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DU Contaminates Europe - Halliburton Hid Evidence

Leuren Moret/CCNWON | 27.02.2006 23:10 | Anti-militarism | Health | Repression | World

Death in the Air

Depleted Uranium Measured in British Atmosphere from Battlefields in the Middle East
February 24, 2006
By Leuren Moret

The Sunday Times Online, February 19, 2006, reported on a shocking scientific study authored by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan: “Did the use of Uranium weapons in Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK”. The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the “Shock & Awe” bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003. Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), at Aldermaston was established years ago, to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.

The British government facility (AWE) was taken over 3 years ago by Halliburton, which refused at first to release air monitoring data, as required by law, to Dr. Busby. An international expert on low level radiation, Busby serves as an official advisor on several British government committees, and co-authored an independent report on low level radiation with 45 scientists, the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), for the European Parliament. He was able to get Aldermaston air monitoring data from Halliburton /AWE by filing a Freedom of Information request using a new British law which became effective January 1, 2005; but the data for 2003 was missing. He obtained the 2003 data from the Defence Procurement Agency.
DEATH STAR: Depleted Uranium Measured in British Atmosphere from Battlefields in the Middle East

Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness

UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq

Death in the Air

Today's newswire:



Leuren Moret/CCNWON
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Hide the following 21 comments


28.02.2006 13:58

Did Aldermaston do an isotopic analysis? Or just pick up radiation? Wihtout isotopic analysis, it would be impossible to tell whether it was DU or not.

ANd Aldermaston? Thousands of miles away? No one else has picked it up?


Reading nuked too

28.02.2006 15:15

>Did Aldermaston do an isotopic analysis? Or just pick up radiation?
Ask them. Since they themselves are a source of emissions it is unlikely they will answer you. The very fact the Times report was leaked is worrying, it's like a tobacco firm in the 50's admitting cigarettes cause cancer.

>Wihtout isotopic analysis, it would be impossible to tell whether it was DU or not.
DU produces many types of radioisotopes. Without another source for the increase it must be assumed it is a measure of the illegal weapons dumped on Iraq. We drop tonnes of nuclear waste and then start measuring higher background radiation, go figure.

>ANd Aldermaston? Thousands of miles away? No one else has picked it up?

It does sort of prove there is a God. Blair bombs Iraq with reformed nuclear waste just when weather conditions are able to drag some of the dust straight back here. Any of the dust will keep getting recirculated around the earth for billions of years, it is the present that keeps on giving.

We have obtained their results using the Freedom of Information Act. Examination of the trends in uranium reported here show that there was a statistically significant increase in uranium in all the filters beginning at the start of GW2 and ending when it ended. Levels in the town of Reading exceeded the Environment Agency Reporting threshold of 1000nBq/m twice during the period. We report the weather conditions at the time and show that over the period there was a consistent flow of air from Iraq northwards and that the UK was in the centre of a anticyclone which drew air in from the south and from the south east. On the basis of the mean increase in uranium in air of about 500nBq/m we use respiration data on standard man to calculate that each person in the area inhaled some 23 million uranium particles of diameter 0.25 microns. We suggest that health data, particularly birth data be examined for possible effects from this exposure. As far as we know, this is the first evidence that uranium aerosols from battle use have been shown to travel so far.
The impact on armour of Depleted uranium penetrators results in about 80% conversion to Uranium Oxides UO2 and U3O8 in the form of ceramic particles of diameters in the micron region. These aerosol particles are very mobile and can clearly be inhaled...
I recently made measurements of alpha radiation levels in Iraq in three areas, the southern battleground near tanks destroyed by DU fire, the same area remote from the tanks, the town of Al Basrah and the city of Baghdad. Results showed that the alpha activity in the battleground area was more than five times higher than in Basrah and ten times higher that in Baghdad. In addition, and remarkably, levels on the surface of the ground near the damaged tanks did not generally show high levels of alpha or beta signal from Uranium and its daughters except in the case of one tank where a yellow contaminant, probably UO3, showed high levels of beta activity. In addition, the insides of tank turrets which had radioactive holes in them from A10 hits, did not show high levels of beta or alpha activity. The generally higher alpha levels in the whole area, coupled with these observations suggest that the Uranium particles has been efficiently dispersed by some mechanism. I believe that this mechanism is the repulsion of charged particles by themselves and by the earths permanent electric field of 150V/m. I have argued elsewhere that this effect operates in the Kennet Valley near the Atomic Weapons plant at Aldermaston and results in the preferential concentration of charged radioative particles near electrostatic discontinuities between strata with different conductivity [Busby, 1997] .


