Kentucky weapons destruction plant to receive storage containers

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Richmond, Kentucky, is set to receive shipments of storage containers used to safely transport chemical weapons to processing facilities from closing facilities in Alabama and Arkansas.

The storage containers are meant to assist the Kentucky plant in its primary mission of destroying a 523 ton stockpile of chemical weapons that was previously stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, the Courier Journal reports.

Jeff Brubaker, the project manager for the site, told the Courier Journal that the containers are meant to prevent the release of chemical agents in the event that any munitions leak. The containers have previously been used to transport chemical munitions at Chemical Materials Agency sites for the U.S. Army in Umatilla, Oregon; Tooele, Utah; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and Anniston, Alabama.

The first shipment of the containers will arrive in 2011 from the Pine Bluff Chemicals Agent Disposal Facility in Arkansas, which recently completed its mission of chemical demilitarization.

The Kentucky plant will receive over 50 containers, which will be emptied and cleaned before arrival. Brubaker told the Courier Journal that reusing the containers instead of buying new ones will save the pilot program over $10 million.

The Blue Grass Army Depot makes around 10,000 aluminum fin housing assemblies for mortars per month, the Courier Journal reports. Since 1941, its primary mission has been to store, maintain, receive and issue conventional ammunition.