Global Research

January 21, 2009

from GlobalResearch Website


The UN nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it would investigate allegations by Arab countries that Israel may have used ammunition containing depleted uranium during its 22-day military offensive in Gaza.

The countries made the allegations in a letter addressed to Director General Mohammed ElBaradei and delivered by the Saudi Arabian ambassador on Monday. They asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate the matter.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed the receipt of the letter.

"We are circulating the letter to member states and will investigate the matter to the extent of our ability," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

The exact course of action would be decided after consultation with member states.

The Israeli ambassador to the IAEA, Israel Michaeli, declined to comment.

Depleted uranium is a waste product of uranium enrichment and has a number of civilian and military applications, including its use in weapons to penetrate tanks and amour plating.

Investigations have been carried out into its use in ammunition in conflicts such as the 1991 Gulf War and 1994-95 NATO air strikes in the Balkans.

The IAEA published a report on the issue in 2002. At the time, IAEA Deputy Director General Werner Burkart said:

"To be honest, there are very few health concerns for depleted uranium from a radiological point of view, because it is only very slightly radioactive.

"Even the handling of enriched uranium in industry does not need special protection such as shielding. There are more dangerous radiotoxic elements associated with uranium in nature."

Depleted uranium could pose a health risk, however, in the form of dust found at impact sites.

Nevertheless, in the case of the Balkans conflict,

"it is difficult to imagine that peacekeepers had exposure to depleted uranium high enough to significantly change their normal level of radiation exposure from natural and civilian sources," Burkart said at the time.


Before leaving office, Bush approved new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for radiation releases
Rules dramatically weaken public protections.
by Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Global Research

January 21, 2009
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

from GlobalResearch Website

Just before leaving office, the Bush Administration approved new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for radiation releases that dramatically weaken public protections.


In particular, the new PAGs would permit radioactivity in drinking water hundreds to millions of times higher than longstanding EPA standards.

The PAGs weren't able to published in the Federal Register before Inauguration, but unless the new Obama Administration pulls them back immediately, they could be published in the next few days.

The Order issued by the White House Tuesday to suspend all rulemaking activities until the new Administration can review them might be interpreted by Bush holdovers at EPA as strictly only covering formal rulemaking. In order to avoid rulemaking legal requirements, the Bush Administration issued these new standards as Protective Action Guides instead.


So it is critical to get EPA to immediately pull the PAGs back from the Federal Register.

Please call the EPA Administrator's office at 202-564-4700 today and leave a message, asking that the Radiation Protective Action Guides be withdrawn immediately from publication in the Federal Register.

For more information, see or contact Dan Hirsch of the Committee to Bridge the Gap at 831 336-8003,


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