Nuking it up in SK

Well, well, well, aren’t we just the hub of nuke activity here in the gap!  Bruce Power‘s all set to give us a nuker.

Bruce Power, the private operator of nuclear plants in Ontario, is on track to complete its feasibility study on nuclear power in Saskatchewan by the end of this year, Hawthorne said. The company announced it would embark on the study in June.

“We will make those findings open and transparent to the public”

Areva’s meeting with folks in Saskatoon.

AREVA Public Information Meeting

Nov. 27th, 7:30 pm, Hilton Garden InnThere will be a public information meeting hosted by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (the nuclear industry) in the Estevan Room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

At 7:30 pm, there will be a presentation on AREVA’s present and upcoming activities, followed by the opportunity to ask questions and talk about their projects. There will also be information displays where people can discuss issues one on one.

And little Braddy Wall-mart has set up a nukers’ play group.

Like the Regulatory Modernization Council, the Uranium Development Partnership is the result of political interference. Dragging its credibility down even further is the fact that at least 9 of its 12 members appear to be pro-development:

Nothing but fun, fun, fun in this nuclear winter playground!


Barriere Lake Solidarity

P’n’P urged support for Barriere Lake a while back, but the comments section there turned into a free-for-all mudsling. Here’s hoping a similar fate does not befall this post.  From the inbox:

From: Barriere Lake Solidarity <>

[Please forward widely!]

This morning at 7:30am, 70 members of the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake and 30 non-native supporters peacefully blockaded highway 117 in Northern Quebec, while a Christian Peacemaker Team observed the action.

The Government-backed minority faction currently in power had fed information about the blockade plans to the Quebec police, who established a significant presence before the blockade was set up. They issued threats of mass arrest, dismantled the blockades, and followed protesters down the highway in a high-speed chase until the access road to the Barriere Lake reserve, where Algonquins and their supporters are maintaining a presence.

Community spokesperson Marylynn Poucachiche has been arrested for obstruction and mischief and is currently detained.

Once again, the community needs the public to make it clear right now that this treatment is unacceptable, that the Algonquins have suffered enough division at the hands of the government, and that the signed agreements need to be honoured.

On October 6th, the first peaceful blockade of Highway 117 – a tactic of last resort, after months of being ignored or dismissed by the Canadian and Quebec governments – was met with violent repression, including tear-gassing and pain compliance. In the last few weeks, forestry companies were discovered cutting new logging roads without consent from Barriere Lake’s legitimate leadership – a violation of the November 2007 ban on new forestry operations in the Trilateral territory.  Despite decades of struggle and these recent developments, the community refuses to back down.

“Instead of doing the dirty work of the federal government, Quebec should implement its agreements and immediately lobby the federal government to deal fairly with our community,” said Norman Matchewan, a community spokesperson. “Charest’s brutal treatment of our community shows his government has absolutely no respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples, which should be an urgent matter of debate during the provincial election.”

The Algonquins were promising to maintain the blockade until Canada and Quebec committed in writing to honour their agreements and Canada appoints an observer to witness and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in Barriere Lake in accordance with their Customary Governance Code.

** What you can do right now to help: **

We need people to let the government know that they support the demands Barriere Lake has been fighting for for decades.

Please take 15 minutes to phone or fax a letter, see below for a model letter, or modify and send a sample letter.

You can do that here:.

* Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada ( fax: 613-941-6900 )
* Lawrence Cannon, Transportation Minister and MP for Pontiac ( 613 992-2940 Fax: 613 944-9376 )
* Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs ( 819 997-0002   Fax: 819 953-4941 )

Use some of the following points (along with your own):

* Release Marylynn Poucachiche and drop all charges

* The government should immediately cease the use of police repression in lieu of negotiators

* The Federal and Provincial government should honor the agreements they’ve signed with Barriere Lake

* Express support for the Barriere Lake community’s struggle for the right to choose its own leadership

* The federal government should immediately stop interfering in Barriere Lake’s internal affairs

** More information: **

Demands, and a list of groups that have endorsed them:

Video of the October 6th blockade:

A quick visual introduction to the community:

More information on how to support the Barriere Lake Algonquins:

Sample Letter (to sign and fax)

Re: Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Dear Ministers:

I am writing to you regarding the situation of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake.

