Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D / OpEd News – 2008-07-14 20:23:40
(July 10, 2008) — During the summer of 1991, the United States military had collected artillery, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, conventional and unconventional munitions, trucks, etc. at Camp Doha in Kuwait.
As result of carelessness this weapons depot caught fire with consequent catastrophic explosion resulting in death, injury, illness and extensive environmental contamination from depleted uranium and conventional explosives.
Recently the emirate of Kuwait required the United States Department of Defense to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil sand and other residue was collected and has been shipped back to the United States for burial by American Ecology at Boise Idaho.
When Bob Nichols, an investigative journalist, and I contacted American Ecology we found out that they had absolutely no knowledge of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48, U.S. Army PAM 700-48, U.S. Army Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, and all of the medical orders dealing with depleted uranium contamination, environmental remediation procedures, safety, and medical care .
They had never heard of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for dealing with mixed – hazardous waste such as radioactive materials and conventional explosives byproducts. (reference “Approaches for the Remediation of Federal Facility Sites Contaminated with Explosives or Radioactive Wastes”, EPA/625/R-93/013, September 1993).
The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.
Sadly the known adverse health and environmental hazards from uranium weapons contamination are in our own backyard. The EPA has listed the former Nuclear Metals- Starmet uranium weapons manufacturing site in Concord Ma. On EPA’s Superfund National Priority List because it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment.
Consequently the community in which our nation was born on April 18, 1775 is now the location of America’s own closed dirty bomb factory that will endanger the health and safety of the descendants of our original patriots — “the Minutemen”.
The previous delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker busters bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States and their use by Israel against Lebanese targets has resulted in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the middle east. Israeli tank gunners are also using depleted uranium tank rounds as photographs verify.
Today, US, British, and now Israeli military personnel are using illegal uranium munitions — America’s and England’s own “dirty bombs” while US Army, US Department of Energy, US Department of Defense, and British Ministry of Defence officials deny that there are any adverse health and environmental effects as a consequence of the manufacture, testing, and/or use of uranium munitions to avoid liability for the willful and illegal dispersal of a radioactive toxic material — depleted uranium.
The use of uranium weapons is absolutely unacceptable, and a crime against humanity. Consequently the citizens of the world and all governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use. I must demand that Israel now provide medical care to all DU casualties in Lebanon and clean up all DU contamination.
U.S. and British officials have arrogantly refused to comply with their own regulations, orders, and directives that require United States Department of Defense officials to provide prompt and effective medical care to “all” exposed individuals.
Reference: Medical Management of Unusual Depleted Uranium Casualties, DOD, Pentagon, 10/14/93, Medical Management of Army personnel Exposed to Depleted Uranium (DU) Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command 29 April 2004, and section 2-5 of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48. Israeli officials must not do so now.
They also refuse to clean up dispersed radioactive Contamination as required by Army Regulation- AR 700-48: “Management of Equipment Contaminated With Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities”
(Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., September 2002) and U.S. Army Technical Bulletin- TB 9-1300-278: “Guidelines For Safe Response To Handling, Storage, And Transportation Accidents Involving Army Tank Munitions Or Armor Which Contain Depleted Uranium” (Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., JULY 1996). Specifically section 2-4 of United States Army Regulation-AR 700-48 dated September 16, 2002 requires that:
(1) “Military personnel “identify, segregate, isolate, secure, and label all RCE” (radiologically contaminated equipment).
(2) “Procedures to minimize the spread of radioactivity will be implemented as soon as possible.”
(3) “Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment” and
(4) “All equipment, to include captured or combat RCE, will be surveyed, packaged, retrograded, decontaminated and released IAW Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, DA PAM 700-48” (Note: Maximum exposure limits are specified in Appendix F).
DOD leaders are not showing the DU training tapes to military personnel. These three video tapes:
(1) “Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness”,
(2) “Contaminated and Damaged Equipment Management”, and
(3) “Operation of the AN/PDR 77 Radiac Set” are essential to understanding the hazards from the use of uranium weapons and management of uranium weapons contamination.
DOD leaders must show these tapes to all military personnel involved in the use of uranium weapons and the consequent management of uranium contamination.
The previous and current use of uranium weapons, the release of radioactive components in destroyed U.S. and foreign military equipment, and releases of industrial, medical, research facility radioactive materials have resulted in unacceptable exposures. Therefore, decontamination must be completed as required by U.S. Army Regulation 700-48 and should include releases of all radioactive materials resulting from military operations.
The extent of adverse health and environmental effects of uranium weapons contamination is not limited to combat zones in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan but includes facilities and sites where uranium weapons were manufactured or tested including Vieques; Puerto Rico; Colonie, New York; Concord, MA; Jefferson Proving Grounds, Indiana; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Therefore medical care must be provided by the United States Department of Defense officials to all individuals affected by the manufacturing, testing, and/or use of uranium munitions. Thorough environmental remediation also must be completed without further delay.
I am amazed that fifteen years after was I asked to clean up the initial DU mess from Gulf War 1 and over ten years since I finished the depleted uranium project that United States Department of Defense officials and others still attempt to justify uranium munitions use while ignoring mandatory requirements.
I am dismayed that Department of Defense and Department of Energy officials and representatives continue personal attacks aimed to silence or discredit those of us who are demanding that medical care be provided to all DU casualties and that environmental remediation is completed in compliance with U.S. Army Regulation 700-48.
But beyond the ignored mandatory actions the willful dispersal of tons of solid radioactive and chemically toxic waste in the form of uranium munitions is illegal and just does not even pass the common sense test and according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS, is a dirty bomb. DHS issued “dirty bomb” response guidelines on January 3, 2006 for incidents within the United States but ignore DOD use of uranium weapons and existing DOD regulations.
These guidelines specifically state that: “Characteristics of RDD and IND Incidents: A radiological incident is defined as an event or series of events, deliberate or accidental, leading to the release, or potential release, into the environment of radioactive material in sufficient quantity to warrant consideration of protective actions. Use of an RDD or IND is an act of terror that produces a radiological incident.”
Thus the use of uranium munitions is “an act or terror” as defined by DHS. Finally continued compliance with the infamous March 1991 Los Alamos Memorandum that was issued to ensure continued use of uranium munitions can not be justified.
In conclusion: the President of the United States- George W. Bush, the Prime Minister of Great Britain-Gordon Brown, and the Prime Minister of Israel Olmert must acknowledge and accept responsibility for willful use of illegal uranium munitions- their own “dirty bombs”- resulting in adverse health and environmental effects.
President Bush, Prime Minister Brown, and Prime Minister Olmert should order:
• 1. medical care for all casualties,
• 2. thorough environmental remediation,
• 3. immediate cessation of retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care and environmental remediation requirements,
• 4. and stop the already illegal the use (UN finding) of depleted uranium munitions.
These references are copies the actual regulations and orders and other pertinent official documents:
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.