Blue Grass Army Depot begins destroying stored nerve agent

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The Blue Grass Army Depot has started destroying nerve agent stored at the facility.

The weapons are destroyed through a two-step process called neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation. (Blue Grass Army Depot)

More than 500 tons of chemical weapons are being housed on the compound.

The depot destroyed the first 8-inch projectile containing nerve agent in the main plant.

“This is another major milestone toward eliminating the total chemical weapons stockpile in Kentucky,” said Dr. Candace Coyle, BGCAPP site project manager. “With each munition destroyed, we are making Madison and surrounding counties a safer place to live.”

The weapons are destroyed through a two-step process called neutralization, followed by supercritical water oxidation.

Automated machines take the weapons apart, drain the chemicals, and then mix it with water and chemicals to break down the mixture into a less hazardous material.

That mixture is put under pressure and then heated to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit before it can be safely recycled.

As of Jan. 10, more than 15 tons of chemical agent have been destroyed in Kentucky.

The destruction of the weapons is set to be completed by Dec. 31, 2023.