ECBC experts will operate Explosive Destruction System in Colorado

The Program Executive Office for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives said on April 18 that the U.S. Army's Explosive Destruction System will be used in the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

The PCAPP was built at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado to destroy chemical weapon stockpiles that are located on the site. There are more than 2,600 tons of mustard agent at the site, which have been stored there since the 1950s.

The Explosive Destruction System was chosen by the Program Executive Office because of the system's ability to safely and easily destroy chemical agents. The system seals chemical munitions inside a steel chamber and uses explosives to access the munitions, expose the chemical agent inside the munitions and destroy the burster.

"We looked closely at cost, schedule and technical factors and found that the EDS is fully capable of doing the work we need it to do, while offering the best overall value to the taxpayer," Conrad F. Whyne, program executive officer, said.

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are sending technical experts to the Pueblo Chemical Depot. This special team of technicians and chemists, part of the Chemical Biological Application Risk Reduction Business Unit, are some of the only people qualified to run EDS.

This is not the first time that CBARR has operated EDS. CBARR has run the system in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Arkansas, Alabama, Utah and Colorado.

"CBARR has supported numerous demilitarization operations across the country with trained and experienced personnel that support ACWA and CMA's call for the elimination of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons," Ray Diberardo, CBARR project manager, said.