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Nerve Gas Continues To Be Destroyed

Last updated on Thursday, May 11, 2006

(NEWPORT) - About 15% of the VX nerve agent stored at the Newport Chemical Depot in West Central Indiana has been destroyed.

That's about three percent less than the Army had predicted would be destroyed in the first year. The neutralization began May 5th of 2005. Spokeswoman Terry Arthur says that 15% translates into 45,303 gallons of the nerve agent. The process has resulted in over 209,000 gallons of wastewater being created, called hydrolysate.

It will be stored in transportable containers until the Army, Centers for Disease Control, and Congress decide where to further treat the wastewater. Arthur says the current plan is to ship it by truck to New Jersey for treatment at a DuPont facility.

Meanwhile, Arthur says scheduled preventative maintenance is taking place on the reactor systems at Newport. She calls it a scheduled "pause" - and likens it to a car getting a routine oil change and maintenance.

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