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Ukraine to send batch of rocket fuel compnent to RF for disposal

September 04, 2013, 5:30 UTC+3
790 tonnes of mixed acid would be pumped into tanks in the grounds of Military Unit A-2136 in Shevchenko District
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

KIEV, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - The last remaining batch of toxic rocket fuel component -- mixed acid -- kept at a storage base in Kharkov Region, will be transported away to Russia on Wednesday for disposal.

A Ukrainian Defence Ministry official told Itar-Tass that 790 tonnes of mixed acid would be pumped into tanks in the grounds of Military Unit A-2136 in Shevchenko District, Kharkov Region.

"The operation is being carried out under a Ukraine-OSCE project," the Ministry official emphasized. Fourteen special tanks, seven of which have been provided by Russia, will be used for the transportation of mixed acid. Since 2012, nine trains have already carried away about 4,000 tonnes of mixed acid, or 83 percent of all stocks kept there, the Defence Ministry official said.

The dispatch of the last remaining batch of rocket fuel component on Wednesday will be watched by staff members of the OSCE main office, the US Embassy in Kiev, the leading officials of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry and local officials.

Mathieu Hirzen, representative of the OSCE main office, visite the storage base earlier. He said that immediately following the conclusion of this operation, the removal of the rocke fuel component would be continued at an Odessa Region storage base where about 3,600 tonnes of mixed acid remained until recently.

Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, 16,700 tonnes of excessive and substandard components of rocke fuel remained in Ukraine. The mixed acid is being removed from Ukraine in implementation of the joint project with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Denmark, Spain, Germany, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Finland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and the United States have provided an aggregate of ten million euros to finance the programme.

The mixed acid is a multicomponent mixture of nitric acid, nitrogen oxide and corrosion inhibitors. It is a volatile, aggressive, highly toxic and hygroscopic liquid which is used as a rocket fuel oxidizer in liquid-fueled rocket motors. Oxidizers on the basis of nitric acid do not ignite and do not explode but cause self-ignition of some combustible materials, rocket fuel, in particular.

The Defence Ministry official said the train with 970 tonnes of the rocket fuel component will head for Novgorod Region where an ordinary nitrogen will be produced from mixed acid at the Teknoazot enterprise through a sophisticated technological process. It will be possible subsequently to use the resultant nitrogen for civil needs.

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