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Mediterranean Sea To Possibly Become Site of Chemical Weapons Dump

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the scuttle-the-gas dept.

Earth 174

An anonymous reader writes "The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has proposed destroying at least 1000 tons of the confiscated Syrian chemical weapon stockpile out at sea, which some fear will destroy delicate ecosystems vital to sea and human life alike. The OPCW claims the plan is 'technically feasible' and is apparently willing to risk ecological disaster to destroy the toxic contents of the weaponry in or above the sea. Members of the press were told, 'the group is considering whether to destroy the chemical weapons in the ocean, either on a ship or by loading them onto an offshore rig.'"

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Send them to mars (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#45571085)

We'll never go.

send them to washington DC (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571121)

unlike DC, we're still not sure if there's intelligent life on mars.

Re:send them to washington DC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571139)

unlike DC, we're still not sure if there's intelligent life on mars.

I wouldn't be so nasty, ok I would.
Yeak dump it over Washington DC no great loss would ensue.

Please allow me to propose a new site ... (-1, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#45571277)

Actually there is a VERY VERY SUITABLE SITE for dumping the chemical.

It's at the Fukushima site, of Japan.

Since the sea over there has already been HEAVILY POLLUTED BY RADIOACTIVE WASTE, adding a little bit more chemical into the mix won't make the situation any more worse

On the other hand, dumping the chemical into the Mediterranean Sea would complicate things a lot - as there ARE a lot of countries which would be affected, from Spain to France to Italy to Greece to Turkey to Syria to Lebanon to Israel to Egypt to Tunisia ... all the way to Morocco

Of course those Japanese won't be happy about my proposal.

But then, when the Japanese kill whales and dolphins, they do not care how the rest of the world feel.

Why should we care about how they feel now, if we dump those chemicals near Fukushima ?

Re:Please allow me to propose a new site ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571341)

So, this is a thoroughly off topic anti-nuclear, anti-whaling, anti-Japanese rant?

Is there anything else you'd like to cover while you're here?

Re:Please allow me to propose a new site ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571977)

What I want to know is how I get a job like yours. I don't know if you're the original person behind that id or not, but it's pretty apparent you're paid for what you post now. You post nonsense in a lot of threads. Rarely first post but often close to the top. You pretty much always get replies (which I'm sure is the goal) and your moderation and those that reply to you often seem manipulated. You've been posted interesting twice to offset the proper off-topic and troll moderations. Just curious, I need a job.

Re:Please allow me to propose a new site ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572001)

Actually there is a VERY VERY SUITABLE SITE for dumping the chemical.

It's at the Fukushima site, of Japan.

Since the sea over there has already been HEAVILY POLLUTED BY RADIOACTIVE WASTE, adding a little bit more chemical into the mix won't make the situation any more worse

Actually it does. As the Chernobyl incident have shown high amounts of radioactivity is mainly harmful for the individual but not necessarily for life in general. Chemical weapons is a completely different thing.
It is also only the immediate reactor area that is directly harmful. When people talk about the evacuated zone numbers like 2-4mSv keep popping up. Nothing below 100mSv have been proven being a health hazard, the rest is just margin. Adding chemical weapons to the mix is a very bad idea since that will prevent people from moving back in a couple of years when the hysteria have stopped.

Re: Please allow me to propose a new site ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572197)

Based on your post I'd say you are heavily retarded.

Re:Please allow me to propose a new site ... (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#45572563)

There are worse places than the Fukushima area. Several places in what used to be the Soviet Union are badly contaminated, some so bad that it's still a state secret.

No matter where you dump it - it will be a problem. A closed off area that is already contaminated or rendered unusable would be the best.

Re:Please allow me to propose a new site ... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#45572697)

No matter where you dump it - it will be a problem. Really nasty crap could be disposed of by packing it into (very) rugged barrels and dropping into a deep ocean trench, over times the waste will be sucked back into the Earth's mantle along with the ocean floor and everything on it. Japan has one such trench running along it's east coast. The problem with this solution is expense, governments will gladly spend trillions to create this scourge on humanity, but will bicker for decades about spending a few million to clean up the mess.

