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CADU NEWS 13
No War on Iraq
- Gulf Vets warn
Against Use of DU in future War in Iraq
- UNEP Identifies DU
Risks in Bosnia-Herzegovina
not cause of Gulf War Syndrome
Gulf syndrome' forces vicar's retirement
website for Gulf War veterans
subsidiary stores DU in cardboard boxes!!
New Uranuim Enrichment plant
women arrested on DU action
DU in WW2?
munitions and fourth-generation nuclear weapons
Whistleblower wins settlement
- Fire at US DU Factory
Annan addresses DU issue
- Army plans to stop DU monitoring
Human Rights Day conference on Iraq
The Nuclear Nightmare Starts
- CADU Appeal
- U.S. Navy uses DU in coast waters; activists
may go to court
Readers of CADU News will be aware of the ongoing battle that the residents
of Vieques have had to stop the U.S. Navy using their island for bombing
practice. Their campaign of civil disobedience has finally won. It was
announced last week that the Navy will be withdrawing from the Puerto
Rican island by the 1st of May this year.
The U.S. Navy, which owns a third of the island, has carried out military
manoeuvres there, including the testing of depleted uranium, for the last
sixty years. In 1999, after the death of a resident, killed accidentally
by the navy, the People's Assembly of Vieques issued an ultimatum, with
the unanimous support of all of Puerto Rico´s community sectors and
with the support of the Puerto Rican Government, which demanded the immediate
departure of the U.S. Navy. They also condemned the use of depleted uranium,
napalm bombs and other chemical and toxic weapons condemned by international
public opinion because of their adverse impact on health and the environment.
Since then, the people of Vieques formed the Committee for the Rescue
and Development of Vieques, and began a committed campaign of civil disobedience.
They continually trespassed onto the military ranges, setting up illegal
protest camps, and taking their message to the world.
The U.S Navy informed the government of Puerto Rico that the military
will cease using Vieques, instead using other sites in Florida and the
US mainland. The memo dated Jan 2003 from the Chief of Naval Operations
is testimony to how effective the direct action resistance has been -
"In addition, physical security at Vieques is becoming ever more
difficult and costly to maintain, given the civil unrest which accompanies
the Navy's presence on the island. We have been successful in completing
our training on the island only because of extremely aggressive and costly
multi-agency security actions. The level of protests, attempted incursions,
and isolated successful incursions generally remain high when Battle Group
training occurs on the island. The Navy has devoted significant resources
to maintain range security and safety, as well as the safety of our onsite
personnel. Even so, our Sailors are continually subjected to an unsatisfactory
environment in Puerto Rico. The support of the local police organization
has been unable to provide the kind of safety we would demand at any other
site in the U.S. The Navy's departure from Vieques will liberate us from
However, this news came only days after the islanders were informed that
a new wave of training exercises were to begin on the island this month
(Jan) which could last up to a month.
Gov. Sila Calderon, who opposes the training, sent a letter to President
Bush on Friday calling the plan "patently offensive."
The people of Vieques, promised to keep up civil disobedience during
what is likely to be the last round of military exercises, and five people
were already arrested sneaking onto military lands before exercises resumed..
"On May 1st, the lands will still be contaminated and will still
be in federal hands. That's the next battle" said David Noriega,
one of the protestors.
The following report from the Peace and Justice Camp sums up their inspiring
and successful struggle.
During these last few days the Secretary of the Navy certified to the
Congress and the President that there exist alternate sites for the bombing
practices which for sixty years have taken place in Vieques, and that
in May of this year the Navy will cease using the bombing range here.
This news represents a tremendous advance in the struggle for peace for
Vieques. Nevertheless, the Committee for the Rescue and Development of
Vieques insists that peace is much more than the end of bombing. Our community's
historic demands in the face of the military presence can be summarized
by the 4 D's: demilitarization, decontamination, devolution of the lands
and sustainable development of a Free Vieques.
The determination by the Secretary of the Navy also certifies the
effectiveness of civil disobedience and the consistent denunciation and
protests by all sectors of Puerto Rican society in favor of peace for
Vieques. It is a testimony to the power of an organized community that
is committed to a peaceful but militant struggle, and to the perseverance
of the Vieques community - not for years, but for decades. The organized
groups here have contributed during more than half a century, to a level
of consciousness and spirit of struggle that has made it possible for
this "tiny" community, with enormous solidarity and massive
support from all of Puerto Rico, to paralyze the most powerful military
force in the history of humanity. The certification is evidence of the
power of a people organized and in the streets, of fishermen in the sea,
of women and men, youth and elders, people from all ideological sectors
- political as well as religious - a community united and committed to
justice and peace.
