Depleted Uranium Measured in British Atmosphere from
Battlefields in the Middle East
"Did the use of Uranium weapons in Gulf War II result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK," reported the Sunday Times Online (February 19, 2006) in a shocking scientific study authored by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan.
The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the "Shock & Awe" bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003.
Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), at Aldermaston, was established years ago to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.
The British government facility (AWE) was taken over 3 years ago by Halliburton, which refused at first to release air monitoring data to Dr. Busby, as required by law.
An international expert on low level radiation, Busby serves as an official advisor on several British government committees, and co-authored an independent report on low level radiation with 45 scientists, the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), for the European Parliament. He was able to get Aldermaston air monitoring data from Halliburton /AWE by filing a Freedom of Information request using a new British law which became effective January 1, 2005; but the data for 2003 was missing. He obtained the 2003 data from the Defence Procurement Agency.
The fact that the air monitoring data was circulated by Halliburton/ AWE to the Defence Procurement Agency, implies that it was considered to be relevant, and that Dr. Busby was stonewalled because Halliburton/ AWE clearly recognized that it was a serious enough matter to justify a government interpretation of the results, and official decisions had to be made about what the data would show and its political implications for the military.
In a similar circumstance, in 1992, Major Doug Rokke, the Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Cleanup Project after Gulf War I, was ordered by a U.S. Army General officer to write a no-bid contract "Depleted Uranium, Contaminated Equipment, and Facilities Recovery Plan Outline" for the procedures for cleaning up Kuwait, including depleted uranium, for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton.
The contract/proposal was passed through Madeleine Albright, the Secretary of State, to the Emirate of Kuwait, who considered the terms and then hired KBR for the cleanup.
Aldermaston is one of many nuclear facilities throughout Europe that regularly monitor atmospheric radiation levels, transported by atmospheric sand and dust storms, or air currents, from radiation sources in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
After the "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq in 2003, very fine particles of depleted uranium were captured with larger sand and dust particles in filters in Britain.
These particles traveled in 7-9 days from Iraqi battlefields as far as 2400 miles away.
The radiation measured in the atmosphere quadrupled within a few weeks after the beginning of the 2003 campaign, and at one of the 5 monitoring locations, the levels twice required an official alert to the British Environment Agency.