Also, as a self-proclaimed "greenie" since the 70's I see nothing wrong with hunting whales for food, it becomes a problem when they are hunted to the point of extinction. The Japanese factory ships are "bad PR", they take few whales but are a potent reminder of the bad old days, people in general are much less disturbed by natives doing the same thing in a deer skin canoe.

The environment ultimately provides everything for mankind, for example the Atlantic and North sea Cod fisheries have basically collapsed due to overfishing, it will be a century or more before they return to the bounty the provided to both the US and Europe during the 19th and early 20th century. Our oceans could be alive with fish again. If just 5% of the world's reefs were to become (patrolled) marine parks then the fishing industry might have something to do again in 10-20yrs. Having said that I've worked on a multi-million dollar fishing trawler in the "roaring 40's" (circa 1980), the owner is not interested in tomorrow, he wants to "Fill up the hold and feed his kids today!".

As for the Japan bashing, can I know your country of origin? Nothing personal, I just need someone to blame for all the fucked up shit that emanates from where ever you live.

Re: send them to washington DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571287)

Already done:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/09/nation/la-na-chem-bomb-20100510

Re:send them to washington DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572641)

I am also not sure there's intelligent life on earth.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#45571227)

I was thinking of shooting Sol with them, but I fear we'd fuck up somewhere and it'll phoenix out of the star all ISON-like, if the rocket doesn't blow up en launchpad first.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45571503)

I was thinking of shooting Sol with them, but I fear we'd fuck up somewhere and it'll phoenix out of the star all ISON-like, if the rocket doesn't blow up en launchpad first.

For reference, it takes less deltaV to reach Alpha Centauri than Sol.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45572041)

One of the reasons we change velocity when putting stuff on earth or other planets is because we normally want the object to survive. So if you don't care do you really have to do that? Objects traveling faster than Earth's escape velocity can certainly still hit the Earth right?

Assuming you're in a perfectly circular orbit around something with no atmosphere, if you shoot a bullet directly at it (perpendicular to orbit), the bullet will still keep losing altitude - because what other relative force would there be to increase the altitude?

So I suggest that given a suitable trajectory at Earth's escape velocity you can get stuff to hit the Sun. It may take the stuff a longer time to reach the Sun, but who cares as long as the stuff doesn't come back :).

Re:Send them to mars (4, Informative)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#45572783)

Short answer is "no". Orbital mechanics don't work like that. (Big disclaimer- I'm not an expert, and while what I'm about to type should be basically correct, I can't guarantee (at this time in the morning) that I haven't made some mistakes).

Your basic mistake is assuming that the bullet you're firing is stationary before you fire it, so all you're having to do is propel it towards it's target. It isn't. The bullet (and the gun, and the marksman) are all orbiting the sun at 29.8 km/s (which is the speed that the Earth is orbiting at). By "orbiting at 29.8 km/s", what we mean is "travelling in such a way as to miss the Sun at 29.8 km/s". So if you want your bullet to hit the Sun, you need to cause it to stop doing that- you need it to lose 29.8 km/s of orbital speed. I know you were only using it as a metaphor, but for reference- a bullet from a typical gun travels (i.e. changes velocity) at less than 0.5 km/s.

Counter intuitively, travelling to Alpha Centauri would be much easier (although of course it would take a long time!). Solar escape velocity starting from Earth is only 42.1 km/s, which means that you only need to at ~13 km/s before you're away from the Sun's gravitational grip. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, Earth's orbital velocity is already quite fast, so getting to escape velocity means adding a relatively small amount (albeit to get to an overall high speed). Secondly, gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance- that is, moving 100 km closer to the sun will increase the gravity you experience by more than moving 100 km away from the sun will decrease it. Without getting into the messy details of it, this means that the necessary changes in velocity get sharper the closer you get to the sun- hence why Earth (which seems quite close to the Sun, in the grand scheme of things) is in a stable orbit at 29.8 km/s, but could escape completely for a mere 13 km/s more.

Clear as crystal?

Re:Send them to mars (1)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year ago | (#45572079)

Could you elaborate? That doesn't seem intuitive. I was able to find this [wikipedia.org] , which shows the sun at 30. I was unable to find what Alpha Centauri would be. Also, are you comparing a direct hit of Sol with a direct hit of Alpha Centauri? Do the other stars in the Centauri System affect things? I don't know much about the subject but am interested in the counter-intuitive.