Analysis of radiation in England 2003

28.02.2006 18:14

Try this:


Any mention of anything out of the ordinary?

ANy mention across Europe?

Other radioisotopes produced by DU - such as?

No isotopic analysis renders this to pure speculation.


Earn your name

28.02.2006 22:25

>Any mention of anything out of the ordinary?
Those reports you link to seem to look at background radiation at various places. That isn't the problem as far as I can discern. The man made contribution to background radiation remains low, less than 2%. If we dumped all the hundreds of thousand of tonnes of existing nuclear waste as bombs at the one time it probably wouldn't increase that into double figures (that's a guess of course). The danger this report reveals is the unnecessary inhalation /ingestion of radioactive particles by people from Reading to Basra from now until kingdom come.

>ANy mention across Europe?
I don't know, and it would be good to. Which European countries have Freedom of Information legislation ?

>Other radioisotopes produced by DU - such as?
I partially answered that question in advance. If you were asking the signature of DU you would be looking for a specific ratio of U238 and U235, and trace presence of U234 and U236.

>No isotopic analysis renders this to pure speculation.
Okay. Being a sceptic, you don't really believe they didn't test do you ? They just didn't tell. And whose interests is this in ? Why wouldn't they match a signature / fingerprint to the new particles that they'd observed ? Any sudden increase such as this would of course be tested, but those results weren't released, nor were the tests admitted to, which is typical and damning. If the signature wasn't DU but some local building then why wouldn't they have released that information ? There are possible reasons, the source could indeed be local. Aldermaston itself may have exceeded its allowed pollution and may be seeking to blame it on the war. But such a massive sudden jump across such a wide area coincidental to the deliberate dirty bombing of Iraq ? Remember, you need to be sceptical of both arguments to earn your name.

"On the basis of the mean increase in uranium in air of about 500nBq/m we use respiration data on standard man to calculate that each person in the area inhaled some 23 million uranium particles of diameter 0.25 microns."
That means you !
See, the dangers of DU particles aren't the 'background' radiation that they give off half a mile away, the danger is in them becoming lodged in your body. They sit there and bleed low level radiation onto surrounding cells. Which isn't good except in 1950's comic books.

I think you are missing the point of the Times report - these figures weren't willingly released. Shouldn't we be sceptical why ? Shouldn't we be sceptical of the numerous ongoing establishment coverups over DU ?
I also think you miss the significance of the report. It does not mean background radiation levels should suddenly jump uniformly - it means radioactive particles travel further than suspected - but not much further than has been already recorded, it's not that shocking news. Why are you surprised that radioactive aerosols from Iraq travels beyond Iraq ? Simply due to particle density ? Do you not remember the large pieces of wreckage of the Buncefield refinary from the helicopter cameras ?

Do you think DU weaponary is justifiable in any way - that is a serious question not rhetoric, I simply can't grasp any sensible reason for their existence except cheap disposal / dispersal of nuclear waste. There are other dense metals.

