Kentucky Plant completes destruction of mustard-agent chemical weapons

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RESTON, Va., Sept. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The last of an inventory of projectiles containing mustard agent was destroyed over the weekend by a Bechtel-led team in Kentucky. This marks the third of five chemical weapons destruction campaigns completed at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, near Richmond, Ky.

A munitions handler places a 155mm projectile containing mustard agent into a box to begin the destruction process in the Static Detonation Chamber at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

Workers safely processed more than 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,” said Ron Hink, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass project manager. “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.”

As of August 27, 2021, more than 31% of the original 523 tons of chemical agent has been destroyed in Kentucky.

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.

Historic commitment to global security

Since the 1980s, Bechtel has had an active role in U.S. and international efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. With the destruction of the stockpiles underway in Kentucky and a sister plant in Colorado, along with previous projects in Alabama and Maryland, Bechtel will have safely eliminated nearly 5,000 tons of chemical weapons in rockets, artillery rounds, mortar shells, and storage canisters at four of the nine original U.S. storage depots.

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant was built and is being operated under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass is a joint venture of Bechtel National Inc. and Parsons Government Services Inc. The Chemical Weapons Convention commits more than 190 nations to the eradication of chemical weapons. The U.S. government and Bechtel-led team is scheduled to eradicate the Kentucky and Colorado stockpiles by 2023.

About Bechtel:

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world’s infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place. 

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.   

Media contact:

Fred deSousa

[email protected]

tel. +1 703-429-6435

Mark York

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tel. +1 859-625-1291 (PRNewsFoto/Bechtel)

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