Re:Send them to mars (5, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45572123)

here's a nice summary:
http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/shooting_for_the_sun/ [csicop.org]

From Earth's surface it only takes 16 km/sec to reach escape velocity for Sun (and your rocket can just fall into Alpha Centauri) because Earth's velocity around Sun gives you head start, but from earth's surface it takes 32 km/sec to cancel Earth's orbital velocity and reach Sun.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year ago | (#45572203)

Thank you. Makes sense.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#45572965)

How much would that cost for 30-40.000 tons?

About 500 Delta 4-Heavy rockets would suffice to do the job.
Only 20 rocket failures to be expected according to current failure rates. (1 in 23)

Compared to filling an old ship with the stuff and sinking it like the US, Russia and the rest have been doing it for 60 years.

http://www.environet.eu/pub/pubwis/rura/00232.pdf [environet.eu]

Re:Send them to mars (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about a year ago | (#45572425)

So, you want to take the first shot that could start an interstellar war? On the other hand, it could be like sending them chocolates, maybe they will like it!

Re:Send them to mars (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#45571609)

Let's see, take an old reliable workhorse like Delta II. It can take about 2,200lb outside Earth orbit, so it would need about 100 launches to lift 100 tonnes of Syrian chemical weapons, at $50 million per launch. The success rate of Delta II (most reliable ever) is about 98%.

So if we are willing to spend $5 billion and live with the likelihood of two launch failures, possibly spreading chemical agents all over the place, we could do it. Or we can just dump it into the sea.

Re:Send them to mars (3, Informative)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#45571627)

http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/shooting_for_the_sun/ [csicop.org]

This is why Sol is the worst target possible.

Re:Send them to mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571907)

Why not just put them into an active volcano? It isn't as if the earth is gonna get indigestion.

Re:Send them to mars (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45572097)

That article makes the false assumption that to hit the sun you need to reduce the relative velocity to zero.

Assuming no atmosphere if you want to get from a perfectly circular orbit around an object to the objects surface and you don't care about surviving you don't have to reduce your velocity. All you have to do is to head directly towards the object (perpendicular to orbit). Barring outside interference (other objects) there would be no force increasing your altitude so you will eventually crash at a high speed.

Now our orbit isn't perfectly circular, but the reasoning still applies - since we're not interested in "landing" trash on the Sun, we don't have to change the deltav that much. All you need is a suitable trajectory at Earth's escape velocity.

Re:Send them to mars (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45572189)

No, you have not studied orbital mechanics and so make hilarious statements. Let's pretend we're looking at the solar system as a "clock" in your living room, from the north star's direction, looking south. The earth is moving counter-clockwise and is at 6 o'clock, when you launch your rocket "right at the sun". so your rocket picks up speed in the upward, 12 o'clock direction, even while it still has velocity to the right that it got from earth. Your rocket initially moves inside earth's orbit but in direction of say 2 oclock. By the time earth gets to 3'oclock, your rocket has previously crossed earth's orbit and is flying off the clock upward and to the right, past your ceiling and if it hasn't reached solar escape velocity winds up in a cool orbit from up and to the right, down into the dial of your clock, around the center somewhat inside the dial (moving very fast) and then slowing as it goes up and to the right again.

The right way? Against the orbit, before six o'clock we fire to the left and lose most the earth's delta-v, and fall into or near the center. That's the most expensive orbit to make from earth, one that is close to the Sun. Leaving the solar system only takes half the velocity.

Re:Send them to mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572777)

That article makes the false assumption that to hit the sun you need to reduce the relative velocity to zero. .

kid, go and study this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_momentum then we talk again

Sol a bad dumping ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572763)

I've seen this link handed around here a bit, and I think it has one fundamental flaw: it ignores slingshot operations, i.e. once you're able to graze another planet's orbit, you can, by careful timing, steal (or give) energy from said planet to change your delta-v.

This is routinely done (for some value of "routine" appropriate to interplanetary travel these days).

That said, I still think that it's far, far, far more efficient to try to make sense of our own waste down here. For example: why hight temperature incineration? Why not catalysis, or excitation with the right (probably UV) wawelength?

