Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Introduction | News | Information | Resources | Affiliate | Action | Links | Contact

Winter 2001/2002

- Is DU being used in Afghanistan?
- Comment on the War on Terrorism
- A chamber of horrors so close to the ‘Garden of Eden’
UN General Assembly votes against DU Study
- Report from Prague DU Conference
- Three Poems from Iraq
- DU Contamination in Test-Firing at Shoeburyness
- OECD & IAEA Report on Management of DU
- Government Study links Gulf War and fatal disease
- We Don’t Like You, but We Need You: Collective Dose

- Peace Activists Arrested at Air Base
- Did you know...
- Discounted Casualties: NEW DU BOOK
- Trains and Boats and Planes
- First Bite at the Cherry?
- Peace Bureau awards prize to Dr Rosalie Bertell
- New DU Documentary
- A chance for justice for UK Vets at last?
- DU in Congress


Is DU being used in Afghanistan?

If you take at face value the parliamentary response from Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence, the answer to the question would be ‘no’. He states “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”.

In later parliamentary responses he said that “Depleted uranium-based ammunition has not been used in current operations in Afghanistan. We are not aware of any plans for it to be used in future.” implying without directly stating that it is not being used by US forces either. Lewis Moonie MP of the MoD said that whether US forces are using DU is a matter for the US government.

Papers report DU in Afghanistan
However, there have been various reports in newspapers in Pakistan and elsewhere, claiming that DU is being used. DAWN quotes an unnamed ‘leading military expert’ who says DU shells have been rained down on Afghanistan. A better researched article in Weekly Independent (Pakistan) refers to a case of a mysterious illness in an Afghan child which led the doctor to believe they were a victim of chemical or radiation poisoning.

As further evidence it offers a recent statement questioning the safety of the US troops in Afghanistan, where it claims the American Defense Department spokesperson Kenneth Bacon indirectly confirmed the use of nuclear waste, saying “We obviously put out instructions about avoiding Depleted Uranium dust. Our troops are instructed to wear masks if they’re around what they consider to be atomised or particle-sized DU”.
This is of course not hard evidence and we cannot use this to claim that DU is being used in Afghanistan, particularly when faced with denials from the government. However, we should not be put off so easily, as it is far from clear that there is no DU being used at all. Independent DU researcher Dai Williams has spent much time digging into the weapons specifications of the ‘bunker-buster’ bombs, and other new generation “hard target” smart bombs and cruise missiles used to attack Taliban bunkers, caves, command centres, fuel and ammunition stores.

Mystery ‘dense’ metal could be DU
His research dug up the facts that the 2 tonne GBU-37 Bunker Busters and 2000 lb GBU-24 Pave-way smart bombs, plus the Boeing AGM-86D, Maverick AGM-65G and AGM-145C hard target capability cruise missiles all use advanced unitary penetrators (AUP-113, AUP-116, P31) or BROACH warheads with the mystery high density metal in alloy casings. The mystery metal must be hard and at least 2x as heavy as steel. Tungsten and DU are the main options. Both are used by US and UK forces for armour piercing shells. DU is preferred because it is burns inside the target to become an incendiary bomb and is far cheaper and easier to manufacture.

Dai wrote to his MP and received the following answer “The Ministry of Defence cannot confirm the specific composition of these types of munitions. However, there is a range of heavy metals that could be considered under that term including .... tungsten.... These types of metal are used in order to maintain the ground (or concrete) penetration capability of the munition, an option not suited to the softer DU metal. Therefore, DU would not be expected to be used for this capability. There are suggestions that DU might be used in small quantities to act as ballast in some munitions, however, we are unable to confirm whether or not this is the case at this time.”[our italics] But says Dai, Janes Defence website initially stated that “DU’s ductility is suitable for making penetrators...” (Feb 2001).

The MoD answer above does not fully answer the questions as to which metal is being used both as penetrators and as ballast, and also as this would not be classed as DU ammunition (as it is not the DU shells we usually refer to, but possibly ballast, or a component of other weapons) it would not be covered by the parliamentary statement by Geoff Hoon, which rather carefully always refers to DU ammunition.

