Britain, U.S. Using Radioactive ‘Dirty Bombs’
World’s foremost expert on the U.S. military’s use of depleted uranium
By Dr. Doug Rokke
(American Free Press-Issue #31, July 31st, 2006)
While U.S. and British military personnel continue using illegal uranium
munitions—America’s and England’s own “dirty bombs”—Department of Energy
(DOE) and Department of Defense (DOD) officials deny that there are any
adverse health and environmental effects as a consequence of the
manufacture, testing and use of uranium munitions. The reason for the
doubletalk is obviously to avoid criminal liability for the willful and
illegal dispersal of a radioactive and toxic material—depleted uranium (DU).
How do I know this? Fourteen years ago, I was asked by the U.S. military to
clean up the initial DU mess from Gulf War I.
Following that, I headed the Depleted Uranium Project for the DOD, which
created a series of manuals and training videos to teach soldiers about the
hazards associated with handling DU munitions.
Still, DOD officials and others attempt to justify uranium munitions use
while ignoring mandatory requirements that are already in place to deal with
I am dismayed that DOD and DOE officials and their representatives continue
personal attacks aimed to silence or discredit those of us who are demanding
that medical care be provided to all DU casualties and that environmental
remediation be completed in compliance with government regulations.
The Pentagon arrogantly refuses to comply with its own orders and directives
that require the DOD to provide prompt and effective medical care to all
exposed individuals, as cited in military reports.
They also refuse to clean up dispersed radioactive contamination as required
by Army Regulation AR 700-48, titled Management of Equipment Contaminated
With Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities, and U.S. Army Technical
Bulletin TB 9-1300-278, which notes the “Guidelines For Safe Response To
Handling, Storage, And Transportation Accidents
Involving Army Tank Munitions Or Armor Which Contain Depleted Uranium.”
Specifically, section 2-4 of Army Regulation AR 700-48, dated Sept. 16,
2002, requires that:
• “Military personnel “identify, segregate, isolate, secure, and label all
RCE” (radiologically contaminated equipment).
• “Procedures to minimize the spread of radioactivity will be implemented as
soon as possible.”
• “Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through
burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment”; and
• “All equipment, to include captured or combat RCE, will be surveyed,
packaged, retrograded, decontaminated and released. . . .”
In addition, medical care must be provided by DOD to all individuals
affected by the manufacturing, testing and use of uranium munitions. A
thorough environmental cleanup must also be completed without further delay.
The use of uranium weapons, the release of radioactive components in
destroyed U.S. and foreign military equipment and releases of industrial,
medical and research facility radioactive materials have resulted in
Therefore, decontamination must be completed, as required by Army
regulation, and should include releases of all radioactive materials
resulting from military operations.
Americans should realize that adverse health and environmental effects of
uranium weapons contamination are not limited solely to combat zones. Any
facility and site where uranium weapons have been manufactured or tested
should be checked, also. These include Vieques, Puerto Rico; Colonie, N.Y.;
Concord, Mass.; Jefferson Proving Grounds in Indiana; and the Schofield
The willful dispersal of tons of solid radioactive and chemically toxic
waste in the form of uranium munitions is illegal. Beyond that, it does not
even pass the common sense test.
Even the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notes that DU is a dirty
bomb. DHS issued “dirty bomb” response guidelines on Jan. 3, 2006, for
incidents within the United States.
They specifically state: “A radiological incident is defined as an event or
series of events, deliberate or accidental, leading to the release, or
potential release, into the environment of radioactive material in
sufficient quantity to warrant consideration of protective actions.”
The first step in putting this terrible situation right should be for Bush
and Blair to set up medical care for all casualties.
They should then demand a thorough environmental assessment of the level of
DU contamination around testing facilities, munitions plants and
battlegrounds. They should also call for an immediate cessation of
retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care
provisions. And, finally, the two leaders should order an immediate stop to
the already illegal use of DU munitions.
Doug Rokke, Ph.D. (ret.) is a veteran of the first Gulf War and is the
former director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project, which developed
a series of training videos and manuals about DU munitions for the military.
The materials were intended to teach servicemen and women about the use of
and hazards associated with DU munitions. However, the military never
instituted the program. Today, Dr. Rokke has become one of the leading
critics of the U.S. government’s continued use of DU