US Army to destroy Chemical Weapons

The United States Army is all set to destroy the country's largest remaining stockpile of chemical weapons. According to reports, the army could start destroying chemical weapons as early as Wednesday. Earlier, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) has agreed to destroy about 780,000 shells containing 2,600 tons of mustard agent at the Army's Pueblo Chemical Depot in southern Colorado.

As per depot spokesman Thomas Schultz, the process of eliminating chemical weapons could start on Wednesday if the weather is favorable. Schultz further said that managers do not want to expose containers to storms or bad weather.

Weather reports stated that there are a few chances of showers in the Wednesday afternoon. Mustard agent could be harmful for eyes and skin. Decision to destroy chemical weapons has been taken under a 1997 international treaty which banned all chemical weapons. The reports stated that it could take about four years to eliminate the Pueblo stockpile.

About 1,400 damaged shells will be eliminated first, as per the reports. Those damaged shells have been considered unsuitable for the main plant, so they will be destroyed with explosives inside a sealed chamber. More than 500 tons of mustard and nerve agents are available at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond. Elimination of that stockpile will begin next year, or in 2017.

Conrad F. Whyne, program executive officer for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, said, "After months of preparation, testing and scrutiny by oversight and regulatory agencies, the Pueblo team is ready to play its part in meeting our nation's commitment to the 100 percent destruction of the U. S. chemical weapons stockpile".

The country obtained more than 30,500 tons of mustard and nerve agents, but it never used them in any war. About 90% of original stockpile has already been destroyed.