Chemical weapons destruction plant in Kentucky is finished

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) – Construction is complete on a facility that’s part of a $5 billion project to safely destroy Kentucky’s deadly stockpile of Cold War-era chemical weapons.

The Blue Grass Chemical-Agent Destruction Pilot Plant near Richmond has been in the works for about a decade. Once it opens, officials will conduct a testing period before beginning to destroy the 523 tons of nerve and mustard agents that have been stored at a military depot for decades.

The Army had originally planned to burn the deadly chemicals, but citizens groups opposed that method. The new plant will neutralize the agents with a chemical reaction and then destroy them. Another site in Colorado has been built and is expected to begin destroying weapons next year.

The weapons destruction is scheduled to be completed around 2023.

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This story has been corrected to show that $5 billion is the cost of the entire project, not just the facility, and that destruction is expected to be completed in 2023. It also corrects that while the Colorado site has been built, it will not begin destroying weapons until next year and will use a different method than the Kentucky facility.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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