CADU NEWS Issue 6
CONFERENCE MOVES ANTI-DU CAMPAIGN FORWARD
The CADU International Conference against Depleted Uranium Weapons
on 4th and 5th of November, was deemed to have been successful in
its aim of moving forward the worldwide struggle for the abolition
of DU. The Conference was held in Manchester Town Hall with the
generous support of the City Council, to coincide with the
declaration of Manchester as a nuclear weapon free zone city
exactly 20 years before. CADU brought together activists from over
13 countries from across the world as well as many from Britain.
The latter were seriously reduced in number because of the worst
floods in living memory and the transport difficulties.
Nonetheless about 200 delegates gathered to discuss a wide range
of topics associated with depleted uranium munitions: the health
effects, the testing and manufacturing risks; the effects on
health and the environment near the test sites; the whole politics
of the development and use of the weapons.
Many speakers saw campaigning against the whole cycle of DU
weapons, and civilian uses of DU, as part of the wider struggle
for peace and social justice.
MoD FAILED TO
INFORM GULF SOLDIERS OF DU RISKS
In a written
parliamentary reply, the defence minister, John Spellar, admitted
that a message warning of the risks of depleted uranuim, and
advising of precautions to take, never reached the soldiers in the
Gulf conflict in 1991.
Spellar said that officials had uncovered a message sent from the
MoD to First Armoured Division in Saudi Arabia on 25th February
1991 about the dangers associated with DU. A second message
containing advice on how to avoid breathing in DU particles did
not reach the soldiers, putting thousands at risk. Mr Spellar’s
admission is an embarrassment to the MoD, which is fighting claims
by Gulf war veterans that they were poisoned by depleted uranium
during the war.
Veterans reacted angrily last night to the MoD statement. Shaun
Rusling, of the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association,
said he did not believe safety messages were ever sent to the
“I think the MoD statement is untrue and is designed to cover up
their failure to issue any warnings,” he said. “This is very
disturbing. I would like to see their documentation as we can
prove the MoD was fully aware of the dangers and yet did nothing
to advise troops.”
The MoD statement came as new figures showed nearly 300 Gulf War
veterans have died in the last three years. In a parliamentary
reply, Mr Spellar said 278 Gulf war veterans have died since 1995.
None of the dead has been officially confirmed as a victim of Gulf
War syndrome. Fifty committed suicide.
Stephen Childs, 47, who died of liver and pancreas cancer, was the
most recent Gulf War soldier to die. His doctor believes exposure
to DU while he recovered damaged vehicles caused his illness.
The MoD said last night that it regretted that its safety notice
failed to reach troops. But a spokesman insisted that there was no
proof that soldiers fell ill as a result of depleted uranium,
which is used to strengthen the tips of shells.
The spokesman said that the substance only posed a risk to Iraqi
troops when it vapourised after piercing armour. “We do not
believe it is a problem for British veterans, but we have offered
them tests. This has not been accepted.”
The veterans’ campaign received a boost earlier this year after
tests were carried out on the body of Terry Riordon, a Canadian
military policeman who died after suffering Gulf War syndrome.
They found substances linked to depleted uranium in his bone
From a report in the Guardian, 25/11/00
CADU Conference Feedback
By Jack Cohen-Joppa
After welcoming speeches by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and
Councillor Bill Risby, CADU Coordinator Rae Street introduced the
first sessions. She asked us to acknowledge the sacrifices many
have made to oppose DU weapons, including the Plowshares group,
now serving prison sentences in Maryland - Philip Berrigan, Susan
Crane, Fr. Steve Kelly and Elizabeth Walz.
Retired U.S. Army officer Dr. Doug Rokke, began with a lively
presentation on DU munitions, the battlefield hazard assessment
and cleanup procedures his team devised on the ground in Iraq and
Kuwait, and his experience with government lies. Rokke was
followed by Henk van der Keur of the LAKA Foundation, Amsterdam.
He speculated that DU has also been used in pre-Iraq armed
conflicts, including perhaps by Israel in Lebanon (1982) and by
British Navy boats in the Falklands, using the U.S.-made Phalanx
close-in ship protection guns that fire a DU armor piercing round.
V.d.Keur also showed charts of worldwide DU test firings,
including on 8 U.S. ranges.
Gulf war veteran Ray Bristow stepped carefully up to the platform
from his wheelchair, to tell a compelling story of his and his
buddies’ confirmed DU exposure and illnesses. He recently
testified before a committee of the European Parliament in
Strasbourg, and encouraged lobbying of MEPs to bring the issue
into the European courts of justice.
