Chemical Weapons News – May 27

Russia to open chemical weapons destruction plant – Jim Heintz- The Associated Press
The bland buildings in western Siberia contain shelf after shelf of nerve-gas shells – some 2 million in all. Each could kill tens of thousands of people, if exploded in a tightly packed area. Many are small enough to be spirited away in a briefcase…

In Siberia, the Death Knell of a Complex Holding a Deadly Stockpile – Clifford J. Levy – The New York Times
Soon after the Soviet Union’s collapse, an American inspection team arrived at a decrepit storage complex in Siberia. The front gate was guarded by a scrawny teenage soldier who had not been paid in months. Giant sheds seemed to hold little of value. Why else would their doors be secured only with rusty bicycle locks?…

Two Chemical Agent Leaks Found at Kentucky Depot – Global Security Newswire
Workers at the Blue Grass Army Depot yesterday discovered chemical agent leaks in two storage structures…

Ky. chemical weapons site reports 2 minor leaks – Jeffrey McMurray, Associated Press Writer – The Chicago Tribune
Two vapor leaks were found Tuesday in separate igloos where thousands of Cold War-era chemical weapons are stored in Kentucky, but Army officials said that they posed little danger outside the facility. The leaked materials were mustard gas and sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent…

Leaks detected at Blue Grass Army Depot – Lexington Herald-Leader at Kentucky.com
Two leaks of different chemical agents were detected Tuesday at Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, but officials said neither poses risk or danger to people in the area…

CTR Program Eliminates 10 Ballistic Missiles – Global Security Newswire
Lugar on Friday plans to attend the formal opening of Russia’s Shchuchye chemical weapons disposal facility, which received significant financial assistance from the CTR program…

Regional meeting of Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons opens in Sofia – News.bg
The Bulgarian minister of economy and energy Peter Dimitrov will open today the Eight regional meeting of the national bodies of the countries members in the East European group of the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW), informed the press center of the ministry…

Weapons destruction in Alabama foreshadows work at depot – John Norton – The Pueblo Chieftain
One of the most dangerous steps in the destruction of Pueblo’s chemical weapons stockpile will be done by a trio of robotic systems using technology not unlike that found in automobile manufacturing plants. A contingent of state and local officials had a chance to see the first-of-its-kind array of robotic equipment…

Groups disagree about Gulf War illness research – Kelly Kennedy – Air Force Times
The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs say an Institute of Medicine study shows there is no Gulf War “syndrome,” and that there is nothing unique about the symptoms 1 in 4 Desert Storm veterans suffer. But the congressionally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illness say that not only is there a series of symptoms that make up a definable illness, they know what caused that illness…

Army preparing for chemical disposal at Utah desert site – The Salt Lake Tribune
The U.S. Army is preparing to dispose of nerve agent and a blister agent at Deseret Chemical Depot…

Arkansas Backs Plan for Faster Mustard Agent Destruction – Global Security Newswire
The Arkansas Environmental Quality Department has approved a proposal for increasing the rate of disposal of mustard agent stored at the Pine Bluff Arsenal…

Activists question use of tear gas to stop riots – Joyce Wanja – Daily Nation
Tear gas, that favourite anti-riot device used by the police, is now under scrutiny over whether it should be classified as a chemical weapon. From riotous football fans to protesting mechanics and university students, the gas has become the club of choice for law enforcers, but a conference in Nairobi on Thursday questioned this adoption. “Its use is acceptable for law keeping purposes, but its effect should not contravene the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention,”…

Pentagon Looks to Destroy 90% of Chemical Stockpile by Treaty Deadline – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Defense Department hopes to eliminate 90 percent of its stockpile of chemical weapons by 2012, the year designated by an international treaty for full disposal of the arsenal…

Arsenal OK’d to step up mustard gas destruction – Arkansas Online
State environmental regulators have cleared the chemical weapons disposal facility at the Pine Bluff Arsenal to accelerate its incineration of its mustard gas stockpile…

Army Adjusts Chemical Weapon Disposal Tracking Following Internal Criticism – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Army recently took steps to improve monitoring of destruction of chemical warfare materials, Defense Environment Alert reported last week. The moves followed a 2008 finding by internal auditors that the service’s Chemical Materials Agency was not always correctly recording disposal of mustard blister agent stored in bulk containers…

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