Author Topic: Ship to Destroy Assad's Chemical Weapons Sets Sail in Mid-January  (Read 276 times)

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SPQR

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The U.S. ship ultimately responsible for destroying the most deadly of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles will set sail from port in Virginia in the coming days.

The Cape Ray, operating out of Portsmouth, Va., has been undergoing sea trials in recent weeks to test the first ever configuration of chemical weapons destruction equipment serving as crew and accompanying the merchant ship when it ultimately sets sail for Italy.

It will return to Portsmouth on Tuesday after four days of sea trials for final outfitting before it departs. Sea conditions off the U.S. coast over these days have helped the crew measure the limitations of the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System on board, a Pentagon spokesperson says.

Yet the full details of this bold plan remain murky. Dutch and Norwegian ships have volunteered to transport the chemical weapons only after Syrian regime forces round them up, transport them by ground through an active warzone and deliver them to the Syrian port of Latakia. Syria has already missed the Dec. 31 deadline for this task set by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is overseeing the operation.

Italy has volunteered to house the chemical weapons temporarily until the Cape Ray can pick them up. Yet the specific port where this will take place has not yet been released.


OPCW has mandated the destruction of these chemical weapons must be completed by this summer. The Cape Ray does not yet know how long it will have to wait in the Mediterranean Sea before it is called up to perform its part of the plan.

"The Cape Ray will be prepared to wait until the chemical weapons are brought on board," said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren on Monday, offering no further details on this timeline.

The announcement of the specific port will likely come out of Italy, Warren said.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/13/ship-to-destroy-assads-chemical-weapons-sets-sail-in-mid--january

Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Re: Ship to Destroy Assad's Chemical Weapons Sets Sail in Mid-January
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 05:13:01 PM »
Quote
"The Cape Ray will be prepared to wait until the chemical weapons are brought on board," said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren on Monday, offering no further details on this timeline.

And do what with them????
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SPQR

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Re: Ship to Destroy Assad's Chemical Weapons Sets Sail in Mid-January
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 06:09:06 PM »

Offline Chieftain

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Re: Ship to Destroy Assad's Chemical Weapons Sets Sail in Mid-January
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 06:27:51 PM »
Incinerate them.

No, that is not correct.  They have the ability to chemically de-militarize certain chemical weapons precursor chemicals, but they are not prepared in any way to incinerate what is left.  The plan as I understand it is to place what is left in a hazmat landfill somewhere, although where "somewhere" is has not been clearly defined.

But there is no portable facility in existence that is capable of being installed on that ship and safely incinerating any chemical weapo.

SPQR

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Re: Ship to Destroy Assad's Chemical Weapons Sets Sail in Mid-January
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 07:01:43 PM »
No, that is not correct.  They have the ability to chemically de-militarize certain chemical weapons precursor chemicals, but they are not prepared in any way to incinerate what is left.  The plan as I understand it is to place what is left in a hazmat landfill somewhere, although where "somewhere" is has not been clearly defined.

But there is no portable facility in existence that is capable of being installed on that ship and safely incinerating any chemical weapo.


You have two methods according to Wikipedia

There are two common methods that the United States uses to dispose of chemical warfare agents and weapons. he primary method is incineration, where liquid agents are burned in a furnace of temperatures over 2,000 °F (1,093 °C). For chemical agents in delivery vessels (i.e. Mortars, Bombs, Artillery shells, etc.), this is a multi-step process. First the delivery vessels are robotically disassembled in a reverse order from that which they were originally assembled. Next the chemical agent is drained out of the projectile and sent to the liquid incinerator as the disassembled projectile parts are placed on a conveyor belt and fed into a metal furnace where they are melted at close to 1,500 °F (816 °C) for 15 minutes to ensure that any contamination has been completely destroyed. This method was originally developed in a pilot scale program which began in 1979 and is known as the Chemical Agent Munition Disposal System (CAMDS

Neutralization is the selected method for the Department of Defense’s Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives facilities in Pueblo, Colo., and Richmond)In the United States, neutralization was first selected as an alternative to incineration to destroy stockpiles of chemical agent stored in bulk. Depending on the type of agent to be destroyed, neutralization destroys the chemical agent by mixing it with hot water or hot water and sodium hydroxide. The U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency applied this method to safely eliminate its stockpile of mustard agent in Edgewood, Md., and VX nerve agent in Newport, Ind. Both stockpiles were stored in large steel containers without explosives or other weapon components. The industrial wastewater produced by the process, known as hydrolysate, was sent to a permitted commercial hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal facility for treatment and disposal. They might use this method.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_chemical_weapons#Incineration
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 07:41:58 PM by SPQR »


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