Professor Malcolm Hooper, advisor to British Gulf war vets and
Emeritus Professor of Medical Chemistry, provided an overview of
possible paths of toxic DU exposure to veterans. Most of these
paths have been poorly studied if at all. Hooper noted the
significance of recent research demonstrating that alpha-radiation
induced cell damage can be passed on by biological action to
adjacent cells, multiplying the damage. He underlined the “don’t
look, don’t find” problem with current medical research and the
reality experienced by veterans.
Baghdad University Professor of Molecular Biology Huda Ammash
reviewed studies undertaken since 1996 by Iraq to inventory soil,
water, air, plant, and wild animal samples from 200+ sites for
evaluation for DU. She showed tables describing increased cancer
incidence statistics, and informed us that Basra province, where
most DU munitions were fired, accounts for 2/3 of the recorded
increases in Iraq’s post-war cancer mortality. She said DU is not
the only toxic contamination present in Iraq, that the problems
are multi-faceted, and aggravated by the misleading “oil for food”
Three Yugoslavians told us that Government testing confirmed DU
present at 50% more sites than NATO admitted, and only from A-10
ammo [not cruise missiles or cluster bombs]. Bombing of the Vinca
Nuclear Institute and other industrial sources also added to the
post-war DU and radiation burden.
Dr. Rosalie Bertell clearly explained the different biological
impacts between inhaled and ingested uranium, and between more
soluble uranium oxides vs. the insoluble “ceramic” oxide forms
found in DU that has impacted a hard target or burned at high
temperatures. She again reminded us that internal dose effect
models were never calculated for Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors.
Dr Chris Busby, a sharp and persistent critic of most current
radiation epidemiology, described a mechanism by which internal DU
contamination can prevent the cell’s evolutionary ability to
repair DNA damage by striking the damaged cell during early
mitosis, its most vulnerable stage. This fits with the “second
event” hypothesis to describe some radiation health effects.
Legal Arguments proved to be just that, as Karen Parker and Avril
MacDonald presented quite different perspectives on the legal
status of DU weapons. Parker’s opinion was against a specific
treaty to ban DU weapons as it is not necessary, because under
present international law, DU weapons already are illegal.
MacDonald argued that the burden of proof of illegality of DU
weapons cannot be established on the inadequate science and
medical information we have at present, and advocated forcefully
for an international convention prohibiting DU weapons by name.
Beginning the Public Information session, journalist Felicity
Arbuthnot spoke from the heart about what she has seen in Iraq.
Polish writer Dr. Peter Bein quoted NATO psy-ops objectives and
how they affect DU info available for citizens. German Dr.
Siegwart-Horst Gunther, prosecuted in 1991 when he began research
on DU in Iraq by bringing into Germany an intact, oxidized DU
penetrator, described his subsequent work documenting the health
impact. Solange and Michel Fernex from France alerted us to an old
agreement between the World Health Organization and the
International Atomic Energy Authority that effectively gives the
IAEA authority over WHO radiation health studies, a conflict of
interest that threatens necessary research on DU effects. Damacio
Lopez, a long-time New Mexico DU activist, warned of dissent sown
by instigators in our own ranks as a consequence of U.S.
government-sponsored research. Lopez encouraged activists in areas
where DU use is suspected to collect soil or rubble samples for
testing by independent labs. he has made arrangements with through
the International DU Study Team.
In the Community Activism Around the World session, Ciaron
O’Reilly reported on the anti-uranium mining movement in
Australia, and his own involvement, serving several months in
prison for dismantling uranium mining equipment at Jabiluka.
Ernesto Pena of Vieques, Puerto Rico, brought a beautiful cloth
banner, picturing a map of the island with detail about the
on-going protests and civil disobedience campaign to stop the Navy
from bombing it for war practice. He reported on the Navy’s
acknowledged illegal firing of 30mm DU rounds on the range, and
asked for solidarity demonstrations as 400+ defendants from the
protest go to court soon. Rev. Kiyul Chung spoke and translated
for a larger Korean delegation representing the besieged neighbors
of the U.S. bombing range at Mae-Hyung Ri, where DU use is
suspected during decades of A-10 practice fire. Masako Ito,
volunteer director of the Depleted Uranium Center in Japan, spoke
of her experience on visits to children in Iraq after the Gulf
war. She exhibited photos, including clearly marked DU shell
casings recently turned up at a Japanese metals recycler, pointing
to DU firing on a range in Okinawa. Marco Saba from Italy stressed
the dangers of DU counterweights in civilian and military
aircraft, and the significant local contamination they may cause
during crashes, particularly those also involving fires.
