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Depleted Uranium and Uranium Weapons Updates

Overview: A concise guide to uranium weapons, the science behind them and their threat to human health and the environment - International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons [Extensive resources & links; frequently updated] http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/i/77.html

DU: Weapon of Mass Destruction - The Progressive Foundation, Nukewatch Quarterly [Extensive resources & links; frequently updated] http://www.nukewatchinfo.org/Quarterly/index.html

International Law and Modern War: The Changed Battlefield and Depleted Uranium - Rosalie Bertell - Current Concerns, No 16, 2007 http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=487

Occupational Hazards of War: Depleted Uranium - Rosalie Bertell - International Journal of Health Services, Fall, 2006 http://www.iicph.org/docs/occupational-hazards-of-war-du.htm. Read a new outrageous proposal re depleted uranium -- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's recent tentative decision to "classify large quantities of depleted uranium as the least hazardous type of low-level radioactive waste."

US Department of Veteran Affairs: Depleted Uranium - How veterans may be exposed to Uranium and how it can be associated to many health problems. http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/depleted_uranium/

Current News from the Associated Press 3/26/09- NRC Racing to Answer Questions on Depleted Uranium Disposal - Excerpts describing this new outrage are below, as are several links to information on depleted uranium and uranium weapons. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/03/26-6

Excerpts:

SALT LAKE CITY - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is rushing to meet an April 2 deadline to turn over stacks of internal documents that could shed light on why it recently decided to classify large quantities of depleted uranium as the least hazardous type of low-level radioactive waste.

The NRC's decision, which still must undergo a rule-making process that could take up to two years, would open the door for federal facilities and companies around the country to dispose of more than 1 million tons of depleted uranium in Utah and Texas.

Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who is chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the NRC, have demanded the documents because they believe the agency's March 18 decision disregards the risk depleted uranium poses to public health and safety.

They called the NRC's decision an "arbitrary and capricious mischaracterization" of the waste.

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Environmental groups contend the 3-1 ruling by the NRC's Republican-controlled commission is an attempt to appease corporate interests searching for the least expensive option possible to dispose of the waste.

"The reason for all these shenanigans, in my opinion, is they've already granted a license saying you can dispose of depleted uranium in shallow landfill areas," Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Md., said of the New Mexico site.

It is possible, although unlikely, that the NRC could reverse course on its decision if Matheson and Markey continue to pressure them.

The congressmen could also ask President Barack Obama to appoint new commissioners to the NRC to give it a Democratic majority. One seat on the five member commission is already vacant and a Republican member's term is set to expire July 1. One Democrat already sits on the NRC.

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