I take it you won't deny global background radiation levels jumped after each nuclear blast ( and there have been 2051 of them, 517 of which were air-blasts ). And I take it you don't deny thousands of tonnes of DU weapons were vapourised by our forces at that period. And I take it you don't doubt all this material stays in the ecosphere for billions of years. A true sceptic would be challenging the governments justification in disposing of nuclear waste in the form of pyrophoric munitions. And every sceptic should be aware that you can test badly deliberately.

For instance,
Dr Wheaton accepts that radiation testing in the Lockerbie area after the disaster found no cause of alarm. However, he claims that the water sampling method used 'would be the one least likely to show up anything.' He said a better method would have been sediments sampling from the bottom of the same bodies of water that were tested. 'The uranium oxide created would be quite a dense material and if it did settle on to the water it would almost certainly drop straight to the bottom. This is the principle that Sellafield used for the discharge of uranium and plutonium into the Irish Sea. So we would expect a similar thing to happen in this case.'"
Still, large quantities of DU and/or radioactive decay products and other radioactive impurities can lead to substantial external exposure. A Geiger counter measurement by a correspondent in the recent Iraq war show that radiation emitting from a DU bullet fragment registered nearly 1000 – 1900 times the normal background radiation level. A three-foot long DU fragment from a 12 mm tank shell registered radiation 1300 times the background level. A DU tank found by the U.S Army radiological team emitted 260 – 270 millirads of radiation per hour compared to the safety limit of 100 millirads per year. A pile of jet-black dust registered a count of 9839 emissions in one minute, a level more than 300 times the average background level [6]. Because the micro-particles of DU are much larger than individual solubilized molecules, they can create "hot spots" of localized alpha radiation.


Some other snags

28.02.2006 23:10

Correlation isn't causation.

One site in Europe briefly registers uranium.

No other site has recorded this.

We don't know whether it's DU or ordinary uranium.

Sceptical - yes, because it's a very large edifice to build on one report whose significance isn't clear.


What other snags ?

28.02.2006 23:57

Your title promised snags ie rebuttals but I can't see any new points raised or arguments questioned. Obfuscation perhaps.

>Correlation isn't causation.
Indeed. The facts that many hundreds of tons of uranium were incinerated and aerolised in Iraq, and that the air that was blowing this way at the time, are in no way linked to the fact that we suddenly started registering massive increases in uranuim levels here. To think otherwise would be being sceptical without the necessary proof. The necessary proof has been withheld. By Britains nuclear weapons research facility. No reason to be sceptical here, move right along now.

>One site in Europe briefly registers uranium. No other site has recorded this.
Tens sites in Europe register uranium a massive and unexpected increase in uranium right after we drop hundreds of tons of uranium. Read the report before you think your opinion is worth posting or else I will suspect you are being paid to be deliberately misrepresentative of the facts rather than simply ignorant.

>We don't know whether it's DU or ordinary uranium.
Why don't we know that ? Since that would obviously been tested why wasn't the data released ?

>Sceptical - yes, because it's a very large edifice to build on one report whose significance isn't clear.
If you are being straight forward and I'm maligning your seemingly one-sided skepticism then answer at least a few of the points I've made.

It is a large edifice, and it may be wrong, but it is more likely to be correct. You should read the Story of Carbon in Primo Levis 'Periodic Table' for an understanding of the longevity of all particles, it is where poetry meets science. And you should rethink the quote you haven't challenged yet, "On the basis of the mean increase in uranium in air of about 500nBq/m we use respiration data on standard man to calculate that each person in the area inhaled some 23 million uranium particles of diameter 0.25 microns."

Do you know what that means or can I expand on the subject for you ?



01.03.2006 01:28

>Tens sites in Europe register uranium a massive and unexpected increase in uranium right after we drop hundreds of tons of uranium. - Danny

Should read four sites in Europe. Although I don't noramilly correct my own obvious mistakes I think I should this time simply to avoid distraction from my original point, which is still valid if rather agressively worded.


New meaning to the word 'massive'.

01.03.2006 13:57

500nBq per m^3.

