Use of depleted uranium (DU) in conventional weapons

In september postte ik een deel van een niet gepubliceerd hoofdstuk voor een boek over uraniumwapens dat in het najaar van 2009 had moeten verschijnen. De rest van dat hoofdstuk ‘Use of depleted uranium (DU) in conventional weapons’ post ik hier. Merk op dat deze tekst niet volledig is. Zo ontbreken bijvoorbeeld de gegevens over Fallujah. Ooit zal ik een update van deze tekst maken en de ontbrekende gegevens er in verwerken, voor zover dat mogelijk is. Wapensystemen van DU worden routinematig gebruikt door de NAVO-landen.

Use of depleted uranium (DU) in conventional weapons
Henk van der Keur, Laka Foundation, Amsterdam

Depleted uranium metal is used in a wide range of industrial applications for decades. This chapter mainly focuses on the use of depleted uranium metal in conventional weapons and the consequences. It discusses the origin of depleted uranium (DU), its properties, the new DU waste management, the worldwide use in conventional weapons, testing and training with DU weapons, the use in wars, and the impact on environment and human health.

Since most nuclear power plants use enriched uranium as nuclear fuel, natural uranium obtained from uranium ore has to be enriched. This process is taking place in a uranium enrichment plant, such as the facility of Urenco in Gronau, Germany. For the enrichment process, natural uranium is needed in the chemical form uranium hexafluoride (UF6). This is obtained from the uranium ore concentrate (“yellow cake”) by refining and conversion.[1] The heated natural uranium hexafluoride is passing through the enrichment plant. UF6 or “hex” is a crystalline solid, but at a temperature of 56.4°C, it sublimates (becomes a gas). Enriched uranium hexafluoride, the main product, is chemically converted to pure uranium dioxide powder which is then pressed into pellets, processed and assembled to nuclear fuel elements. Depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) is a by-product of this uranium enrichment process. More than 90 percent of the DU produced to date – more than 1 million metric tonnes – is stored as DUF6, in steel cylinders in open air yards close to enrichment plants. In a re-conversion process, DUF6 can be converted to a uranium oxide or uranium metal.[2]

The term ‘depleted’ refers to the lower grade of the fissionable isotope uranium-235 (U-235) in proportion to natural uranium. For use in commercial light water reactors, the most prevalent nuclear power reactors in the world, uranium is enriched to 3 to 5 percent U-235. Low-enriched uranium (LEU) used in research reactors is enriched 12 to 19.75 percent U-235. Depleted uranium contains usually 0.2 to 0.4 percent U-235. Because natural uranium begins with such a low percentage of U-235 (0.7%), the enrichment process produces large quantities of DU. For example, producing 1 kg of 5% enriched uranium requires 11.8 kg of natural uranium, and leaves about 10.8 kg of DU with only 0.3% U-235 remaining.[3] About 180 kg of DU result from the production of 1 kg of high-enriched uranium (HEU) with 93.5 percent U-235 for the manufacture of a uranium-based nuclear weapon.[4] As a result the five nuclear weapons states have at one’s disposal the largest stockpiles of DU.[5]

source material or waste?
The U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954 defines depleted uranium as a “source material,” and thus not a waste, because it has a trace of fissionable U-235.[6] When the price of natural uranium is rising, it could be economically viable to use stocks of DUF6 for re-enrichment. However, if DU is treated as a waste it would fall under the definition of low-level radioactive waste. In that case DU has to be stored in a licensed low-level waste disposal site.[7] This inconclusive policy also applies in Europe and Russia and explains the inadequate storage of DUF6 in extended cylinder storage yards at uranium enrichment facilities. In Germany every year 2.800 tons (2520 metric tonnes) of DU are generated. Because it is not classified as radioactive waste but considered as a resource for further enrichment, DUF6 cylinders – including those from enrichment plants in the Netherlands, France and the UK – are sent to ROSATOM in Russia since 1996.[8] In October 1997, the German government stated that “re-enrichment of Urenco’s tails in Russia is not connected to a management of residues violating international rules, standards, or obligations”, though the secondary tails remain in Russia and their avoided disposal costs appears to be Urenco’s main purpose for the re-enrichment deal.[9] In a report by the German/French-TV-station ARTE (Alptraum Atommüll, 13 October 2009) Urenco confirmed that the UF6-transport from Gronau to Russia on 26 August 2009 was the last DUF6 transport.

Urged by the increasing maintenance problems of its DUF6 cylinder yards, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has searched for large-scale industrial use of DU and exploring alternative management and disposal of its DUF6 stockpiles. The Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies (April 1999) stated: “DOE’s preferred alternative is to begin conversion of the UF6 inventory as soon as possible, either to uranium oxide, uranium metal, or a combination of both, while allowing for use of as much of this inventory as possible. Conversion to oxide for use or long-term storage would begin as soon as practicable, with conversion to metal occurring only if uses are identified. The preferred alternative would allow beneficial use of the material with regard to environmental, economic, technical, and other factors.” […] “Large-scale uses for the depleted uranium products are under development. These uses include radiation-shielding applications, in which uranium oxide is used as a substitute for the aggregate in concrete. Concrete made with depleted uranium would be a more effective shielding material than conventional concrete and would provide the same level of radiation shielding with less thickness than conventional concrete. Among other uses, this concrete could be fabricated into casks for storage of spent nuclear fuel or high-level waste.”[9] Currently, the preparations for the commercial production of DU concrete (DUcreteTM) are in full swing.[10] A 1995 report mentions the potential hazards during the production process, which are similar to the manufacture of other DU products, such as DU munitions: “A manufacturing site for DUcrete production would have to handle the oxide source material. [UO2 instead of SiO2 in concrete, HvdK]  The primary health and safety concerns arise from internal radiation exposure due to inhalation of airborne oxides or from the chemical toxicity of the uranium as a heavy metal due to ingestion. Therefore, a concrete factory producing DUcrete would need to be fully enclosed and equipped with air filtering, pressure control, radiation detection, etc. Disposal of DUcrete after container use would present additional waste management issues, although this issue may be mitigated in case of deep geological disposal of spent fuel. […] Breaking up large DUcrete structures would entail airborne particulate hazards similar to those produced during manufacture.”[11]

So far there have not been found large-scale applications for DU metal. Today, there is international consensus that for storage it should be converted to an oxide (U3O8). U.S. DOE manages 700,000 metric tons of DUF6 at the gaseous diffusion plants located near Paducah, Kentucky. and Portsmouth, Ohio. The conversion process will produce approximately 551,000 metric tonnes of DU oxide, which is a more stable form than DUF6.[12] In 2006 DOE  completed the relocation of about 6,000 cylinders containing DUF6 from the former Oak Ridge K-25 enrichment plant to Ohio. A company called Uranium Disposition Services will convert the DUF6 from Oak Ridge and other sites to an oxide form for safer long-term storage or disposal.[13]