More info from Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques,
PO Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Tel(787) 741-0716 Fax 741-0358, or www.viequeslibre.org
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NO WAR ON IRAQ
CADU is adding its voice to the growing number of NGO's who have joined
forces to issue an ultimatum to the British Government. Following CND's
legal challenge to the Government over the proposed war on Iraq (see www.cnduk.org),
which despite initial success was declared unjusticiable by the courts,
there are plans to pursue this further.
Interested NGO's were meeting on 15th January (as CADU News went out)
to discuss the serving of notice on the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon,
of their intention to pursue the government to the International Criminal
Court (ICC), should international human rights and international law be
breached in any attack on Iraq.
The letter declares the intention to collect evidence as to whether the
use of force against Iraq breaches requirements of IHL. This will be presented
to an inquiry organised by the Permanent People's Tribunal based in Italy.
Its panel will consist of eminent international lawyers and others experienced
in this field. The judgement of this panel, and supporting evidence of
NGO's will be presented to the Prosecutor of the ICC, who will be urged
to analyse the evidence and proceed to investigate the UK government.
CADU has had input into this process, and depleted uranium is now specifically
mentioned in the letter.
This action has the support of Mark Thomas of Ch 4, and is being organised
by CND and Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers. More info from www.cnduk.org,
or 0207 700 2393
Anti-War Movement Mushrooms
There is not enough space here to report on the enormous amounts of actions,
rallies, demonstrations, petitions etc which have happened across the
globe against the impending war on Iraq.
From a peace protest at the South Pole on midnight on New Year's Eve
to the United States, where over 100 naked people formed their bodies
into one word 'PEACE' visible from the air, people are saying NO! to war.
In Cairo last month, an initiative called the International Campaign
Against US Aggression on Iraq was launched at a conference attended by
over 400 delegates from the Arab world as well as the international peace
movement. The coordinating committee of this group includes the former
President of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella.
Protesters in Turkey burned US flags on New Year's Eve in a demo against
a possible war on neighbouring Iraq.
A peace camp has been set up just metres outside the Irish airport in
Shannon which provides stopover (overnight) and refueling services to
US military flights as Ireland's part in the so-called "war on terrorism".
Contact [email protected]
Here in the UK, there have been actions at almost all US military bases
in the country, with people being arrested for trespassing, intent to
cause criminal damage, and at Menwith Hill US Spy base, tens of thousands
of pounds of damage was caused by peace activists trying to stop war.
Global Demonstration Against War - Feb 15th
February 15th is a big day of action, with demos happening across Europe
and the globe. Here in the UK, we have to make it count, as our government
is the major ally with the US in their war-mongering. Contact Stop the
War Coalition for contacts in your area, details of transport to London
for the demo. If you make your own way there, it is meeting at noon at
Embankment, and marching to Hyde Park. Last time, on September 28th, there
was over 300,000 people - we must make it half a million this time. www.stopwar.org.uk,
Human Shields in Iraq
A convoy of anti-war activists from across Europe are travelling to Iraq
this month to act as human shields. The convoy to Baghdad is organised
by former US Marine Ken Nichols, who served in the first Gulf war but
is now a vociferous opponent of another Gulf conflict. They will leave
from London across Europe, holding rallies in various cities and gathering
other human shields along the way. Once in Iraq, members of the convoy
will identify infrastructure targets for bombing, such as power stations,
key bridges and roads, and deploy themselves as human shields in the glare
of the international media. More info from www.uksociety.org/
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Vets warn against use of DU in future war on Iraq
Two Gulf War Veterans have issued a `Two part warning to the Citizens
of the world - "Do Not Use Depleted Uranium Munitions Again".
The statement, put out in Jan this year, was issued by Dr. Doug Rokke,
former U.S. Army's DU team health physicist, and former U.S. Army's DU
Project Director and George Angus Parker, formerly Sgt with the 1st Field
Laboratory Unit, Biological-Warfare Detection Unit, Porton Down.