Whatever. We're able to extract U-235 from the mixture or to synthesize DNA but not to crack a couple of well-known molecules.

Not going to ... (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#45571409)

We'll never go.

That's probably true of the Mediterranean Sea, for many middle-income families in North America.

... Of course, that's not the only consideration ...

Re:Not going to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571529)

Poor people in America travel abroad?

Re:Not going to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572861)

People in America travel abroad?

Re:Send them to mars (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#45571825)

Nah. It would be cheaper just o release them in a major Chinese city where no one will notice the difference.

Oh yes, such a good idea.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571103)

There's a dump down the coast from where I am at present, every so often chemical munitions come up from the watery graves they were ne'er supposed to return from...
and there all sorts of fun things down there, name your chemical horrors from WWI and WWII (and probably some later stuff as well).
 

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#45571541)

The entire article is a troll. Nobody's talking about dumping the chemical weapons into the sea. They're going to move the chemicals to a U.S. Navy ship where they'll be neutralized by incineration. By cooking them hot enough, the molecular bonds will break and all they'll be left with are the constituent elements.

Despite the scary suppositions about performing this task over the sea ("what if there's a leak???"), it's actually far safer for the world if the U.S. Navy disposes of them right there in the middle of the Med. If they wanted to dispose of them on land, they'd have a couple of challenges -- the first of which is finding a stable country willing to accept a chemical weapons processing plant. Guarding the lines hauling the weapons to the processing site would be an ongoing problem. And securing the site against local attacks is another. One thing the U.S. Navy can do very very well is guarantee the security of one of their naval ships at sea. The chemicals will have a much safer journey to neutralization than anywhere else.

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about a year ago | (#45572229)

even if they did dump the stuff in the sea, there's so little of it that it would be diluted so quickly it would be entirely harmless. and chemicals like sarin and mustard gas break down very quickly in seawater.

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572581)

...there's so little of it that it would be diluted so quickly it would be entirely harmless.

Apparently you are unfamiliar with homeopathy. If you were, you would know that diluting a substance makes it vastly more potent, not harmless. With the amount of dilution they'd be looking at, the whole planet would be quickly rendered too toxic to sustain life.

(Tongue planted firmly in cheek.)

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (4, Funny)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#45572587)

even if they did dump the stuff in the sea, there's so little of it that it would be diluted so quickly it would be entirely harmless.

Unless you're a homeopath, at which point you can make millions selling mediterranean seawater as an antidote for use in the event of a chemical attack.

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#45572421)

Right. This is simply that it's easier to move a shipboard steam/incineration plant to where the toxics are than to move the toxics to an existing plant.

There aren't many such plants. The U.S. Army had a chemical weapons disposal plant [army.mil] until July 2013. It was closed, after it had been used to destroy the US's old stockpiles of chemical weapons. Demolition of the plant is underway.

Re:Oh yes, such a good idea.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572805)

With the US armed forces's history regarding "disposing" of hazardous chemicals, it'll probably -be- just dumping the cans overboard and possibly using them for target practice.

right... (0)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#45571117)

Because if there's any place in the entire world where you want to put decommissioned WMDs, it's in the middle of a sea too large for effective policing and too shallow to put them out of the reach of wreck divers

Re:right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571169)

Plus, it's a sea with about half a billion people in close proximity, literally the centre of the wold (Medi-Terranean) for ancient western civilisation. What could possibleye go wrong?

Re:right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571281)

After you chemically denature/destroy the things, yes. They aren't talking about dumping them whole and unaltered into the ocean in weaponizable capsules. You react them to break them down into safer materials, and then dispose of those chemicals. Done properly, the stuff wouldn't be particularly hazardous at the end of it, and you sure wouldn't have divers retrieving it or finding it useful for anything if they tried.

Also, the whole article is full of ridiculous hyperbole. The Mediterranean wasn't even there [wikipedia.org] 5 or 6 million years ago. All the life that was in it was either extinct or migrated away, and then recolonized it. On the scale of things this isn't a huge deal, and it's many times better than leaving the chemical weapons as they are.

Re:right... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about a year ago | (#45571483)

"The Mediterranean wasn't even there 5 or 6 million years ago"

Not sure if I understand the implications.

Are you suggesting that because the Mediterranean wasn't there 5 million years ago we shouldn't care all that much what happens to it tomorrow?

