Chemical Weapons News August 18

Mustard agent detected at Blue Grass Army Depot – The Richmond Register
Trace amounts of mustard vapor were found Monday inside a chemical agent storage structure or “igloo” that houses mustard agent filled artillery shells at the Blue Grass Army Depot…

Russia Restricts Transparency at Major Chemical Weapons Site, Group Says – Martin Matishak – Global Security Newswire
Russia recently forced an international nonprofit organization to close offices intended to ensure transparency in the operations of one of the country’s largest chemical weapons destruction sites…

Spring Valley weapons search moving to reservoir – Henry Jaffe – The Washington Examiner
Funny how the Army Corps of Engineers keeps unearthing more poisons in Spring Valley. Only it’s not so funny. It’s downright alarming and scary. Last week engineers hired to clean up a pit where the Army buried chemical weapons from World War I dug up a small flask encrusted with mustard gas…

Vial Used for Chemical Agent Mustard Is Uncovered – Michael E. Ruane – The Washington Post
Residue in a laboratory vial found last week in a back yard in Northwest Washington has tested positive for the World War I blistering agent mustard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday…

Loose Mustard Agent Container Uncovered in D.C. Neighborhood – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Army yesterday said it had found an open container of mustard blister agent buried in a vacant property in an upscale Washington, D.C. neighborhood…

Chemical Weapons Destroyer Named One of Nation’s Safest Worksites – Occupational Health and Safety Magazine
OSHA has presented its highest workplace safety recognition to contractor workers at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), the U.S. Army chemical weapons incinerator complex located at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Tooele, Utah, outside of Salt Lake City…

Russia on Pace to Meet Chemical Disarmament Deadline, General Says – Global Security Newswire
Russia has reported destroying 37 percent of its arsenal of chemical warfare agents…

Iran urges prompt implementation of CWC – The Tehran Times
A senior Iranian official on Saturday called on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) member states to push all other countries, specially the U.S., to implement the convention promptly…

AG rejects Manbar’s request for parole – Haaretz
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz recently rejected a request by Nahum Manbar for an early release from prison. Manbar was convicted in 1997 of selling equipment and know-how to Iran for the manufacture of chemical weapons…

UK MP testifies on ‘genocide’ against Marsh Arabs – Aubrey Belford – AFP
A member of the British House of Lords has described witnessing “genocide” by executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime against Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the early 1990s. Baroness Emma Nicholson was this week the first foreigner to testify in the Baghdad trial of 42 Iraqis, including Saddam’s hatchet-man “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid…

Chemical Weapons News Aug. 6

India Draws Up Guidelines to Manage Chemical Attacks – Global Security Newswire
India yesterday released guidelines that would be used to prevent or deal with acts of chemical terrorism…

Terrorists can resort to chemical weapons: Antony – The Times of India
Terrorists are getting “more and more aggressive” and can resort to using chemical weapons to cause maximum casualties, defence minister A.K. Antony said on Tuesday, adding that the Indian armed forces will prepare to counter any such attack…

FIRE: Blaze contained at Umatilla chemical weapon depot – The Tri-City Herald
Firefighters contained several lightning-caused fires at the Umatilla Chemical Depot by 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fires, which started about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, burned several thousand of the depot’s 19,729 acres…

1,000s of acres burn at depot – The East Oregonian
Lighting sparked multiple wildfires Tuesday night on the Umatilla Chemical Depot and burned thousands of acres…

South African Politician Alleges WMD-Capable Bomb Sale to Libya – Global Security Newswire
A South African opposition party official on Sunday accused the government of approving the sale of WMD-capable bombs to Libya…

House Approves Funds for U.S. Chemical Weapons Disposal – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $547 million in fiscal 2010 funding for efforts to finish off destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile…

Army is studying effects of dumping live ammo in sea – Gregg K. Kakesako – The Honolulu Star-Bulletin
For the past two years, the Army has reviewed more than 2 million documents under a congressional mandate to pinpoint and determine the effects of dumping of chemical and conventional weapons into the ocean — which was banned in 1972…

Maliki vows justice for Kurd gas victims – Press TV
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said that he will bring to justice Saddam Hussein’s aides who ordered chemical attacks on Kurdish villages in 1988…

180 lose jobs at Newport – The Danville Commercial-News
bout 180 workers will lose their jobs at the end of September at the Newport Chemical Depot, according to a press release. The workers are employed by Parsons Corp., the Army contractor that built, operated and now is dismantling the facility where more than 1,200 tons of chemical agent VX was destroyed…

Funding could accelerate demil process at depot: Defense bill passes House, goes to Senate – Ronica Shannon – The Richmond Register
The 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill passed Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives includes funding to accelerate chemical weapons disposal at the Blue Grass Army Depot…

