The Clean up of depleted uranium in Iraq will cost $30mln

‘Iraq DU clean-up to cost USD 30mn’

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 17:48:35 GMT

A report says the clean-up of depleted uranium (DU) contamination across Iraq, which has been spread by the US military during the invasion and occupation of the country, will cost at least USD 30 million.

The investigation, funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and conducted by Dutch peace group IKV Pax Christi, has highlighted the alarming problem of DU contamination in about 300 sites across Iraq.

According to the report, which was published by The Guardian on Wednesday, the problem has been getting worse as scrap metal dealers acquire the toxic material alongside other war scrap and spread it around to other sites.

An estimated 400 tons of DU munitions were fired by US jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003. The UK says its forces fired less than three tons.

According to current estimates, each site will cost between USD100,000 and USD150,000 to decontaminate. With over 300 sites confirmed to be contaminated with DU, a minimum of USD 30 million will be needed in cleanup costs.

The report also provided evidence that DU munitions were fired at civilian vehicles and buildings, including Iraq’s Ministry of Planning in Baghdad.

Despite Iraq’s Health Ministry reporting an increase in cancer cases linked to DU exposure and the World Health Organization launching a probe into reports about the rise in number of birth defects, the US and UK refuse to stop using DU weapons.

Depleted Uranium is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons since it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armor.

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