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Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Status Update
Ordnance technicians test a conveyor belt into an explosion containment room at PCAPP
Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, 25 February 2014; www.peoacwa.army.mil
One of the exciting activities happening at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) is the movement of robotic equipment – being controlled remotely from inside the plant’s high-tech Control Room. This illustrates the significant progress workers are making in the systemization phase leading up to operations.
With a row of new television monitors inside the Control Room, workers monitor changing weather conditions and handle phone calls related to site activities. In addition, they have remote access to test and operate robotics located two buildings away. The human operator remotely picks up ACWA Test Equipment and checks first-of-a-kind equipment to ensure the systems work as designed and programmed.
Once the Projectile/Mortar Disassembly systems have been tested in all three Explosion Containment Rooms of the Enhanced Reconfiguration Building, workers proceed to the Agent Processing Building (APB) where they begin testing the robots that make up the Cavity Access Machines.
These activities play a role in preparing the plant for provisional operations, which is scheduled to start in late summer or early fall of this year. By then, the systemization team will have successfully tested many of the systems and will turn them over to the operations group.
In the APB, workers continue to apply coatings in the Munitions Treatment Unit room near the air locks and the agent hydrolysate hold tanks; and also along interior and exterior areas of the building. This task will continue until mid-March. Then, the systemization team will begin preparing equipment for systems testing and turnover to the operations team.
At the PCAPP Training Facility, Toxic Area Training (TAT) is underway. This type of specialized training includes classroom instruction and hands-on training. Workers don a fully-encapsulated Demilitarization Protective Ensemble to ensure they can perform maintenance and other important tasks that may be required during operations. PCAPP will provide TAT to most of its recently-hired workers, including ordnance technicians, maintenance technicians, operations staff and operations support staff.
By the end of the month, crews should complete most of their follow-up tasks to construction. Meanwhile, ordnance technicians are expected to be hired throughout 2014. These technicians will support systemization personnel, while continuing to train and prepare for their jobs during the operations phase.
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