Chemical Weapons News June 26

War of the poison dart: How Britain planned to rain death on the Nazis with sewing machine needles – The Daily Mail
The concept sounds almost medieval in its crude simplicity. A war strategy to shower enemy troops with tens of thousands of poisoned darts made from sewing machine needles that could bring death in minutes…

Britain’s secret weapon: sewing needles – Alan Travis – The Guardian
British biological warfare scientists developed a poisoned dart to rain down on enemy troops during the second world war and used sewing machine needles to make prototypes…

Britain considered Japan chemical attack: records – AFP
Britain considered attacking Tokyo with chemical weapons almost a year before the US bombardments that ended World War II in Asia, declassified records revealed on Friday. The records at the National Archives, which have remained hidden from public view for 65 years, revealed clear proposals to use gas on civilians in 1944…

British wanted poison darts for WWII – Gregory Katz, The Associated Press – Accessed from The Edmonton Sun
Long before Ian Fleming dreamed up James Bond, the British military was planning to develop poison darts, lethal weapons that would have pleased 007 and his gadget man, Q. Detailed proposals about the poison-laden darts, which were supposed to be dropped on enemy troops from Royal Air Force bombers…

OPCW Chief Meets With Leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina – Global Security Newswire
The head of the organization that monitors compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention met Monday with top officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina to discuss efforts by national governments to enforce the treaty…

Gas leak detected at weapons depot – KTVZ News
Employees of the Umatilla Chemical Depot detected a small leak of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas in 1 of the storage igloos but depot officials said the leak would be repaired and decontaminated with no risk to humans…

Chemical Plants Must Be Safe From Attack – By Reps. Bennie Thompson, Henry Waxman, Sheila Jackson Lee and Ed Markey – Roll Call
It is a terrible fact of life after 9/11 that we now more fully understand the elements of a terrorist attack. It involves a weapon, a target and a terrorist. In London, Madrid, Islamabad, Mumbai and Bali, the elements were separate and distinct. In some cases, however, the weapon and the target could be one and the same…

House Panel Advances Chemical Security Bill – Chris Strohm – Global Security Newswire
Chemical facilities across the country could be required to use safer technologies and processes and could be sued for security violations under legislation approved by Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee late Tuesday…

No Public Comment Offered On Arsenal’s Burn Permit – Amy Riggin – The Pine Bluff Commercial
It appears that local residents don’t have much to say about continued chemical weapons incineration. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality held a meeting Monday at White Hall City Hall to give the public a chance to provide input on the Pine Bluff Arsenal’s chemical weapons disposal permit renewal…

Judge Denies Injunction Against Mustard Agent Incineration at Umatilla – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Army’s Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon will continue burning mustard blister agent for the time being despite objections from environmental groups…

Disarmament cooperation with Russia: construction begins today on a new chemical weapons destruction plant in Pochep, German MFA announced – Auswärtiges Amt
Today (22 June 2009) German firms, charged by the Federal Foreign Office, will begin construction of the technical equipment for the chemical weapons destruction plant being built in Pochep in the Bryansk region of the Russian Federation. Under a G8 initiative known as the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the German Government is supporting…

Update: Arsenal Up For New Permit – Melissa Dunbar-Gates – TodaysTHV
You’re probably aware that just north of Pine Bluff an arsenal is burning and destroying chemical weapons. Most date back to the 1940′s and 1950′s. Monday night the public had a chance to speak out about the arsenal’s permit to do so…

Umatilla Chemical Depot update – The East Oregonian
With the startup of operations again at the Umatilla Chemical Depot, the East Oregonian is starting up its weekly update again. The depot described its start to destroying the mustard ton containers as “slow” and “deliberate,” noting the numbers on the amount destroyed won’t be large to start with…

North Korea’s Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs – International Crisis Group Report
This report examines North Korea’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities in the context of its military doctrine and national objectives. It is based on open source literature, interviews and unpublished documents made available to Crisis Group. Companion reports published simultaneously assess the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities and what the policy response of the international community should be to its recent nuclear and missile testing…

North Korea Could Use Chemical Weapons in Conflict, Report Says – Global Security Newswire
A report released today said that military conflict with North Korea might lead the isolated regime to use its sizable chemical arsenal against South Korea…

US boosts Hawaii defense to counter NKorea threat – Vijay Joshi – The Associated Press
The United States says it has deployed anti-missile defenses around Hawaii, following reports that North Korea is preparing to fire its most advanced ballistic missile in that direction to coincide with the U.S. Independence Day holiday next month…