Or are you suggesting that the environmental disaster of having Syria's chemical weapons actually deployed would be smaller than the disaster of making the Mediterranean uninhabitable?

Re:right... (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#45571669)

TFA (and I emphasize the 'F') is titled "Sea hosting 100-million year old species..."

It is filled with misinformation and hyperbole. And it fails to account for the largest environmental hazard posed by these weapons: their being stolen and used by a third party, or the disposal plant being attacked, causing the uncontrolled release of the toxins. The navy can operate safely in the sea, much safer than anyone can operate a land based plant anywhere on the globe.

Re:right... (2)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45572651)

Because if there's any place in the entire world where you want to put decommissioned WMDs, it's in the middle of a sea too large for effective policing and too shallow to put them out of the reach of wreck divers

The average depth of the Mediterranean Sea is 1500 m, that of the Atlantic Ocean is 3900 meters, and that of the Pacific Ocean is at least 4000 m. Or the deepest piont is 5300 m, 8400 m, and 10,900 m respectively. Are you suggesting that there is any difference in suitability from a depth standpoint? Remember that "divers" in the the form of deep diving vehicles can reach the deepest of those depths. On the other hand, "divers" in the form of assholes with scuba tanks are going to be equally unable to reach even the average depth of any of those places.

The Mediterranean is, in technical language, fucking goddam deep.

Finally, the component chemical elements left after incinerating poison gases are not "WMDs". They are things like garden variety oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc. Or did you suppose they were just going to dump the intact chemical munitions?

Re:right... (2)

amalcolm (1838434) | about a year ago | (#45572877)

I winder if you would be so sanguine were the suggestion to be to dump the remains in a sea near you and your family

Re:right... (1)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about a year ago | (#45572915)

did you know that after WWI, the german stockpiles were encased in cement and thrown into the ocean somewhere?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare

After the war, most of the unused German chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea, a common disposal method among all the participants in several bodies of water. Over time, the salt water causes the shell casings to corrode, and mustard gas occasionally leaks from these containers and washes onto shore as a wax-like solid resembling ambergris." So I wouldn't be too worried.

Aren't they denatured first (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45571119)

They heat them to 2500 F and the chemical bonds break creating just water, carbon, and some trace elements.

I can see an accident like a puncture to a warhead can be deadly otherwise.

They're destroyed first...that's the whole idea (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about a year ago | (#45571237)

The whole idea is that the chemical weapons are destroyed FIRST...they are being destroyed AT SEA, not "destroyed" by simply dumping them into the ocean.

The fact that the other blog entries hosted at the same site as TFA include:

- Rihanna Displays Illuminati Hand Gesture at Latest Music Award Performance

- SSDI Death Index: Sandy Hook 'Shooter' Adam Lanza Died One Day Before School Massacre?

- 15 Citizens Petition to Secede from the United States

- Will U.S. Troops Fire On American Citizens?

- Illuminati Figurehead Prince William Takes the Stage with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift

- Has the Earth Shifted â" Or Is It Just Me?

- Mexican Government Releases Proof of E.T.'s and Ancient Space Travel ...should give you a hint as to the veracity of the content. (And yes, I realize it's simply a blog site with a variety of authors and content.)

As should the first comment, from "LibertyTreeBud", saying:

"Why not add it to some new vaccine? Or, perhaps add it to the drinking water and feed it to the live stock? These creatures will do anything for profits. Lowest bidder mentality rules."

What "creatures", exactly? The international organization explicitly charged with the prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons? What alternatives are people suggesting, exactly?

If you want a real article discussing this situation factually, not the tripe linked in the summary, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25146980 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:They're destroyed first...that's the whole idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571493)

You forgot the best one:

"Don't raise the minimum wage, bring down the government instead!"

Re:They're destroyed first...that's the whole idea (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year ago | (#45572183)

apropos of nothing, but the "creatures" are probably "reptilians" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Aren't they denatured first (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about a year ago | (#45571293)

But if they're just harmless water and carbon, why do they need to be dumped beyond easy reach? Hmmmm?

Re:Aren't they denatured first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571485)

Probably because the homeopaths will try to get it and use it as medicine otherwise.