Weapons disposal funds approved – Lexington Herald-Leader
Funds to accelerate the disposal of the chemical weapons stored at Kentucky’s Blue Grass Army Depot were included in the defense spending bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Thursday…

Israel admits white phosphorus use – Al Jazeera English
Israel has admitted to using white phosphorus during its war on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, but says it did so in accordance with international law…

Whistle blower was right – The Lexington Herald-Leader
The Army must reassure the Blue Grass Army Depot’s workers and neighbors that the atmosphere for employees who raise safety concerns is not as toxic as the stuff they’re guarding…

Russia’s Maradykovsky Facility Destroys First Ton of Sarin – Global Security Newswire
Russia’s Maradykovsky facility has destroyed one ton of sarin gas, the first of 231 tons of the deadly nerve agent that the site plans to eliminate by the end of the year…

Russia destroys first ton of war gas sarin – ITAR-TASS
The first ton of the warfare gas sarin was destroyed at the chemical weapons destruction facility Maradykovsky in the Kirov region. “The destruction of this substance, which is a nerve agent, was launched on July 27, and more than 1,100 kilograms of sarin has already been destroyed so far,”…

Depot hit by fire, chemical weapons leak – Tri-City Herald
Both a brush fire and an unrelated leak of mustard chemical agent vapor inside a storage igloo were reported at the Umatilla Chemical Depot Monday. At no time did the public appear to be in danger…

Chemical Weapons News July 27

Army Admits Nerve Gas Leak Detectors in Kentucky Did Not Work for Two Years – AllGov News
Proper storage of deadly nerve gas agents at military facilities requires the use of monitoring devices to ensure the protection of base personnel and local communities from possible leaks. But the operators of the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky allowed such leak detectors to be removed from underground igloos…

Umatilla Reports Mustard Agent Leak – Global Security Newswire
Workers as the U.S. Army’s Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon on Tuesday detected a mustard agent leak in a storage unit…

Rotary Club gets the facts about Pine Bluff Arsenal – Bill Shrum – The Stuttgart Daily Leader
Cheryl Avery, a Stuttgart resident and public affairs officer, Regina Smith, community outreach chemical disposal administrator and Raini Brunson, public affairs officer for the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility were guests of the Stuttgart Rotary Club of the Stuttgart Country Club at noon Tuesday…

NKorea ‘Tests Weapons on Children’ – Steve ChaoAl Jazeera or Military.com
But among the accounts they carried with them is one of the most shocking yet to emerge – namely the use of humans, specifically mentally or physically handicapped children, to test North Korea’s biological and chemical weapons…

Continued Commitment Needed on U.S. Chemical Disarmament, OPCW Chief Says – Chris Schneidmiller – Global Security Newswire
A leading international nonproliferation official is urging the United States not to retreat from providing sufficient funds to accelerate the complete elimination of the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons…

Advocacy Group Calls for Leadership Shifts at Blue Grass Depot – Global Security Newswire
An advocacy group hopes to see senior officials ousted at a U.S. Army chemical weapons storage facility in Kentucky following an improper relocation of equipment used for detecting potentially dangerous leaks of VX nerve agent…

Chemical Weapons in Baltic Sea Remain a Threat, Lithuania Says – Global Security Newswire
Lithuania on Monday called for continued attention to the danger posed by chemical weapons dumped decades ago in the Baltic Sea…

N.O.A.A Studies Ocean Currents off West Oahu – Brooks Baehr – KGMB9 News
A study of ocean currents at two munitions disposal sites off the West coast of Oahu is about to begin. The studies are being done so scientists know where the currents go in case the discarded weapons release contaminants into the water…

Army: Agent monitoring system was inoperative – Ronica Shannon – The Richmond Register
Chemical weapons stockpiled at the Blue Grass Army Depot went two years without being monitored, according to a report released Monday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)…

Faulty monitoring cited at Ky. weapons depot – Jeff McMurray – The Associated Press, Kentucky.com
An Army inspector general’s report concludes that a Kentucky chemical weapons stockpile was inadequately monitored for a deadly nerve agent for two years, although the report found no evidence that any workers were exposed or that any agent escaped the storage igloos into the atmosphere…

Army Criticizes CW Oversight Practice at Blue Grass Depot – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Army inspector general found that officials at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky for two years impaired monitoring of air quality in chemical weapons storage units…

Kentucky Chemical Weapons Leak Detectors Dysfunctional for Years – Environmental News Service
The U.S. Army has acknowleged that the nerve gas leak monitors at a Kentucky chemical weapons storage depot were not working for nearly two years, 2003-2005. The admission is contained in a U.S. Army Inspector General report dated February 2006 but released today…