U.S. NRC classified DU oxide waste as low-level waste Class A
Though the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the federal nuclear watchdog, has termed depleted uranium in case of disposal purposes as low-level waste, it has not specified a subcategory. U.S. low-level waste is, depending on de properties, including radioactivity, divided into six classes of waste.[14] In practice it appeared that the NRC has opted for “Class A” classification concerning DU in the form of uranium oxides. Class A is considered as the least hazardous type of radioactive material. In 2005, the company Envirocare of Utah, that operates a Class A dump licensed by the State of Utah, is cited in the NRC’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as a disposal option for the DU generated by the planned uranium enrichment facility of Louisiana Enrichment Service (LES) in Louisiana (which was never built). And “Class A” was named again during the license proceedings for the National Enrichment Facility, which is being built in New Mexico.[15,16] Meanwhile Envirocare, now EnergySolutions (mind the company names who take care of chemotoxic and radioactive waste, HvdK), was waiting for a formal decision from the NRC. The EnergySolutions disposal site in Tooele County, Utah, about 110 km west of Salt Lake City,  has buried 49,000 tons of DU waste from past cleanups nationwide and has contracts for dumping more DU oxide waste. EnergySolutions is one of the world’s largest processors of low level waste (LLW), and is the largest nuclear waste company in the United States. The company arose from the merger of four waste disposal companies: Envirocare, Scientech D&D, BNG America, and Duratek and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, although it has operations in 40 states. The company took over several Magnox atomic plants from British Nuclear Fuels plc in United Kingdom in June 2007.[17]  Besides the facility in Utah, EnergySolutions owns and operates another licensed landfill to dispose of radioactive waste in Barnwell County, South Carolina. The last facility has buried among others DU contaminated armored vehicles. In 1988, two fire-damaged M60A3 tanks were shipped from Europe to the U.S., where they were buried intact at the radioactive waste site in Barnwell. In 1992, contaminated vehicles from the 1991 Gulf War and U.S. Army materials that remained after the Camp Doha Fire, Kuwait, July 1991, at which U.S. tanks and munitions with DU were burnt.[18]

In March 2009, the NRC formally chose for the option to classify DU oxide waste as Class A, although it acknowledged that disposal of large amounts of the waste in shallow burial sites like the Tooele landfill might be unsafe in the long run without additional precautions. NRC is currently in the process of developing new rules for how large quantities of the waste should be disposed of. The NRC’s review of the question is expected to take years. The NRC staff told the board that EnergySolutions is conducting itself within the law in disposing of the material under current regulations. The decision of the NRC has cleared the way for DU shipments to the disposal facility of EnergySolutions. In October 2009, EnergySolutions is expecting the first shipment of DU waste from Savannah River, a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina, at the company’s facility in Tooele County. The waste will be transferred in 208-liter drums. About 15,000 of the drums has to be arrived by early 2011. The waste is part of an estimated 46,000 metric tons of the material the company could to handle from several DOE sites over the next five years. EnergySolutions could also win contracts to dispose of material from DOE sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio.[15,19]

American scientists from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), an independent nuclear watchdog, and NGOs such as Public Citizen and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) have strongly opposed (during the process) to the decision of the NRC to classify DU oxides as Class A. They believe that its proper classification would be “Greater Than Class C” waste, which would preclude EnergySolutions as a disposal option.[20] Also some politicians criticized the decision. Chairman of the House Environment and Energy Subcommittee Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and subcommittee member Jim Matheson (D-Utah) told the NRC in a letter: “The arbitrary and capricious mischaracterization of depleted uranium as Class A waste will undermine public confidence in the waste classification system, may increase risks to public health and safety and raises the possibility that additional, uncharacterized and possibly even more dangerous materials could be similarly treated in the future.” One of the four NRC decision-makers, commissioner Gregory Jaczko cast the dissenting vote, saying DU is low-level waste but not Class A. “I do not believe that it is logical to argue that waste that requires additional requirements for disposal – similar to those required for Class C waste – can still be labeled as Class A waste,” Jaczko said. Class C waste is hazardous for up to 500 years, whereas Class A waste is hazardous for up to 100 years. DU has the unique property that it remains radioactive for billions of years and its radioactive doses increase over time rather than decrease. DU peaks in hazard after a million years. EnergySolutions insists the waste at its site won’t exceed the hazard levels set by the state for 35,000 years.[19,21]

DUF6 management Urenco
The Urenco facilities in Almelo and Gronau send DUF6, which is not considered suitable for ‘re-enrichment’, to the re-conversion facility of AREVA in Pierrelatte, France, for conversion to uranium oxide. In the Netherlands the uranium oxide returns to the national storage facility for radioactive materials (COVRA) in Vlissingen. In July 2008, COVRA opened two additional storage halls for storing Urenco’s DU. The first hall, opened in 2004, is now almost at full capacity. The DU oxide is shipped to Vlissingen in steel containers each of which holds 10 metric tonnes of U3O8. A quarter magazine of Urenco talks about “[..] reliable storage of the oxide for a further 100 to 150 years. Many years in the future, a decision will be made by COVRA as to whether the material can be reused or needs to be put into final storage.” In November 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Environment (VROM), in an answer to a parliamentary question, disclosed that approximately an annual amount of 3700 metric tonnes, that is almost half of the DU generated at Urenco’s Almelo enrichment plant, is sent to the COVRA. The other half is dumped in Russia. In contrast with Urenco Almelo, the German Urenco facility in Gronau is disposing its uranium oxide in storage buildings – interim storage – at the facility. In 1999, Urenco Gronau filed an application for the construction of two storage buildings for its DU oxide waste. The buildings are to be designed for a capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes of uranium oxide.[22]

Greenpeace Russia has made a calculation of the costs for complete defluorization and burial of received DU oxide of Russia’s domestic DUF6 stocks and the imported DUF6 cylinders from Europe. They estimate that utilization of 1 million tons of DUF6 which Russia will accumulate by 2030 will cost US$ 5.7 billion. The launch of the conversion process “is scheduled to take place in 5 years which, under conditions of lack of financial guarantees and other conditions, makes the issue of depleted uranium hexafluoride [..] quite burning.”[23]

properties of depleted uranium metal
DU, in pure form, is a lustrous, silvery-white metal that is malleable, ductile, and softer than steel. DU alloy is extremely hard. DU is a very dense metal (19.0 g/cm3), 1.7 times more dense than lead. Just like all heavy metals uranium is chemically toxic. Uranium is not considered a chemical carcinogen. Recent studies, however, indicate that the toxicity of DU is comparable with nickel, which is recognized as a chemical carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the WHO, in Lyon.[24] (See Health section)

