OPCW updates progress on effluent neutralization from Syrian chemical weapons

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Wednesday that effluents from neutralization efforts of Syrian chemical weapons have been safely disposed.

Neutralization efforts have been taking place aboard the U.S. vessel Cape Ray and at chemical weapons destruction plants in Germany and Finland. Approximately 600 metric tons of sulfur mustard and methylphosphonyl difluoride were neutralized aboard the Cape Ray. 

“This is yet another milestone on the path to eliminating chemical weapons stocks from Syria – one that was achieved in a safe and efficient way, thanks to the valuable support provided by the German government and Finnish industry,” OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said. 

The Gesellschaft zur Entsorgung von Chemischen Kampfstoffen und Rustungsaltlasten MBH in Germany had disposed of approximately 335.5 metric tons of effluent material that originated from sulfur mustard neutralization. The Ekokem Riihimaki Waste Disposal Facility in Finland disposed of approximately 5,463 metric tons of methylphosphonyl difluoride effluents. The German claim has been verified by OPCW staff. The Finland facility will be visited by verification staff shortly.

The OPCW report says only 16 metric tons remains of the 1,328 metric tons of hydrogen fluoride that was declared by Syrian officials.

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Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 32 Johan de Wittlaan Den Haag, ZH 2517 JR

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