Chemical Weapons News July 20

Depot gives county court update on weapons disposal – Erin Mills – The East Oregonian
The Umatilla Chemical Depot’s disposal of the last of its chemical weapons is moving swiftly, despite a few setbacks involving leaks of mustard chemical agent vapor and mercury…

Umatilla Chemical Depot gets new commanding officer – Josh Peterson – KVEW ABC News
Lieutenant Colonel Kris Perkins has held nearly a dozen positions during his military career. He’s worked in Texas, Alabama, California, Louisiana and Korea. Now, he and his wife and three kids are in eastern Oregon…

Umatilla Chemical Depot Under New Command – KNDO/KNDU NBC News
The Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot is under new leadership. His name is Lt. Col. Kris Perkins…

Eye Drops Could Counter Chemical-Weapon Effects – Global Security Newswire
Eye drops being developed in the United States could someday be used to protect soldiers from blindness if they are exposed to mustard blister agent, Wayne State University in Detroit announced last week…

Chemical Weapons News July 14

Poisoned legacy: The Hiroshima of the chemical industry is still claiming victims – babies born 25 years later with serious birth defects – By Billy Briggs – The Scotland Sunday Herald
Unable to steer safely in the mud, the driver of our rickshaw pulls into the side of the road to allow us to take shelter from torrential rain. There, under a shop’s awning, a small crowd of people are standing together waiting for the weather to break…

Army Finds World War I-Era Chemical Weapon in Hawaii – Global Security Newswire
Personnel at a U.S. Army installation in Hawaii last month found a nearly century-old mortar that is believed to contain the chemical warfare material phosgene…

WWI-era mortar shell found at Schofield range – By William Cole – The Honolulu Advertiser
A World War I-era mortar shell that likely contains phosgene, a choking agent, was found June 27 on a firing range impact area at Schofield Barracks, the Army said yesterday…

World War I chemical gas agent found at Schofield – Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Schofield Barracks workers have found another World War I era canister on a remote training range that contained a choking gas agent…

Senators Increase Funding for Chemical Weapons Disposal – Global Security Newswire
A U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday tacked on $5 million to what stands to be the largest-ever appropriation for the preparation of chemical weapons disposal facilities at two U.S. storage sites…

McConnell proposes more depot funding – By Ronica Shannon – The Richmond Register
An extra $5 million was added Tuesday to the chemical weapons destruction project at the Blue Grass Army Depot after the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee accepted a request from U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell…

Kennewick Engineering Firm Selected For Depot Land Planning – ABC KVEW News
The Umatilla Chemical Land Redevelopment Authority has selected Kennewick Engineering Firm, Dana Engineering, to draft a plan for the depot’s land once the incineration of chemical weapons there is complete…

Senate Panel Supports Pueblo CW Disposal Plant Funding – Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved legislation that would provide $92.5 million for construction of a chemical warfare materials demilitarization plant in Colorado…

Chemtrails: Mainstream denial and hazardous risk to your health – By Brooke Bulatek – Baltimore Examiner
Looking up in the sky, one might see an array of bizarre rows and columns of misty perspiration representing a tic-tac-toe or giant X regime. Whatever meets the naked eye in the sky can be mistaken for possible exhaust fuel from a jet…

Mustard Leak Found at Umatilla Chemical Depot – Global Security Newswire
Workers at a U.S. Army chemical weapons repository in Oregon yesterday detected a mustard agent vapor leak in one of the facility’s storage units…

Mustard chemical agent vapor detected at depot – Tri-City Herald
Trace amounts of mustard chemical agent vapor were detected inside a Umatilla Chemical Depot storage igloo Tuesday…

2 bills contain $9.9 million for Central Ky. projects – By Ashlee Clark – Lexington Herald-Leader
Two bills that will go to the U.S. Senate floor for consideration contain nearly $10 million in funding for two Central Kentucky projects, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday…

Chemical weapons cleanup – By Ned Stafford – Chemistry World
Researchers have found a safe, speedy and environmentally friendly way to clean up chemical weapons such as sulfur mustard, using a hydrogen peroxide-based microemulsion decontamination system…

Dutch Iran-Iraq war profiteer guilty of war crimes – Press TV
A Dutch businessman who sold chemicals for weapons production to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has pleaded guilty to war crime charges…

Mustard Munitions Processing Begins at ANCDF – U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency Press Release – PRNewswire
U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) officials announced today that chemical munitions demilitarization operations resumed Thursday afternoon, July 2, at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF). ANCDF is located at Anniston Army Depot, Ala…

Chemical Weapons News July 6

Last week the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a new editorial on nonlethal chemical agents:

