Pro-uranium weapons propaganda operates within the cover-up system of the nuclear complex. At its core is a basically flawed model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, according to which low-level internal radiation from fine uranium particles is not a hazard.
Proponents of uranium power and weapons use the model instead of empirical evidence, which they suppress with a sophisticated misinformation and fact-distortion web reaching as far as international organizations responsible for public health.
Recognizing the harm done, Williams, for example, urges priority actions to reverse the cycle of deception and human suffering because of uranium weaponry: (i) weapon inspections to determine which ones contain uranium, (ii) target inspection to identify those hit and contaminated by uranium weapons, (iii) health monitoring and support for target communities in uranium-contaminated areas, and (v) fundamental review of all research that was so far restricted to DU instead of uranium weaponry in general.
Observers believe that DU cover-ups serve to ease public acceptability of present non-nuclear uranium weapons against hard targets, present small nuclear warheads, and future pure fusion nuclear weapons. All of these weapons contaminate with low level radiation. A future combat scenario using fusion micro-weapons translates into a low-level radioactive input comparable to that on DU battlefields [Gsponer et al., 2002]. Elimination of uranium radiological and fission weapons in the 21st century would not terminate the health and environmental problems of low-level radiation battles.
Unless the legal thresholds of acceptability of so-called low-level radiation are removed, the perpetrators of non-nuclear but still radiological uranium weapons would continue to contravene humanitarian law and place increasing parts of the planet at risk. Ultimately, massive long-term human catastrophe might result, far beyond the borders of radioactive wars. Thus, the authors see the only solution is a complete and universal termination of the development, testing, production and use of these weapons of indiscriminate effect and delayed mass destruction. A beginning of that termination is H. R. 3155, introduced at the US Congress.
(c) Copyright Piotr Bein and Karen Parker, 2003. All rights reserved.
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