OPCW: Destroying Syria's Chemical Weapons at Sea is a Possibility


Credit: own work/wikimedia

A spokesman from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said that Syria's chemical weapons could be destroyed at sea rather than on land.

From the Associated Press:

OPCW spokesman Christian Chartier said the alternative of destruction at sea, on a boat or floating rig, is a "feasible" possibility.

Chartier told The Associated Press, "All options are on the table." No further details have been released.

Among mobile systems that could be put on a ship and sent to sea is one owned by the U.S. Defense Department. The Field Deployable Hydrolysis System is a transportable neutralization system that uses water, other chemicals and heat to change chemical warfare material into compounds not usable as weapons.

The news comes after authorities in Albania, Norway, and Belgium declined to have their country host the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

Although destroying the weapons at sea has numerous advantages, chemical weapons disarmament consultant Ralf Trapp told the AP that there are, unsurprisingly, potential regulatory, environmental, and logistic issues that would need to be addressed:

Trapp told the AP that using a sea-based facility would have numerous advantages, including the ability to position it far from populated areas.

But he said there were many problems to be addressed beforehand, including restrictions in the U.N. Convention on the Law of Sea intended to protect the marine environment, and how to transport the highly toxic cargo so it presents a minimal risk for sailors, other maritime traffic and the oceans in general.

More from on Syria here

NEXT: Immigrants Deported from US for Minor Crimes, Without Trials

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Just drop them where you dropped bin Laden’s body.

  2. Actually, do they *have* to be destroyed?

    I mean, there’ll be plenty of future opportunities for *someone* to make use of them.


  3. Repeating my previous solution:

    Put weapons on ship

    Drive ship to deepest part of Atlantic

    Sink ship

    1. yeah, yeah, and then the giant sea monsters come out and destroy the planet. Don’t try that shit on me, bud, I saw the fucking movie.

      1. No, that’s just nuclear not chemical.

        1. They’ll just be *slimier* and smell worse.

        2. Nuclear or Nuculer?

  4. I’ll just leave this here:…..CDsQ9QEwAQ

    1. The marine life at the bottom of the ocean already look like that.


      1. Also sarin gas is not a mutagen.

        And its shelf life when exposed to sea water is very very short.

        1. Why do hate shelves so?

          1. shit, “you hate”

            grmble grmble

        2. OK, Mr. Smarty Pants, first off, it was fairly shallow water near the Springfield nuke plant. And also, how do we know Mr. Burns didn’t sell some of his surplus nuclear and chemical waste to the Syrians?

          So much for *you,* Mr. Science guy!

  5. Don’t we have the facilities to destroy them here in the States?

    1. IIRC, Anniston Army Depot in Alabama could. We used to have a facility on Johnson Atoll SW of Hawaii but Wiki says it was closed down a few years ago.

      Back in the day when the US was getting rid of its chemical weapons, they took them from Anniston to the Atlantic, put them on a ship and dumped them at sea. I can’t imagine the howls of protest if they did that today.


        The most important chemical reactions of phosphoryl halides is the hydrolysis of the bond between phosphorus and the fluoride. This P-F bond is easily broken by nucleophilic agents, such as water and hydroxide.

        Environmentalism is dependent on pure ignorance in regards to chemistry.

        Reminds me of a lady I heard saying asbestos was leching into the soil and ground water….never mind asbestos is sand.

      2. IIRC, they devised a more expensive solution. Some fancy pantsy incinerator. They just tore one down a few days ago in what might be Oregon (online papers that don’t bother revealing their State annoy me).

        Could be the Obama flair added to digging holes and filling them in economic strategy that Keynesians so adore.

      3. I can’t imagine the howls of protest if they did that today.

        Napalm Train Now on a Road to Nowhere (April 15, 1998)

        A decade ago, it was a barge loaded with garbage that generated an international stink, floating homeless down the East Coast because no one would take its contents.

        Now it is a rail car filled with napalm, bound for the Chicago area from Southern California this week amid a runaway debate about how best to dispose of the deadly chemical remnants of the Vietnam War.

        The train left Fallbrook in northern San Diego County on Saturday carrying two 6,000-gallon drums of napalm in one car. It rumbled through Texas on Tuesday, headed for an Indiana treatment plant as the first step in a two-year plan to dispose of 3 million gallons of the jellied gasoline and turn it into industrial fuel.

        Then Rep. Rod Blagojevich wanted to send it to, you know, some other constituency:

        Blagojevich wants the napalm taken to disposal sites in Utah or elsewhere. Other officials joined in.

    2. Not exactly. But with a few modifications to ensure hermetic sealing, they could be safely deployed here or here with no risk to American lives.

  6. I say we take off and nuke the entire stockpile from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    1. We tried that with Occupy Wall St already, but they just MUTATED

      1. I thought all the Occupy folks faded away because they now can easily, with a few trouble-free clicks, sign up for free health care online. Not true?

      2. Just tell me one thing, GILMORE. You’re going out there to destroy them, right? Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.

  7. OT: Old Grady Arpio drops “cyberbully” charges against clueless middle school girls. Says he’s happy that he used the power of the state to secure concessions that the girls get counseling. I guess it’s the righ outcome but I think it could’ve been handled without frog marching them across national media. And anything gained at the point of a gun is always suspect.…..lying-case


    1. Sharknado 2: Sharks with Chemical Weapons!

      1. SPOILER ALERT. I haven’t seen the first one yet.

        1. Can you spoil a movie with no plot?

          1. The plot is essentially in the movie title.

    2. It’s worse than that, FoE. Sinking the weapons would, in fact, place them in the hands of the giant squids. They would view it as a gift from Cthulu and would attack immediately, though of course they would attack Japan first as is their wont.


      1. Squids don’t have hands. At least, not unless they’re infected with chemical weapons.

        1. Tentacles are better than hands, FoE. You would think you’d know that after all the hentai you’ve watched.

          1. But you said hands. You specifically said hands.

            And I make my own hentai. (The key is to make the tentacles surrogates for penises.)

    3. We was comin’ back, from the Atlantic to Newport, just discarded the weapons. The Syrian chemical weapons. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first chemical shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer.

      You know how you know that when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know… was our mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it’s… kinda like ol’ squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’ and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’ they all come in and rip you to pieces.

      1. You’re gonna need a bigger chemical weapons disposal boat.

  9. What is the point of this post anyhow?

    1. Normally i would think it was too point out how stupid governments are.

      But Feeney wrote it so it is about convincing everyone Obama is a not socialist and that there was no Coup in Egypt.

    2. To prevent the rest of the blog from corning up.

  10. Take to the Sea!

  11. Sounds like some serious business man. Wow.

  12. I grew up right down the road from the US government burning tons of its own VX and sarin at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. What a bunch of NIMBY nonsense. The US and Russia both have ongoing chemical weapons destruction efforts at their own arsenals- either one could easily accept shipment of whatever chemical weapons Syria has.

    But can you imagine the apeshit firestorm that would result if the media got wind of that?

  13. Damn fine tread.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.