All forms of uranium are radioactive. Natural uranium and depleted uranium contain three isotopes, namely uranium-238 (U-238), uranium-235 (U-235), and uranium-234 (U-234). However, if the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) contained uranium recycled from spent fuel, then the DU metal may be contaminated with traces of the artificial uranium isotopes uranium-236 and uranium-237, and radioisotopes such as neptunium-237 and plutonium-239. The radiological properties of DU are dominated by U-238 and the next two decay products of U-238, thorium-234 (Th-234) and protactinium-234 (Pa-234m). During the chemical conversion of DUF6 into DU metal the U-238 decay chain is broken and is broken again during the melting and processing of the metal into a DU metal product, for instance a tank round. Within a few months, the activity of thorium and protactinium grows and thereby by the total activity of DU. Depending on the grade of depleted the specific activity of DU (the radioactivity per unit weight) may vary from about 360 nanocuries/gram to about 450 nanocuries/gram. Note that DU is far more radioactive than uranium ore because the ore is mixed with large quantities of non-radioactive materials (except for the rare very rich ore mines in Canada).[25] Though the radiological properties of DU are often compared to natural uranium, one has to keep in mind that there aren’t any analogue compounds of DU oxides found in nature.[26]

U-238 emits alpha particles and some gamma rays. Its decay progeny Th-234 and Pa-234 each emit beta particles and gamma rays. An alpha particle is a fast helium ion, a beta particle is a high-speed electron and a gamma ray is like an X-ray. The radiation from these decay products should be added when assessing the dangers of DU. Leonard Dietz, a former scientific researcher at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, New York, addressed in 1996 the extremely penetrating capacity of the protactinium beta-particles in body tissue: “[..] each one of these beta particles can traverse more than 500 body cells.”[27] The Royal Society (2001) recognized that the beta radiations from the decay products may constitute as much as 40 percent of the absorbed dose.[28] This additional risk is, however, not taken into account by the worldwide used biokinetic model for DU of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Individuals involved in handling or processing DU generally wear heavy gloves to protect against the high-energy beta particle from protactinium-234m, which is remarkably only considered as a concern for skin exposure.

behavior DU oxides dust particles in the body and the risks
DU metal is a pyrophoric substance when it is finely divided, which means it spontaneously oxidizes in air into different forms of uranium oxides. DU metal is reactive, it burns at relative low temperatures. When a DU anti-tank shell hits an armored target, fine particles of uranium oxide dust are generated and dispersed at least tens of meters around the target. Since the 1991 Gulf War, in which DU weapons were used for the first time, the commonly accepted version on the potential hazardous properties of these DU oxide dust particles due to internal exposure is like this: when a person is exposed to DU oxide particles, these particles can enter the human body by ingestion and inhalation. The soluble particles can be a chemical hazard when they are ingested, the insoluble particles can be a radiological hazard for the lungs when they are inhaled. The major health concern is kidney damage caused by the chemical toxicity of soluble DU oxide particles. Only a small fraction of ingested soluble particles is absorbed into the blood from the intestines. The vast majority of the ingested soluble particles is eliminated rapidly through the intestines. These exposures generally are not significant in association with industrial emissions or environmental exposures. A second concern is when insoluble DU oxide dust particles are inhaled. They are generally deposited in the lungs and can remain there for a period of time, slowly absorbing into the blood and then being excreted in urine. The main concern of these insoluble compounds is increased cancer risk from the internal exposure to radioactivity. Ingested insoluble compounds are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and so generally have low toxicity.

In the past ten years, however, scientific investigations have shown that such version has become an untenable proposition. The U.S. Institute of Medicines notes: “Aerosol byproducts of DU munitions would primarily be the insoluble oxides uranium trioxide (UO3), triuranium octaoxide (U3O8), and uranium dioxide (UO2).”[29] (IOM 2000) These sparingly soluble compounds are chemotoxic as well as radiotoxic. Though it is generally accepted that DU oxides are particularly chemically toxic, more and more recent studies suggest that also the (neglected) radiological component of DU oxides has a role in DU oxides poisoning, for example in the development of tumors and cancer cells. (See Health paragraph)

applications of depleted uranium metal
Uranium is one of the heaviest occurring elements on earth. Civilian and military applications of DU are essentially related to its high density. In the civilian sector DU is mainly used as counterweights or balance weights in for instance rudders and flaps in commercial aircraft, in forklifts, in helicopter blades and the keels of sailing yachts. It is also used in substitution for lead in radiation shielding against X-rays or gamma rays (hospitals) and neutrons (spent fuel casks). DU was also used as a fluorescent additive in dental porcelain crowns (now discontinued). Though still marginal compared to the huge stockpiles, most of the DU is used for military purposes: in anti-tank shells and in tank armor. In the 1950’s, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) became interested in using DU metal in weapons because of its physical properties and availability. Besides extremely dense, DU is pyrophoric and cheap.[30] Besides non-nuclear applications, DU is also used in the nuclear sector. In fast breeder reactors (a reactor with a core of fissionable plutonium (Pu-239), surrounded by a layer of DU (U-238). It is used in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for light-water reactors, and it is used to dilute highly-enriched uranium from dismantled nuclear weapons in its conversion to reactor fuel.

DU can be also used in a hydrogen bomb. An H-bomb is a three-stage weapon: fission, fusion, and then fission again. The first stage is called the ‘trigger’, which is a small plutonium bomb. The explosion in the second stage is due to nuclear fusion in the central column. Heavy isotopes of hydrogen,  deuterium and tritium, are involved in this fusion reaction, which become available when neutrons from the explosion in the primary stage bombard a solid material called ‘lithium deuteride’ located in the central column. DU plays a role in powerful third stage. Extremely fast neutrons released by the fusion reaction are so powerful that they can split the atoms of U-238  (DU), which is impossible at normal energy levels. This third stage more than doubles the power of the explosion, and produces most of the radioactive fallout.[31]

[..] het tussenstuk dat hier thuishoort heb ik eerder hier gepost op dit weblog   [..]