The implications of this are clear, and we must demand more answers from the government. If use DU is confirmed, it merely adds to the hypocrisy of this so-called ‘war on terrorism’. Lets hope that Operation Enduring Freedom doesn’t become enduring misery for the Afghan people faced with the dangerous effects of DU. Dai Williams is an occupational psychologist and independent DU researcher. His information is mainly from web sources (listed below), in particular the Federation of American Scientists website .

Unfortunately all the FAS links used in his analysis appear to have been “pulled” shortly after he began distributing his findings. The reference above to DU’s ductility from Jane’s Defence website has also now been changed. Dai said “The deletion of the FAS pages is a smart move by US security agencies. The credibility of my concerns about potential large scale use of DU in Afghanistan is much harder for the media and other DU researchers to verify now.”

The full report can be seen at
Dai can be contacted at [email protected]

More detailed information is on the pandora project website:
Janes Defence: FAS links to guided missile and bomb specifications:

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Comment on the War on Terrorism

CADU condemns both the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the proceeding bombing of Afghanistan by US and UK forces. We do not believe the latter will either create real security from terrorists attacks, nor destroy terrorist networks. We do believe that the ‘war on terrorism’ will cause deaths of many thousands of innocent civilians before it is ended, especially when bombs such as ‘cluster bombs’ (landmines with a different name) are used. Some politicians are saying we have ‘won the war’ - and we ask which war? Not the war on terrorism, for terrorists surely still present a great threat. Not the war which was to achieve democracy in Afghanistan, because the Northern Alliance are also human rights abusers and it is doubtful that a lasting peace and democracy will result. Rather than resorting to an immediate display of military might, the US and other western countries, must begin to examine their foreign policy if we are to achieve real safety from terrorism.

Many thousands of innocent children and people die every day as a result of the US military or economic policy. Just one example - US support for Israeli dominance and abuse of Palestinian rights in the Middle East which has angered many Muslims - underlines why the US is a focus of anger among poorer countries around the world. Further bombings of Iraq, Syria, or any other country will only serve to increase this hatred and fuel the terrorists cause. The US and Britain must stop their increasing militarisation and war-mongering and look to negotiations and peaceful means (such as using the International Criminal Court, which is yet to be set up due to the US’s refusal to ratify the agreement) to solve crises. And let us not forget: if we didn’t train and sell arms to terrorists in the first place ,we would not be facing these problems now.

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A chamber of horrors so close to the ‘Garden of Eden’ In Foreign Parts in Basra, Southern Iraq

The following article appeared in The Independent newspaper, 1/12/01. We felt it was worth reprinting because in arguing with military and government scientific experts, we often forget the real human misery caused by DU. This story throws into sharp relief the inhumanity of The US, whose lobbying in the UN now means there will not even be a study into DU.

By Andy Kershaw

I thought I had a strong stomach – toughened by the minefields and foul frontline hospitals of Angola, by the handiwork of the death squads in Haiti and by the wholesale butchery of Rwanda. But I nearly lost my breakfast last week at the Basrah Maternity and Children’s Hospital in southern Iraq. Dr Amer, the hospital’s director, had invited me into a room in which were displayed colour photographs of what, in cold medical language, are called “congenital anomalies”, but what you and I would better understand as horrific birth deformities.

The images of these babies were head-spinningly grotesque – and thank God they didn’t bring out the real thing, pickled in formaldehyde. At one point I had to grab hold of the back of a chair to support my legs. I won’t spare you the details. You should know because – according to the Iraqis and in all likelihood the World Health Organisation, which is soon to publish its findings on the spiralling birth defects in southern Iraq – we are responsible for these obscenities.

During the Gulf war, Britain and the United States pounded the city and its surroundings with 96,000 depleted-uranium shells. The wretched creatures in the photographs – for they were scarcely human – are the result, Dr Amer said. He guided me past pictures of children born without eyes, without brains. Another had arrived in the world with only half a head, nothing above the eyes. Then there was a head with legs, babies without genitalia, a little girl born with her brain outside her skull and the whatever-it-was whose eyes were below the level of its nose. Then the chair-grabbing moment – a photograph of what I can only describe (inadequately) as a pair of buttocks with a face and two amphibian arms. Mercifully, none of these babies survived for long.

