Blue Grass Scientists Provide Update on Supercritical Water Oxidation Activities

John Barton, chief scientist, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, holds a sample of supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) effluent while briefing community stakeholders during a Secondary Waste Working Group meeting Nov. 10. A team from the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is working to ensure the SCWO process functions as intended during operations.

Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) scientists briefed Secondary Waste Working Group community stakeholders Nov. 10 about supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) activities and their progress on a recent study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

“An internal working group was formed to maintain open communications among various project representatives needed to make SCWO successful,” said Dr. George Lucier, deputy chief scientist, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG). “The group identified 33 critical issues and 33 non-critical issues.”

Remedy of the 33 critical issues is important for safe operation of the SCWO system or to meet availability requirements, said Lucier. The 33 non-critical issues were identified to enhance efficiency or to provide a buffer in the operating schedule.

“A number of these recommendations have been completed and others are in progress or being managed,” Lucier said.

Dr. John Barton, chief scientist, BPBG, updated the group on steps BGCAPP is taking based on recommendations from a recent National Academies report.

“We believe SCWO should be able to perform successfully,” said Barton. “However, it is prudent for us to establish a backup plan and be in a position to implement that plan expeditiously, if needed.”

Barton also said the project is committed to working with the Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commissions and Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board to establish a backup plan.

“The goal is to ensure a transparent consultation process and meaningful stakeholder input,” he said. “That process starts with the Secondary Waste Working Group.”

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