That is one radioactive decay [one alpha particle] every 200 000seconds or 1 decay every 23 days.

23 million particles of uranium - if pure uranium [which it isn't] that's approximately 0.000 000 000 000 000 001 kg.


smoking gun

01.03.2006 15:44

> if pure uranium [which it isn't]
So I've persuaded you that their lack of analysis indicates it is probably is DU ? Good, we are making progress. Incidentally, DU is only depleted by 30% and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
Now, what is your point about particle size ? A single human cell mutation caused by a single particle can trigger cancer and other ill effects and they are only about 5 microns across.
You aren't denying a link between DU particles and cancer are you ?

The rate of children under 15 falling ill with cancer in Iraq has now reached 22.4 per 100,000, more than five times the 1990 rate of 3.98 per 100,000. Do you blame a sudden increase in underage smoking ?



01.03.2006 16:24

I'm not accepting it to be DU - I'm just taking the numbers quoted and reworking them. No one has shown it to be DU.

Cancer and DU:


Ask Chris Busby yourself

01.03.2006 16:42

> if pure uranium [which it isn't]
>I'm not accepting it to be DU - I'm just taking the numbers quoted and reworking them. No one has shown it to be DU.

Correct me if I'm wrong ( like you need my permission! ) but nobody has proved it isn't pure uranium. You tend to use 10 words where 100 would do, and I'm not trying to score points, but was your first statement wrong or has some of the few facts that have been released prove that it wasn't pure uranium ?

Also, I've asked anyone going to tonights Aldermaston meeting to ask your about initial question to the author of the report. Perhaps if you are free you could go along and ask it yourself to ensure you get a satisfactory answer ? I am stuck in Scotland nursing a sick cat.


Uranium in high-volume air sample filters near Aldermaston

01.03.2006 18:38

Uranium in high-volume air sample filters near Aldermaston
Uranium in high-volume air sample filters near Aldermaston

For anyone who hasn't read the report yet.


Good source

01.03.2006 18:47

Chris Busby is generally acknowledged to be a reliable and authoritative source. From my memory, he was initially on the official MoD DU committee, before leaving because his reports were censored, I think. He has been interviewed by everyone from Horizon to Corporate Watch - so have many people, but under scrutiny his methods and facts stand up. CADU, Sceptic, is also an excellent publication, humblingly full of dedicated and professional researchers and scientists who all have interesting and illuminating information on this disastrous weapon.


U only

01.03.2006 18:49

Apologies for being too terse.

What I was attempting to do is estimate the mass of 23 uranium atoms, not to make any judgement as to their isotopic composition.

You could work out the amount of uranium present from the activity of 500nBq. Activity = number of atoms present x (ln2)/half life. This comes to 10^10 atoms per m3.

10^10 atoms of U238 has a mass of about 3 x 10^14 kg, if my calculations are correct - that is, 0.000 000 000 000 003kg. Not a massive amount.


Ballast !

01.03.2006 20:01

>10^10 atoms of U238 has a mass of about 3 x 10^14 kg, if my calculations are correct - that is, 0.000 000 000 000 003kg. Not a massive amount.
My nephew and neice in London probably weigh about 20 kilos - not a massive amount either.

>CADU, Sceptic, is also an excellent publication
"Depleted uranium is also used in civilian products. For example, it is used as ballast in aeroplanes (having disastrous consequences in 1992 when an El-Al jet crashed into flats near Amsterdam - depleted uranium was also involved in the recent Stansted Korean Air crash".

