Russia's Kizner chemical disposal facility delayed

The first phase of Russia's Kizner Chemical Weapons Disposal Facility, which is under construction in the Urdmurt Republic, was recently rescheduled to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2013.

The facility's first phase was originally to be finished in the second half of 2012, but a statement subsequently circulated by Urdmurtia's Ministry for Construction, Architecture and Housing Policy said that the facility would not operate until 2013, according to Interfax.

The head of the republic's press service confirmed the report and added that the chemical weapons disposal plant would not be finished completely until 2015.

Pyotr Chachilo, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Department for Chemical Weapons Storage and Disposal, recently said that there are many factors that influenced the postponement decision, including an announcement by the United States that its chemical weapons disposal program would not be completed until 2023.

"Our program is intended for the period ending in 2015. The pace of work and the capabilities available suggest that it can be completed in 2015," Chachilo said, Interfax reports. "So far, the year 2013 is on schedule."

Earlier reports claim that the facility is located near Military Base 55498, a known underground storage site for Russian chemical weaponry. The plant is expected to eliminate nearly 6,000 tons of chemical agents during its operational lifetime, including more than two million rounds of ammunition. The Kizner facility is thought to be Russia's seventh and final chemical weapons disposal plant.