First of all, I strongly condemn the use of a police riot squad on October 6, 2008, during a peaceful protest of Algonquin families on Highway 117.

I have seen the disturbing video footage of Algonquin families, including children and elders, being tear-gassed and physically assaulted by the Quebec police for merely asking that duly signed agreements entered into with their First Nation by both the federal and Quebec governments be honoured and that they be permitted to resolve their leadership issues internally without federal interference.

This is clearly a political matter and should be resolved through the use of good faith negotiations not with a police riot squad tear-gassing and physically assaulting peacefully protesting Algonquin families.

I understand the anger and frustration of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake at the unacceptable delays in implementing the duly signed agreements with the federal and Quebec governments.

This will confirm that I fully support the following demands made by the Algonquins of Barriere Lake:

1. That the Government of Canada agree to respect the outcome of a new leadership re-selection process, with outside observers, recognize the resulting Customary Chief and Council, and cease all interference in the internal governance of Barriere Lake.

2. That the Government of Canada agree to the immediate incorporation of an Algonquin language and culture program into the primary school curriculum.

3. That the Government of Canada honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the Trilateral, the Memorandum of Mutual Intent, and the Special Provisions, all of which it has illegally terminated.

4. That the Government of Canada revoke Third Party Management, which was imposed unjustly on Barriere Lake.

5. That the Province of Quebec honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the 1991 Trilateral and 1998 Bilateral agreements, and adopt for implementation the Lincoln-Ciaccia joint recommendations, including $1.5 million in resource-revenue sharing.

6. That the Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec initiate a judicial inquiry into the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Indian Affairs’ treatment of Barriere Lake and other First Nations who may request to be included.

7. The Government of Quebec, in consultation with First Nations, conduct a review of the recommendations of the Ontario Ipperwash Commission for guidance towards improving Quebec-First Nation relations and improving the policing procedures of the SQ when policing First Nation communities.

I strongly encourage both of your governments to honour the signed agreements made with the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and name negotiators to quickly identify and resolve the differences between the First Nation and your governments.

In closing, you can be sure I will be closely watching the Barriere Lake situation and will not accept police violence and repression as a negotiating tactic by your respective governments.


Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière

‘New-clear’ energy?

Being that I’m always interested in language, I find this letter in the WalesOnline to be particularly good.

Is ‘new-clear’ the new nuclear energy?
SIR – May I congratulate Jack Harris (Letters, October 25) for his discovery of an entirely new energy generating technology.

I hadn’t heard of the safe and popular ‘new-clear’ energy before.

I’m glad it hasn’t got anything to do with the horrendously expensive, dangerous nuclear energy which is going to leave a toxic legacy for thousands of years.

I’m glad that it won’t lead to the same type of reports that have dogged uranium mining where it’s been reported that over 400,000 uranium miners working in East Germany between 1946 and 1990 were exposed to an increased risk of lung cancer of around 10%.

I’m glad it’s not the same generating technology that currently sees two of the 10 nuclear power stations in the UK lying idle for almost a year, with both reactors out of action due to corrosion, or another two which have had one of their reactors closed down for months, or even yet another two which are having to run both their reactors at less than three quarters of their normal power for safety reasons.

Of the four that are still in good working condition, one is due to shut down permanently in two years’ time, a second is partially closed for routine maintenance, and a third is facing safety questions following the discovery of flaws in similar reactors in Japan.

It’s comforting to know it has nothing to do with French nuclear power which in July this year saw an accident at the Tricastin site where about 75kg of uranium seeped into the ground and into the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers which flow into the Rhône.