Yugoslavian graduate student Nikola Bozinovic co-founded DU in YU
as NATO began bombing his country last year, to draw attention to
its use there and inform about areas of contamination and how
local residents can avoid some of the risks. The group advocates
for an international ban on DU. Elfrida Topiciu, from the Women’s
International League for Peace and Freedom in Albania, read a
paper in English about the Albanian experience on the border of
Kosovo, where most of the DU was fired during the 1999 NATO
attacks. I concluded this section of the conference with a report
on the organizations in Military Toxics Project’s DU Network and
their issues and activity in the United States. I reported that in
the U.S. we are circulating a petition calling for a ban on DU
weapons, and that we hope to incorporate this into a global
petition campaign as such an effort comes into focus. I spoke of
the A-10s that fly over my desert home every day, training to
spray poison bullets elsewhere around the world.
Conference presentations concluded with Local Authority Responses
in the UK, where a heightened awareness of the Gulf War veterans
has brought attention to radioactive scrap metals and
contamination by industrial fires involving DU, such as the
Featherstone fire near Wolverhampton in 1999. The Fire Brigades
Union is actively concerned for their members and public health,
and have an important perspective and experience to share with
local authorities in any country involved with DU hazards.
On Sunday afternoon, the conference broke into 5 strategy
workshops to assemble recommendations for action. No final
resolutions were produced, but some consensus was evident from the
reports back to the final plenary.
Regarding International Legal Work, there was encouragement
to initiate civil actions against industries and governments, as
these actions, even when unsuccessful, can bring more information
into public view. Timely preparation of a draft treaty to prohibit
DU weapons is another action favored by most present. This would
give petitioners a document they could point to as a possible
mechanism for the goal of banning DU weapons.
Gulf War Veterans need more resources for proper testing and
research. They announced plans for a March of Tears in London, Feb
10, 2001, to be led by the surviving wives of dead Gulf vets.
The Scientific and Medical workshop agreed on the need to
disseminate information on how to properly test for DU, interpret
the results, and treat victims. Research is needed on multiple
types of uranium, particularly ceramic forms. And more research
and publicity about internal low-level radiation effects is
The Grassroots Activism workshop called for coordinated DU
actions March 3-4, 2001, to mark the 10th anniversary of the
ground war in Iraq; and endorsed the call for international
demonstrations at U.S. embassies as the Vieques defendants come to
trial over the next months.
The Environmental Strategies workshop looks to CADU to
provide written literature about DU that environmental groups can
be encouraged to use for educating their own constituency.
The conference concluded with an informal consensus on the gravity
and necessity of the work to be done.
TO THE FUTURE
CADU will endeavour to undertake co-odination of as much of the
work recommended by delegates as possible, and we will be applying
for funding for a part time worker, as well as looking for
volunteers to enable us to do this. If you feel you can help,
please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
UN COUNSELS CAUTION AT DU SITES IN
scientists investigating the effects of depleted uranium used in
Kosovo during the 1999 war have called for precautions in handling
ammunition that can still be found at numerous attack sites. The
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) research team, led by
Finland’s former minister of Environment and Development
Co-operation, Pekka Haavisto, is financed by donations from
several governments, with Switzerland as the principal
UNEP sent a team of scientists to Kosovo to determine if there are
health or environmental risks now or in the future due to the use
of depleted uranium during the conflict. “It was possible to
detect higher than normal levels of beta and gamma radiation,”
Pekka Haavisto, head of the team told reporters. “These sites
should be marked. The danger is perhaps less than having an X-ray
at the dentists, but it is an unnecessary risk.”
The team took “several hundred samples” of spent DU ammunition and
contaminated earth, soil, plants and cow’s milk, from 13 sites in
Kosovo where NATO planes had fired on suspected Yugoslav positions
during the alliance’s 1999 air war. The samples will be tested in
laboratories elsewhere in Europe and the results of the study
become available in February next year. The team’s recently
released preliminary report, however, counsels that ‘precautions
be taken when dealing with penetrators and sabots (which contain
DU) found at the identified sites and also in other locations
where these ammunitions might be present.’’
The UN agency’s investigations began in May 1999 while NATO air
attacks were still occurring. But the first studies were made even
more difficult by the fact that NATO would not confirm that it was
indeed using DU ammunition. NATO took 5 months to respond to the
UN’s request for information, and finally acknowledged in March
this year that its A-10 ‘’Warthog’’ aircraft had used munitions
with DU in approximately 100 attacks over Kosovo territory.
Haavisto said he was disappointed that NATO had not supplied
precise details of the bomb sites until a year and a half after
the conflict, but that the information when given had appeared
The Warthog airplanes are equipped with GAU-8/A cannons capable of
firing 4,200 rounds of 30-millimetre DU shells per minute. The
same weapons were used against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, and
later in the NATO bombings against Bosnia.
