2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 12:11:07 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Army May Use Scottish Technology to Process Chemical Weapons

Army May Use Scottish Technology to Process Chemical Weapons
EarthVision Reports

DOUNREAY, Scotland, January 3, 2000 - A new process developed by a Scottish
scientist may be used by the US Army to destroy its huge stock of chemical
weapons. The BBC reported that the Army will decide this month whether it
will go ahead with plans to build a test facility in Maryland. 

Dr. David Steele designed the process, which was originally designed to
recover plutonium from nuclear fuel rods at the nuclear research facility
at Dounreay in Caithness. Dr. Steele's procedure uses silver salt as a
catalyst, and leaves behind just water, carbon dioxide and materials like
Epsom salts, the article reported. 

The Silver II system, as it is called, is preferred to the alternative of
eliminating nerve agents and chemical weapons in high temperature furnaces,
which raises concerns among neighbors who worry about safety and pollution. 

Steele's employer AEA Technology has teamed up with an environmental
clean-up firm in Denver to develop a detailed blueprint for the Maryland
plant, the article reported. 

 "We have now submitted a plan to build a pilot plant which we are
confident will demonstrate that it can eliminate volatile explosive
materials used in missiles, mines and shells, as well as chemical weapons,
nerve agents and solid rocket fuel," according to Terry Graham, project

Graham said he expects to hear from the Army within a month on whether they
will go ahead and build the test plant.  

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