For Immediate Release:

23 January 2001

Radiation readings near Basrah, southern Iraq indicate that depleted 
uranium projectiles used during the Gulf War contained enriched
uranium waste.

Contact: Damacio Lopez
International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST)
Bernalillo, New Mexico, USA
Tel: 505-867-0141

On January 17th 2001, 20 air exposure measurements were taken in
southern Iraq, some 150 km south of Basrah on the DMZ road to Saudi
Arabia.  Findings are listed below:

  1. In Study Area 1, 6 readings of entry and exit holes on destroyed
     armoured tanks were taken. Exposure rates of 60-120 counts/minute
     were  recorded.

  2. In Study Area 2, 4 readings of entry and exit holes on destroyed
     armoured tanks were taken. Exposure rates of 500-1945 counts/minute
     were  recorded.

  3. 4 readings of a single 30mm intact projectile were taken.
     Exposure  rates of 2100-2450 counts/minute were recorded.

  4. Background exposure rates of 7-21 counts/minute were measured in
     6 control areas away from the destroyed targets.

These results indicate the presence of both low and high level
radiological pollution:

Low level: radioactive waste of depleted uranium DU (U-238), which
is generated from then gaseous diffusion process that produces fuel
for  nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons.

High level: enriched uranium waste from nuclear reactors that
contain  U-236, which is not found in DU.

US Air Force A-10 aircraft fired 940,000 30mm rounds of DU during
combat in Iraq in 1991. When a DU penetrator strikes a target, up
to 70% of the penetrator oxidises into fumes and cigarette ash-like
dust. The US  military has admitted to using an overall total of
315 tonnes of DU for the  weapons used during the Gulf War.

However, this new evidence suggests that supposed DU projectiles
contained at least traces of enriched uranium waste. A recent
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study in Kosovo also
found traces of  enriched uranium waste from supposed DU

The study team to Iraq consisted of Damacio Lopez, Executive
Director  of the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST);
and Ramsay Clark,  former US Attorney General and founder of the
International Action Center  (IAC).

The radiation instrument used was a German-made hand-held MR 9511
ABX- Alert, manufactured by Muller Lehrtechnik.

Laboratory tests of the projectile must be made before further
conclusions can be drawn.