OPCW delegation visits U.S. weapons destruction facilities

A delegation from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons visited the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado and the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Utah between February 28 and March 4.

The visit to the two plants was a result of a decision in December 2006 to visit chemical weapons destruction facilities and CWDF construction sites to ensure complete chemical weapon destruction and overcome any potential problems.

During the visit, several high-ranking government officials briefed the OPCW on progress regarding the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile. The delegation toured the future destruction facility at Pueblo and viewed the two chemical weapons storage igloos. Members from the OPCW Executive Council noted great progress since the previous visit two years ago.

The OPCW delegation met with the inspection team at the Tooele facility to verify that the weapons are being destroyed in accordance with Chemical Weapons Convention requirements and provisions. The Tooele CWDF plans to destroy 12,121 metric tons of chemical warfare agents, which will be more than 43 percent of the chemical weapons stockpile declared by the United States. To date, it has destroyed 11,787 metric tons, or 97.25 percent, of the original site stockpile.

As of yet, the United States has destroyed 23,406 metric tons of its chemical weapons stockpile, which is 84.29 percent of the declared stockpile.