Chemical Weapons News – March 16

Video From UH Subs Show Munitions On Ocean Floor – MSNBC
Deep-sea submersibles from the University of Hawaii returned from a mission to determine what to do with possible chemical munitions in the ocean off Pearl Harbor…

Scientists Develop CW Decontamination Wipe – Global Security Newswire
A Texas-based team has used federal funding to create a wipe that would neutralize chemical warfare materials released in a terrorist attack…

“Chemical Ali” Sentenced for 1992 Killings – Global Security Newswire
The former Iraqi official best known as “Chemical Ali” received a 15-year prison sentence today for abetting the 1992 execution of 42 people over alleged business abuses…

‘Chemical Ali,’ others sentenced in Iraq – UPI
A former senior Iraqi official under President Saddam Hussein known as “Chemical Ali” has drawn a 15-year prison sentence for war crimes…

Advisory co-chair wants decision on chemical weapons hydrolysate – The Richmond Register
The co-chair of the community advisory board that met Tuesday for a progress update on construction of the chemical weapons destruction plant at the Blue Grass Army Depot expressed displeasure about the lack of progress in one aspect of the project…

Libya Frustrated by Payback for Abolishing WMD Programs – Global Security Newswire
Libyan officials have complained recently that the United States has not delivered benefits promised for Tripoli’s 2003 decision to abandon its WMD programs…

Libya Complains – The New York Times
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi did the right thing five years ago in deciding to end Libya’s illicit nuclear and chemical weapons programs…

Officers receive truck for Chemical Biological Nuclear Response Team – Rome News Tribune
Local law enforcement officials have received a new truck that would aid response against possible chemical, biological or nuclear weapon attacks…

Activist Seeks Information on CW Destruction Waste Plans – Global Security Newswire
An environmental activist called Tuesday for officials to say when they would decide on a plan for disposing of wastewater produced through neutralizing chemical warfare materials stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky…

Kettering University research could help protect troops from chemical warfare – mlive
The Pentagon’s investment in Flint is paying off. Millions of dollars of research at Kettering University for the U.S. Department of Defense could help better protect troops from chemical warfare…

LTTE plot for mass scale chemical attack barred – Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 57 Division on Tuesday, the 5th of March found a large stock of gas masks and chemical resistant costumes from a captured LTTE camp in Udayarkattukulam North…

Army Depot pilot plant to get new project manager – The Richmond Register
Jeffrey L. Brubaker has been selected as the project site manager for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Richmond…

Chemical Weapons News – March 11

Destroying a Toxic Threat – The Moscow Times
By Rogelio Pfirter
The Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in April 1997 and is the first multilateral treaty that bans an entire class of weapons of mass destruction…

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Meets with Rogelio Pfirter, Director General of the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – ISRIA
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov received on March 10 the Director General of the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Rogelio Pfirter…

5 Years After It Halted Weapons Programs, Libya Sees the U.S. as Ungrateful – The New York Times
When Libya gave up its nuclear and chemical weapons programs in late 2003, President George W. Bush pointed to the decision as a victory in Washington’s so-called war on terror…

Latest MoD investigation reveals more areas of mustard gas contamination – Teesdale Mercury
MORE areas of chemical warfare contamination have been discovered on Bowes Moor and experts, who say there are no health risks, have issued advice on how people can stay safe…

Newport Chemical Depot seeks cleanup equipment – Chron
Officials at the Newport Chemical Depot in western Indiana are asking state officials for permission to install a large hot-air dryer to clean materials that may have come into contact with deadly nerve agent or the waste that remained after its destruction…

Newport Depot Seeks Permission to Dry CW Destruction Materials – Global Security Newswire
The Newport Chemical Depot in Indiana is seeking state approval to systematically evaporate liquid residue from protective suits, valves and other gear involved in the destruction of the facility’s VX nerve agent stockpile…

Newport Chemical Depot cleaning materials that may have come in contact with VX – Terre Haute News
All of the VX is gone, but now the Newport Chemical Depot in Vermillion County is working to clean up materials that may have come into contact with either the nerve agent or the solution…

UH submersibles still looking for main cache of dumped weapons – Honolulu Advertiser
The University of Hawaii today said it has found “hundreds” of dumped munitions four to six miles south of Pearl Harbor as it continues to search for and test the waters and sediment around tons of chemical weapons…

FNC to Discuss Amendments to Federal Draft Laws on Tuesday – Khaleej Times
The Federal National Council (FNC) will discuss next Tuesday, draft amendments to some provisions of the federal law which bans updating, producing and storing chemical weapons in the UAE…

Russia Destroys Chemical Arms – Prensa Latina
Russia has fulfilled its commitment with the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by destroying 12,000 tons of chemical arms before March 1st…

‘Swift Solution’ could conclude by end of the month – The Richmond Register
The waste from three steel containers stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot has safely arrived at its disposal location at Veolia Environmental Services near Port Arthur, Texas…

Report Underscores Importance of Expanding Nunn-Lugar – American Chronicle
Today the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report on the future of the Nunn-Lugar Program. U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar hailed the report as a “critically important set of recommendations that should guide the Obama Administration´s efforts…