Locals were ordered to drink bottled water, swimmers unable to bathe in lakes and rivers and farmers lost entire crop yields due to the ban on watering.

The area’s image has been so dented that the nearby Rhône Valley wine-makers whose label is Côteaux du Tricastin even want to change their name.

I’m glad it won’t be the same as nuclear energy which already leaves a toxic waste legacy which we don’t know what to do with.

In his documentary The Nuclear Comeback, director Justin Pemberton actually manages to get nuclear officials in Britain to admit on film that no-one really knows what to do with the spent nuclear fuel that will remain radioactive “for at least 100,000 years”.

Even school children know that you don’t create a new mess before you have cleared up your old mess.

Finally, I’m glad Jack Harris’ “new-clear” energy won’t cost anything like as much as nuclear energy with its projected bill for decommissioning and cleaning up our existing nuclear plants alone standing at over £73bn.

Glad tidings indeed and may we be preserved from all of this clean and plentiful renewable energy nonsense that is obviously highly dangerous and no doubt a threat to our very way of life.

Bathford, Bath

Agreement? Great Lakes Are Not A Dump!

Well, it seems the government of Ontario has at least a sniff of what’s in the wind, calling the plot to place a nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Erie, a mere “tactic aimed at forcing the government’s hand.”  I guess the power giant – a consortium of Cameco Corp., TransCanada Corp., the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and others — is feeling emboldened, now that it has the ear of Saskatchewan’s Premier Wall-Mart. ( Look! There’s even a link to an update on the Saskatchewan 2020 Feasibility Study they’re conducting. So far, they say that the Pollara Research and Communications Company (do drop me a note if that link ever actually works) found that Saskatchewan residents favour nuclear energy!  Imagine that!  A nuke company finds support among the people in the place where they want to do nuke work.  Surprising, isn’t it?  Only to cynics, perhaps.)

P’n’P reported on the Lake Erie thing a while back, directing readers to the greatlakesnotadump website, started by progressives in Michigan.  Perhaps some cross-border lobbying helped the McGuinty government see the light of day.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t given McGuinty and his buds clear vision as of yet because they still plan to do more promotion of the nuke industry.  They must think they have money to blow or something, because we all know that the nuke industry cannot survive without huge subsidies from governments.  Maybe it’s something like a cocaine or heroin addiction in that once you start, you just can’t quit, no matter the cost, human or otherwise.

Otherwise, why carry on?

Smitherman rejects Nanticoke nuke plan

Says Bruce Power idea `designed to influence government policy’
Nov 01, 2008 04:30 AM

Energy Reporter
Ontario’s energy and infrastructure minister poured cold water yesterday on the idea of building a nuclear plant in Nanticoke, along the shoreline of Lake Erie, calling a plan announced by Bruce Power a tactic aimed at forcing the government’s hand.

“I want to make very clear that this is an unsolicited action on the part of a private interest. We didn’t solicit it, we don’t endorse it, tacitly or otherwise,” George Smitherman said in an interview.

“It’s designed to influence government policy.”

Privately owned Bruce Power, which already operates six Candu reactors at nuclear facilities near Kincardine, confirmed yesterday a story first reported in the Toronto Star that it wants to build a new plant near the existing Nanticoke coal-fired generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region.

The plant would consist of two nuclear reactors capable of generating between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of electricity. The company said it filed an application yesterday for a site preparation licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and will move forward with an environmental assessment that’s likely to take three years.

“Bruce Power will use the (environmental assessment) as a planning tool to weight the merits of building a clean energy hub on approximately 800 hectares within the Haldimand Industrial Park,” the Tiverton-based company said.

It has negotiated an option for the land from owner U.S. Steel Canada Inc., formerly Stelco Inc. “Although this is a major step forward, we will not make a decision to proceed with a project until we have consulted thoroughly with the people of Haldimand-Norfolk and have significantly progressed the EA,” said Bruce Power president and chief executive Duncan Hawthorne.

