Click me

How To Dismantle a Chemical Weapon

SYRIA'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS On the morning of August 21, the Syrian government allegedly used sarin gas on its own people, killing hundreds of innocent civilians. In response, the U.S. and Russia agreed to a UN Security Council draft resolution demanding Syria give up its chemical weapons. On October 1, UN inspectors began the enormous task of destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile and the means of continuing their chemical weapons program. A month later, the process is still on track. The Syrian government submitted a formal declaration of its chemical weapons program and plans for destroying its arsenal to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. OpenCanada explores some of the details involved in eliminating Syria's estimated 1,000-ton arsenal below. SYRIAN WEAPON SITES STORAGE RESEARCH MISSILE MISSILE PRODUCTION LOCATION CENTRE PRODUCTION BASE FACILITY ALEPPO MISSILE FACTORY (HALAB) Underground SCUD productions facility. Explosion in 2007 released VX and sarin killing 15 personnel. AL-SAFIR COMPLEX Houses a SCUD missile base, missile storage, chemical weapons production, and weaponization and testing facilities. LATAKIA AL-KIBAR Missile facility rebuilt after 2007 destruction. Believed to be nuclear reactor building site for clandestine ALEPPO MASYAF production of weapons-grade plutonium. НOMS FURQLUS DEPOT HAMA MISSILE BASE & PRODUCTION FACTORY Underground missile production facility and Scud-C launch base. НOMS DAMASCUS HOMS MISSILE FACTORY Adjacent to chemical weapons production facility, responsible for testing new missiles and fitting with chemical warheads. KHAN ABU SHAMAT DEPOT HAMA SCIENTIFIC STUDIES & RESEARCH CENTRE (SSRC) Controls the missile production facilities, collaborating heavily with Iran and North Korea. Centre D'Etude et Recherché Scientifique (CERS) Source: HOW TO DISMANTLE A CHEMICAL WEAPON 1. Weapon Separation: The energetic components (i.e. fuze and burster) of the weapon are removed first as a safety precaution. The chemical components of each armament are then separated from the weapon body. Drainage: A robotic disassembly line drains the chemical agents from the munitions that contain them. The liquid agent is collected in a holding tank. Destruction: Once isolated, the chemical agents are destroyed. D. Various methods are used including: TNT Explosive Destruction System: Weapons are individually detonated in a heavy reactor designed to act as a "bang box" for chemical weapons. The Microbial Degradation: Similar to neutralization, the agent is mixed with a caustic solution creating a hydrolysate. Microbes break down the solution Incineration: Chemical Neutralization: The chemical agents are combined with a caustic agents are burned in very high-temperature liquid furnaces. Burning the chemical agents neutralizes the biohazardous compound (like sodium hydroxide). The reaction initiates chemical hydrolysis, eliminating the toxicity of the chemical agent. reactor ensures containment properties since the chemical agents are broken down to ash, vapour CO2 and other by-products. and safety, especially for potentially unstable ordinance. Once detonated, releasing water and microbial waste. The "biosludge" is separated and sent to a disposal facility. the toxic effluents are collected. CHALLENGES 4. Destruction of Weapon Casing: The munitions that contained the chemical 12 agents are likely to still contain trace amounts of hazardous biochemicals. The artillery shells and other casing are typically sent to metal furnaces. ES Time: Chemical weapon extraction will be a prolonged process. In the 1990s, the UN spent eight years searching for WMDS in Iraq. The ongoing civil war will inevitably delay the process further. 5. Processing Effluent Materials: Destruction of chemical agents produces secondary effluents that require additional processing. The effluent is usually sent to ONE commercial hazardous waste-treatment facilities to ISRion Dollar SI undergo bioremediation. Н.о Cost: It is hard to estimate the cost of destroying Syria's estimated 1,000 tons of chemical weapons. An estimate based on the destruction of America's stockpile would put the price tag over $1 billion. THE CHEMICAL AGENTS IN USE Sources claim that the Syrian Regime is in possession of both Sarin and Mustard Gas, both banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). SARIN SULFUR MUSTARD СНЗ Н2 Н2 НЗС CI СНЗ Н2 Н2 INVENTED: 1938 1916 1988 1917 Halabja, Iraq (Iran-Iraq War) Ypres, Belgium (WWI) FIRST USED: Clear colourless liquid. Odourless in pure form. Ranges from pale yellow to brown. Slight garlic/ horseradish odour. DESCRIPTION: Powerful nerve agent that attacks nervous system resulting in asphyxia. Death by suffocation will occur within one minute of Very powerful vesicant, causing severe chemical burns and skin blistering, as well as eye and mucosal pain. Symptoms won't appear for up to 24 hours. PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS: direct ingestion. Severe burns are fatal. Mild-moderate burns Lethal at very low concentrations. 26x more deadly than cyanide. LETHALITY: require prolonged medical treatment. CIC Sources: CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DU CANADA Design by: Benjamin Crase 2.

How To Dismantle a Chemical Weapon

shared by OpenCanada on Oct 30
One month in, the task of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons is on schedule. In this infographic, we take a closer look at what is involved.



Benjamin Crase


syria weapons


How To
Did you work on this visual? Claim credit!

Get a Quote

Embed Code

For hosted site:

Click the code to copy


Click the code to copy
Customize size