Analysts: NKorea’s chemical arms as grave as nukes – Jae-Soon Chang – The Associated Press
North Korea’s massive stockpile of chemical weapons is as threatening as its nuclear program, analysts said Thursday, highlighting an aspect of the secretive regime’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that is rarely talked about…

N. Korea chemical weapons threaten the region: report – The China Times
North Korea has several thousand tons of chemical weapons it can mount on missiles that could be used on a rapid strike against the South, said a report released on Thursday by the International Crisis Group (ICG)…

Massive chemical attack drill carried out across Wisconsin – Brian Bull – Wisconsin Public Radio
Ten Wisconsin hospitals and the U.S. Army Reserve are staging several mass casualty drills this week. Officials say “Operation Red Dragon” is the largest ever exercise they’ve done yet to prepare for a possible, large-scale disaster…

Russia Pledges to Meet 2009 Chemical Weapons Disposal Obligation – Global Security Newswire
A senior Russian official said this week that the nation would meet its obligation to destroy 45 percent of its chemical weapons stockpile by the end of this year…

DHS Officials, Industry Reps Protest Chemical Security Bill – Mickey McCarter – Homeland Security Today
The House Homeland Security Committee will begin markup Thursday of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 (HR 2868)–but it does so over the resistance of the panel’s Republicans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and representatives of the chemical industry…

Editorial by Pfirter and Gorbachev

Former general secretary and executive president of the Soviet Union and current president of the international organization Global Green, Mikhail Gorbachev and current Director General of the OPCW, Amb. Rogelio Pfirter have published an editorial in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  “Disarmament lessons from the Chemical Weapons Convention” highlights the CWC as an effective multilateral framework to eliminate an entire class of weapons and prevent their future proliferation, and stresses the importance of a world free of all weapons of mass destruction.

The Bulletin also recently published an article by Jonathan Tucker and Paul Walker called “Getting chemical weapons destruction back on track”.

Finally, highlights from DG Pfirter’s recent trip to Washington and links to his public presentations can be found here.

DG Pfirter speaking in Washington this week

OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter will be speaking on “Going to Zero With Weapons of Mass Destruction: Lessons From the Chemical Weapons Convention”  June 16 from noon-1pm at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC. The event will also be webcast live.

Go here for additional event details, webcast, and to RSVP.

Amb. Pfirter will also be speaking at the Carnegie Endowment (1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington) on June 17, 2009 from 9-10:30am. RSVP to Katie Donaldson by email.

Chemical Weapons News – June 8

Umatilla to destroy its last weapons. Now what? – The Associate Press – kgw.com News
After more than 45 years, the days of the Umatilla Chemical Depot are numbered. The depot is preparing to incinerate its hefty supply of mustard gas, the last chemical weapon stored there.

Videos renew debate on military use of animals – CNN
Newly released videos are raising questions about the military’s continued use of live animals in simulated battlefield medical training…

Transfer of mustard blister agent begins – United Press International
The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency announced it has begun the transfer of mustard blister agent to the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. The CMA says the delivery of blister agent HD mustard-filled containers to the UMCDF is a significant milestone…

Final Chemical Agent Disposal Campaign Begins at Umatilla – Global Security Newswire
The final chemical agent demilitarization campaign is under way at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon, the U.S. Army announced yesterday…

Army Begins Mustard Blister Agent Disposal Campaign – US Army Chemical Materials Agency Press Release – PRNewswire.com
Umatilla Chemical Depot (UMCD) storage workers began delivering HD mustard-filled bulk containers or “ton containers” to the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF) at 10 a.m. this morning. This marks the official start of the last individual chemical munitions disposal campaign at the depot…

Umatilla Depot to destroy mustard gas – The Seattle Times
Workers at the Umatilla Chemical Depot have begun the process to incinerate the last of the chemical weapons stored there…

Panel Proposes Destruction Method for Leaking Pueblo Mustard Munitions – Global Security Newswire
A U.S. National Academies advisory panel has recommended using a mobile unit already operated by the Army to destroy leaking and heavily corroded mustard agent munitions at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado…

Leaking Munition Secured at Chemical Weapons Depot – Global Security Newswire
Officials at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky have discovered the source of a nerve agent leak in a containment igloo at the installation…

No Legal Option for Meeting Chemical Demilitarization Deadline, Report Says – Global Security Newswire
A new report says that U.S. law prohibits the only realistic option for meeting the 2017 deadline set by Congress for complete elimination of the U.S. chemical-weapon stockpile, Superfund Report reported yesterday…

Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot Hiring Security Guards – KNDO NBC News
For the second time this year the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot is hiring more security guards. The depot is hiring more guards because they are about to start another mission…