Depleted uranium has an incubation period in humans of five years. In the four years from 1991 (the end of the Gulf war) until 1994, the Basrah Maternity Hospital saw 11 congenital anomalies. Last year there were 221. Then there is the alarming increase in cases of leukaemia among Basrah babies lucky enough to have been born with the full complement of limbs and features in the right place. The hospital treated 15 children with leukaemia in 1993. In 2000 it was 60. By the end of this year that figure again will be topped. And so it will go on. Forever. (Depleted uranium has a half-life of 4.1 billion years. Total disintegration occurs after 25 billion years) In any other country, in which the vital drugs are available, 95 per cent of these infant leukaemia cases would be treated successfully. In Basrah, the figure is 20 per cent. Most heartbreakingly, many children on the road to recovery go into relapse part way through treatment when the sporadic and meagre supply of drugs runs out. And then they die.

By the United Nations’ own admission 5,000 Iraqi children die every month because of a shortage of medicines created by sanctions imposed by the United Nations. Tony Blair, on numerous occasions, has misled Parliament and the country (perhaps unwittingly) by saying that Saddam Hussein is free to buy all the medicines Iraq needs under the oil-for-food programme. This is not true. Oil for food amounts to just 60 cents (40p) per Iraqi per day and everything – food, education, health care and rebuilding of infrastructure – has to come out of that. There simply is not enough to go around. And has Mr Blair heard of the UN Security Council 661 Committee? If he has, then he keeps quiet about it.

The committee was certainly unknown to me until I toured the shabby hospitals of Basrah. This committee, which meets in secret in New York and does not publish minutes, supervises sanctions on Iraq. President Saddam is not free to buy Iraq’s non-military needs on the world market. The country’s requirements have to be submitted to 661 and, often after bureaucratic delay, a judgement is handed down on what Iraq can and cannot buy. I have obtained a copy of recent 661 rulings and some of the decisions seem daft if not peevish. “Dual use” is the most common reason to refuse a purchase, meaning the item requested could be put to military use. So how does the 661 committee expect Saddam Hussein to wage war with “beef extract powder and broth”? Does 661 expect him to turn on the Kurds again by spraying them with “malt extract”? Or to send his presidential guard back into Kuwait armed to the teeth with “pencils”? Pencils, you see, according to 661, contain graphite and therefore could be put to military use. (Tough on the eager schoolchildren of Basrah who have little with which to write).

Across town at the Basrah Teaching Hospital, the whimsical rulings of 661 are not so comical. Dr Jawad Al-Ali, the director of oncology, trained in the UK and a member of the Royal College of Physicians, talked of an “epidemic” of cancers in southern Iraq. “The number of cancer cases is doubling every year. So is the severity of the cancers, and there has been a big increase in cancer among the young,” he said. Last week he was struggling to treat 20 cancer patients with “a huge shortage of chemotherapy drugs” and just two days supply of morphine. “We are crippled,” he said, “by Committee 661.” The doctor applied for, but was denied, life-saving machinery – deep X-ray equipment, blood component separators, even needles for biopsies. All, said 661, could have military use. Tell that to Mofidah Sabah, the mother of four-year-old Yahia. The little boy has both leukaemia in relapse and neuroblastoma, a cancer behind the eye that has bulged and twisted his left eyeball in its socket. Ms Sabah travels miles every day to sit and cuddle her son on his grubby bed. If Yahia lived in Birmingham, his chances of survival would not be in much doubt. But not in Basrah. “I’m afraid he will not live very long,” Dr Amer whispered. Ms Sabah said: “I will leave everything to God, but I want God to revenge those who attacked us.” Yahia\’s illness is not her first brush with tragedy. She lost 12 members of her family during an Allied bombing in 1991. Her husband, a soldier, fought in the Gulf war. He is still in the Iraqi army and has just been reposted, to Qurna, 50 miles north of Basra and among the contaminated former battlefields. Qurna, according to legend, was the site of the Garden of Eden.