The company, citing research out of Trent University, said a nuclear plant in the region would create 1,000 new jobs and contribute $550 million a year to the local economies during construction.

The plan has support from the mayors of Haldimand and Norfolk and both communities’ town council. Local MP Diane Finley, federal minister of human resources and skills development, backs the plant, along with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and Canadian Nuclear Workers Council.

The McGuinty government has consistently said it will build a new nuclear plant only in communities that already have one. Earlier this year it chose Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site as the new plant location. A process is underway to select a reactor technology.

But proponents say Haldimand county would be an ideal location for a second plant because of its willing community and access to high-voltage transmission lines after the massive Nanticoke coal plant, which employs about 600 workers, is shut down in 2014.

Smitherman, however, said Ontario already has its hands full with projects under way.

“I remain singularly unconvinced that there is the capacity to build new nuclear at Nanticoke while we still have very ambitious plans for a new build at Darlington and tons of refurbishment work (at older nuclear facilities),” he said. “We couldn’t do it if we wanted to.”

Bruce Power is a joint venture of Saskatoon-based uranium giant Cameco Corp., TransCanada Corp. of Calgary, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and other partners.

The Nuclear Link

So, it’s true. Dwayne Lingenfelter, aka Link the —-, is running for leadership of the SK NDP. And he’s about as pro-nuke as they come in these here parts. He and Premier Wall and his 12 male disciples on the Saskatchewan Uranium Development Partnership could have a grand ole circle jerk, dreaming on ways to make Saskatchewan the nuclear energy hub of the continent! So, here’s hoping the Saskatchewan NDP get themselves together and elect someone other than this neoliberal has-been who ran away to work for the Alberta oilpatch.

And here’s some more required reading, about what Saskatchewan’s uranium has done/is doing to the world.

The horror of U.S. depleted uranium in Iraq threatens the world

November 1, 2008

American and British use of DU is a crime against humanity which may, in the eyes of historians, rank with the worst atrocities of all time. War vets who’ve returned from Iraq are sitting on DU death row. All this, a net result of the White House’s reaction to 9/11.

I’m horrified. The people out there — the Iraqis, the media and the troops — risk the most appalling ill health. And the radiation from depleted uranium can travel literally anywhere. It’s going to destroy the lives of thousands of children, all over the world. We all know how far radiation can travel. Radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales and in Britain you sometimes get red dust from the Sahara on your car.

The speaker is not some alarmist doomsayer. He is Dr. Chris Busby, the British radiation expert, Fellow of the University of Liverpool in the Faculty of Medicine and UK representative on the European Committee on Radiation Risk, talking about the best-kept secret of this war: the fact that, by illegally using hundreds of tons of depleted uranium (DU) against Iraq, Britain and America have gravely endangered not only the Iraqis but the whole world.

For these weapons have released deadly, carcinogenic and mutagenic radioactive particles in such abundance that — whipped up by sandstorms and carried on trade winds — there is no corner of the globe they cannot penetrate — including Britain. For the wind has no boundaries and time is on their side: the radioactivity persists for over 4,500,000,000 years and can cause cancer, leukemia, brain damage, kidney failure and extreme birth defects — killing millions of every age for centuries to come. A crime against humanity which main the eyes of historians, rank with the worst atrocities of all time.

Yet, officially, no crime has been committed. For this story is a dirty story in which the facts have been concealed from those who needed them most. It is also a story we need to know if the people of Iraq are to get the medical care they desperately need, and if our troops, returning from Iraq, are no to suffer as terribly as the veterans of other conflicts in which depleted uranium was used.

‘Depleted’ uranium is in many ways a misnomer. For ‘depleted’ sounds weak. The only weak thing about depleted uranium is its price. It is dirt cheap, toxic waste from nuclear power plants and bomb production.