What Lies Ahead for Pueblo’s Chemical Weapons – 5820 Magazine
A state-of-the-art factory will be built on the open prairie at the Pueblo Chemical Depot to destroy the mustard-gas weapons that have long been stored there. U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, visited the depot on Saturday, saying that in his 10 years as a federal lawmaker…

Pueblo Chemical Depot May Receive More Money – Sean Hauser – KRDO ABC News
Senator Mark Udall visited the Steel City Saturday to get a rare look inside the Pueblo Chemical Depot. Udall said at times there hasn’t been enough money dedicated in the past to the Weapons Destruction Program, but he’s hopeful that will soon change…

Arsenal Looks To Closing Chemical Weapons Incinerator – NWA online
Chemical weapons destruction at the Pine Bluff Arsenal is in its final stage, and officials are now considering what to do with the disposal facility after the incinerator and related equipment are decommissioned…

Pine Bluff Arsenal looks to end of chemical weapons disposal, decommissioning of incinerator – Associated Press, accessed at KFSM News
The Pine Bluff Arsenal is in the final years of disposing of chemical weapons stored at the site. incineration of mustard gas scheduled to be complete in November 2011…

Making progress at the depot – By Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and Congressman Ben Chandler, D-Ky. – The Richmond Register
Kentuckians got some good news recently regarding the deadly chemical weapons stored by the Department of Defense at the Blue Grass Army Depot. A recent report from the Department announced progress toward their disposal and a path forward for complete elimination…

Russia Opens CW Destruction Plant

On Friday the Chemical Weapons Destruction Plant in Shchuchye Russia was opened. Its construction was funded under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program started by Seantor Richard Lugar (R-Ind) and former Senator Sam Nunn. Senator Lugar was onhand for the opening of the new facility.

The historic opening was widely covered in the international press and you can read further details, see pictures, and watch video of the event in the media reports below.

Plant to Destroy Chemical Weapons Opens in Russia – Phillip P. Pan – The Washington Post
Russia and the United States formally opened on Friday a plant in Siberia to destroy a huge stockpile of artillery shells filled with deadly nerve agents, more than a decade after alarmed U.S. officials first pledged to help secure and dispose of the weapons…

US, Russia unveil plant to decommission chemical weapons – CCTV-International
The US and Russia have opened a huge plant to decommission about two-million chemical weapons. Located in southern Siberia, the plant was built with the help of one billion dollars from the US government…

Russian chemical weapons destruction plant opens – Jim Heintz – The Associated Press
Russian and U.S. officials on Friday formally opened a massive plant in Siberia that is to destroy some 2 million chemical weapons shells, hailing the move as a milestone in global security and in cooperation between Moscow and Washington…

Russia plant destroys chemical weapons for WWIII – Dmitry Solovyov – Reuters
Much of Russia’s vast Cold War stockpile of chemical weapons, many with single warheads that could kill thousands, will be destroyed at a remote facility launched on Friday. Sarin, Soman and the most potent nerve gas VX…

Lugar Record on the Nunn-Lugar Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility (CWDF) at Shchuchye – Press Release of Senator Lugar
1992: The Pentagon requests authority for the Nunn-Lugar Program to address threats posed by chemical weapons. Congress grants the authority. 1993 – 1996: Nunn-Lugar cooperating with Russia…

US, Russian officials open plant to destroy chemical weapons – Jim Heintz, AP writer – The Boston Globe
Rising out of the rolling fields and tree-lined country roads of southern Siberia is a complex of hulking metal buildings, piping, and high-security fencing. Its purpose? To cope with one of the nastiest legacies of the Cold War…

Russia pledges to destroy chemical weapons – United Press International
The Russian government said Friday it will destroy 45 percent of the country’s chemical weapons stockpile by the end of the year. Russian Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko said during Friday’s opening ceremony…

Major Chemical Weapons Destruction Site Opens in Russia – Global Security Newswire
A major chemical weapons disposal facility formally opened today in Shchuchye, Russia, marking a significant milestone in the continuing global effort to eliminate the arsenals of chemical warfare materials…

Facility to Destroy Chemical Weapons Opens – The Moscow Times
Much of Russia’s vast Cold War stockpile of chemical weapons, many with single warheads that could kill thousands, will be destroyed at a remote Urals facility that opened Friday…

Russia Opens Chemical Weapons Destruction Plant – Voice of America
A massive plant designed to destroy two million chemical weapons opened Friday in Siberia. The plant, funded with more than $1 billion from the U.S…

Russian Chemical Weapons Destruction Site Completed Despite Obstacles – Global Security Newswire
Supporters of a Russian chemical weapons disposal facility set to formally open Friday in Siberia spent years overcoming obstacles posed by U.S. lawmakers and Russian officials to see the project through to completion…