Kentucky weapons destruction plant set to open in 2016

The site construction for a new chemical weapons plant at the Blue Grass Army Depot south of Richmond, Kentucky, that is set to destroy 523 tons of chemical weapons is over 25 complete and should be finished in 2016.

Protective areas around the plant include two feet thick concrete walls that are over 60 feet tall in some places and four feet thick foundations, McClatchy reports.

"That's not something that goes up very quickly," Jeff Brubaker, site project manager, said, according to McClatchy. "With all the instrumentation and controls, we're going to be installing about 7 million linear feet of wire and cable. That, in and of itself, is going to take between about 2.5 and three years to complete. It is on par with a large chemical-processing or nuclear facility."

In 2011, officials will make a decision about whether or not certain chemical mustard containing rounds will be exploded inside containment vessels as some of the solidified residue inside the rounds could pose a worker safety hazard.

X-ray assessments will be made of 96 non-leaking chemical rounds and 79 projectiles that have previously leaked.

The plant will include a 90,000-square-foot area in which chemical munitions will be taken apart, agents will be drained and explosives removed and neutralized.