Iraq's Depleted Uranium Clean-Up To Cost $30M as Contamination Spreads

"Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its 'alarming' use in civilian areas during Iraq wars."

"Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.

The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. 'The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,' it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.

More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes."

Rob Edwards reports for the Guardian March 6, 2013.

Thursday, March 7, 2013