Re:Aren't they denatured first (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45571757)

Re dumped beyond easy reach? They tried that after WW1 and WW2.
"U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress"
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33432.pdf [fas.org] has a nice list of US efforts after WW2. Pages 8,9,10 gives an idea of what happens when you just 'dump'.

Re:Aren't they denatured first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572157)

They are taking them out to sea beyond easy reach to destroy them. What's the point of carrying the leftover stuff somewhere else? On the other hand, I wouldn't exactly drink it, even after it's been denatured.

Specific chemicals please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571127)

wtf?

Most of this stuff can be safely burned at high temperature.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#45571265)

costs too much
greenhouse gases

obviously, it is safer to dump it in the ocean, because nobody lives down there

Re:Specific chemicals please? (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#45571999)

Of course, if you'd actually read the article, you'd see that they do in fact propose to burn it.

They simply plan to burn it 'at sea' instead of 'on land'.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45571685)

The idea is your gov sub contracts the make safe "work". A complex chemical reaction overseen by skilled experts or expensive high temperature burring is needed and fully paid for.
A gov convoy arrives at your engineering site, you sign off and each load is inspected, signed off again and paperwork stamped and gov is 'happy'.
You are been paid for energy use, expert skills, time, danger, new filters, chemicals used, clean up and have a clearance level for the paperwork.
Another truck arrives and drives the same original 'load' to a waiting stolen/old ship at the shore and unloads at a secluded dock. Ship sails out and is sunk in a remote location.
The 'win' is between the cost of a gov totally paying for 'safely burned at high temperature" vs the cost of that truck drive to a ship.
Over many years the above cash adds up.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (1)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#45571751)

AC, you already posted the first thing that came to my mind. Burn it.

There is nothing hazardous about the elements in any of this stuff. Its how they are assembled that makes it so hazardous. Destructive decomposition by fire is a great way of disassembling unwanted molecules back to far simpler predecessors..

Oil refineries have done this for years. Its known as "flaring". There are lots of oil refineries in the Mid-East. They already have all the equipment in place to disassemble nasty complex molecules.

Not everything in crude oil is nice and pristine. A lot of nasty stuff comes up mixed with the oil.

I think it is high time the government work with the oil companies to borrow the use of their flaring and cracking technologies to disassemble this mess of unwanted molecules and re-form them into something useful, or at least render it harmless.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572351)

AC, you already posted the first thing that came to my mind. Burn it.

Too bad the first thing wasn't "I should read the article". Because if it had been, then you'd know that they aren't planning on just dumping them in the ocean.
First you incinerate them, then you have basically harmless byproducts. Which in this case you CAN dump at sea, unless you're worried about polluting the ocean with water.
They plan on doing this burning at sea, like on a US Naval vessel. As opposed to burning them on land at a disposal facility where it's a lot easier for people to show up and try to take some.

Destructive decomposition by fire is a great way of disassembling unwanted molecules back to far simpler predecessors..

Sadly most "save the environment" types failed Chemistry class in high school, and as a result they don't understand that it's not the raw molecules which are usually a problem, but rather how they're hooked together. They tend to believe that any time you have a nasty substance made of A and B, that by extension both A and B are also just as nasty... if not worse. Reality is usually about as far from that as can be.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (1)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#45572993)

Sadly most "save the environment" types failed Chemistry class in high school, and as a result they don't understand that it's not the raw molecules which are usually a problem, but rather how they're hooked together. They tend to believe that any time you have a nasty substance made of A and B, that by extension both A and B are also just as nasty... if not worse. Reality is usually about as far from that as can be

Yes. I have seen a lot of that. I am highly "save the environment", but that does not mean not to use it to its best purposes. I used to work for Chevron. In the research lab as well as the refinery. Great folks. I learned a heck of a lot there. Including how to put hydrogen and carbon together many different ways as well as how to take them back apart. Its all simple little building blocks, but when they are assembled as a toxin, well, that's what they are. Reverting it back to something useful is just a matter of disassembling it then reassembling something useful out of it.

That is why I mentioned getting the oil companies in on it. They are really good at taking things apart then making something useful out of the pieces.

Re:Specific chemicals please? (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#45572359)

Read TFA. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what they actually plan to do vs what everyone assumes they are doing.

