Issue Date: June 15, 2009
Army Depot Plans To Destroy Mustard Gas
The Army's Umatilla Chemical Depot, in Oregon, is preparing to incinerate its supply of mustard agent, the last chemical weapon stored there. Workers began delivering mustard-filled bulk containers to the disposal facility on June 4, shortly after state officials gave final authorization to incinerate the agent. The work is expected to take one to two years to complete. The mustard agent is held as a liquid in 2,635 containers of 1-ton capacity. At the site, the Army previously destroyed a dozen different types of munitions filled with sarin and VX nerve gas. The 19,728-acre military facility was established in 1941, and chemical weapons have been stored there since 1962. Under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. and Russia are obligated to destroy their stockpiles of chemical weapons by 2012. Russia opened a new plant in Siberia last month that is expected to destroy about 2 million shells and warheads loaded with nerve gases.
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