Before the hazardous materials were kept in old and almost destroyed tanks. Now a train loaded with 452 tons of melange will go to Dzerzhynsk city (Russia) for further utilization on specialized chemical plants.
Having arrived on the military base journalists, including ForUm correspondent, passed several check-points, all guarded by women (interesting). We were also deprived of all flammable items, including cigarettes and lighters.
After one kilometer walk we arrived to the train of eight tanks with the inscription "Melange. Urgent delivery. Station Shevchenko-Uzhnoye. Do not move downhill."
"The load is examined, sealed and ready for transportation to the Russian Federation. Melange is transported by specialists of the Russian plant, engaged into its utilization. They have corresponding training and are ready to deal with emergency situations. The utilization project is being carried out with participation of countries-donors: Sweden, US, Germany and Poland, and under the management of Ukraine's Defense Ministry department on utilization of toxic rocket fuel," tells Colonel Evgen Gorohovski.
A fire brigade is following the process.
"Not a gram of melange fell down on the ground during the loading," reports the head of Ukraine's Defense Ministry department on utilization of toxic rocket fuel Serhiy Brul. - "The transportation process will be observed by special guards. When the fuel arrives in Russia it will be divided into components with further utilization of the toxic one. The rest of the fuel will be processed for further usage as fertilizer. I want to point out that utilization of ammunition is twice expensive than its production," Brul says. According to him, only transportation of the load till Russian border costs the Defense Ministry 4.9 million hryvnias.
When the train started to move one of the ambassadors expressed concern about the direction, saying that the North, and Russia respectively, is on the other side. It turned out that the train "was sent" for the press, but the real departure will be made when all unauthorized leave the military base.
Deputy manager of OSCE projects Anton Martyniuk states that the program of melange utilization is one of the most important projects. "We work proactively. In 2005 OSCE delegation paid an estimation visit and reported that if we did not start utilization Ukraine would face ecological disaster. This threat has been removed. We have already utilized 7000 tons of melange, costing 8.5 million euro. We still have 8200 tons of melange stored in Shevchenkovo village (Kharkiv region) and Lubashovka village (Odesa region). The first one will be cleaned before May 2012, and Lubashovka - for the August-December period. The total sum spent for the project will make 17 million euro," Martyniuk explained.
Melange is a toxic and ecologically hazardous component of the rocket fuel, used by armies of Warsaw agreement countries in their rocket facilities.
The material is dangerous to health of people, living within 25 kilometers from the storage facility.
Utilization of one ton of melange costs about one thousand euro.
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