Rokke gives a detailed report on his involvement with DU, ending with
this conclusion "As the military and civilian leaders of the United
States and Great Britain contemplate pre-emptive attacks on the nation
of Iraq; the citizens of the world, all humanitarian agencies, the United
Nations and all concerned law-abiding governments of the world must raise
a unified voice to ban the use of depleted uranium munitions and force
those nations that have used depleted uranium munitions to recognize the
immoral consequences of their actions and assume responsibility for medical
care and thorough environmental remediation. A nation's military personnel
cannot wilfully contaminate any other nation, cause harm to persons and
the environment and then ignore the consequences of their actions. To
do so is a crime against GOD and humanity!!! WE MUST DO WHAT IS RIGHT
FOR GOD AND THE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD BAN DU !!!"
Parker begins by saying that "war is nothing more than a monument
to the incompetence of politicians and their advisors.". He adds
his support to the facts about DU laid down by Rokke, and goes on to say
that witnessing the suffering of Gulf War vets and their families has
had a dramatic effect on the way he views future military deployments.
"Rather than valued members of society owed a debt of honour for
defending the state, I am now aware that armed forces personnel are considered
as disposable items. Something to be used, abused and then discarded when
broken. Furthermore, when made ill by the use of politically sensitive
weapons such as DU, they are an expensive embarrassment to be silenced
when voicing concerns." Parker concludes "It is my sincere and
heartfelt belief that until such time as the UK and US governments can
properly care for ill and dying veterans of war, they should refrain from
deploying members of the armed forces overseas. As for the contention
should we invade Iraq again, this time to overthrow the government of
that country? I contest the rationale, competency and therefore the relevance
of the question".
Vets call for troops to resist
Other veterans have added their voices to the anti-war movement, by issuing
a call for resistance to war to members of the armed forces.
Signatories to the statement include Ken Nichols, the ex US marine who
is leading the human shield effort in Iraq (see story in this issue).
The statement pulls no punches in its assessment of the phoney "War
on Terrorism", describing it as a global offensive by benign imperialists
on the people of the world. It also condemns the attack on civil liberties
at home. Addressed to troops, it calls upon them to REFUSE... RESIST...REBEL!!
"Imperialists are imperialists, and there is nothing "benign"
about them when they go to war. They are always seeking to fortify and
extend their political, economic and military control over the globe.
They tell us to defend their "civilizations", but what is civilized
about societies built on slavery, genocide, colonialism and perpetual
war? Their definition of "civilization" is a world where the
riches of a small elite in a handful of countries are literally stolen
from the sweat and blood of the oppressed populations in the rest of the
world, as they ecologically destroy the planet in the process."
It warns troops of the sickness and death as a result of DU, innoculations,
Agent Orange and other things. "From our own experience, we know
all too well what "defending our country" really means: killing
and dying for the interests of those who rule over us. The situation today
is no different than in all the other wars for Power, Profit, and Plunder.
Our rulers don't give a damn about the civilians who were killed on Sept.
11. Without loyal troops there can be no war. We have learned that as
soldiers in the oppressor's armies we are just cogs in the wheel of their
death machine. But we have also learned that organized resistance within
the military can put a massive wrench in this machine.
It is time to unite with the oppressed of the world, not with the oppressors
who force us to cut each other's throats!"
For more info contact: Stop The War Brigade, 00 49 (0)177 481-6128,
[email protected], Sign On-Line At: www.angelfire.com/jazz/stwb
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Identifies DU Risks in Bosnia-Herzegovina
A team of experts fielded by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) has investigated 15 sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina targeted with
weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) during the mid-1990s.
The UNEP team used highly sensitive instruments to measure surface radioactivity
at 14 sites (one they could not enter due to nearby mines) These measurements
revealed the presence of radioactive "hot spots" and pieces
of DU weapons at three sites - the Hadzici tank repair facility, the Hadzici
ammunition storage area and the Han Pijesak barracks.
"Following a request by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
UNEP is carrying out this scientific assessment", said Klaus Toepfer,
Executive Director of UNEP. "Seven years after the conflict, DU still
remains an environmental concern and, therefore, it is vital that we have
the scientific facts, based upon which we can give clear recommendations
how to minimize any risk."
"We are concerned about the situation at the Hadzici tank repair
facility and the Han Pijesak barracks", said Pekka Haavisto, Chairman
of UNEP DU projects. "The UNEP team detected DU-related materials
and DU dust inside buildings that are currently used by local businesses
or, in the case of Han Pijesak, by troops as storage facilities."