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UN General Assembly votes against DU Study

After lobbying by Washington, the General Assembly of the United Nations rejected an Iraqi proposal that the UN study the effects of the depleted-uranium shells used by US-led forces in the Gulf War. The vote, at the beginning of December, reversed an earlier decision by the General Assembly’s committee on disarmament & international security to go ahead with the study. As Reuters reported, the 189-nation General Assembly voted down the Iraqi plan 45-54, with 45 abstentions. Diplomats credited a lobbying campaign by Washington for the turnaround. Acting at Baghdad’s request, the World Health Organization began an in-depth study this year of the health impact of depleted-uranium munitions used in Iraq. Baghdad has cited studies saying that coalition forces used 944,000 depleted-uranium shells against Iraq during the Gulf War. A resolution drafted by Iraq said the shells had spread radioactive particles and chemical dust over large areas and contaminated ‘’animal and plant life and the soil.’’ It asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to survey UN member nations and relevant outside groups ‘’on all aspects of the effects of the use of depleted-uranimum armaments’’ and submit a report on his findings to the assembly next year.

Iraq’s Health Ministry has said that cancer cases rose to 10,931 in 1997 from 6,555 in 1989, especially in areas bombed during the war. It seems unbelievable that the UN assembly will not vote for even a study of DU. One wonders exactly what Washington has to hide, and this move seems only to underline our case against DU. If they were confident that DU wasn’t dangerous, they would be backing a study. What is even more alarming in the matter of international affairs and democracy, is that so many nations were not prepared to take a stand against the US. And who can blame them, when we see the US ride roughshod over international agreements, over international democracy and over UN legitimacy, and vents its full military and economic might on any nation standing in its way.

Philippa Winkler and Karen Parker, campaigners on DU in the United Nations criticsed the Reuters report, saying that despite the spin saying it is a defeat for Iraq, what is more remarkable is that the US was unable to muster a majority vote. They go on to say that the 45 abstentions were really encouraging, as they are actually ‘no’ votes from countries unwilling to challenge the US just yet. Their recent email states:“Activists working on the DU issue should bear in mind that the World Health Organization has already undertaken serious steps at evaluating the Iraqi health crisis linked to use of DU weaponry in the Gulf War and the United Nations. The UN Sub-Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights is already committed to a report on DU weapons due at its 2002 session. Therefore the resolution at the General Assembly was largely “symbolic”. It is by no means a victory for the US as the Western media have portrayed it. Don’t believe the spin.

The UN Sub-Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights DU study is going forward with Justice Sik Yuen (Mauritius) as Special Rapporteur. Please support the Justice’s efforts. If you have any reports on DU for inclusion in this study please forward them to Philippa Winkler at [email protected] As the UN funds authorized for this study do not cover all expenses, contributions are welcome.

Depleted Uranium at the United Nations
A Compilation of Documents and an Explanation and Strategy Analysis (Feb 2000)
By Karen Parker, J.D.
Published by CADU.
Available by mail order from the CADU office, price £7 plus postage and packing.

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Report from Prague DU Conference

I was not the only one to arrive in the beautiful city of Prague last month with very little idea about the DU conference I was there to attend. With communication about the conference done almost exclusively on email, and no programme set in advance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. In fact, as it turns out, the organisers didn’t know to expect me either, my registration having been lost in cyberspace. Lucky then, that the programme was very loosely arranged and my presentation about campaigning against DU could slot in. This open programme meant for some confusion, but also led to a relaxed and informal conference, with us working through the 15 presentations from participants. In fact, this event (more of a seminar than a conference), organised by the Czech group Res Publica, attracted a good range of DU researchers and scientists, with a smattering of journalists, observers, and a limited number of campaigners. The majority of the presentations focused on the science of DU.

Professor Schott from Germany outlined how DU induces mistakes in the chromosome repair systems, which leads to aberrations. These aberrations can be measured and analysed as a way of measuring DU contamination. His pilot study of the blood samples of nine European Gulf War Veterans showed ten times more aberrations than in the control study. He now wants to study more vets, and has remortgaged his house to pay for British veterans to travel to Germany for chromosome analysis.

Particularly interesting from a campaigning angle was the presentation by Pier Roberto Danesi, of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). He was part of the UNEP team which examined DU contamination in Kosovo (see CADU News 2 & CADU News 6), and though their report to the press earlier this year claimed that there was little to worry about, in fact their statistics prove otherwise. He outlined the way the measurements were taken, and stated that there was very definitely high levels of DU in many of the samples – 2000 times more U238 than appears normally in the environment in some samples. He also stated that this was a picture in time, in that the particles can be re-suspended (something which has been argued about by scientists). Most significantly, he said that the majority of particles present in the samples were of a size which can be inhaled, and that this is the major concern about DU. Considering the IAEA’s stance on low level radiation (that it is not a problem for human health), and their reliance on the flawed risk models of the ICRP, this was unusually frank. Their research also looked into so called ‘dirty DU’, i.e. DU contaminated with plutonium, but while there was some plutonium found in some samples, he claimed this was in the environment from the nuclear bomb tests of the 1960’s.