Depleted uranium munitions used in wars

Gulf War (1991)
During the 1991 Gulf War 320 tons (291 metric tonnes) of DU was used by the U.S. and U.K. military. Most of the DU was used in the tank battles in the southern provinces, including the Greater Basra District, near the border with Kuwait. Around 95 percent of the total amount of DU was fired by the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The remaining part was fired by the US main battle tanks M60, M1 and M1A1 and the UK Challenger tank. In addition medium caliber DU antitank shells were fired by the fighting vehicles M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and the Light Armor Vehicles (LAV-25).[83]

Because of friendly fires or other accidents 29 vehicles were contaminated with DU. The first tank was shipped back to the Defense Consolidation Facility in Snelling, South Carolina, a low-level waste decontamination facility of the U.S. Army, close to the facility of EnergySolutions in Barnwell. Of the remaining 28 contaminated vehicles, 6 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were decontaminated and buried in Saudi Arabia. 13 Abrams tanks and 9 Bradley Fighting Vehicles-were sent back after the war to the Defense Consolidation Facility for decontamination. Despite extensive decontamination efforts, 6 vehicles had to be buried in a low level radioactive waste dump at Barnwell, South Carolina.[84]

More than 14,000 120 mm DU rounds were used during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. As many as 7,000 of these rounds may have been fired in practice, during the training in the sands of Saudi Arabia. Approximately 4,000 rounds were reportedly fired in combat. The remaining 3,000 rounds are losses that include a substantial loss in a fire at Doha, Kuwait.[85]

In Kuwait DU has been found at the sites of tank battles and storage areas with contaminated armored vehicles at military bases [86] Between February 2003 and June 2004 the US DoD contracted the US-based MKM Engineers (US$3.5m.) to retrieve DU remnants from the Udairi training range in northern Kuwait. The company recovered 22 tons of DU fragments. Unexploded DU ordnance was destroyed with Kuwaiti assistance. MKM also cleaned military equipment, including tanks, and wrapped them to contain surface contamination before sending them back to the U.S..[87,88] In 2007, (a company with yet another Orwellian name, HvdK) U.S. Ecology Idaho, Inc., a subsidiary of American Ecology Corporation, had been subcontracted to import and dispose 6,700 tons of DU contaminated soil from Kuwait. MKM Engineers segregate, characterize and repackage the DU contaminated soil for secured disposal in the U.S.. The contaminated soil is the result of a major fire which occurred at the U.S. Army Camp Doha base in July 1991. The residue of the burnt DU containing equipment and ordnance seeped into the soil. After excavating the soil, the waste material was segregated and sifted to remove any remaining DU penetrator fragments, shrapnel and other large DU contaminated debris. Soil with high levels of radioactive concentration were removed from the subject waste material. In May 2008, the waste material was sent for disposal to the US Ecology Idaho Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility in Idaho.[89] Nearly 80 rail cars loaded with contaminated sand from Kuwait are headed toward the dump in southwestern Idaho, 110 km southeast of Boise. The company has previously disposed of low-level radioactive waste and hazardous materials from U.S. military bases overseas at facilities in Idaho, Nevada and Texas. About a third of the material disposed at the Idaho site is from the U.S. military. The company disposed of uranium-contaminated Bradley fighting vehicles there in 2006.[90]

Bosnia-Herzegovina (1994/95)
In Bosnia almost 9 metric tonnes of DU was fired by US A-10 planes. Most of it was fired in the surroundings of Sarajevo.[91]

In October 2002 a UNEP team launched its first probe in Bosnia-Herzegovina into the effects of DU on the environment, seven years after NATO bombed Bosnian Serb forces to halt their siege of Sarajevo. The 17-member international team is to complete the study, estimated to cost US$300,000, by March 2003. The funds are provided by Switzerland and Italy.[92] The teams has investigated 15 sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina targeted with weapons containing DU  during the mid-1990s. The survey 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.[93] In March 2003, UNEP presented their report and confirms for the first time that DU from weapons used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994 and 1995 has contaminated local supplies of drinking water at one site, and can still be found in dust particles suspended in the air. UNEP calls for precaution but assured the public that “the recorded contamination levels are very low and do not present immediate radioactive or toxic risks for the environment or human health […].” At the site of the Hadzici tank repair facility, which had been hit by 1500 DU rounds in September 1995, traces of DU were found in water from two wells. At two sites, the Hadzici tank repair facility (see above), and the Han Pijesak Artillery Storage and Barracks (hit by 2400 DU rounds in Sept. 1995), DU was detected in air samples.[94] In 2006, a publication in the Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences mentions elevated chromosome aberrations among 26 employees of the Hadzici tank repair facility.[95]

Kosovo/ Serbia/Montenegro (1999)
During the Kosovo War US A-10s fired 8.4 ton of DU, especially in the southern part of Kosovo.[96]

In January 2001, NATO released the locations of DU use in Kosovo.[97] In March 2001, the European Commission received the opinion of the group of scientific experts, established according to Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty, on the possible radiological health effects of DU. On the basis of the information available to date, the experts have concluded that radiological exposure to DU could not result in a detectable effect on human health. An Italian panel reached the same conclusion as the experts who worked for the European Commission: there is no proven link between DU and cancer in soldiers. The Italian panel, however, recommended the continued monitoring of soldiers’ health. The incidence of cancers among Italian soldiers who served in Bosnia and Kosovo was lower than the normal incidence of such tumors in the overall population. However, the rate of Hodgkin’s disease was higher than expected – nine instead of four cases – as well as that of acute lymphatic leukemia – two instead of the expected incidence of one. But those findings were not statistically significant.[98] In the same month UNEP releases its final report on DU in Kosovo. The UN organization reported that no widespread ground contamination was found in the investigated areas. However, concerns are raised about the risk of future DU contamination of groundwater and drinking water.[99]

Besides Kosovo, also areas in Serbia and Montenegro were hit by DU penetrators. in June 2001, Pekka Haavisto, chairman of the UNEP mission to Kosovo, reported during an expert meeting that cleaning of the DU impact site at Cape Arza on the Lustica peninsula in Montenegro is underway. During deep cleaning of the soil down to 90 cm, 77 penetrators have been recovered, so far. The government of Montenegro has allocated around 330,000 Swiss Francs (US$ 200,000) for this purpose.[100] At the end of May 1999, NATO aircraft targeted Cape Arza on Lustica Peninsula in Montenegro. They fired 480 rounds, most of them containing DU. A systematic survey and decontamination of Cape Arza was carried out in 2001 and 2002. An area of 45,000 m2 was surveyed, and DU contamination was found on 18,000 m2, with 486 contamination points. In total, 242 whole DU penetrators and 49 fragments (75 kg of DU) were found and disposed of safely. Approximately 7 tons of contaminated material (aluminum jackets, soil, pieces of rocks, dead leaves and needles) were also removed.[101]