"Before using any DU-targeted building there should always be proper
clean-up. When people are working in buildings that have not been decontaminated,
unnecessary risks are being taken, and, therefore, we will discuss with
the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities the need for decontamination inside
the buildings currently in use as a first precautionary step. Such a job
should be carried out by experts", said Mr. Haavisto.
The UNEP team found that the general public is not aware of what DU ammunition
looks like and the dangers it can pose. UNEP will discuss with the national
civil protection authorities the possibility of offering de-mining personnel,
other local authorities involved in DU work, and interested members of
the public an easy-to-read flyer on the issue of DU ammunition in the
The two recommended precautionary measures of decontaminating the targeted
buildings and educating the public are consistent with those proposed
in UNEP's earlier DU studies in Serbia & Montenegro and Kosovo.
A medical sub-team composed of the experts from WHO and the US Army Center
(USACHPPM) visited three hospitals and examined medical data and statistics
in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation and in the Republika Srpska.
The UNEP DU assessment is funded by the Governments of Italy and Switzerland.
The final results will be published in a UNEP report in March 2003.
For more information, please contact: Pekka Haavisto, Chairman of
UNEP DU Projects, [email protected], http://www.unep.org
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Stress not cause of Gulf War Syndrome
A British Study, concluded last Autumn, has dispelled any ideas that
stress could be a cause of Gulf War Syndrome. The study of 111 disabled
Desert Storm veterans from Great Britain found that Gulf War illness was
not a psychiatric disorder connected to stress. The study was funded by
the U.S. Department of Defense and was conclusive.
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Gulf syndrome' forces vicar's retirement
A former Army chaplain was forced to retire last November because of
illnesses he believes are caused by Gulf War Syndrome. Reverend Dave Peachell
left his duties at churches in Norfolk. He served for three months in
the Gulf and was officially discharged from the Church, suffering from
a string of illnesses which have attacked his nervous and immune systems.
The Church has officially recognised "Gulf War Illness" as
the grounds for Mr Peachell's retirement.
Mr Peachell, said successive governments had not faced up to the illness,
which campaigners claim has killed more than 500 Gulf War veterans and
left more than a thousand ill.
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for Gulf War veterans
Gulf War veterans now have easy access to Gulf War-related medical research
information on an Internet site called "Medsearch" at www.gulflink.osd.mil/medsearch.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense,
and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have combined resources to create
this one-stop shop of research information relating to the illnesses of
Gulf War veterans.
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BNFL subsidiary stores DU in cardboard
The Independent reported recently that DU was being stored in cardboard
boxes by a subsidiary of BNFL. Westinghouse Government Services, in which
BNFL group has a 40 per cent stake, was criticised in a report into its
$600m (£380m) contract to clean up an old nuclear bomb factory at
Savannah River in South Carolina. a massive nuclear clean-up operation
in the US, run by a subsidiary of BNFL, has been slammed by inspectors
for having poor safety management and cost control. Inspectors from the
US Department of Energy found that WGS had an "inadequate and ineffective"
approach to "risk prioritisation" when dealing with safety and
a "limited probability of success" in managing costs. The nuclear
watchdogs also exposed unsafe storage of 22,000 tonnes of depleted uranium
managed by Westinghouse at Savannah River. It is stored in drums, cardboard
and wooden boxes inside "corroded" buildings on timbers that
have "rotted and failed".
The DofE made a site visit during the summer and found that WGS avoided
difficult and expensive work, such as building decommissioning and stabilising
nuclear material. It said WGS "weighs business elements more heavily
(by a factor of three) than risk elements" and had a system that
did not differentiate between small and large accidents.
The damaging report came at an embarrassing time for BNFL, as the draft
Bill to set up a £48bn agency to sort out Britain's nuclear legacy
was highlighted in the Queen's Speech only the week before the report
came out, last November. BNFL is expected to be central to this clean-up.
BNFL said it was not the lead contractor on the Savannah River project
and referred all calls to Washington Group, its partner, which was not
available for comment.
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A local US newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, reported the announcement
that a $50 million test enrichment plant will be built in Piketon instead
of in Paducah, Kentucky with a glee that supporters of CADU will find
astonishing. Describing the enthusiastic response to the `good news',
the paper focuses on how great this new plant will be for jobs and the
Nowhere in the article is any discussion of the problems that are caused
in the communities around uranium-enrichment facilities. Environmental
factors do not feature at all. There is no mention of the troubles that
former workers have had in Paducah, (when they were exposed unknowingly
to plutonium) or the battle they had to get compensation. There is no
mention of the astronomical $134million it costs to clean up the Paducah
plant ( CADU news 11 & 12). If the people of Piketon were aware of
these problems, surely they would stop cheering and start campaigning
for more ethical investment in their local economy.