UNEP also found that most of the 42 areas of Kosovo and Metohija
on which shells with DU were dropped during the NATO bombing are
in the zone between Pec and Djakovica, Deputy Italian Ecology
Minister Valerio Calzolaio said on Monday. Of the total 31,500
fired shells with depleted uranium, 14,180 fell in the zone now
controlled by KFOR Italian troops, Calzolaio said.
Canadian Veterans Feel Betrayed
Canada's veterans who think they were poisoned in the 1991 Gulf
War and in the Balkans can't trust the government when it says
they're fine, said scientists at an international conference.
Many veterans think they are being made sick by their exposure to
depleted uranium, a nuclear waste product found in some weapons
used by NATO countries.
The Department of National Defence says tests it performed show no
contamination. But when CBC showed the test results to scientists
at the International Conference against Depleted Uranium in
Manchester, U.K. last week, they all said the testing was
inaccurate and the results are useless.
"They've not looked with the right instrumentation,"
said Dr. Malcolm Hooper, an adviser to Britain's Gulf War
"They've not reported accurately their own results and they've
used the wrong paradigm to interpret the data."
All of which is to say that the tests done on 85 urine samples 150
which DND says show the soldiers had less uranium in their systems
than people in the general population have 150 are wrong from
start to end.
The labs doing the testing weren't properly equipped to detect
depleted uranium at all, said Hooper. Whole uranium occurs in the
body naturally, and is easier to detect than depleted uranium.
"They're incompetent tests," said Rosalie Bertell, a Canadian
epidemiologist. "Our military men deserve better than that."
Chris Busby, another epidemiologist from Wales, says the tests and
their conclusions are being "economical with the truth."
But that doesn't surprise Hooper, who says many governments are
hoping to avoid the costs of providing compensation packages to
people poisoned by depleted uranium.
Kelly Ryan reports for CBC Radio (Canada)
FOR PEACE’ - RELIEF TO IRAQ
‘Veterans for Peace’ is a non-profit educational and humanitarian
group involving a number of Gulf War veterans, and which is
opposed to sanctions on Iraq. A delegation from the group
travelled to Iraq last month to help repair some of the damage his
army helped cause during the Gulf War. The delegation decided to
focus its efforts on water treatment plants because clean water is
key to human health. "Iraqi children are dying from water-borne
diseases that can be stopped with proper water treatment," said
Fredy Champagne, a Vietnam veteran and co-chair of the Iraq Water
Project. "We can help save lives." In a 1998 report, the United
Nations Children's Fund -- UNICEF -- said water treatment plants
in Iraq lack spare parts, equipment, treatment chemicals, proper
maintenance and adequate, trained staff. extended power failures
Keith Boylan, one of the Gulf veterans travelling with the
delegation said the Iraq Water Project represents the chance for
healing and reconciliation with people he once considered the
enemy. "I want to be able to come back and say: We helped people
while we were there,"
Veterans for Peace is one of more than 100 groups that have
declared their opposition to sanctions. Champagne, said the group
has raised $35,000 to help pay for repair work on the first water
treatment plant. The group plans to raise $80,000 more to repair
three other plants. The veterans are paying their own expenses, so
that all of the money donated to the project goes into rebuilding
the plants. The physical work they will perform during their ten
day stay in Iraq will be largely symbolic, as they are not trained
in construction and are middle-aged. They state they are there
mostly to show solidarity and support for ordinary working-class
people.. It is hoped the trip will inspire more Gulf War veterans
to join the next Iraq Water Project delegation in 2001.
More info from - Swords to Ploughshares: http://www.swords-to-plowshares.org
or Veterans for Peace: http://www.veteransforpeace.org
IRAQIS & FORMER GIs TO SUE IN US OVER
Iraqi victims of
cancer and former American soldiers suffering from Gulf war
syndrome are joining forces to sue the US government over use of
depleted uranium (DU) missiles. Meetings have been held between
US-based families of the Iraqis, former American service personnel
and lawyers over legal action in America. Former British personnel
who say they have been affected by DU will be invited to join the
A decade after Operation Desert Storm, lawyers believe there is
enough evidence to link the massive rise in cancer in Iraq and the
effect on British and American soldiers to almost 950,000 DU
missiles and shells fired. At the conference in Gijon, Spain held
last month, (see page 7) the impending legal action was high on
the agenda. International medical experts, Gulf war veterans
including Ray Bristow, a Briton, and the former US sergeant Carol
Picou, and lawyers, including Ramsay Clark, a former American
attorney general discussed the action
Lawyers for the veterans claim the American government
"recklessly" used DU, knowing its devastating effect. One of the
main arguments expected to be put forward is that American
soldiers were not given protective clothing when sent to inspect
damage caused by shells coated with DU.