Dr Busby showed that the high levels of DU found by UNEP in Kosovo had been hidden in a table of incomprehensible scientific figures, which would mean little to members of the press. He went on to outline why the ICRP risk model was so flawed, and his second event theory (if cells are repeatedly hit by radiation they are more likely to mutate, whereas a huge radiation dose would cause cells to die). More detailed info is on the highly recommended low level radiation website (

Djordje Jovanovic, President of the World Serb Congress told of the increase in cancers and tumours in Serbia, and the woefully inadequate amount of money being put into environmental clean up by NATO forces. Alfredo Embid, Coordinator of the Coalicion para la Abolicion de las Armas Radiactivas in Madrid outlined several studies on low level radiation including one from the Medical Research Council of Harwell published in April 2001. This study showed that alpha radiation emitted by one particle of DU causes degradation of chromosomes in the blood. More info on their website

Dai Williams, independent DU researcher presented a clear and well argued case on DU & Afghanistan (see front page) and Piotr Bein presented Venik’s argument as to the ineffectiveness of DU, contrary to military propaganda. Apparently in Serbia, only about 2% of bullets hit the target, with the rest ending up on the soil, and it is for reasons of ineffectiveness that Russia does not use the DU bullets in its arsenal.

Other contributors included Marek Glogoczowski a molecular physicist from Poland, a colleague of Dr Gunther’s from Germany, Marion an anti-nuclear activist from Germany, and others from Japan, Italy, and Czech Republic. Res Publica, the organisers, will present the reports from the conference to Vaclav Havel, after his initial interest in the issue caused them to initiate the conference. They also aim to publish the report with all contributions in February next year. They can be contacted on [email protected]

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Three Poems from Iraq

By Michael J Grayer

Unholy Babylon
‘How many miles to Babylon?’
The Ancient-travelled road, well worn.
Wind blows poisoned dust; unseen,
No taste, nor smell, it clings upon,
The final victim, not yet born.
War without end? Obscene!

‘Our Glorious Dead’
Iraq 11 November 2000
The silent cry
From jars
Of birth deformities
Is Deafening
Piled upward, high
A Monument to ‘Western lies’

‘Steadfast Basrah’
A memorial for the dead,
Whose epitaph read:
Depleted –
But Undefeated

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DU Contamination in Test-Firing at Shoeburyness

It has emerged that DU contaminated gun barrels from Eskmeals (the DU test site in Cumbria) were used for test firing non-DU rounds in Shoeburyness recently. In a response to a parliamentary question from Dr. Jack Cunningham MP, Dr Moonie said that no environmental impact assessment was carried out before the test firing in November, and nor was there any planned for the worn barrel trial due to take place in January. However, a risk assessment for the routine use of DU contaminated barrels was carried out by the Department’s Radiation Protection Adviser, the then DERA Radiation Protection Services, in May 2000. Although this assessment concludes that no DU will be released from the barrel, environmental monitoring was conducted at the start, during and after the firings on 20 November. That this question was raised in parliament after so many recent parliamentary questions relating to DU in Afghanistan, shows the concern about the safety of DU.

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The Problem: Radioactive waste from nuclear weapons and nuclear power are being “released” and used to make everyday household items, building materials, and more. “Standards” are being developed to dramatically increase the amount of radioactive material “recycled” into the marketplace.

Who is Doing This?

-Nuclear power industry and nuclear weapons contractors
-US Government: Dept. of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Transportation
-Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
-United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency
-European Commission
-Other nuclear nations’ governments and industries

What Can You Do?