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women arrested on DU action
Three women were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges last November
after an anti-war protest at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Bellingham
USA. The women blocked the entrance and refused to let anyone in for about
2 hours. Together with 6 others, they handed out leaflets protesting the
use of DU in U.S. weapons.
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This interesting snippet was posted to the DU email list recently, and
although CADU cannot confirm that DU was used in some weapons in the second
world war, it is certainly alarming food for thought.
"Recently I was reading Albert Speer's memoirs and came upon this:
"In the summer of 1943, wolframite [tungsten] imports from Portugal
were cut off, which created a critical situation for the production of
solid-core [armor piercing] ammunition. I thereupon ordered the use of
uranium cores for this type of ammunition. My release of our uranium stocks
of about twelve hundred metric tons showed that we no longer had any thought
of producing atom bombs."
This is the first reference I have seen to the possible use of uranium-containing
projectiles in WWII. I wondered if this has been investigated by others.
Alan Muller Green Delaware
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munitions and fourth-generation nuclear weapons
The reasons why DU weapons have been developed and used is still a puzzle:
Prominent international lawyers claim that DU weapons are illegal, metallurgists
say that one can develop tungsten alloys that are at least as good if
not better and cheaper that uranium alloys, and the first use of DU weapons
during the 1991 Gulf War broke a 46 years long taboo against the intentional
use or induction of radioactivity in combat.
The paper that André Gsponer, Jean-Pierre, and Bruno Vitale contributed
to the Fourth International Conference of the Yugoslav Nuclear Society,
Belgrade, Sep.30 - Oct.4, 2002, is therefore of great interest since it
sheds a new light on the DU issue in relation to the evolution of modern
This paper reports on a surprising discovery: While the radioactivity
of DU is low, its large scale use (as in Iraq and former Yugoslavia) creates
a residual radioactive environment that can be compared to the use of
a large number of new type (so-called "fourth-generation") nuclear
weapons which are currently under development worldwide (see
www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/09/06/1031115939075.html , http://nuketesting.enviroweb.org/hew/News/AnnounceReviews.html
). These weapons would produce much less radioactivity than existing types
of nuclear weapons, so that many of them could be used until they produce
a total radioactive burden comparable to the expenditure of large amounts
More precisely, quoting from the abstract of the paper: "... the
radiological burden due to the battlefield use of circa 400 tons of DU
munitions in Iraq (and of about 40 tons in Yugoslavia) is comparable to
that arising from the hypothetical battlefield use of more than 600 kt
(respectively 60 kt) of high-explosive equivalent pure-fusion fourth-generation
By comparison, the explosive yield of the Hiroshima bomb was about 12
to 15 kt. However, what is even more striking, is that "in order
to match the radiological burden due to the combat use of DU in these
countries, one could have hypothetically used several thousands precision
guided delivery systems, each carrying a fourth-generation nuclear warhead
with a yield in range of one to hundred TONS of high-explosive equivalent,
instead of the few tens or hundreds of KILOGRAMS of high-explosives currently
delivered by these systems"
Since the report is a long technical paper written by physicists for
other physicists, most readers may not want to download it except for
reading the introduction and the conclusion. It is therefore worthwhile
to quote a paragraph from the extended abstract:
"From a strategic perspective, the breaking of the taboo against
the intentional battlefield use of radioactive materials, which lasted
from 1945 to 1991, can therefore be interpreted as a preparation for the
progressive introduction of fourth-generation nuclear weapons whose battlefield
use will cause a low (but non-negligible) residual radioactive environment.