New Russian Chemical Weapons Site Begins Operations – Global Security Newswire
Russia has begun to operate a U.S.-backed chemical weapons disposal facility near the Ural Mountains, the environmental organization Global Green USA announced yesterday…

Chemical Weapons News – March 6

Israelis Poorly Prepared for Chemical Strike, Report Says – Global Security Newswire
The Israeli public is highly vulnerable to a chemical-weapon attack because the government has made a “continuing mess” of plans to collect and maintain aging supplies of gas masks and other materials…

Preparing for WMDs – The Brownsville Herald
The officers and agents on Wednesday raced into the ramshackle house with their assault rifles ready. They searched for a bag of white powder – an unknown chemical with unknown consequences. It could have been anthrax. It could have been deadly…

Waste From Blue Grass Chemical Disposal Project Reaches Texas – Global Security Newswire
The first batch of wastewater produced by a small-scale chemical warfare materials disposal project at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky has arrived at a Texas incinerator…

S’pore hosts training course for protection against chemical weapons – Asian One News
The inaugural “Emergency Response to Chemical Incidents” training course will be conducted from 2 to 6 March 2009 at the Civil Defence Academy…

Chemical Weapons News – March 3

Economic Meltdown Could Hamper Chemical Weapons Disarmament, OPCW Chief Says – Global Security Newswire
Nations might find it more difficult amid the global economic meltdown to provide the funding needed to meet the international deadline for chemical weapons disarmament…

Russian Chemical Disarmament Faces Budget Crunch – Global Security Newswire
The global economic crisis could derail Russia’s effort to meet the international deadline for full elimination of its chemical weapons arsenal…

Subs ready to prowl for dumped weapons – Honolulu Advertiser
The University of Hawai’i's two submersible craft will descend 900 to 2,000 feet to the ocean floor five miles south of Pearl Harbor starting next week to search for tons of chemical weapons that were dumped during and after World War II, the Army said…

Army and UH Search for Underwater Weapons – KGMB9
In 2006 off the Waianae coast, researchers put a camera in the ocean to search for discarded ordnance and scored a direct hit. Ordnance Reef is one of three military dump sites off Oahu…

Depth Chargers – Star Bulletin
The University of Hawaii’s two submersibles will spend 15 days beginning Monday filming and taking water and sediment samples south of Pearl Harbor as part of an Army project…

Undersea bombs threaten marine life – CNN
Beyond the golden beaches and beneath the blue waters of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques is a site that resembles more of a munitions graveyard than a Caribbean paradise…

Groups discuss ratification of Chemical Weapons Convention – The Freeport News
Representatives from the Ministries of Environment, National Security and Foreign Affairs as well as a number of other public and private enterprises converged at the Our Lucaya Resort for a meeting geared towards the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention…

Operation Swift Solution reaches critical milestone – the Richmond Register
Operation Swift Solution, the Army initiative to eliminate three deteriorating steel containers storing a mixture of GB nerve agent and its decontamination breakdown products, reached another critical milestone…

Chemical Weapons News – February 25

Syria ‘rebuilding’ chemical weapons capability – The Telegraph
Any suggestion that Syria is enhancing the offensive potential of its chemical munitions threatens to provoke a new round of hostilities with Israel as it will be treated as an additional threat to Israel’s existence…

A foundation for destruction – Richmond Register
Construction workers at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) achieved another milestone recently, as they completed the first major…

Authorization, Chemical Security Bills Top U.S. Lawmaker Agendas – Global Security Newswire
Top aides on the U.S. House and Senate Homeland Security committees revealed plans Friday for moving a Homeland Security authorization bill and legislation regulating security at the nation’s chemical facilities, while acknowledging some potential obstacles ahead…

Global Insights: Iraq Move Highlights Progress, Obstacles for Chemical Weapons Disarmament – World Politics Review
On Feb. 12, Iraq became the latest country to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. The country’s entry was especially important in light of the widespread use of chemical weapons by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against his foreign and domestic enemies…

Global crisis weighs on chemical arms cuts-watchdog – Reuters
he world financial crisis may make it harder for nations to foot the multibillion-dollar costs of eliminating chemical arms stocks by a 2012 treaty deadline, the director of a watchdog agency said on Tuesday…

U.S., Russia Plans to Destroy Chemical Arms Imperiled by Crisis – Bloomberg
U.S. and Russian commitments to dismantle stockpiles of chemical weapons, which will cost taxpayers more than $20 billion, are challenged by the global economic slowdown, a top United Nations official said…

Chemical Weapons News – February 20

Inspectors Visit U.S. Chemical Weapons Depot – Global Security Newswire
International inspectors this month visited a U.S. chemical weapons depot in Kentucky to assess its storage of munitions eventually set for destruction…

Fort Polk personnel exposed to blistering agent OK – Shreveport Times
All personnel exposed to a blistering substance dug up at the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk have been medically cleared, a release from Fort Polk says…

Israel WMD use in Gaza alarms NAM – Press TV
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has condemned the use of “chemical weapons” by Israel in its recent operations against the Gaza Strip…

