Thursday, 22 May 2008

Depleted Uranium Shells Used by U.S. Military Worse Than Nuclear Weapons

The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the U.S. military may lead to a death toll far higher than that from the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of World War II.

DU is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density, it is used in armor- or tank-piercing ammunition. It has been fired by the U.S. and British militaries in the two Iraq wars and in Afghanistan, as well as by NATO forces in Kosovo and the Israeli military in Lebanon and Palestine.

Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that 50 tons of DU dust from the first Gulf War could lead to 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. To date, a total of 2,000 tons have been generated in the Middle East.

In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991," said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. "The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive."

Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all practical purposes, be radioactive forever.
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m44229&hd=&size=1&l=e

The use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is an absolute disgrace. D.U. weapons need to be banned immediately and those individuals who have authorised the use of these weapons need to be held accountable.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 22nd, 2008.]

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