Bechtel-Parsons JV Aims to Destroy 523 Tons of Chemical Weapons by 2023

Jeff Brody

A joint venture between Bechtel and Parsons works to destroy the last stockpile of the nation's chemical munitions as part of a U.S. effort to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty signed in 1997 by over 190 countries.

Bechtel said Wednesday the team is disposing chemical weapons at Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Kentucky, and plans to destroy 523 tons of mustard and nerve agent by 2023. The stockpile consists of weapons from World War II.

The first chemical weapons destroyed will undergo heating in a static detonation chamber designed to consume chemical agents via temperatures up to 1.1K Fahrenheit.

Afterwards, a bigger collection of nerve agents will be drained by the use of robots, and afterwards neutralize and broken down into basic components such as salts, water and carbon dioxide. Work on nerve agent munitions will begin later this year.

The Department of Defense's Executive Office for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives issued the contract that enabled the construction and allows the ongoing operations of the The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

“We made a commitment “˜for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons,'“ said Charles Ball, deputy assistant secretary of defense for threat reduction and arms control.

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