2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 10:11:05 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military

Environmental News Service
AmeriScan: June 12, 2000


JOHNSTON ISLAND, Pacific Ocean, June 12, 2000 (ENS) - Ten years ago this
month, the U.S. built its first chemical weapons destruction facility on
this remote atoll. Next year, the plant will start shutting down. As part
of its goal of destroying the entire U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons,
the U.S. began testing and operating an incinerator on Johnston Island, a
remote Pacific atoll 825 miles southwest of Hawai'i. After three years of
testing, the incineration technology was adopted by the federal government
as the method of choice for destroying America's chemical weapons
stockpiles by 2007 as required by law. The entire stockpile is stored at
eight depots across the country. Though incineration has faced heavy
opposition from groups that warn the process releases toxins into the air
and water, the government says the process is the fastest and most cost
effective means of destroying the lethal poisons in chemical rockets and
other weapons. 

Work at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) has led
to improvements in the incineration process, including faster and more
complete incineration of all weapons components. These improvements have
since been implemented at a similar facility in Tooele, Utah. To date,
JACADS has destroyed 3.6 million pounds of nerve and blister agents, and
more than 388,000 chemical weapons stockpiled on Johnston Island. With 94
percent of its chemical weapons stockpile destroyed, JACADS is fast
approaching a new milestone - closure of the facility. "It's been a long
process full of challenges and lessons learned," said JACADS project
manager Gary McCloskey. "We've had to overcome many hurdles operating the
first fully-integrated system of its kind. But we can look at our
accomplishments with pride because we're setting the example for future
facilities. We've paved the way for others to follow." Closure activities
for JACADS are scheduled to begin in January 2001. 
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