By Michael FletcherMay 6, 2011
UMATILLA CHEMICAL AGENT DISPOSAL FACILITY, Oregon - On May 5, 2011 the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility destroyed its 1,635th mustard agent filled ton container, leaving 1,000 TCs remaining in inventory. This represents destruction of 62 percent of the HD mustard ton containers and 99.5 percent of the chemical stockpile. UMCDF is in its 13th and final agent destruction campaign which began in June 2009.
"The UMCDF workforce is to be commended for their steadfast efforts," said Gary Anderson, UMCDF Site Project Manager. "Their dedication will enable the Chemical Materials Agency, Department of Army and the United States to meet its international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty obligations. Our project schedule estimates completion of the mustard campaign in November of this year."
"We are systematically and safely processing ton containers 24 hours a day and the numbers of remaining TCs are steadily shrinking," said Steve Warren, project general manager for URS, the company that built and operates the plant. "Our trained staff has been destroying chemical agents for a long time and the end is nearing."
On April 16, UMCDF started use of the Rinsate Collection System, an improved process that allows for more efficient use of facility incinerators for the destruction of the Umatilla stockpile of HD mustard agent.
The HD ton containers have a solidified residue that remains after draining the liquid agent. This residue is removed by using high pressure hot water and the resultant mixture is called rinsate. Rinsate was then transferred to another ton contain for destruction in the metal parts furnace. With implementation of the new system, rinsate is now destroyed in the liquid incinerator rather than the metal parts furnace. Since operations began the UMCDF has destroyed nearly 20,000 pounds of rinsate and eliminated 45 ton containers from the metal parts furnace. The combination of destroying rinsate in the liquid incinerator and reducing the number of ton containers to be processed in the MPF greatly enhances the opportunity to complete UMCDF's mission this fall.