Demand the US and International governments PROHIBIT RELEASE of radioactive wastes and materials from nuclear power and weapons into the marketplace. Contact your elected leaders and tell them to stop the nuclear industry and government agencies from poisoning us with ANY level of non-naturally occurring, involuntary or preventable radioactive contamination.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 1424 16th Street NW Suite 404, Washington, DC 20036 Tel 202-328-0002; [email protected]

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Government Study links Gulf War and fatal disease

The Washington Post recently reported that the US Department for Veterans Affairs has established a link between the Gulf War, and a specific disease. The VA said that military personnel who served in the gulf region during the war appear to be almost twice as likely as other veterans to develop ALS, the fatal neurological disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The department said it would begin providing benefits and compensation to veterans who were deployed in the Gulf region during the war and later developed the disease, even though the results were preliminary. About half of the 40 Gulf War veterans who developed the disease have died.

The study’s results, though preliminary, will be seen by veterans’ organizations as evidence that “Gulf War syndrome” health problems are indeed linked to military service. The research, which included nearly 2.5 million military personnel, is one of the largest epidemiological studies ever conducted and offers the most conclusive evidence to date linking Gulf War veterans to any disease. Still, researchers don’t know why these veterans were more likely to become ill. Veterans have long maintained that a variety of illnesses are associated with service in the Gulf, but scientific evidence has been scant and the Pentagon has resisted making the connection. “There was massive denial and obfuscation for years,” said Tom Donnelly, whose son Michael, an Air Force fighter pilot in the Gulf War, is now paralyzed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In October, a federally funded study suggested children of Gulf War veterans are two to three times as likely as those of other vets to have birth defects, but Defense officials questioned the research methodology and were skeptical of the results.
More info on

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OECD & IAEA Report on Management of DU

Last August a Joint Report by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the Management of Depleted Uranium was published. The report can be ordered at: It’s also available for free (PDF-file):

Large stocks of depleted uranium have arisen as a result of enrichment operations, especially in the United States and the Russian Federation. Countries with depleted uranium stocks are interested in assessing strategies for the use and management of depleted uranium. The choice of strategy depends on several factors, including government and business policy, alternative uses available, the economic value of the material, regulatory aspects and disposal options, and international market developments in the nuclear fuel cycle. This report presents the results of a depleted uranium study conducted by an expert group organised jointly by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency. It contains information on current inventories of depleted uranium, potential future arisings, long-term management alternatives, peaceful use options and country programmes. In addition, it explores ideas for international collaboration and identifies key issues for governments and policy makers to consider.

OECD Code 662001131E1
Thanks to Laka Foundation for this posting

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There is no safe dose of radiation: CADU and Collective Dose

Official radiation protection systems have long recognised that the smallest amount of ionising radiation can cause genetic damage, possibly leading to a fatal outcome. This is because ionising radiation exists in the form of highly energetic particles travelling through space or through our body tissues. Any cell in the path of the particle may be mutated. The image of a gunman firing randomly in a football stadium provides a useful analogy: if his bullets miss you, you’ll be OK; if one hits you, you’ll be injured and may die.

This is why it is conventionally said that “there is no threshold”, or “no safe dose of radiation”; the smallest amount has some chance of causing a lethal outcome, in the same way that a single lottery ticket confers some chance of winning a million pounds. And for many years the radiation risk agencies, like the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), have used the concept of “Collective Dose” to quantify that chance.

What is Collective Dose?
Collective Dose is a way of calculating the number of potential cancers that will happen in a population exposed to a known dose of radioactivity. Thus ICRP’s risk model predicts 2,350,000 extra cancer cases worldwide from testing atomic weapons in the atmosphere in the 1950s and ’60s. The effects of any kind of fallout or emissions can be calculated in the same way. The sums can be extended to the far distant (even infinite) future, but are usually cut off at 500 years. Either way (and even if for the time being we ignore the many scientists who criticise ICRP for underestimating the effects), the number of potentially dead people can be impressively large, which embarrasses apologists of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. They tend to argue that there is no certainty that any such effects will occur - in other words, the cancers are only theoretically possible - and that the epidemiological basis of such predictions is weak.

Should we abandon Collective Dose?
Professor Roger Clarke, Chairman of the ICRP and Director of the UK National Radiological Protection Board, would like to see Collective Dose abandoned in favour of a concept he calls “Controllable Dose”. According to Clarke, so long as the person most exposed to some radiation source runs a risk which can be considered “acceptable”, then all the people exposed to that source are adequately protected.

His critics point out that his logic is the same as letting a mad gunman into every football game on the grounds that no single person in the crowd has worse than a 1 in 25,000 chance of getting shot.

