The scrapping of chemical munitions stored at the Leonidovka plant in the Penza region is coming to an end, head of the Federal Department for Safe Storage and Disposal of Chemical Weapons Col. Gen. Valery Kapashin told Interfax-AVN on Aug. 17.
"The last shell containing a warfare agent was submitted for scrapping at the Leonidovka facility in the Penza region yesterday," he said.
Reaction mass processing and metal case deactivation will last for a month, he said. "The scrapping of chemical weapons in Leonidovka is due to end on September 22. A ceremony will be held on that occasion," the general said.
The Leonidovka plant is Russia's third facility disposing of chemical weapons to have fulfilled its mission, he said. Previously, chemical arms arsenals were scrapped at the Gorny plant in the Saratov region in 2005 and the Kambarka plant in the Republic of Udmurtia in 2009.
"Before the end of this year chemical weapons will be fully destroyed at another three Russian sites, namely Pochep in the Bryansk region, Maradykovsky in the Kirov region and Shchuchye in the Kurgan region. There will be only one plant scrapping chemical weapons left in Russia in 2016, Kizner in the Republic of Udmurtia. It will be running for a few more years," Kapashin said.
In all, about 91 percent of the chemical weapons stock has been scrapped in Russia. "After the mission is accomplished, the plants will need to decontaminate their hardware and to perform land reclamation. This work will begin in January 2016," Kapashin said.
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