However* uraniuniis one of earth’s heaviest elements and DU packs a Tyson’s punch, smashing through tanks, buildings and bunkers with equal ease, spontaneously catching fire as it does so, and burning people alive.

‘Crispy critters’ is what U.S. servicemen call those unfortunate enough to be close. And, when John Pilger encountered children killed at a greater distance he wrote: “The children’s skin had folded back, like parchment, revealing veins and burnt flesh that seeped blood, while the eyes, intact, stared straight ahead. I vomited.”

The millions of radioactive uranium oxide particles released when it burns can kill just as surely, but far more terribly. They can even be so tiny they pass through a gas mask, making protection against them impossible. Yet, small is not beautiful. For these invisible killers indiscriminately attack men, women, children and even babies in the womb — and do the gravest harm of all to children and unborn babies.

Doctors in Iraq have estimated that birth defects have increased by 2-6 times, and 3-12 times as many children have developed cancer and leukemia since 1991. Moreover, a report published in The Lancet in 1998 said that as many as 500 children a day are dying from these sequels to war and sanctions and that the death rate for Iraqi children under 5 years of age increased from 23 per 1000 in 1989 to 166 per thousand in 1993.

Overall, cases of lymphoblastic leukemia more than quadrupled with other cancers also increasing “at an alarming rate”. In men, lung, bladder, bronchus, skin and stomach cancers showed the highest increase. In women, the highest increases were in breast and bladder cancer, and non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

On hearing that DU had been used in the Persain Gulf in 1991, the UK Atomic Energy Authority sent the Ministry of Defense a special report on the potential damage to health and the environment. It said that it could cause half a million additional cancer deaths in Iraq over 10 years.

In that war the authorities only admitted to using 320 tons of DU — although the Dutch charity LAKA estimates the true figure is closer to 800 tons. Many times that may have been spread across Iraq by this war. The devastating damage all this DU will do to the health and fertility of the people of Iraq now, and is beyond imagining.

We must also count the many thousands of miscarried babies. Nobody knows how many Iraqis have died in the womb since DU contaminated their world. But it is suggested that troops who were only exposed to DU for the brief period of the war were still excreting uranium in their semen 8 years later and some had 100 times the so-called ‘safe limit’ of uranium in their urine.

The lack of government interest in the plight of veterans of the 1991 war is reflected in a lack of academic research on the impact of DU, but informal research has found a high incidence of birth defects in their children and that the wives of men who served in Iraq have three times more miscarriages than the wives of servicemen who did not go there.

Since DU darkened the land, Iraq has seen birth defects which would break a heart of stone: babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, intestines outside their bodies, huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.

Doctors report that many women no longer say “Is it a girl or a boy?” but simply, “Is it normal, doctor?” Moreover, this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged forever, and the damaging DU dust is ever present.

What the governments of America and Britain have done to the people of Iraq, they have also done to their own soldiers in both wars. And they have done it knowingly. For the battlefields have been thick with DU and soldiers have had to enter areas heavily contaminated by bombing.

Moreover, their bodies have not only been assaulted by DU but also by a vaccination regime which violated normal protocols — experimental vaccines, nerve agent pills and organophosphate pesticides in their tents.

Yet, though the hazards of DU were known, British and American troops were not warned of its dangers. Nor were they given thorough medical checks on their return — even though identifying it quickly might have made it possible to remove some of it from their body. Then, when a growing number became seriously ill, and should have been sent to top experts in radiation damage and neurotoxins, many were sent to a psychiatrist.

Over 200,000 U.S. – troops who returned from the 1991 war are now invalids with ailments officially attributed to service in Iraq — that’s British government’s failure to assess fully the health of returning troops, or to monitor their health, means no one even knows how many have died or become gravely ill since their return.

However, Persian Gulf veterans’ associations say that, of 40,000 or so fighting fit men and women who saw active service, at least 572 have died prematurely since coming home and 5000 may be ill.