For those of us campaigning against the use of radioactive waste (DU) in munitions, planes and ships it is important to keep on top of how harm from radiation is measured. We campaign against the use of DU because we believe it to be harmful.
Any change in the way radiation effects are studied is of concern.”

ACTION: Write to your MP to ask what is their policy on collective dose Please forward to CADU a copy of your letter and any reply.

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Brookhaven National Lab. in New York, sponsored by the USDOE Office of Energy Research, has pubilshed a study on the potential commercial uses of Depleted Uranium. The study, titled FEASIBILITY STUDY OF DUPOLY TO RECYCLE DEPLETED URANIUM states that “depleted uranium (DU) powder micro encapsulated in alow-density polyethylene binder, has been demonstrated as an innovative and efficient recycle product, a very durable high density material with significant commercial appeal. Creators/ Authors Adams,J.W.; Lageraan,P.R.;Kalb,P.D.; Rutenkrogeer,S.P. Publication Date 1998 Feb
Contact KALB,P. ; [email protected] ; Brookhaven National Lab.;631-344-76

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Peace Activists Arrested at Air Base

On October 15, Ellen Barfield and Brian Barrett were arrested during a ‘sit in’at the Air National Guard Base in Essex Maryland. This was the same base that The Plowshares Vs. Depleted Uranium did their action 2 years ago. At that time they disarmed two of the A-10s, which fire depleted uranium ammunition, were used in the Persian Gulf and Yugoslavia. Brian and Ellen staged a simple sit in supported by about 10 friends many from the Baltimore Emergency Response Network (BERN) - the group that determined to engage in this witness for peace. BERN called for a demonstration against the Maryland National Guard because of its involvement in the war.

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Did you know...

DU is used in the production of nuclear weapons. LAESI 3 (Local Authority and Emergency Services Information) On page one there is a footnote that says, “Tritium, Uranium (both highly enriched and depleted) and Plutonium are used in the production of Nuclear Weapons and a are generically termed Special Nuclear Materials”

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Discounted Casualties: NEW DU BOOK

This book is the untold story of those on both sides who encountered depleted uranium in the Gulf War and in the Balkans. Please read it, pass it around, and work to prevent the contamination of another country.

To order or for more information:
***CADU has a limited number of books for sale for £10.50 UK and £12.50 worldwide including p&p

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Trains and Boats and Planes

This is an appeal for advice & info! I have noticed that timetables for trains used to say that they were carrying either ‘nuclear waste’ or ‘uranium hexafluoride’ (UF6). Now they just say ‘nuclear flasks.’ There was a French study showing that the flasks that contain UF6 could only withstand a fire for three minutes. Does anyone know if UF6 is no longer transported by rail? If you have any ideas please let me know.

This maybe something that is illegal to discuss in the future if the Anti-Terrorism Bill is passed. It contains clauses about discussing the routes that nuclear waste such as UF6 Uranuim hexafluoride. This will be illegal because of fears that terrorists will bomb the trains. I don’t want to belittle the terrorist threat: it is something that anti-nuclear campaigners have been trying to point out to the nuclear industry for years. DU has been used as ballast in planes. We already know of one former aerospace worker who has tested ‘DU positive’ and has similar symptoms to Gulf War veterans. What is going to happen to other former aerospace workers who have come into contact with it?

In 1999 CADU had an unconfirmed report of DU being used in ballast in big cruise ships built in Finland. If this is true then former ship builders could also be at risk. Studies have shown that DU has ended up in scrap recycling yards (You can download a copy of ‘Radioactive Scrap Metals,’ from [email protected]) Does anyone know how or where planes and ships are recycled? As DU ages it gets a higher gamma dose on the surface. What does this mean for the metals recycling industry?

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First Bite at the Cherry?

Readers will be aware that DU is dangerous when you ingest it or breathe it in. This is because it is an alpha radiation emitter (1). There is a great deal of uncertainty about the effects of alpha radiation: these are difficult to predict or estimate. Their effects on humans are currently estimated by applying a weighting factor (some say fudge factor) to the effects seen from external gamma or beta radiation. CADU and other groups and individuals have been lobbying for the uncertainties associated with the risks from internally deposited DU properly recognised by governments and the scientific community.