Israel Condemned in OPCW for Using Chemical Weapons in Gaza – FARS News Agency
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the 55th meeting of its executive council condemned Israel for using chemical weapons against the Palestinian people…

Increased Activity Seen at Suspected Syrian Chemical Weapons Site – Global Security Newswire
Satellite images show an increase in operations at a suspected chemical weapons production facility in Syria…

Syria Appears to be Developing its Chemical Weapons Capability – Jane’s
Jane’s Intelligence Review used satellite images from commercial sources gathered between 2005 and 2008 to examine activity at the chemical weapons facility identified as Al Safir in northwest Syria…

Satellites identify apparent CW site in Syria – World Tribune
Syria is constructing what appears to be a chemical weapons facility near Turkey…

Chemical Munitions Casing Found to be Harmless – Australia.to
In early February 2009, the Department of Defence started remediation of a contaminated site at Marrangaroo Army Depot near Lithgow, NSW…

Global Chemical Weapons Disarmament Operations Near Halfway Mark – Global Security Newswire
More than 40 percent of the known global stockpile of chemical warfare materials has been destroyed…

Chemical Weapons News – Week of February 16

Why Chemical Warfare Is Ancient History – Time
The prospect of chemical and biological warfare in this age of anthrax scares and WMD can feel – like the threat of nuclear Armageddon before it – like a uniquely modern terror…

Bechtel wins recognition for safety at Pueblo plant – The Pueblo Chieftain
This coming Wednesday, the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant project will receive the highest level of recognition…

Into the hot zone – cresent-news.com
Not many people would be willingly exposed to nerve gas and other toxic agents, but several officials from the six-county area did…

Syria building chemical weapons plant – The Jerusalem Post
Syria has been conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country’s northwest, satellite images obtained by the defense analyst group Jane’s reveal…

Chemical romance – Syria’s unconventional affair develops – janes.com
Satellite images from several commercial sources gathered from 2005 to 2008 have shed light on activity at the chemical weapons facility…

Syria reportedly stepping up production of chemical weapons – haaretz.com
Syria has stepped up production of its chemical weapons recently, according to a lengthy article featured in the latest edition of Jane’s defense news Web site…

Syria developing chemical weapons site: Jane’s – AFP
Syria has increased activity at a suspected chemical weapons production site, a move likely to increase tension with Israel, Jane’s defence information group said Wednesday…

UK on Global Threat Reduction Programme 6th Annual Report – ISRIA
A report on progress made on reducing the threat of proliferation of dangerous nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical materials and expertise was published by the government, 17 February 2009…

Chemical Weapons News – Week of February 10

Storm Slows ‘Swift Solution’ – Richmond Register
The recent inclement weather has put a temporary halt on Operation Swift Solution at the Blue Grass Army Depot, and operations are to begin again on Monday, Feb. 9.

Nerve Agent May be Missing – Deseret News
Is the Army missing some nerve gas? Pentagon auditors concede that is a remote possibility because of discrepancies in records…

Veolia Completes Nerve Agent Destruction Contract; Expects Another – The Enterprise
Veolia Environmental Services is anticipating its next project to destroy a neutralized chemical nerve agent for the U.S. Army after marking its successful completion of incinerating…

Discrepancies Found in U.S. Nerve Agent Storage, Destruction Numbers – Global Security Newswire
Figures for the storage of lethal nerve agents at bases around the United States do not match accountings for disposal of the material…

Depot Team Moving to Mall – Kentucky.com – Lexington Herald-Leader
About 250 government and contracted employees of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction-Pilot Plant will move to new headquarters in Richmond Mall…

Recent CW News

Jan 16 – The Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky is continuing the disposal of three bulk containers once filled with sarin nerve agent.

Jan 23 – Chinese officials have pressed Japan to follow through on its pledge to recover and eliminate chemical weapons abandoned in China at the close of World War II.

Jan 27 – The Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas is expected to meet the April 2012 international deadline for disposal of its stockpile of chemical weapons.

Jan 29 – The Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon is continuing preparations for disposal of more than 2,000 ton containers of mustard blister agent.

Iran Accuses Israel of using CW

Iran has accused Israel of using white phosphorus in their military campaign against Hamas in Gaza. In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged for ‘serious and effective action’ over Israel’s use of chemical weapons in Gaza.

Iran, which has continually supported the CWC, has urged for tighter restrictions on the use of white phosphorus.

White phosphorus is an incendiary agent that is often used in combat to create smokescreens or to illuminate targets at night. It remains a contentious issue under the CWC and Geneva Convention because its use is not permitted in civilian areas.

News Stories:

Iran Accuses Israel of using Phosphorus in Gaza – Reuters

Iran Blasts Israel for Employing Phosphorus Bombs – Tehran Times

Iran Accuses Israel of using Chemical Weapons in Gaza – China View

Gaza Family Returns Home after Phosphorus Blast – The Associated Press

Gaza Film Shows White Phosphorus from Alleged Israeli Attack – The Guardian

Iran’s IAEA ambassador warns against Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza – ISNA

Israeli Completes Gaza Troop Pull-out – The Associated Press