After their work in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, UNEP  start investigating DU sites in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia by the end of October 2001.[102] At the end of March 2002 UNEP released their findings.[103] At several locations DU penetrators or remnants were found. In September 2003, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Andjelka Mihajlov said that the remnants of more than 200 DU bullets have been found in an area near Presevo in southern Serbia., about 280 km southeast of Belgrade.  The government commissioned a team of experts to clean the site and three other sites. A month later Mihajlov said that results of the environmental radioactivity measurements in 2002 show that a risk of increased radioactivity was registered only in southern Serbia, in Bratoselce, Pljackovica, Borovac and Reljan, where the largest number of DU munitions were fired during the NATO bombing.[104] The clean-up of some 5,000 square meters of land in the village of Bratoselce near Bujanovac was finished in November  2003. The inspection team performing the task discovered around 100 kg of DU in the soil and stored some 2.5 tons of contaminated earth in the Vinca institute’s facilities. The Serbian government funded the project with 15 million dinars (US$ 260,000).[105] In Bovorac, 280 kilometers south of Belgrade and hit by 44 DU rounds, the clean-up had been completed in December 2006. The Serbian Environment Ministry said that 3,468 m3 of contaminated soil were removed from the Borovac site.[106] The cleanup operation in Reljan near Presevo in southern Serbia began in October 2006. A total of 161 DU rounds had been recovered adding that 6.5 out of 12 hectares of contaminated grounds had been searched and cleared. A total of 2.4 cubic meters of contaminated soil had also been collected and removed. The Serbian government has funded the cleanup operation with € 350,000 (some US$ 450,000).[107] In April 2008, a Serbian minister said that Serbia had been cleared of DU left from NATO anti-tank shells.[108]

Iraq (2003)
DU was also used during the 2003 Iraq war. The US and UK military used 77 ton of DU. In contrast with the 1991 Gulf War most of the DU was mainly fired in urban areas.[109]

A manual of the German Army (Bundeswehr), handed over to German campaigners, challenges US and UK denials over DU use in Afghanistan. If true, it runs counter to repeated assurances given by the US military that no DU was used. The manual, a war-fighting guide for Bundeswehrcontigents in Afghanistan is marked classified and for official NATO use only. It was written by the Bundeswehr’s Centre for Communication and published in late 2005. Campaigners have long suspected that the US military has not been entirely candid over the issue and papers have emerged showing that DU munitions were transported to Afghanistan. The use of A10 Warthog aircraft – one of the main users of DU ammunition – remains widespread to this day, although the number of armored targets is now much diminished. Estimates by Jane’s Defence in 2003 suggested that the Taliban had at least 100 main battle tanks and 250 armored fighting vehicles at the beginning of the conflict. It would be unusual if the US Army had chosen not to engage these targets with DU munitions from the air. The report said: “During the operation ”Enduring Freedom” in support of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban-Regime, US-aircraft used, amongst others, armour-piercing incendiary munitions with a DU-core.” (ICBUW – 21 July 2009)[110]

Developments since the 1991 Gulf War

After the 1991 Gulf War DU poisoning was and is an important issue for veterans. They succeeded to get attention for their problems in the media. By the end of the 1990s Robert Fisk, a senior journalist of the British Daily The Independent wrote several shocking reports on what is happening in the Greater Basra District, on the high rates of cancers and birth defects. The global media attention started with a media hype about the high rate of cancers among Kosovo veterans in January 2001. In the same year (and partly in 2002) a whole stack of literature studies on uranium contamination and the possible health effects was released, including the reports from the World Health Organization, NATO and the Royal Society.

In May 2002, a commission of researchers, appointed by the Italian Ministry of Defense, started a study on 16 Italian soldiers who developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma after returning from the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Kosovo. They have no explanation for excess incidence of Hodgkin’s lymphoma among Italian Balkans’ soldiers. In July 2002, the commission found no correlation between the tumors observed and DU. In June 2004, An Italian court in Rome awarded €500,000 compensation to a  widow of an Italian soldier, Stefano Melone, who had served in the Balkans. He died in 2001 at the age of 40 from a rare form of cancer.[111] In November 2004, the Italian Senate cleared the way for a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the causes of deaths and severe illnesses among Italian soldiers participating in international missions, and into the possible use of depleted uranium weapons in domestic military practice.

scientific uncertainties and gaps in knowledge
Meanwhile the United Nation’s environmental organization (UNEP) have published several reports on DU contaminations in the Balkans (and later in Iraq). The researchers are concerned on the impact of DU in the long-term for drinking water and food supply in the contaminated areas. During the 2003 Iraq War UNEP urged for sending scientific teams immediately after the war. In a press release UNEP states – on the basis of their surveys in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, and Bosnia Herzegovina – that there remains a number of scientific uncertainties that has to be investigated. For example the extent in which DU oxide is penetrating into the soil and possibly contaminates the groundwater. And the possibility that DU oxide dust can whirl up in the air by the wind or by human activities, including the risk that it can be inhaled. For obvious reasons the mission could not be carried out.[112] After the declarations from the Pentagon suggesting that it wasn’t needed to clear up DU contaminated areas, the Royal Society chairman of the commission on DU Dr. Brian Spratt responded: “Soldiers and civilians are running risks in the short term as well as in the long term. In particular children who are living in the contaminated areas are at risk.”[113]

A publication on increased incidence of chromosomal aberrations in residents of a DU-contaminated site in Southern Serbia was published in the scientific journal Environmental Research in May 2004. The authors analyzed blood samples of residents from three locations in Southern Serbia that were target areas for DU ammunition in 1999: Bujanovac – Vranje, Kosovo – Strpce, and Pljackovica – Przar. A statistically significant increased incidence of rogue cells and chromosomal aberrations was found in the blood of the residents of Vranje and Bujanovac.[114]

Another Journal report dramatic increase of uranium leaching rates from corroding DU penetrators after three years. The authors observed high U-238 concentrations in seepage water and said it   highlight the need for further investigations on the transport of DU through soil, in particular with regard to the potential future DU contamination of groundwater in areas affected by DU weapons.[115]

In October 2003, an international alliance of organization founded the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) in Berlaar, Belgium. Their lobbying activities are especially focused on the United Nations, particular the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2009 they received funds from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct a Basra Epidemiological Study and to perform a study on proliferation of DU weapons. More information can be found on their website.[116]

Health risks of depleted uranium oxides (DUO)

The greatest risk with the use of DU in antitank shells is carried by the dispersion of large amounts of very finely divided dust particles of uranium oxides that are released after impact of these projectiles on a hard target. The dust particles are toxic and radioactive. Via the lungs, the stomach and intestinal tract or open wounds the tiny particles are found in the human body. In arid areas, such as in Iraq, these particles can whirl up by disruption until many years after the hostilities and yet lead to contamination. The contaminated sites in Iraq from the 1991 Gulf War are still a potential risk for the local population and the foreign troops that are stationed there.

