Deseret Chemical Depot installs mercury filter

Deseret Chemical Depot installs mercury filter

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STOCKTON, Utah (AP) -- A $33 million filtering system is now in place at Deseret Chemical Depot to capture mercury during the destruction of small cartridges containing mustard gas.

Alaine Grieser, a depot spokeswoman, says the system began operating earlier this week.

The filtering units -- which are nearly 60 feet long and weigh more than 35 tons -- are designed to pull mercury from the furnace exhaust when the cartridges are incinerated.

Earlier this year, work to destroy thousands of the cartridges was stopped because higher-than-expected levels of mercury were detected.

Grieser said incineration of the smaller cartridges could resume in early 2010. Meanwhile incineration of large bulk quantities of mustard agent -- where mercury is less of an issue -- continues.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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