Chemical Weapons Disposal: Understanding Scheduled Downtime at Disposal Facilities [open pdf - 608KB]
"The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) is responsible for protecting and safely storing the nation's aging chemical weapons, while working toward the effective recovery, treatment and ultimate elimination of the nation's chemical warfare materiel and to enhance national security. Aging chemical weapons, many created during World War II, Korean and Cold War eras are safely stored in eight secured sites within the continental United States. The weapons pose risks to our nation and those communities surrounding the storage sites, the longer they remain in storage. These risks include ones posed by natural events, i.e., earthquakes, lightening and tornadoes, weapon degradation and the threat of terrorist attack. CMA has been charged by Congress to eliminate this risk to our nation using approved disposal technologies. These technologies are part of on-site disposal facilities designed to destroy chemical weapons in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Facilities are designed with engineering controls and safeguards to ensure the protection of workers, the public and environment. Once a facility begins destroying chemical agent, it will stop operations periodically for pre-scheduled preventative maintenance, and/or preparations for destroying a new type of munition [a 100-pound spray tank vs. an 8-inch projectile] or a different kind of chemical agent. Preventive maintenance and preparation for destroying a new type of munition or a different chemical agent are important aspects of CMA's mission to safely and effectively eliminate chemical weapons."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/