An Iraq survey found DU in large amounts in southern Iraq, including in Hilla, the port city of Basra, and Karbala and Najaf. Much of the scrap metal now being taken outside of Iraq for sale may be contaminated with depleted uranium, especially if it was hit by bombs during the war or in earlier conflicts, the environment minister said in October 2004.[117]

In November 2004, IRIN News report: “Iraqi environmental scientists investigating radioactive pollution around Basra are finding alarmingly high levels of radiation left by the use of DU in recent wars. But given the lack of a permanent, elected government in Iraq and poor security, they are finding it difficult to get permission to remove contaminated material amid growing instances of cancer and birth defects in the area. [..] They found children playing near a site with two contaminated Iraqi tanks, which was then fenced off and marked by warning signs. According to local residents, the area was a military target during the 1991 Gulf war and again in 2003, when it came under heavy fire from US aircraft.”

The article reported that 22 DU-polluted tanks were found in an area 5 km away from Basra city, close to the Iranian border, in December 2003. Earlier, DU contaminated tanks were found in  Muthana, Abu al-Kahsib and in Samawa.

Doctors in Basra have registered an increase of incidences of colon cancer and thyroid cancer, in addition to leukemia and lymphomas. IRIN News: <<According to Dr Janan Hassan, an obstetrician at the Basra Maternity and Children’s Hospital, malignancies and leukemia among children under the age of 15 have more than tripled since 1990. Whereas in 1990 young children accounted for only 13 percent of cancer cases, today over 56 percent of all cancer in Iraq occurs among children under the age of five.

“Also, it is notable that the number of babies born with defects is rising astonishingly. In 1990, there were seven cases of babies with multiple congenital anomalies. This has gone up to as high as 224 cases in the past three years,” she said.

Dr Jawad al-Ali, director of the Oncology Centre of Sadr Educational Hospital in Basra, told IRIN that there were a number of cases that led some doctors to assume DU’s adverse effects on human health in Iraq.

“There has been a sharp rise in cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, and in neurological disorders, muscular disease and kidney failure; causes have not been identified but they could be assumed to be caused by the toxicity of DU munitions,” the doctor said.
“There has been a sharp rise in cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, and in neurological disorders, muscular disease and kidney failure; causes have not been identified but they could be assumed to be caused by the toxicity of DU munitions,” the doctor said.>> (full text: see link)
More reports can be found on IRIN News: <>

Al Jazeera reported on 13 October 2009: “In 2008, the number of cancer victims increased sevenfold to 7,000 diagnoses. This year, there have so far been more than 9,000 new cases, and the number is rising.[118]

new insights on DU poisoning
Today we can come to the conclusion that there has been done pioneering research into the health effects of internal contamination with DU oxides (DUO). Besides the lungs, the kidneys and the bones, it has been proved that also the brains is a target organ of DUO. The assumption of a link between uranium and neurological damage takes back to at least the mid 1980s. Relatively recently has been determined that DU can pass the blood-brain barrier and accumulates in the brain. This route has not yet been incorporated in the current biokinetic model of the ICRP. Besides the chemical toxicity also the radiological component of DUO is more and more named as a cause for harmful effect on the central nervous system.[119] It has been proven that DU causes irreversible damage to the hereditary material and by which tumors can be aroused. (see next paragraph)

At the male sex DUO can accumulate in the testicles; at pregnant women DUO can pass the placenta and accumulate in the fetus / embryo. In the first case it has been found that uranium is concentrating in the testicles and that there were be found high levels of DU in the sperm of male Gulf War veterans. The investigation at women has been less made progress. In any case it has been determined that DU can pass the placenta and accumulates in fetal and embryonic tissue. Fetuses and embryos are yet one stage more susceptible for ionizing radiation than children. Though according to available epidemiological data there haven’t been shown any negative influence on the reproduction success of the veterans that have been exposed, researchers of the Royal Society notice that the concentration of DU in the testicles give cause for concern in connection with the possible synergistic effects of DU.[120]

DUO dust particles are often wrongfully compared with the uranium dust that is released at uranium mining or with uranium minerals that are present everywhere on earth by nature. That is tantamount to comparing apples with pears. There aren’t existing any analogue compounds of DUO in nature.[26] The DU oxides that arise are predominantly insoluble substances. This means that the particles that end up in the lungs are staying much longer in the body that the soluble forms of uranium oxides. The part that is left behind in the body and passes the lung-blood barrier after a number of years, finally accumulates for dozens of years in the bones, brains, kidneys and in other body tissues or organs.

Besides the chemotoxic and radiotoxic effects of DU, there is also talk of the so-called “bystander effect”. This effect wasn’t discovered, but uncovered. Looking back in literature one can find early evidences. Until recently the bystander effect didn’t fit in the dogmas of radiation experts, by which it took a long time before the theory was generally accepted. For a long time it was assumed that only the body cells that were irradiated with alpha particles (DU emits alpha radiation) should experience damage from these ionizing radiation. The bystander effect shows that also neighboring non-irradiated cells can yet experience the same kind of damage as the irradiated cells (mutations or gaps in the hereditary material). The mechanism at the bottom of this hasn’t been yet completely revealed.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that inhaling of 10 mg of DU oxides can cause health problems and has to lead automatically to testing. The UK says that 8 mg is hazardous for workers in the nuclear industry and that more than 2 mg is unacceptable for the general public. The World Health Organization (WHO)  considers a daily intake of 0.6 µg per kg body weight acceptable for swallowed uranium (a person of 68 kg has therefore a daily limit of 40 µg).

The toxicity of DU oxides is especially associated with damage to the kidneys. This, however, is based on examine to the effects of soluble forms of DU oxides, while the insoluble forms – such as the dust particles that are discussed here – are in the first place a hazard for the lungs and in the long term also for other tissues or organs.

The British scientist Randall Parrish and his team showed how long these DUO particles remains in the body. Not a year, like was told ten years ago. In 2007 his team did a survey among former workers and the people living in the neighborhood of a former munitions plant at which until 1980 DU anti-tank shells were produced. They found that almost everyone has ‘systemic’ DUO in their bodies.[121]

DU oxides cause damage to the genes, mutations and tumors [122]

The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), a research institute that is directly linked to the Pentagon, has provided under skilful leadership of Dr. Alexandra Miller a substantial contribution in the understanding of the effects of DU on cell level. Her studies have provided proof that DU oxides can cause damage to the DNA, are carcinogenic, and that they accumulate in the lymph nodes and the testicles.