An alarming number are thought to have taken their own lives, unable to bear the torment of the innumerable ailments which have combined to take away their career, their sexuality, their ability to have normal children and even their ability to breathe or walk normally. As one veteran puts it, they are “on DU death row, waiting to die”.

Whatever other factors there may be, some of their illnesses are strikingly similar to those of Iraqis exposed to DU dust. For example, soldiers have also fathered children without eyes. And, in a group of eight servicemen whose babies lack eyes seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust.

They too have fathered children with stunted arms and rare abnormalities classically associated with radiation damage. They too seem prone to cancer and leukemia.

Tellingly, so are EU soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the Balkans, where -DU was also used. Their leukemia rate has been so high that several EU governments have protested the use of DU.

Despite all that evidence of the harm done by DU, governments on both sides of the Atlantic have repeatedly claimed that as it emits only ‘low level’ radiation, DU is harmless. Award-winning scientist, Dr. Rosalie Bertell who has led UN medical commissions, has studied ‘low-level’ radiation for 30 years. She has found that uranium oxide particles have more than enough power to harm cells, and describes their pulses of radiation as hitting surrounding cells ‘like flashes of lightning’ again and again in a single second.2

DU radioactivity persists for over 4,500,000,000 years killing millions of every age for centuries to come. This is a crime against humanity which may rank with the worst atrocities of all time,

Like many scientists worldwide who have studied this type of radiation, she has found that such ‘lightning strikes’ can damage DNA and cause cell mutations which lead to cancer.

Moreover, these particles can be taken up by body fluids and travel through the body, damaging more than one organ. To compound all that, Dr. Bertell has found that this particular type of radiation can cause the body’s communication systems to break down, leading to malfunctions in many vital organs of the body and to many medical problems. A striking fact, since many veterans of the first Persian Gulf war suffer from innumerable, seemingly unrelated, ailments.

In addition, recent research by Eric Wright, Professor of Experimental Hematology at Dundee University, and others, has shown two ways in which such radiation can do far more damage than has been thought.

The first is that a cell which seems unharmed by radiation can produce cells with diverse mutations several cell generations later. (And mutations are at the root of cancer and birth defects.) This “radiation- induced genomic instability” is compounded by “the bystander effect” by which cells mutate in unison with others which have been damaged by radiation — rather as birds swoop and turn in unison. Put together, these two mechanisms can greatly increase the damage done by a single source of radiation, such as a DU particle.

Moreover, it is now clear that there are marked genetic differences in the way individuals respond to radiation — with some being far more likely to develop cancer than others. So the fact that some veterans of the first Persian Gulf war seem relatively unharmed by their exposure to DU in no way proves that DU did not damage others.

That the evidence from Iraq and from our troops, as well as the research findings of such experts, has been ignored may be no accident.

A U.S. report, leaked in late 1995, allegedly says, the “potential for health effects from DU exposure is real; however it must be viewed in perspective . . . the financial implications of long-term disability payments and healthcare costs would be excessive.”3

Clearly, with hundreds of thousands gravely ill in Iraq and at least a quarter of a million UK and U.S. troops seriously ill, huge disability claims might be made not only against the governments of Britain and America if the harm done by DU were acknowledged. There might also be huge claims against companies making DU weapons and some of their directors are said to be extremely close to the White House.

How close they are to Downing Street is a matter for speculation, but arms sales make a considerable contribution – to British trade. So the massive whitewashing of DU over the past 12 years, and the way that governments have failed to test returning troops — seemed to disbelieve them, and’ washed their hands of them — may be purely to save money.

The possibility that financial considerations have led the governments of Britain and America to cynically avoid taking responsibility for the harm they have done, not only to the people of Iraq but to their own troops, may seem outlandish.