The adverse effects and risk rates of internal emitters are big scientific issues for DU campaigns. To find out more about the science behind why DU is harmful if ingested or inhaled, visit CADU’s web site ( or the Low Level Radiation Campaign’s web site ( You now have an opportunity to follow the debate on this issue. There is a new UK government Consultative Exercise on Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters or CERRIE (pronounced Cherry). The hard work over many years of the annual Low Level Radiation Conferences and more recent pressure by Dr Chris Busby and Richard Bramhall from the Low Level Radiation Campaign must be credited for its establishment. Internal emitters, including DU, are the subject nature of this Consultative Exercise. CERRIE will shortly be canvassing for views from the public.

ACTION Get on the emailing list to be alerted when the CERRIE website is up and running, and when its advertisement for views appears. Send an E-Mail to: [email protected] with the subject ‘subscribe CERRIE’, and we shall forward it on. 1) Alpha radiation particles travel very short distances (micrometers) which means they are relatively harmless outside the body as they do not penetrate intact skin. But if they are inhaled or ingested, they may be transported close to sensitive sites such as DNA in the cell nucleus. This could result in rates of genetic mutations and cancer higher than those predicted by official risk models.

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Peace Bureau awards prize to Dr Rosalie Bertell

The International Peace Bureau has awarded the annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Dr Rosalie Bertell. As CADU supporters will be aware, Dr Bertell has done invaluable scientific research on DU and its effects. The International Peace Bureau regards the threats to public health from nuclear and other military systems as of the highest significance. “We are honouring Dr Bertell for her lifelong engagement to the cause of peace and for her deep concern for the well-being of peoples all over the planet. Hers is an outstanding contribution to human welfare and environmental awareness”, said Colin Archer, IPB Secretary-General. Dr Bertell has worked with and for the people of Bhopal, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Marshall Islands, to name just a few, as well as working on the issue of DU.

Her many decades of path-breaking work in scientific research and public education have been an inspiration to peace workers across the continents. She is President and founder of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH), a Canada-based non-profit organization created to institutionalize her growing concern for human survival. She is also Editor in Chief of International Perspectives in Public Health, a journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research on pollution and public health. Dr. Bertell is the author of NO IMMEDIATE DANGER? Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth (1985); CHERNOBYL; The Environmental, Health and Human Rights Implications (1996); and PLANET EARTH: The Latest Weapon of War (September 2000).

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New DU Documentary

I have just completed a documentary dealing with depleted Uranium weapons. The video places the weapons in the context of the memory of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, above-ground testing in Nevada, and the movement towards a kind of virtual warfare utilizing high-tech weaponry and detached video imagery. Please check out the website at Let anyone know who may be interested in the subject to also visit the site. The doc contains interviews with the following people:
Dr. Rosalie Bertell
Dr. Doug Rokke
James Der Derian
Dan Fahey
Dr. Melissa McDiarmid
Carole Gallagher

Please help me to disseminate this information and get the video into the hands of people who can help make a difference.
Thank you,
Jawad Metni
Pinhole Pictures
email [email protected]

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A Chance for Justice for UK Vets at last?

Dr Chris Busby of Low Level Radiation Campaign, Shaun Rusling, Head of UK Gulf War Veterans body, Dr Malcolm Hooper, Gordon Pattison (Chief Scientific Adviser to the Red Cross) and Dr Peter van Calsterin expert on Mass Spectrometry at the Open University are on an independent panel to oversee the Ministry of Defence’s DU screening programme. The title of the Committee is the Ministry of Defence Oversight Committee – details can be found at

These veteran representatives and scientists should have real input into the scientific procedures used to test Gulf War Veterans. They have already managed to move the debate away from just urine testing and into chromosome testing (See Prague Article)
Dr Busby, ebullient as ever called the fact that such individuals are on the committee a, ‘victory for the unwashed,’ It is a real opportunity for Gulf War Veterans to get tested properly for DU.

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DU In Congress

US Rep to Congress, Cynthia McKinney has introduced a bill to Congress which would suspend the military use & export of DU until a study has been undertaken, and a certificate granted from the Secretary of the HHS to prove it will not harm civilians or US military personnel. (reported in Nukewatch Pathfinder

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Page last updated: 6th December 2002