The relative role of the radiobiological and the chemical components of the genetical damage caused by DUO is an important issue, because there is almost exclusively focused on the chemical hazards and that the radiobiological danger can be dealt with as of secondary importance.
In three successive publications in 2002 Miller and her colleagues could provide more clarification on the chemical and radiobiological properties of DUO and how these have a relation with the observed genetical damage. From these studies the image rises that ionizing radiation can play a role at the genetical effects. The team of Miller speculates that DUO can initiate as well as promote tumors. The initiation could be caused by the alpha radiation of uranium-238 (the main component of DU) and the spread of the cancer could be the consequence of chemically induced damage to the DNA.

Children in particular are running high risks in relation to the mutagenic and carcinogenic nature of uranium. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) state that ionizing radiation interferes with a high grade of cell divisions. Tissues like brain, thyroid gland and breast appears to be more susceptible for radiation when they were exposed during normal periods of quick growth (this is in the early childhood or during the puberty).

[01] 1 t of UF6 is equivalent to 0.676 t U.
[02] Depleted Uranium Inventories
[03] The WISE Uranium Project (2006) “Depleted/Enriched Uranium Fraction Calculator,”
[04] Makhijani, Arjun  Ph.D. et al., Uranium Enrichment – Just Plain Facts to Fuel an Informed Debate on Nuclear Proliferation and Nuclear Power, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), 15 October 2004. p.38
[05] The five recognized nuclear weapons states are China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.
[06] U.S. NRC 10 CFR 40.4 Definitions
[07] U.S. NRC Fact Sheet on Depleted Uranium and Other Waste Disposal
[06] The 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, September 2-6, 2007, Bruges (Brugge), Belgium. p.55
[08] Re-enrichment of West European Depleted Uranium Tails in Russia. Report prepared for Ecodefense Russia by Peter Diehl, November 2004.
[09] Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride, U.S. Department of Energy, DOE/EIS-0269, April 1999. Quotation from WISE Uranium Project:
[10] More information on the current developments of DUcreteTM can be found here:
[11] Schwertz, N. et al.; Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride: Waste or Resource? This paper was prepared for submittal to the Global ’95 International Conference on Evaluation of Emerging Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems. Versailles, France. September 11-14, 1995 p.5
[12] Audit Report – Potential Uses for Depleted Uranium Oxide, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General Office of Audit Services. DOE/IG-0810 January 2009
[13] Knoxville News Sentinel Dec. 18, 2006
[14] An extended overview of the US LLW Classifications can be viewed here:
Regulatory Status of Commercial and Military Waste Generated in the US Nuclear Fuel Cycle
[15] The NRC’s September 2-3, 2009, workshop on Depleted Uranium Waste Rulemaking
Arjun Makhijani’s notes – Published on 22 September 2009
[16] Federal Register: June 20, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 117) p. 35461-35462
U.S. NRC, 15 June, 2005
[17] EnergySolutions
[18] Not such conventional weapons
Operation Desert Storm: Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal with Depleted Uranium Contamination. GAO/NSIAD-93-90; General Accounting Office (GAO), (January 1993).
Environmental Exposure Report
[19] Associated Press, 22 September 2009; The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 August 2009
[20] LES’s Flawed Waste Disposal Plan. Public Citizen, 2003
Makhijani PhD., Arjun, and Smith Ph.D., Brice; Costs and Risks of Management and Disposal of Depleted Uranium from the National Enrichment Facility Proposed to be Built in Lea County New Mexico by LES. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, 24 November, 2004. Version for Public Release Redacted 20 March, 2007.
[21] Greenwire, 20 March 2009
Depleted Uranium Activity
[22] Beschikking Urenco Nederland B.V. voor het wijzigen van de verrijkingsfabrieken te Almelo (Verhoging verrijkingscapaciteit en revisie vergunning), Ministerie van VROM, Directoraat-Generaal Milieu Directie Stoffen, Afvalstoffen, Straling Straling, Nucleaire en Bioveiligheid, Den Haag, 15 oktober 2007.
Urenco News Magazine Autumn 2008.
Beantwoording Kamervragen Remi Poppe:
Gronauer Nachrichten, April 30, 1999; Westfälische Nachrichten July 31, 1999.
[23] UF6 reprocessing: is it profitable?
[24] IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 49 – Chromium, Nickel and Welding – Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation. 5 November 1997
[25] Makhijani, Annie; and Makhijani, Arjun; Comments of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research on the Department of Energy Notice of Intent addressing the Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride, 22 March 1996.
Uranium Radiation Properties (WISE Uranium Project)
[26] Baverstock, Keith; Presentation to the Defence Committee of the Belgian House of Representatives: 20 November 2006. p.3
[27] Dietz, Leonard A.; Contamination of Persian Gulf War Veterans and Others by Depleted Uranium, July 19, 1996 (last updated Feb. 21, 1999)
[28] The health hazards of depleted uranium munitions Part I. The Royal Society, 2001.
p.33 (Table 3), p.63
[29] Gulf War and Health: Volume 1. Depleted Uranium, Pyridostigmine Bromide, Sarin, and Vaccines. Institute of Medicine (IOM). The U.S. National Academies Press, 2000. p.98
[30] Fahey, Dan; Depleted Uranium Weapons: Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War. Chapter 2 in: Depleted Uranium A Post-War Disaster For Environment And Health. Laka Foundation, Amsterdam, May 1999. p.10
[31] How To Make an H-Bomb (or Thermonuclear bomb)


