, NAE, H-Technologies Group, Cleveland, Ohio

BRUCE D. JETTE, Synovision Solutions, LLC, Burke, Virginia

JOHN JOANNOPOULOS, NAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

ROBIN L. KEESEE, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (retired), Fairfax, Virginia

ERIC T. MATSON, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

ROGER L. McCARTHY, NAE, McCarthy Engineering, Palo Alto, California

MICHAEL McGRATH, McGrath Analytics, LLC, Reston, Virginia

ALLAN T. MENSE, Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona

WALTER F. MORRISON, Booz Allen Hamilton (retired), Alexandria, Virginia

SCOTT PARAZYNSKI, Arizon State University, Tempe

DANIEL PODOLSKY, NAE, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

KENNETH M. ROSEN, General Aero-Science Consultants, LLC, Guilford, Connecticut

LEON E. SALOMON, Independent Consultant, Gulfport, Florida

ALBERT A. SCIARRETTA, CNS Technologies, Inc., Springfield, Virginia

NEIL SIEGEL, NAE, North Grumman Information Systems, Carson, California

LAWRENCE D. STONE, NAE, Metron, Inc., Reston, Virginia

MICHAEL A. VANE, Independent Consultant, Shaver Lake, California

Staff

BRUCE A. BRAUN, Director

CHRIS JONES, Financial Associate

JAMES C. MYSKA, Program Officer

NIA D. JOHNSON, Senior Research Associate

DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

___________________

1 Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

2 Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

Preface

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) was designed and constructed at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, for the purpose of destroying rockets and artillery projectiles that contain the nerve agents GB and VX. These nerve agents are chemical warfare agents, and the United States is obligated by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty to destroy them. BGCAPP is a chemical processing plant specifically designed to access munition cavities and drain liquid agents. Agent remaining in the munitions was originally to have been washed out using a stream of hot, high-pressure water. The agent and washout water were to have been combined and then reacted with sodium hydroxide, which chemically degrades the nerve agents. In addition to treating the agent, the BGCAPP also processes other multiple solid, liquid, and gaseous waste streams.

The mixtures of the agents with washout water generated by the initial drain-water washout process had the potential to create problems that would degrade the safety of operations and compromise the materials used in the agent transfer lines. Consequently, BGCAPP program management decided that these problems could be mitigated by eliminating the water washout process. This decision resulted in munitions bodies containing significant residual agent on surfaces or in crevices being sent into some BGCAPP processes that, in some instances, were not originally designed for agent destruction; and in others, resulted in higher agent loads than originally intended.

This report describes possible outcomes of the deletion of the water washout process that are related to the partitioning of agent into multiple processing streams within BGCAPP. These outcomes include the necessity of some processing units treating more agent than was initially planned, impacts on BGCAPP’s ability to meet and demonstrate achieving legally required destruction efficiency criteria, and impacts on process modeling and the ability to computationally predict munitions throughput and completion dates for munitions destruction campaigns.

I am very thankful for the members of the Committee on Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant, who served in a volunteer capacity but nevertheless were exceptionally generous with their expertise and time. They attended briefings at BGCAPP and two writing meetings at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine facilities in Washington, D.C.

The committee is indebted to the BGCAPP staff, being the beneficiary of extensive briefings and literature that they provided. The BGCAPP staff members were remarkable in their patience and energy as they responded to repeated requests for information. They displayed a high level of expertise throughout the course of this study.

The committee is also grateful for the support of the Academies staff, particularly Deanna Sparger, Nia Johnson, Jim Myska, and Bruce Braun. Their attention to logistical detail and the long-running familiarity with the BGCAPP endeavor was significant and highly appreciated over the course of this study.

Gary S. Groenewold, Chair
Committee on Effects of the
Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on
Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical
Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Edward L. Cussler, Jr., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,

Jaron Hansen, Brigham Young University,

Todd Kimmell, Argonne National Laboratory,

Ronald Kolpa, Argonne National Laboratory,

Arturo Lopez, The Dow Chemical Company,

Trisha H. Miller, Sandia National Laboratories, and

Julius Rebek, Jr., The Scripps Research Institute.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Hyla S. Napadensky, Napadensky Energetics Inc. (retired), who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×

Abbreviations and Acronyms

ACS agent collection system
AFS aluminum filtration system
ANR agent neutralization reactor
ANS agent neutralization system
APS aluminum precipitation system
ATT agent transfer tank
BGAD Blue Grass Army Depot
BGCAPP Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
BPBG Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass
BPT Bechtel Pueblo Team
CWC Chemical Weapons Convention
DE destruction efficiency
EBH energetics batch hydrolyzer
ENR energetics neutralization reactor
ENS energetics neutralization system
FOAK first-of-a-kind
GB nerve agent (sarin)
HF hydrofluoric acid or hydrogen fluoride
HSA hydrolysate storage area
HVAC heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
KAR Kentucky Administrative Regulations
KDEP Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection
KRS Kentucky Revised Statutes
LT level transmitter
MDB munitions demilitarization building
MPT metal parts treater
MWS munitions washout system
OTE EBH off-gas treatment system
OTM off-gas treatment system
PEO ACWA Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
PHS projectile handling system
ppb parts per billion
RCM rocket cutting machine
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RD&D Research, Development, and Demonstration
RHA residue handling area
RHS rocket handling system
RO reverse osmosis
RSM rocket shear machine
SCWO supercritical water oxidation
SDS spent decontamination solution
TOX thermal oxidizer
VX nerve agent
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21884.
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The United States manufactured significant quantities of chemical weapons during the Cold War and the years prior. Because the chemical weapons are aging, storage constitutes an ongoing risk to the facility workforces and to the communities nearby. In addition, the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty stipulates that the chemical weapons be destroyed. The United States has destroyed approximately 90 percent of the chemical weapons stockpile located at seven sites.

As part of the effort to destroy its remaining stockpile, the Department of Defense is building the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) on the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD), near Richmond, Kentucky. The stockpile stored at BGAD consists of rockets and projectiles containing the nerve agents GB and VX and the blister agent mustard. Continued storage poses a risk to the BGAD workforce and the surrounding community because these munitions are several decades old and are developing leaks.

Due to public opposition to the use of incineration to destroy the BGAD stockpile, Congress mandated that non- incineration technologies be identified for use at BGCAPP. As a result, the original BGCAPP design called for munitions to be drained of agent and then for the munition bodies to be washed out using high-pressure hot water. However as part of a larger package of modifications called Engineering Change Proposal 87 (ECP-87), the munition washout step was eliminated. Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant examines the impacts of this design change on operations at BGCAPP and makes recommendations to guide future decision making.

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