This is coolbert:
"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house NO VX was stirring, neither was a mouse!!" - - Bert.
Here, thanks to the web site NewsMax, some very good news.
Deadly chemical agents, destroyed. Stored for decades. Posing a threat to everyone even when merely stored, are now gone.
Here the article from NewsMax reprinted in entirety:
"Army Says Last Nerve Agent Destroyed at Ala. Depot"
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3:30 PM
"ANNISTON, Ala. -- The Army says it has destroyed the last of its weapons containing deadly nerve agents at the Anniston Army Depot in east Alabama.
An Army statement said the last weapon containing VX nerve agent was destroyed at the depot's chemical weapons incinerator on Wednesday. The incinerator finished destroying another kind of nerve agent, sarin, in 2006."
"The milestone means the incinerator has finished destroying the most dangerous chemical weapons stored at the Alabama installation. All that remains now are weapons loaded with mustard agent, which is far less dangerous than the nerve agents.
Destruction of the chemical weapons began in 2003. The Cold War-era weapons had been stored in dirt-covered bunkers at the depot for nearly five decades."
The most deadly nerve gas shells [since these were stored on an Army installation, I am assuming these were artillery rounds!] have been done away with. A monumental task that now nears fruition. Lots of concern about these chemical rounds for decades. So deadly are these agents that just attempting to move to another location for disposal was deemed too hazardous. Destruction in situ was decided upon as the way to go. Expensive but in the long run worth the cost.
Some comments about chemical m,munitions rounds in general:
* Man is not able to make a container that WILL NOT LEAK TO SOME DEGREE!! These were first generation nerve gas rounds with the lethal chemicals already active inside the artillery shell. Very hazardous just laying inert and stored.
* When these nerve gas rounds were first designed, NO PROVISIONS HAD EVER BEEN MADE FOR DESTRUCTION. The assumption was that these weapons would be used.
* The process of design, engineering, prototyping, working the bugs out of the facility and machinery involved in destruction of the chemical rounds was an ordeal in itself. But the military persevered and success is now at hand!
Please do not think however, that this means the U.S. is totally out of the chemical warfare business. NO! The U.S. has stockpiled [??], or has at the ready, the capacity to manufacture chemical weapons of the binary variety!
"Binary chemical weapons or munitions are chemical weapons wherein the toxic agent is not contained within the weapon in its active state, but in the form of two chemical precursors, physically separated within the weapon"
"The chemical reaction takes place while the weapon is in flight. Firing the munition ruptures the capsules. The munition spins rapidly in flight, which thoroughly mixes the two precursors, so they can react with one another. Finally, a bursting charge aerosolizes and distributes the chemical agent."
This wiki entry is not totally correct? A binary chemical munition, artillery or otherwise, DOES contain the two precursor chemicals, separated by a membrane. A membrane only broken when the round [artillery] is fired. BUT, IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT JUST PRIOR TO FIRING, YET A THIRD CHEMICAL HAD TO BE ADDED TO THE ROUND. An additional built-in engineered safety factor. The mere mixing of the two precursor chemicals alone will not produce nerve agent unless the third chemical is also present. My understanding.
Perhaps someone out there knows better?