Taken from a story by By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Middle_East/2000-11/iraqi141100.shtm
forces in Kosmet "uranium meat"
Portuguese Defense Minister informed NATO HQ in October this year,
that he will withdraw his troops from Kosmet . This is the right
decision and should have been made earlier, Antonio Pereira says
in his editorial in the Lisbon journal "Diario de Noticias".
Pereira criticizes NATO and states that "Portuguese soldiers were
sent on missions in the area poisoned with depleted uranium".
Portuguese armed forces within NATO have been in Kosmet since
August last year and had the operations in dangerous areas, the
commentator points out and claims that NATO Secretary-General,
George Robertson, was familiar with "the dangers caused by certain
dose of radiation that Portuguese units have been exposed to".
Pereira ends his editorial with a question: "If it is hard to
persuade the authorized military circles in Washington, Paris,
London or Berlin, to send their troops to critical areas in
Kosovo, does that mean that the Portuguese are to represent
Delegation to Iraq
CADU volunteer Mike Grayer last month travelled to Iraq with a 100
strong delegatoin from Sheffield and others including journalist
Felicity Arbuthnot. They managed to get in to the country despite
the best efforts of the Sanctions Committee who tried to stop the
flight to Baghdad by attempting to persuade Lloyds of London to
cancel the plane insurance. A detour was made over Lebanon and
Syria after Turkey denied them flight path. While in Iraq, Mike
managed to question Tariq Aziz, the Foreign Minister of Iraq,
about depleted uranium. He replied that the decontamination is
extremely difficult, due to sanctions. He was devastated by visits
to the hospitals, seeing the many children with birth deformities.
He was however, inspired by the lack of bitterness felt by
ordinary people towards the British members of the delegation, and
impressed with their fortitude of spirit. More details in the next
JOIN IN! -
The International WEEK OF ACTIONS for a BAN on Depleted Uranium
Military Toxics Project in the US are planning a
week of actions against DU for the week of January 15th - 21st,
2001. This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Gulf War.
There are several ways your organization can get involved in the
efforts to ban DU:
Participate in and get the word out about the Week of Actions.
Military Toxics Project would also like your organization to take
a position in support of an international ban on DU weaponry. Your
organization can pass a resolution calling for a ban, participate
in the petition drive to ban DU (contact the CADU office for a
copy of the International Petition, also see article on back page
regarding CADU’s own petition, which will be handed in to Geoff
Hoon, Minister of Defence during this week of action), and write
letters to the editor and your members of Parliament in support of
the ban. As most of the efforts are focused in the US, it might be
an idea for UK and other non US based groups to write to the new
President of the United States.
Groups and individuals in the UK could also decide to take action
at their local DU site, or perhaps visit their local MP. Everyone
can write to Geoff Hoon, Minister of Defence - Ministry of
Defence, Main Building,
London, SW1A 2HB
Tel: 020 7218 2111, or fax 7218 7140 or web site www.mod.uk/
Be sure to make the following points in order to avoid a useless
a) while externally DU is only of low-level radioactivity, there
is a mounting body of evidence that the inhalation of insoluble DU
particles can cause adverse health effects
b) that the MoD should apply the precautionary principle - because
there is doubt as to the effects of DU, it should not be used
until it can be proved to be safe Action For Iraq
NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION JANUARY 15 -21st
Monday 15th Silent Vigil outside your local town hall · Tuesday
16th Mass Nonviolent Blockade of Parliament - Meet 1230pm
Westminster Abbey: · Wednesday 17th Local Meetings · Thursday 18th
Mass Blockade of Media and MPs in your area (fax / phone / e mail
/ hack their websites) http://www.faxyourmp.com: · Friday 19th
Mass Leaflet petition of your city / town: (Produce a leaflet of
facts / info on Iraq) for a copy of pettions go to
www.notinournamse.org.uk · Saturday 20th March / Protest Rally (
hold a protest rally outside a local Prominent building ) · Sunday
21st Go to Church with Leaflets Petitions Action. There will be a
full flyer from the 8th Decemeber For more info e mail
firstname.lastname@example.org for an attachmant copy or send us a sae
to ACTION FOR IRAQ,
99 BINSTEAD GROVE SHEFFIELD S5 8NT:
USING DU WEAPONS AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS?
Action Center calls for an investigation
Catalinotto and Sara Flounders, Depleted Uranium Education Project
of the International Action Center
International Action Center calls upon international NGOs,
environmental and health organizations to investigate the Israeli
military’s use of prohibited weapons in the West Bank & Gaza, and
to mobilize to stop it. These weapons include dumdum bullets and
CS gas & the IAC believes it also includes depleted- uranium
weapons from the evidence below.
U.S. arms form the major part of the Israeli arsenal and Israel
has been the number one recipient of U.S. arms aid for decades.