It can therefore be argued that besides its military function, the use
of depleted-uranium in Iraq and Yugoslavia may have served a political
purpose: to soften the opposition of the Western public opinion to the
induction of radioactivity on the battlefield, and to get the World population
accustomed to the combat use of depleted-uranium and fourth-generation
In summary, while the authors agree that the radioactivity of depleted
uranium is low, their technical analysis gives a lot of weight to the
common sense intuition that the battlefield use of DU munitions is a dangerous
legal precedent, and therefore a major step towards the combat use of
Another paper written by André Gsponer, entitled Nanotechnology
and fourth-generation nuclear weapons:, (available at http://www.acronym.org.uk/dd/dd67/67op1.htm)
is of interest to anti-DU activists also, where he discusses DU and
the political consequence of its use in recent war. "....the use
of weapons producing a low level of radioactivity appears to be acceptable,
both from a military point of view because such a level does not impair
further military action, and from a political standpoint because most
political leaders, and shapers of public opinion, did not object to the
battlefield use of depleted uranium. These lessons imply a probable military
perception of the need for new conventional or nuclear warheads, and a
probable political acceptance of such warheads if they do not produce
large amounts of residual radioactivity."
The paper also stresses the dangerous legal precedent established by
use of DU in combat.
Prof. Andre A. Gsponer, ISRI, P.O. Box 30, CH-1211 GENEVA-12, Switzerland,
email: [email protected]
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DU Whistleblower wins settlement
Clint Jensen, an DU worker at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
(INEEL), took his employer, Bechtel, to court for retaliating against
him after he raised concerns about dangerous working conditions and sick
co-workers suffering Gulf War Syndrome-like symptoms. The parties came
to an agreement to end the lawsuit, midway through, in Jensen's favour.
Jensen worked as a Manufacturing Operator at INEEL Specific Manufacturing
Capability (SMC), a classified program which fabricates depleted uranium
for lining in the US Army's Abrams battle tanks. Bechtel failed to implement
many basic safety and industrial hygiene precautions for employees working
around DU. Mr. Jensen's job included incinerating uranium chips and cutting
and boring sheets of uranium metal. The incinerator was home-made and
every night he had to mop around the oven to remove a black film encircling
the oven caused by the leakage during burns.
Mr. Jensen began asking questions of his employer about the premature
death of two of his co-workers and why others had left the workplace with
symptoms similar to his. He raised concerns that he was exposed to DU
and other substances at work that may have caused his own Gulf War Syndrome-like
symptoms. He suggested that the Industrial Hygiene program was deficient,
that he had been ordered to burn substances other than DU in the oxidation
oven _ in violation of the oven's permit, and that his uranium exposure
levels soared after he looked down to find himself standing in DU-laden
water. He asked the INEEL's medical staff to get to the root of the problem.
Rather than investigating these concerns or compensating him for his
illness, Bechtel attempted to silence him and keep him out of the workplace
by referring him to psychiatrists numerous times; increasing his security
clearance _ effectively gagging him from speaking with his personal physicians
about his occupational health concerns; refusing to let him speak with
a Department of Energy (DOE) official about his concerns; accusing him
of abusing his short term disability and removing 270 hours of personal
leave time from him; placing excessive restrictions upon him at times
and denying him use of a respirator.
Since Mr. Jensen raised his concerns, DOE has conducted an extensive
review of the SMC facility and found numerous significant violations.
Because of Mr. Jensen's concerns, the oxidation oven was dismantled, and
new safety procedures and processes have been implemented.
Tom Carpenter, with the Government Accountability Project which represented
Mr. Jensen, stated, "Clint performed a valuable public service by
raising important safety and health concerns which resulted in significant
improvements in operations at the INEEL site. We are all very glad to
put this matter behind us, and for Clint to be able to get on with his
More info from www.whistleblower.org
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at US DU Factory
The Oakridge DU plant went into a lock-down shelter-in-place mode
after a fire ignited under a uranium hood last November. A spokesperson
for the plant said that there were no injuries and that no radioactive
releases were detected after the fire was immediately extinguished. One
worker was inside the hood at the time, and an investigation is under
way to discover the cause of the fire. It is noted however, that DU which
was being used in the hood can spontaneously combust.
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Annan addresses DU issue
In a message to the international community on the occasion of the International
day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed
Conflict, (Nov 6th 2002) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan specifically
referred to Depleted Uranium stating that it was damaging to the environment.
In his speech, Kofi Annan stated that "While environmental damage
is a common consequence of war, it should never be a deliberate aim.although
international conventions govern nuclear, chemical and biological weapons,
new technologies, such as depleted uranium ammunition, threaten the environment".
The UNEP statement in relation to the International Day, concludes: "The
course for the future must be charted with a deeper respect for the environment.
Member States must take stock of the guidelines drawn up to protect all
victims of war. It is vital that maps be prepared and kept to facilitate
clean-up activities when former belligerents come to the table to talk
peace. The innocent should not be made to suffer long after the weapons
of war have been silenced.