[83] Environmental Exposure Report: Depleted Uranium in the Gulf. Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, U.S. Department of Defense; July 31, 1998; Tab F – DU use in the Gulf War
U.K.: < 1 ton
U.K. Ministry of Defence
[84] Operation Desert Storm – Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal With Depleted Uranium Contamination. U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), GAO/NSIAD-93-90, January 1993. p.6
Peterson, S.; “Special Report: Part 2 – Pentagon stance on DU a moving target – Tungsten: One alternative to a risky ‘favorite round’?.” Christian Science Monitor, 30 April 1999.
TAB G — DU Exposures in the Gulf War
[85] Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in the US Army; US Army Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI), June 1995
[86] IAEA, The Radiological Conditions in Areas of Kuwait with Residues of Depleted Uranium. Vienna, 2001, p.22 and pp.30-31
[87] Patel, Purva; “Where others fear to tread; firm cleans up with dirty work,” The Houston Chronicle, 17 August 2004.
[88] Williams, Thomas D., Weapons Dust Worries Iraqis; Provisional Government Seeks Cleanup; U.S. Downplays Risks, Hartford Courant (Connecticut), 1 November 2004
[89] Request for a Classification, Country of Origin and Marking Ruling, HQ H018547, U.S. International Trade Commission Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule. 12 December, 2007
[90] Contaminated sand from Kuwait heads to US. Kuwait Times, 5 May 2008
[91] U.S. Department of Defense confirms Depleted Uranium use in Bosnia 1994/1995, (quoted from WISE Uranium project: “In U.S.-led NATO air strikes against Bosnia in 1994 and 1995, about 10,800 rounds were fired around Sarajevo, Kenneth Bacon, chief spokesman for U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said. (AP Jan 4, 2001). This figure had first been reported by Italian Defence Minister Sergio Mattarella on December 22, 2000. (AFP Dec. 22, 2000). 10,800 rounds at 271 g each contain a total of 2927 kg of depleted uranium.)
[92] UNEP release 14 October 2002; AP 15 October 2002
[93] UNEP release Nov. 11, 2002
[94] UNEP release 25 Mar 2003
Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme, March 2003
Current Issues – Depleted Uranium Weapons in the Balkans
[95] Ibrulj, S et al.; Chromosome aberrations as bioindicators of environmental genotoxicity; Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences.Vol.7, No.4. November 2007. pp.311-316
[96] NATO confirms details of DU ammunition use in Kosovo.
[97] tables:
Kosovo map:
See also UNEP’s overview map of 112 targeted sites:
[98] Opinion of the Group of Experts Established According to Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty – Depleted Uranium, 6 March 2001.
AP, 19 March 2001
[99] Depleted Uranium in Kosovo, Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, UNEP 2001
[100] ZuerichExpress, 5 Jan 2001.
[101] Vukotic, P. et al.; Survey and Decontamination of Cape Arza, Targeted with Depleted Uranium Ammunition, 11th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association,  Madrid, Spain, 23-28 May 2004
[102] Advertiser, 29 October 2001
[103] UNEP release 27 March 2002
Depleted Uranium in Serbia and Montenegro – Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, UNEP, Geneva, March 2002.
[104] Kathimerini, 24 September 2003
Serbian Government 14 October 2003
[105] Serbian Government, 10 November 2003
[106] AP, 13 December 2005
[107] Xinhua, 12 December 2006
[108] AP, 22 April 2008
[109] U.S.: 75 ton (UK MoD)
Remains of toxic bullets litter Iraq
U.K.: 1,9 ton
[110] German Bundeswehr manual challenges US and UK denials over depleted uranium in Afghanistan
Zentrum für Nachrichtenwesen der Bundeswehr: Leitfaden für Bundeswehrkontingente in Afghanistan, Stand: 11/2005, p. 1-11
[111] Reuters, 9 May 2002; Swissinfo, 9 July 2002
Der Standard, La Nazione, 23 June 2004
[112] UNEP Press Release, 6 April 2003
[113] The Guardian, 17 april 2003
[114] Milacic, S. et al.; Examination of the health status of populations from depleted-uranium-contaminated regions; in: Environmental Research 2004, Vol. 95, No. 1 (May), p. 2-10
[115] Schimmack, W. et al.; Long-term corrosion and leaching of depleted uranium (DU) in soil. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, August 2007, Vol. 46 (No. 3), p. 221-227
[116] International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW)
[117] IRAQ: Radioactive material and pollutants widespread. 21 September 2004 (IRIN)
IRAQ: Interview with new environment minister. 29 October 2004 (IRIN)
[118] IRAQ: High levels of radioactive pollution seen in the south. 18 November 2004 (IRIN)
Iraqi cancer figures soar, Al Jazeera English, 13 October 2009
[119] Briner, W. and J. Murray (2005) “Effects of short-term and long-term depleted uranium exposure on open-field behavior and brain lipid oxidation in rats,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology, vol. 27, pp. 135-44:
Bussy, C. et al., The brain is a target organ after acute exposure to depleted uranium,
Toxicology 212 (2005) 219–226
Bussy, C. et al., Changes in sleep–wake cycle after chronic exposure to uranium in rats,
Neurotoxicology and Teratology 27 (2005) 835 – 840
Bussy, C. et al., Chronic ingestion of uranyl nitrate perturbs acetylcholinesterase
activity and monoamine metabolism in male rat brain. NeuroToxicology 27 (2006) 245–252
Lemercier, V et. al., “Study of uranium transfer across the blood-brain barrier”, in: Radiation Protection Dosimetry Vol. 105 (2003), Nos. 1-4, p. 243-245
[120] Arfsten, Daryl P. et al. Evaluation of the effect of implanted depleted uranium on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, and sperm velocity. Environmental Research, Volume 100, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 205-215
Hindin, Rita, “Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological
Perspective, Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005, 26 Aug 2005
Article URL
Domingo, J.L., “Reproductive and developmental toxicity of natural and depleted uranium: a review,” Reproductive Toxicology, vol. 15 (2001), pp. 603-9
[121] Randall Parrish, et al. “Depleted uranium contamination by inhalation exposure and its detection after approximately
20 years: implications for human health assessment.” Sci Total Environ. 2008 Feb 1;390(1):58-68. Epub 2007 Oct 31.
[122] Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Potential late health effects of depleted uranium and tungsten used in armor-piercing munitions: Comparison of neoplastic transformation and genotoxicity with the known carcinogen nickel.” Military medicine, v. 167, Supplement 1 (Feb. 2002). pp. 120-122.
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Observation of radiation-specific damage in human cells exposed to depleted uranium: dicentric frequency and neoplastic transformation as endpoints.” Radiation protection dosimetry, v. 99, nos.1-4 (2002). pp. 275-278.
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Depleted uranium-catalyzed oxidative DNA damage: absence of significant alpha particle decay.” Journal of inorganic biochemistry, v. 91 (2002). pp. 246-252.
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted uranium: delayed lethality and micronuclei formation.” Journal Of Environmental Radioactivity, v. 64, nos. 2-3 (2003). pp. 247-259. “Sp. Iss. SI.”
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Effect of the militarily-relevant heavy metals, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungsten alloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2). Molecular and cellular biochemistry, v. 255 (2004). pp. 247-256.
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Potential health effects of the heavy metals, depleted uranium and tungsten, used in armorpiercing munitions: comparison of neoplastic transformation, mutagenicity, genomic instability, and oncogenesis.” Metal ions in biology and medicine, v. 6 (2000). pp. 209-211.
Alexandra C. Miller, et al. “Effect of the militarily-relevant heavy metals, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungstenalloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2). Molecular and cellular biochemistry, v. 255 (2004). pp. 247-256.
Miller AC, McClain D. (2007 Jan-Mar). “A review of depleted uranium biological effects: in vitro and in vivo studies”. Rev Environ Health 22 (1): 75-89. PMID 17508699.
Schröder, Heike, et. al., “Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf War and Balkans War veterans”, in: Radiation Protection Dosimetry Vol. 103 (2003), No. 3, p. 211-219
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