The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to use "safe" industrial technologies rather than explosions in the scrapping of old munitions starting in 2013, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov said on Monday.
“Our long-term cooperation with industry has finally paid off, and we are planning to abandon the disposal of munitions by explosion, especially at training grounds, starting in 2013,” Bulgakov said at a meeting of the Public Council at the Defense Ministry.
The general did not specify the new methods of disposal but said the ministry had received several proposals from Russian defense industry firms.
Russia currently stockpiles about 3.6 million metric tons of munitions. The military is planning to dispose of 2.16 million tons and keep 1.4 million tons in reserve.
This year, the Defense Ministry allocated 10 billion rubles (about $321 million) on munitions disposal.
The Russian Military has experienced a series of incidents involving the poor handling of munitions at disposal sites and firing ranges across Russia in the last few years.
The most recent incident took place in October at a munitions disposal site in Russia's Urals region when more than 4,000 tons of ammunition exploded, injuring an officer and forcing the temporary evacuation of residents from nearby villages.
The poor handling of munitions and frequent violation of safety rules during the munitions disposal by explosion have prompted serious criticism from Russian lawmakers who demanded that the military take urgent measures to prevent such incidents in the future.