These U.S. weapons include the M1 Abrams tank˜which fires DU
shells and is armored with DU-reinforced metal. Since the latest
intifada began, the U.S. has shipped Israel ‘the newest and most
advanced multi-mission attack helicopters in the U.S. inventory’,
as reported in the Jerusalem Post. I.e.-Apache helicopters which
are equipped to fire DU shells.
The IAC delegation witnessed Israeli helicopters, which people
described as ‘Apaches’ from the U.S., firing shells and rockets at
targets in and around Ramallah on Nov. 1. They then examined a
small office used by the Fatah organization that the projectiles
hit and destroyed. The following day they saw machine guns on
tanks being fired at Palestinian youths in Ramallah armed only
with rocks and slingshots. According to international law these
attacks on civilian areas are war crimes—as is the long-term
destruction of the environment from DU contamination.
The IAC delegation gathered up shell casings and metal fragments
in these areas. As they were preparing to leave from Ben Gurion
Airport in Tel Aviv, members of the delegation were searched and
interrogated. The shell casings and metal fragments were
confiscated. While this prevented the IAC from arranging its own
tests, it made them even more suspicious that the Israeli forces
were using DU shells.
According to the LAKA Foundation in the Netherlands, the Israeli
army first used depleted-uranium weapons in the 1973 war, under
direction from U.S.advisers. A 1995 report from the U.S. Army
Environmental Policy Institute asserts that Israel is one of the
countries with DU munitions in its arsenal. This assertion has
been repeated in the Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem
Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers.
Israel has a nuclear-weapons program more developed than that of
any country except the five major nuclear powers
It is likely that Israel is a manufacturer of DU ammunition. The
firm Rafael of Israel is named in numerous reports as being such a
manufacturer. But even if this were not the case, Israel has been
able to import DU weapons from the United States.
Using depleted-uranium weapons is a crime that has an insidious
long-term effect, not only on combatants and civilians in the
vicinity, but over a broad area and to the general environment, as
has been shown by the Pentagon’s massive use of DU weapons in
Yugoslavia and especially in Iraq.
Note from CADU news editors – it has been impossible to confirm at
present whether DU is being used in Israel
The Use of Uranium in Munitions & Industry at the European
By Raymond A.Bristow 27th October 2000
On 25th October 2000 the issue of the use of Uranium in Munitions
& Industry was finally taken to the European Parliament
Strasbourg. I express a special note of thanks to 'Nibby' (Mr
Richard David, DU Poisoned through exposure in industry),
instrumental in organising the event and also to Graham Watson MEP
who hosted and chaired it.
At a meeting on the evening before the event, Watson stated that
he had come under Governmental pressure not to host and pursue
this issue, which only resulted in him becoming more determined.
He opened the presentation in parliament, and then part of a
French TV Documentary by Martin Meissonnier was shown to give an
overview on the use of Radioactive Waste in Munitions and
Industry. Following this, Mary Ripley-Gruzman gave a talk about
the work of the Medical Uranium Project (MUP). She presented
scientific facts with slides displaying the results presented by
Prof. Durakovic at the Paris Scientific meeting held a few weeks
ago. She stated that the MUP would work with and share information
with any establishment in any of the European countries but this
would involve the MUP protocols and overall control. (they will
only carry out Science & Research for the good and benefit of the
victims of poisoning with Nuclear Waste and not help in any
Official cover up)
'Nibby' David followed Mary and he spoke about the 'secrecy' of
the use of Radioactive Waste in industry. The next speaker was
Damacio Lopez a seasoned anti DU campaigner. His home town in New
Mexico is next to a Uranium Munitions testing range. The community
has endured an extremely high level of health problems, with the
signs and symptoms that ill Gulf War Veterans are suffering from
and in addition the terrible birth defects and cancers. Damacio
focused on the moral and legal aspects of the use of Uranium
Munitions. He quoted the United Nations sub committee ruling where
it declares such weapons are illegal.
In a question from the floor a Labour MEP claimed that the MoD had
offered to test the 30 Veterans that had tested positive but none
had come forward. I replied with the following:
1. There was no need for the Veterans to be tested again as they
and their Medical Practitioners had the results.
2. Is it not more important to test the thousands of ill Veterans
whom the MoD accepts are ill but they don't know why?
3. One Veteran came forward and was tested, the result being no DU
found. However the Veterans found this difficult to believe as
this Veteran was highly positive. With a little investigation the
Veterans identified that he had been tested for the presence of
naturally occurring Uranium, so of course no DU had been found and
incidentally the establishment concerned with the test confirmed
that they did not have the facilities to test for DU.
