Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. This month, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 23rd birthday. For over two decades, we've produced our daily news hour without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, in honor of Democracy Now!'s birthday, every donation we receive will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $30 today, Democracy Now! will get $60 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else. Thank you! -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Iraq, Depleted Uranium Contaminated with Deadly Plutonium

Default content image
Listen
Media Options
Listen

A January 2000 Department of Energy letter to the Pentagon notes that the depleted uranium the U.S. uses for itsarmor-piercing weapons contains “traces of plutonium.” NATO officials are meeting today in Brussels to address thecontinuing crisis over the use of depleted weapons in the Balkans. Although several European nations have linked theweapons to deaths from cancer, NATO and the US insist that the radioactivity in depleted uranium is too mild to beharmful.

But the presence of plutonium in the munitions is alarming. Plutonium is a highly carcinogenic substance, even inminute amounts. If the DU, which made from reprocessed uranium from nuclear reactors contains plutonium there islittle doubt that it is a serious threat to the health of both soldiers and civilians. The danger is aggravated bythe fact that plutonium is relatively difficult to detect once it is outside of secure, well-instrumentedfacilities, or once it has been incorporated into the body.

The US fired about 40,000 rounds of armor-piercing depleted uranium ammunition in the Balkans and Kosovo duringmilitary interventions in 1994-95 and 1999. In Iraq, the US fired off a million rounds.

Guest:

  • Andreas Zumach, reporter for German media outlets.

Related Story

Video squareStoryMay 20, 2015Sgt. James Brown, 26, Survived Two Tours in Iraq Only to Die Begging for His Life in Texas Jail
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop