Is DU Ammunition Being Fired at Hard Targets in Scotland?
Photos taken by activists inside the Dundrennan test fire range, near Kirkcudbright in southern Scotland, show that weaponry has been shot at hard targets inside the test fire area. The Dundrennan site is the main test fire range for DU weapons inside the UK.
The MoD has always claimed that DU weapons were only shot into the Solway Firth, the sea area bordering the test fire range, and therefore argued there was no DU contamination risk to the area. When grass and soil samples, taken as part of an environmental study in 2000, showed DU levels "well above acceptable limits" at the site the MoD claimed this was due to misfirings.
These new photos will raise doubts as to the truth of these statements. The photos clearly show hard targets, including burntout tanks riddled with ammunition holes, and close up shots of ammunition casing. Local resident, Dan Kelly, who has campaigned against the use of DU in the area for years has always maintained that DU weapons were being shot at hard targets within the base. Is this the evidence that can backup his claims? When photos were sent to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), they replied they had no powers to regulate MoD activity. CADU is currently attempting to get answers to these questions and verify what munitions precisely has been used on the targets.
Meanwhile the anti-DU movement in Scotland has been going from strength to strength. A petition with 400 signatures was handed into the Scottish parliament petitions committee, who ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the compentency to rule on the issue of DU weapons testing as defence and radioactive materials are reserved issues. This despite the fact that environment and health issues are devolved issues.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003