Mélange dis­pos­al project to start in Uzbek­istan

Mélange disposal project to start in Uzbekistan On 28 Novem­ber 2008, the NATO Pub­lic Diplo­ma­cy Divi­sion, the NATO Main­te­nance and Sup­ply Agency (NAMSA) and the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan offi­cial­ly signed an agree­ment to car­ry out a Sci­ence for Peace and Secu­ri­ty project aimed at the destruc­tion of mélange in Uzbek­istan.

More than 1000 tonnes of mélange, a high­ly tox­ic sub­stance used in the Sovi­et era as rock­et fuel oxi­dis­er, are left in dete­ri­o­rat­ing stor­age con­di­tions in the province of Samarkand. The project, which will start in spring 2009 and be com­plet­ed ear­ly 2010, includes the trans­porta­tion of NATO’s mobile treat­ment plant from Azer­bai­jan, where it already suc­cess­ful­ly con­vert­ed this tox­ic chem­i­cal into a benign and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly sub­stance, to Uzbek­istan.

Dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mo­ny, Mr. Sim­mons, the Sec­re­tary General’s Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Causasus and Cen­tral Asia, under­lined the impor­tance of the project for the NATO-Uzbek­istan rela­tions and high­light­ed the fact that through this project a major threat to the pop­u­la­tion and the envi­ron­ment would be removed.