Marketing new chemical weapons – Neil Davison – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
In April 2007, 26 people from the U.S. Justice Department, local law enforcement, the military, academia, and civil society came together at the behest of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Justice Department, to consider the issue of “nonlethal” weapons development…

And the CW news:

Congress must work to protect chemical sector – By Sheila Jackson-Lee and Bennie G. Thompson – The Houston Chronicle
Recent tragedies around the world provided a clearer understanding of the three elements of a terrorist attack: a weapon, a target and a terrorist. In the terrorist bombings in London, Madrid, Islamabad and Mumbai, the elements were separate. However, chemical facilities throughout the U.S. present ominous opportunities for a weapon and target to be one and the same…

Chem-Bio Weapon Threat: Do Not Exaggerate Capabilities of Nonstate Actors – By Al Mauroni – Defense News
In developing the current Quadrennial Defense Review, the Obama administration has decided to move away from the previous strategy of planning to fight and win two nearly simultaneous major combat operations. This is a welcome change, as the Defense Department never had the necessary personnel or resources to effect such a stringent requirement…

Bosnian Muslim Victims Gassed with Chemical Weapons during Srebrenica Genocide – Palluxo.com
During 2006 opening statements, the U.N. Prosecutor Peter McCloskey stated that “criminal orders in war are as a rule issued verbally”, and that a few exceptions existed to the rule. One of the most striking ones is a report sent on 21 July 1995 by the Serb General Zdravko Tolimir from Zepa to General Radomir Miletic, acting Chief of General Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) . Tolimir was requesting help to crush some Bosnian military strongholds, expressing his view that “the best way to do it would be to use chemical weapons”…

Chemical weapons incinerator now in final phase – By Jay Reeves, The Associated Press – The Montgomery Advertiser
The Army’s $1 billion chemical weapons incinerator in Ala­bama started its final phase of work by taking apart doz­ens of old mortars filled with mustard agent, officials said Friday…

Defending against chemical, biological weapons – By Daniel Terdimen – CNET News
In a world where American soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq might find themselves under attack from chemical or biological weapons, who’s looking out for their safety? The answer lies deep in the western Utah desert, at a U.S. Army facility called the Dugway Proving Ground where, among other things, groups of scientists are researching…

Millions of Muscovites at risk of toxic waste poisoning – Russia Today
Crowds of Muscovites are flocking city parks, but few are aware that a popular place of leisure used to be a testing ground for chemical and biological weapons and remnants from those experiments are still buried there…

Munitions disposal resumes at depot – Gadsden Times
Chemical munitions demilitarization operations have resumed at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility at the Anniston Army Depot. Anniston Chemical Activity employees safely moved the first containers with 4.2-inch mustard-filled munitions Monday…

Anniston Depot Begins Final Chemical Weapons Disposal Campaign – Global Security Newswire
The Anniston Army Depot in Alabama was scheduled yesterday to begin its final chemical weapons disposal campaign…

War Crimes Conviction Upheld Against Hussein Chemical Supplier – Global Security Newswire
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands yesterday affirmed that a businessman who sold chemicals to Saddam Hussein is guilty of war crimes…

Nukes not only worry: Analysts say North’s chemical arsenal is just as dangerous – The Associated Press, available at The Detroit News
North Korea’s massive stockpile of chemical weapons is as threatening as its nuclear program, analysts say, highlighting an aspect of the secretive regime’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that is rarely talked about…

Train, Truck Collide near Pueblo Chemical Depot – Sean Hauser – KRDO News
Two people are recovering in the hospital after a delivery truck ran into a train at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. “About 8:30 this morning a delivery car was exiting the post,” said Ken Roque, with the Pueblo Chemical Depot…

Russia Boosts Security at Chemical Weapons Sites – Global Security Newswire
Russia has placed additional security personnel at its chemical weapons storage and destruction sites…

Iraqi whose lies made the case for war looks on from afar – By Martin Chulov – The Guardian
When the Iraqi who could be considered more responsible than any other for the US invasion six years ago quietly returned last March to the land his lies helped shape, Iraq was entering one of its most stable and promising phases in six years of turmoil…

Churchill planned to poison Germans – The Tehran Times
Britain considered dropping millions of poisoned darts on German troops in the final stages of the Second World War, secret files made public have revealed. Created by British and Canadian scientists, the darts could have been packed into bombs and released from the air with the potential to kill or incapacitate anyone within 10,000 sq yds…

Revealed: WWII’s Secret Sewing Needle Bomb – Wired
During World War II, British scientists developed a new and extremely lethal secret weapon: a bomb which released a cloud of sewing needles, tipped with deadly poison…

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…