4. I also referred to the reporting of the Paris Conference by
Martin Meissonnier & Jonathon Carr-Brown and the MoD's Statement
which was it is their duty to ensure that the Veterans get the
best possible care. I pointed out that I had a letter from The
Gulf Veterans Illness Unit that clearly states that the Unit and
the MoD Medical Assessment Program is for Medical Assessment and
advice and NOT care. Once again the MoD misled the Public,
Veterans and Politicians.
At first we were a little disappointed with the attendance.
However, Graham Watson MEP was very upbeat as those that did
attend were very interested in the issue and were also very
influential MEP's. Some of the MEP's stayed back for personal
chats with us asking further questions expressing concern and a
determination to know more. I was encouraged by Linda McAvan,
Labour MEP for Yorkshire & Humberside (my area); she expressed
great interest and said she had been following the issue on TV in
the UK. So we came away very pleased with the day. Interviews were
given to the French TV
This is just the beginning. Graham Watson needs much support. An
excellent foundation has been laid. To take the cause further I
propose that each person who is actively concerned with the use of
DU should present this issue to their MEP and encourage others to
do the same.
As the United Nations has no Law Enforcement capability then the
countries that choose to ignore the illegality of DU Weapons then
they will get away with its use. If the issue is actively pushed
in the European Parliament we may (must as a goal) then get it
referred to the European Courts of Justice. It is this court that
can enforce the law of the UN upon Member Countries of the EU.
(The views expressed in this document are my own)
The NGWVA is now waiting for the European Parliament's response to
the delegation. Shaun Rusling said:
"We achieved everything we wanted to in bringing the whole
compensation issue to the European Parliament's Justice and Human
Rights Committee. The British government has failed to recognise
our calls, and requests from the Royal British Legion, for an
independent inquiry. When you look at it, 32 people have died from
Creutzfeldt- Jakob's Disease and they have had a public inquiry.
But 468 veterans have died of Gulf War Syndrome and their widows
and families get nothing. There are servicemen out there without
proper medical care and support. I am glad the Government has
acted for the families and victims of new variant CJD, but we want
action for the widows, families and veterans who are all victims
of Gulf War Syndrome. Sadly, our members are dying now. That is
the case we have made to Europe and hopefully the European
Parliament will now add its powerful voice to our campaign for an
independent public inquiry.”
International Conference in Gijon, Spain, Nov 24 / 25
Another Anti-DU conference in Spain was attended by a large number
of delegates, including many of the speakers who had attended the
CADU Conference plus other speakers such as Ramsey Clark. It was
organised by the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee in the frame of
the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq. The Final
Declaration issued at the end of the conference had the following
* That munitions and military equipment made with DU be considered
as NON-conventional weapons highly dangerous to the health of
peoples and the environment.
* The use of munitions made with DU be considered as war crime and
a crime against humanity, strongly punishable by International
* Placing an International ban on the Manufacturing, Storage,
Marketing, Possession, testing and Using of DU munitions and all
types of military equipment made with DU.
* The destruction of all types of munitions and military equipment
made with DU, putting the waste into safe storage.
* The decontamination of areas polluted through the use of DU
munitions and equipment both near places of manufacturing and
testing of DU and in battle fields where it has been used, in
particular the Gulf and the Balkan regions, specifically in Iraq
* That the International community provides technical and health
assistance both to Iraq and Yugoslavia. This assistance is meant
to help all those affected by contamination resulting from the use
of DU munitions.
* That the U.S. and British Governments, and all other NATO
members provide full details of the use of these munitions so that
they can be removed. These countries are held responsible for the
dire consequences of the use of these weapons and therefor should
bear the responsibility of cleaning the polluted areas and
providing full compensation for all the damages resulting from
their aggressions against Iraq and Yugoslavia.
* The immediate and complete lifting of the Sanctions imposed on
Iraq in order that the people and the government of Iraq can face
the dire consequences of the massive use of these weapons during
the 1991 aggression, and the repeated aggressions still being
waged daily until now in the so called ‘No Fly Zones’.
* The commitment of the UN Secretary General to take the
appropriate measures so that the International organization
immediately take steps to carefully analyze the effects on health
and the environment of the use of DU armaments, based on the
accumulated evidences of the past few years. Also to take the
necessary measures to prohibit the use of these weapons.
We finally declare our full solidarity and support to those
persons affected by the use of DU weapons in Iraq and Yugoslavia
and all those affected by them including war veterans. We also
extend our solidarity to the Palestinan people.
Xixón, 26th of November 2000
Unfortunately due to work commitments, Cat Euler who was
representing CADU at the conference was unable to attend, but we
hope to have a fuller report from Ray Bristow in the next issue of
PROPOSALS SOUGHT FOR DU PROCESSING PLANTS
November 1, 2000
The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking proposals for the
design, construction and operation of new facilities at uranium
enrichment plant sites in Ohio and Kentucky. Once built, these
facilities will convert the federal government’s inventory of
depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) to a more stable form and
prepare the material for disposal or potential reuse. “We are
committed to dealing effectively with our depleted uranium
inventory and continuing the environmental restoration of these
sites,” said Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. “The issuance of
this Request for Proposals puts us one step closer to addressing
the government’s inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride at the
gaseous diffusion plant sites.”
