Successful conclusion of UXO clearance project in Chelopechene, Bulgaria
On July 25, 2012 U.S. Ambassador James Warlick, alongside Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defense Valentin Radev and ITF Director Dorijan Marši?, announced together the successful conclusion of UXO clearance project in Chelopechene, Bulgaria following munitions depot explosion 03 July 2008, that has seriously infested the grounds as well as nearby water areas. Mr Marši? explained that facilities such as munitions depot in Chelopechene are often inadequately maintained and pose a serious threat to the population.
The project was funded by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State through the ITF Enhancing Human Security in total sum of 2,8 million US dollars, where surface and deep sub-surface clearance works were implemented by Sterling International and the underwater clearance activities by Regional Center for Underwater Demining from Montenegro.
UXO clearance activities were implemented on 33.000 square meters of land around the epicenter of the explosions to a depth of nearly 1 meter and on 226.431 square meters of nearby waterways. Over the course of the project, over 131.000 UXO and over 89 tons of scrap munitions were successfully extracted from the ground. From the nearby reservoir, river, and ponds, 2.623 kilograms of UXO and dangerous scrap were successfully removed were the deepest dive was to 21 meters.
On closing ceremony that was organized on July 25, 2012 in Chelopechene for successful completion of the project, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defense Valentin Radev handed over several appreciation plaques to donor representative as well as implementers of the project.