Chemical weapons destruction plant to be constructed in Penza Region

A plant will be built in the Penza Region for the destruction of poison-gases. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed today by the press office of the regional administration, this decision was reached after a visit to the region by Victor Holstov, director of the Russian ammunition agency, on August 12.

The plant will only destroy chemical weapons located in the Penza Region. According to initial estimates, this will take about 5-7 years. Once the weapons have been destroyed or at least neutralized, the plant will be converted into a new facility. Construction work on the plant is expected to get underway next year and will be ready by 2006-2007. 1,800 specialists will be employed at the site.

According to the regional administration, the chemical weapons will not actually be destroyed but simply neutralized. The poison-gases will be converted into a harmless solid and will then be transported out of the Penza Region to be destroyed altogether. According to Mr Holstov, the plant will not pose any environmental threat to the local population. Chemical weapons storage plants have been built in six regions of Russia: the Udmurtia, Kirov, Penza, Kurgan, Saratov and Bryansk Regions. A chemical weapons destruction plant is already operating in the Gorny settlement of the Saratov Region. Two other similar plants are under construction in the Kurgan and Udmurtia Regions.

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