For more info contact: N Nuttall, UNEP email: [email protected]
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plans to stop DU monitoring in Indiana
Big Creek flows through Jefferson Proving Ground, SE Indiana, a former
military test-firing range riddled with unexploded shells and more than
150,000 pounds of DU - an area so dangerous the Army plans to fence it
off forever rather than attempt to clean it up. Residents near the site
are worried about an Army plan made public in November to stop monitoring
the creek and groundwater for DU contamination.
Army officials have said the pollution is relatively low though
there are some hot spots and doesn't appear to be moving from the
1,200-acre firing range. But some residents aren't convinced it will stay
that way. A group plans to seek a hearing before an NRC administrative
law judge, said Richard Harris, president of Save the Valley, a southeast
Indiana environmental group "We think they should monitor it longer
because it's going to lay there forever," Harris said.
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Human Rights Day conference
Manchester, October 2002.
This was an informative day for all who attended. Speakers included Camille
Warren from CADU, Milan Rai from Voices in the Wilderness and journalist
Felicity Arbuthnot. A lively debate was held around the issue of DU's
radiological and chemical toxicity. Felicity Arbuthnot provided some valuable
insights from her frequent visits to Iraq. Hospitals have very few drugs
and many Iraqis are malnourished. The situation is distressing because
incidences of cancer among children in Baghdad have risen five-fold since
the Gulf War, probably due to DU and other toxic and/or radioactive chemicals
dropped by the West.
In spite of the rebuilding that is beginning, the Iraqi people live in
great fear of another war, a war which could involve weapons of mass destruction.
Ms Arbuthnot stressed that the Iraqi people she spoke to DO NOT WANT a
new government imposed by the USA or any other Western power. Much as
they hate and fear Saddam Hussein, they do not want a puppet regime in
his place. The officially recognized opposition, the Iraqi National Congress,
was an umbrella opposition that tried to unite opposition Nationalists,
religious parties and left-wingers to oppose Saddam Hussein. Initially
the USA cooperated with the INC. But increasingly the US has pushed the
left-wingers and religious parties out and started to negotiate to get
an `opposition' to suit US taste. Many Iraqis feel that Saddam must go,
but not at the price of a US takeover.
Why is the US so keen to attack Iraq? A possible reason is OIL. If the
USA had control of Iraq as well as having its current links with Saudi
Arabia, it would control 60% of the world's oil.(It is estimated that
Iraq has more than 10% of the world's oil, much of it undeclared and untapped).
Iraqi oil is cheap and easy to extract: so cheap that drinking water in
Iraq costs 15 times as much as oil. Control of Iraq would also enable
the US to isolate Iran and Syria, by surrounding them with US allies.
We must oppose this war if the Iraqi people are not to see their country
destroyed yet again.
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The Nuclear Nightmare Starts
When questions were asked in the British Parliament a year ago about
whether DU weapons had been used in the military strikes on Afghanistan,
defence minister Geoff Hoon played his cards close to his chest. "No
British forces currently engaged in operations around Afghanistan are
armed with depleted uranium ammunition. However, we do not rule out the
use of depleted uranium ammunition in Afghanistan, should its penetrative
capability be judged necessary in the future."
He did not rule out the use of DU by the United States.
When the Afghan crisis began, many of us believed that a great amount
of DU/dirty uranium would be used to achieve the US-British campaign objectives,
both to penetrate the opposition's hideouts in rocky terrain and to test
new weapons systems (see CADU News 9 for Dai
Williams research or see his website at www.eoslifework.co.uk.
A new report based on research in Afghanistan indicates that our worst
fears have been realized. The study, produced by the Uranium Medical Research
Centre (UMRC), points to the likelihood of large numbers of the population
being exposed to uranium dust and debris.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine and radiology and
a former science adviser to the US military, who set up the independent
UMRC, has been testing US, British, and Canadian troops and civilians
for DU and uranium poisoning over the past few years.
A scientific study team was sent to Jalalabad region, Nangarhar Province
in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the conflict in 2001-02. This area
was a strategic target zone for operation Enduring Freedom high and low
altitude, precision guided-bombing and first time deployment of bunker
busting and seismic shock warheads.
The UMRC field team identified several hundred people suffering from
illnesses and medical conditions displaying complex clinical symptoms
similar to those of Gulf War Veterans. Urine and soil samples were collected
and sent to an independent science research lab in the UK. The results
were astounding. Every person donating urine specimens tested positive
for Uranium internal contamination, with concentrations of toxic and radioactive
uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in tests on Gulf
War veterans in 1999.