Scare mongering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571147)

I think we should dispose of these chemicals by feeding them to anonymous.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571151)

The Pacific is dead, now these idiots are gunning for the Mediterranean ? ! ? WTF!

careful with that preposition, eugene (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571163)

contrary to tfs, i believe the proposal is to neutralize the chemicals at sea.
too bad if that makes for little for /.ers to discuss.

Homeopathic Terrorism! (5, Funny)

NIK282000 (737852) | about a year ago | (#45571165)

Its a trap! They are trying to kill us all!

Re:Homeopathic Terrorism! (1)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about a year ago | (#45571205)

Its a trap! They are trying to kill us all!

Mitchell and Webb strike again

Re:Homeopathic Terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571771)

Why are you standing in the way of the greatest homeopathic cure ever attempted? Remember, in homeopathy you take something that CAUSES the symptoms you're trying to cure, dilute it to zero and shake it magically, not something that cures them!

The concentration's far too high to have any real effect anyway.

Iran has some nasty toxic natural gas wells. (2, Interesting)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#45571167)

Iran has some nasty toxic natural gas wells.

They are not alone but pyrolysis using these H2S rich poison gas feeds
could just burn the stuff up.

A strong draft up a tall stack maintained by a natural gas burner could
keep any dis-assembly location in a negative pressure condition and
burn up almost any toxic gas. Many toxic gas weapons have a minimum
bursting charge and may simply be detonated on a sand pit in a largish
coffin , think reactor containment vessel.

Sulfuric acid recovered could be used to detoxify the pit. Fuse up the
weapon.... roll it down a ramp.... a min later thump and the fumes are
pulled up the stack.

Sure stuff could go wrong but the risks seem to be the lesser of evils.

Yes time is an issue, building something like this might take a lot of time
say 3-5 years but there is no EPA in Syria so perhaps 14 months.

Re:Iran has some nasty toxic natural gas wells. (0)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45571553)

Canada also has nasty H2S wells, though most of our NG comes from them out here in the west. The problem of course is that we occasionally get insane environmentalists trying to blow up the pipelines.

Isn't there a way of destroying them in place (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571181)

There is no good place on land or sea to dump this stuff, unless maybe the Russians accepted huge sums of money for dumping in Siberia.

Destroy the munitions in place with the proper personnel on hand to verify the destruction.

Re:Isn't there a way of destroying them in place (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#45571513)

Destroy the munitions in place with the proper personnel on hand to verify the destruction.

I tought that was the main point for which they took them from Syria: to stop destroying them by dumping on civilian population under army/insurgents (not sure which) supervision.

Not a good one: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#45571981)

It's difficult to set up that kind of large scale destruction facility safely in the middle of a war zone.

Add to that: There are people on the various sides who would be sorely tempted to shoot up the place and release the chemicals while wearing the uniforms etc of the other side.

The alternative is putting in a large and well armed security force (read that as some nation's troops) to stop the war.

The whole course of the past two years of UN and other negotiations have revolved around not being able to do that. At some points due to people not being willing to provide troops. At others because no agreement could be reached in the security council as to who the troops should shoot at.

So, packing them up and removing them from the country may well be the least bad option.

the key word is "destroy" (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#45571187)

Sounds like they aren't planning on just dumping the weapons into the ocean, they are going to literally destroy them. As another poster said, probably by incineration. So no, you won't be fishing up rusted nerve gas canisters.

Re:the key word is "destroy" (4, Informative)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#45571197)

For a better and less inflammatory description of what is proposed, see http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/30/21686393-us-to-destroy-syrias-chemicals-at-sea-weapons-watchdog-says [nbcnews.com]
 

Re:the key word is "destroy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571311)

less inflammatory

That's generous. Eco-scaremongers panicking the gullible for page views. Nothing more.

"Intellihub" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571395)

Also from "Intellihub"; the newly discovered [intellihub.com] Jupiter-sized "dark star" orbiting the Sun, that nobody's ever noticed. When you've finished with these highly credible "science" stories, pop on over to "Politics" and read about the "white holocaust" of N. America.

Or don't and just wait for fucking Slashdot to post these brilliant stories instead.

