Weapons destruction nears its end at Anniston depot

Workers at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Anniston, Ala., have destroyed all but four-tenths of one percent of the chemical weapons that have been stored there since the 1950s.

By the end of last week, incinerator workers had processed 659,345 in total, equal to 99.6 percent of Anniston’s chemical weapons stockpile. Army officials said that efforts are underway to transfer the equipment that has been used to incinerate the weapons from the Anniston Army Depot to a chemical demilitarization site in Richmond, Ky., the Anniston Star reports.

Army spokesman Mike Abrams told the Anniston Star that Westinghouse and government employees helped to move 20 enhanced-on-site containers out of the chemical munitions storage area this week.

“The empty containers have been moved to a nearby staging area where final preparations will take place before they begin what will be a 370 mile trip north to Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Ky.,” Abrams said, according to the Anniston Star. “Eventually, 30 of the large containers will be transferred to Kentucky to support future chemical munitions disposal operations there.”

Each of the empty storage containers weigh close to 20,000 pounds and costs $300,000. Army officials expect that the incineration of the remaining stockpile will end sometime in September.