The study was extended in September when a second team returned, this
time to Kabul, Mazar-I-Sharif, Tora Bora, Kndahar and Jalalabad. Samples
were taken from bomb craters, market squares, gardens, farms, watercourses
etc adjacent to bombed targets. 30% of the members of families interviewed
displayed medical problems, and examinations of new-borns showed congenital
effects of contamination.
The results of study will be distributed to the governments of Afghanistan,
NATO countries and the United Nations. However, it costs $1000 to test
each sample due to the specialised equipment required, and UMRC need to
raise this amount for 40 samples from this second study. To find out
more and to help with finances, contact [email protected], or look at website
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Yet again we find ourselves appealing to our supporters for financial
help. Our funding for our worker, Camille, runs out in March. We are of
course applying once again to major grant-giving organisations, but we
expect there to be a short-fall.
Since Camille has arrived, we have found that we have been able to be
much more effective in our campaigning. We have undertaken major projects,
such as the publishing of the book (see inside), updating and reprinting
the briefing pack (out soon) and a massive overhaul of the website, (see
With the war on Iraq looking increasingly likely, we are receiving more
requests for information, and obviously have to expand our efforts (if
that were possible) to ensure that DU is not used again in Iraq. We are
still campaigning for a resolution to the humanitarian disaster caused
by the last war, and who knows what additional nightmares are going to
befall these innocent victims.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters a very
peaceful New Year (as unlikely as it seems), and thank you all for your
Even if you cannot afford any extra money, there are other ways you can
help. You can encourage your friends to become subscribers to CADU News,
join us in London on February 15th, write (again!) to your MP and to Geoff
Hoon on the issue of depleted uranium, start thinking about the day of
action against depleted uranium in May, and what you could do.
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Forthcoming DU Book
CADU is helping to publish a book on depleted uranium that will be ready
by March. Written by Prof Bruno Vitale, Anne Gut and with a postscript
by Prof. Andre Gsponer it will gather the lastest political, scientific
and legal information relating to DU into one source. We are hoping for
a large distribution and will be selling the book at a low cover price
to ensure this. If you have any ideas for distribution please do contact
the CADU office.
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Navy uses DU in coast waters; activists may go to court
The Navy routinely tests DU weapons in prime fishing areas off the coast
of Washington, raising concerns from scientists, fishermen and activists.
The Navy insists the use of depleted uranium off the coast is "routine"
and poses no threat to the environment or to service personnel. But a
coalition of Northwest environmental and anti-war activists say they are
considering seeking an injunction to halt the tests.
"The Navy is willing to put us all at risk, including its own sailors,
to improve its war-fighting capabilities," said Glen Milner, of Ground
Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, one of the groups weighing a suit to
stop the Navy tests. Milner received information on the Navy's tests of
depleted uranium ammunition off the coast in a memo released in response
to a Freedom of Information Act request.
No major studies apparently have been done on the effects of such weapons
in the ocean. But Milner says, "It just makes sense that if DU can
contaminate land and get into the food chain, then it would do the same
thing in the sea."
The weapon in question is the Phalanx, which is also known as a Close
In Weapons System. Such a system is on virtually all U.S. Navy combat
ships. It includes radar and rapid-fire 20mm guns. The guns are capable
of firing up to 3,000 or 4,500 rounds per minute of DU.
Robert Alverson, president of the Fishing Vessel Owners Association in
Seattle, said he was "very troubled" to hear that the Navy was
using DU off the coast of Washington. The areas used for testing are designated
Navy Warning Areas and are prime fishing areas "It is folly to be
testing anything in this area that might contaminate the natural food
supply. If any species ever turns up with radiation, it would be devastating
to the fishing industry," Alverson said.
Leonard Dietz, a research associate with the private, non-profit Uranium
Medical Research Centre in Canada and the United States, said that the
degree of environmental contamination the DU rounds will cause in sea
water depends on what kinds of targets were hit and how much DU was fired.
"Corrosion of the DU by sea water would occur over a long time,"
said Dietz. "The end result is that the ocean becomes a dumping ground
for the spent DU penetrators and they add to the (natural) uranium content
of sea water," he said.
More info from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action: www.gzcenter.org
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Page last updated: 11th April 2003