Re:the key word is "destroy" (3, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#45571275)

Sounds like they aren't planning on just dumping the weapons into the ocean, they are going to literally destroy them. As another poster said, probably by incineration. So no, you won't be fishing up rusted nerve gas canisters.

You hit it on the head.

The thing to balance here isn't the threat of all that stuff being dumped into the ocean, but the ecological consequences should a more-accessible site for consolidation and destruction of the weapons be attacked. An attack would almost certainly release some agent into the atmosphere, and of course should the attackers make off with any of the weapons or chemicals then you'd probably have an even larger release down the road. Despite what the Call of Duty franchise of games put forth, isolated military sites in the middle of open ocean are quite easy to defend, and make it very difficult for an attacker to abscond successfully with anything of significant weight. The defenders can easily establish a no-go zone that extends for quite some distance, and use active means (divers, passive sensors, sonar) to detect anything larger than a fish that approaches either above or below the surface. It's a lot harder to deny access to such a large area on land, and even harder still to find a country willing to accept such a large stockpile on their own territory (which means transporting the hazardous materials through their territory, starting with either a large airport or a seaport...both of which would suffer greatly in the event of a spill). This way, the materials can leave Syria and stop posing a major threat to civilians as soon as they are over the water.

Re:the key word is "destroy" (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year ago | (#45572101)

"So no, you won't be fishing up rusted nerve gas canisters."

So now how am I supposed to build up my stockpile? Being an evil genius post 9/11 is getting harder and harder these days. If it gets any worse i'll have to lay off my staff of henchmen, sell the assets to al qaeda and get a union job.

"technically feasible"? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#45571193)

So is shoving up the rears of Assad, and the OPCW. In that case, why wait. Maybe the president can give the green light and command that this grabage be made exposed by bombing their warehousing sites? Maybe let Assad enjoy the "fruits" of his labor?

They need to get with Paul Stamets (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45571241)

He's found so may uses for mushrooms of all varieties that I'm sure if he had a chance to get some samples of what he needed to break down, he could find a much better way than this article explains. See his Ted talk. [ted.com]

Re:They need to get with Paul Stamets (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45571253)

before some wise-guy points it out, I did in fact mean to say mycelium instead of mushrooms.

You kFAIL it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571347)

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EVGA hacked CAREFUL with e-mail malware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571367)

Another one bits the dust. Beware any mail to your EVGA e-mail address. It is mailware.

Put them in a faggot's ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571387)

They don't mind toxic stuff in a can...

Delicate (1)

MvdB (260047) | about a year ago | (#45571423)

Why is that I only ever see 'delicate' attached to eco-system and never 'robust'?

Re:Delicate (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45571747)

Why is that I only ever see 'delicate' attached to eco-system and never 'robust'?

As a species, our power is such that all eco-systems are delicate when compared to our might. And we're talking about some of the worst stuff we know how to make...

It already is (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#45571435)

isn't it?

Better solution: (1)

no-body (127863) | about a year ago | (#45571475)

Have the individuals with those ideas eat it!

Use your Brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571519)

Seems like a great idea - do a dangerous industrial process in a remote area far from people. Very good idea. If you think it will hurt the ocean you have no understanding of how these things are done or the power of dilution.

How stupid (0)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#45571861)

How can people come to so stupid idea? Mediterranean sea is almost closed, and it feeds a lot of countries. At least when dumping in an open ocean, one can hope dilution will spare a catastrophe, but here?

What could possibly go wrong?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45571963)

See above

burn them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572365)

Generally they incinerate chemical weapons. If they do that prior to dumping them, it will minimize the risks.

How about the Dead Sea? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#45572369)

You pretty much can't cause an ecological disaster in a place that's already too toxic for life. Err.. most life.

Re:How about the Dead Sea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572899)

The problem, of course, is that Syria doesn't border to the Dead Sea ... yet.

Another Samzenpus fuckup. (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#45572409)

The article is so bad it can be considered a troll.

How dare this shit get by the editors, even on Farkdot.

Just dump them on Syria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572565)

After we Nuke it. They failed at society.

So the disposal has been outsourced to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572865)

the Italian Mafia?

International Bankers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573121)

Syria was attacked because it was free from the international banking system - just like Libya, and even Germany before the Second World War. Don't believe what the controlled media tells you, research it for yourself.

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