It is intesting to note that the use of DU as aircraft ballast wasn't known about until the Amsterdam crash, and it was only the work of activists and citizen-journalists that publicised this fact - in the face of a concerted coverup. I don't think it takes a conspiracy theorist to notice how many depleted uranium coverups have been exposed or to expect more to continue to be exposed.
Uranium Skies: What Was Aboard Flight 1862?


dear Sceptic

01.03.2006 20:21

You can't research everything yourself, obviously. What are your sources? Where is this "science" you quote coming from? You have just unveiled a list which makes no sense, and has no bearing on the current discussion. You have not, obviously, read the latest CADU publication. I think a fair question is, not what are you talking about, but why are you bothering to post such un-illuminating text? I think you sound like you are too scared to address the initial question, and too biased to examine the evidence, really.


a bit suspicious

01.03.2006 21:41

Um,"Sceptic", you have not replied at all to any previous comments, in fact, you have just repsponded with a meaningless string of numbers. Not impressive, What do you mean? Have you looked at CADU's evidence, or Chris Busby's track record? I thought not. PLease do not bother adding another stream of pseudo-scientific comments, but reply to these questions.



01.03.2006 22:08

You can't research everything yourself, obviously. What are your sources? Where is this "science" you quote coming from?"

What is this ''science''? It's called umm ... physics? Nothing I have calculated should be beyond a competent A level student.

Now the wonderful graphic. I tried to isolate the mean onsite and mean off site lines, but it's too messy to try. But I suspect that'd you'd have a graph a little less impressive.

DU as ballast weights? Cover up? Bollocks. It's been in the blueprints for the 747 from the outset.

quote: "Other uses are more mundane, and depend on the metal's very high density (1.7 times that of lead). Hence, where maximum mass must fit in minimum space, such as aircraft control surface and helicopter counterweights, yacht keels, etc, it is often well suited. Until the mid 1970s it was used in dental porcelains. In addition it is used for radiation shielding, being some five times more effective than lead in this role."


Dear c

01.03.2006 23:13

I am under no obligation to reply to any of your questions. If you can't understand the calculations, that's your problem.


Coverups, plural.

01.03.2006 23:45

>DU as ballast weights? Cover up? Bollocks. It's been in the blueprints for the 747 from the outset.

Coverups, plural.
It wasn't known to any of the emergency services that attended aircraft crashes.
The likely health effects of using pyrophoric radioactive metal as ballast was denied.
And even now you are quoting documents that say DU inhalation isn't that harmful and it has lots of uses - why not use tungsten which is as dense and isn't pyrophoric or radioactive ?

"Many professional workers didn’t even get a diagnosis, they were just ignored. The physicians of the fire fighters, police and other services denied the complaints of dozens of their employees. All these healthy men and women, in the prime of their lives, suddenly fell ill. As their health problems were not acknowledged, they had no one to turn to; several suicides occurred. Meanwhile, officials knew just one phrase: “there is no connection with the disaster”. In 1993 Annemie Ummels, a peace activist, and the Laka Foundation brought in the news that the airplane was furnished with depleted uranium (DU) counterweights. Yet, the scientist spokesperson from the Dutch government, Keverling Buisman, stated that these counterweights stay intact during a crash and could not have burnt in the fire afterwards. According to him, there was no possibility whatsoever that people could have inhaled DU. The company that worked with the remnants of the aircraft had detected DU in the dust around the wreckage within 3 days. Also the Civil Aviation Authority (former RLD), the National transportation and safety board (US) and the FAA have known this. They also knew that not all DU counterweights were found back. Meanwhile, radiation was also detected detected by a civilian working on airplanes parked in the same hangar. The government managed to deny or ignore all of the above issues for years."..."s for the issue of the missing uranium, the Commission did establish that part of it was likely burnt in the fire. However, it accepted the view of the national health agency that the resulting DU particles were not posing much of a health risk. "


AWE no longer managed by Halliburton - some facts are poor in "Death Star"

06.03.2006 00:41

"As part of the Hunting BRAE consortium they [Halliburton] were also responsible for managing the
Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. However, after a farcical series of radioactive
leaks and mishaps in the 1990's, Hunting BRAE's Aldermaston contract was not renewed last year."

So Halliburton doesn't run the place anymore.

According to the AWE website Lockheed Martin does.

Eric Klein
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