Syria chemical arms set to be transferred

December 05, 2013 - 3:19:44 am
Headquarters in The Hague of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has developed the plans to remove chemical weapons from Syria. 
Copenhagen: A Danish cargo vessel is due to load Syria’s chemical arms stockpile and transfer it to a specially adapted US ship, in a delicate and unprecedented operation early in the new year, according to plans by the world’s chemical weapons watchdog’.

The plans being drawn up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have not been finalised. It is not yet clear, for example, whether the transfer between the two ships of about 500 tonnes of lethal chemicals, including nerve agents, will be done at sea or when both vessels are docked.

Both options have serious challenges. A sea transfer from one ship to another with such a hazardous cargo would be fraught with danger. But so far, no Mediterranean port has agreed to host the transfer on land, say weapons experts briefed on the plan by the OPCW in The Hague.

The US ship, the Maritime Administration MV Cape Ray, is being fitted in Norfolk, Virginia, with two field-deployable hydrolysis systems (FDHS) that will neutralise the chemical weapons agents with the addition of fresh water and other reagents, such as sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite. The Guardian
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