The DOE estimates that it will take up to 25 years of plant
operations to convert all its depleted uranium. Proposals must be
submitted by February 1, 2001, and the contract is expected to be
awarded during the summer of 2001. The Request for Proposals is
available at: http://www.oro.doe.gov/duf6disposition/.
Victory against uranium mining in Jabiluka
From ‘The Age’, Saturday 25 November 2000
The Australian Federal Government failed to win the all-clear from
the World Heritage Bureau for uranium mining at the Jabiluka
enclave inside Kakadu National Park. The bureau, the executive arm
of the World Heritage Committee that last year considered whether
Kakadu should be placed on the in-danger list, has instead
referred the matter for debate at the committee’s meeting which
happened in early December
Despite intense pressure by Australia to quash the prospect of
debate next week on whether uranium mining should go ahead, the
committee will consider two critical reports from its
environmental and scientific advisory bodies. The independent
international reports have recommended that more comprehensive
environmental impact assessments be done before uranium mining
begins at Jabiluka.
The reports by the International Council of Science and the World
Conservation Union are the latest on the government’s progress in
meeting the World Heritage Committee’s conditions to avoid Kakadu
being placed on the in-danger list.
The government will also be asked to consider whether there is a
need for a “new approach to consultation in relation to cultural
management” with the traditional owners of Jabiluka, the Mirrar
The Mirrar and the government have been in deadlock over devising
a cultural assessment and heritage management plan, which is
another condition to prevent Kakadu’s indigenous cultural values
from being added to the World Heritage in-danger list.
The government wanted to involve the Jabiluka mine developer,
Energy Resources Australia, in a cultural reference group to
devise the plan. But the Mirrar people have said they will not
take part in a process to help ERA facilitate its commercial
objectives. The Mirrar people’s representative, Jacqui Katona,
declined to comment on yesterday’s developments after the World
Heritage Bureau banned accredited international, green and
indigenous observers from discussing the proceedings outside the
Well over 2000 signatures were collected by groups around the
country - many thanks for all your efforts. As no MP was available
to receive the petition during our conference, it was decided to
deliver it to Geoff HoonMP, Minister for Defence, during the
International Week of Action against DU (see page 5). So
latecomers are still welcome!
The Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, along with several other
groups who formed the One World Centre, is moving to new offices.
This is an exciting change for us not just because the new office
will be bigger with proper daylight and we will be part of ‘Bridge
5 Mill’ (Formerly known as Manchester Environmental Resource
Centre Initiative (MERCi))
Bridge 5 Mill is a community and ecological centre, promoting
sustainable alternatives for Manchester. It is in an old warehouse
on the banks of the Ashton canal in Ancoats, and is currently
under conversion into a beautiful and inspiring centre. We are
among the first groups to move into the building just before
Christmas, and within a few months of our move, there should be a
vegetarian cafe, a sustainability exhibition, and meeting and
conference space within the building. A roof garden, more offices,
renewable energy sources, and living accommodation will come
later. We expect Bridge 5 Mill to be a hive of activity, and we
are all looking forward to working alongside the diverse range of
other groups who will be located there, and being a part of a more
The new address is:-
CADU, Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick St, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR
phone & fax 0161 273 8293
You are all more than welcome to visit us and the Mill To get
By car - see A-Z map - Bridge 5 Mill is on the corner of Beswick
St and Spectator St. There is limited parking on Spectator St, or
ample room on Pollard St.
By bus - a bus leaves Piccadilly Gardens every 3 minutes for
Ancoats. The no. 216 is an easy route - get off on the corner of
Pollard St and Merrill St. Continue up Pollard St (the bus goes
down Merrill St) and turn right up Beswick St. The new tram link
which will be ready in 2002 will also run past the bottom of
Walking - up the Ashton Canal to Bridge No 5 is a pleasant route,
but you will need to squeeze through the railings just before
Bridge 5 to be able to walk over it to Spectator St.
VICE PRESIDENT – COMMENT ON DU
Martin Meissonnier [email@example.com] found this
forgotten statement from Dick Cheney, possible US Vice President:
in an interview to Maggie O Kane for Channel 4 UK in the 1996 film
“ Riding the Storm”:
“DU is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed.
But it was developed according to standards and was stocked very
carefully. It turned out, maybe, to be wrong”
Did any journalist asked Mr. Cheney what role he had in the choice
of DU for Desert Storm?