Yet DU weapons weren’t used by the other side and no other explanation fits the evidence. For, in the days before Britain and America first used DU in war its hazards were no secret.4 One American study in 1990 said DU was “linked to cancer when exposures are internal,

[and to] chemical toxicity-causing kidney damage”. While another openly warned that exposure to these particles under battlefield conditions could lead to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease, neurocognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects.5

In 1996 and 1997 UN Human Rights Tribunals condemned DU weapons for illegally breaking the Geneva Convention and classed them as “weapons of mass destruction”, “incompatible with international humanitarian and human rights law”. Since then, following leukemia in European peacekeeping troops in the Balkans and Afghanistan (where DU was also used), the EU has twice called for DU weapons to be banned.

Yet, far from banning DU, America and Britain stepped up their denials of the harm from this radioactive dust as more and more troops from the first Persian Gulf war and from action and peacekeeping in the Balkans and Afghanistan have become seriously ill. This is no coincidence.

In 1997, while citing experiments by others in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, was quoted as saying, the “

[U.S. government’s] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body”. He concluded, “uranium does cause cancer, uranium does cause mutation, and uranium does kill. If we continue with the irresponsible contamination of the biosphere, and denial of the fact that human life is endangered by the deadly isotope uranium, then we are doing disservice to ourselves, disservice to the truth, disservice to God and to all generations who follow”. Not what the authorities wanted to hear and his research was suddenly blocked.

During 12 years of ever-growing British whitewash the authorities have abolished military hospitals, where there could have been specialized research on the effects of DU and where expertise in treating DU victims could have built up.

And, not content with the insult of suggesting the gravely disabling symptoms of Persian Gulf veterans are imaginary, they have refused full pensions to many. For, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the current British House of Commons briefing paper on DU hazards says “it is judged that any radiation effects from possible exposures are extremely unlikely to be a contributory factor to the illnesses currently being experienced by some Persian Gulf war veterans”. Note how over a quarter of a million sick and dying U.S.: and UK vets are called some’.

Britain and America not only used DU in this year’s Iraq war, they dramatically increased its use — from a minimum of 320 tons in the previous war (1991) to a minimum-of 1500 tons in this one (2003).

And this time the use of DU wasn’t limited to anti-tank weapons — as it had largely been in the previous Persian Gulf war — but was extended to the guided missiles, large bunker busters and 2000-pound mega-bombs used in Iraq’s cities. This means that Iraq’s cities have been blanketed in lethal particles — any one of which can cause cancer or deform a child.

In addition, the use of DU in huge bombs, which throw the deadly particles higher and wider in huge plumes of smoke, means that billions of deadly particles have been carried high into the air — again and again and again as the bombs rained down — ready to be swept worldwide by the winds.

The Royal Society has suggested the solution is massive decontamination in Iraq. That could only scratch the surface. For decontamination is hugely expensive and, though it may reduce the risks in some of the worst areas, it cannot fully remove them. For DU is too widespread on land and water. How do you clean up every nook and cranny of a city the size of Baghdad? How can they decontaminate a whole country in which microscopic particles, which cannot be detected with a normal Geiger counter, are spread from border to border? And how can they clean up all the countries downwind of Iraq, and indeed, the world?

So there are only two things we can do to mitigate this crime against humanity. The first is to provide the best possible medical care for the people of Iraq, for our returning troops and for those who served in the last Persian Gulf war and, through that, minimize their suffering. The second is to relegate war, and the production and sale of weapons, to the scrap heap of history- along with slavery and genocide. Then, and only then, will this -crime against humanity be expunged, and the tragic deaths from this war truly bring freedom to the people of Iraq, and of the world.

Britain and America not only used DU in this year’s Iraq war, they dramatically increased its use — from a minimum of 320 tons in the previous war (1991) to a minimum of 1500 tons in this one And this time the use of DU wasn’t limited to anti-tank weapons — as it had largely been in the previous Persian Gulf war — but was extended to-the guided missiles, large bunker busters and 2000 pound mega-bombs used in Iraq’s cities.