Aka, depleted uranium. This is a lengthy, revealing article about the serious dangers that weapons made from U-238 pose.
Depleted Uranium Poison Explosions Target US Citizens
By Cathy Garger
Jan 23, 2007, 21:13
I Left My Heart In (a 2500 miles radius of) San Francisco
Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. Your destiny is a mystery to us. – Chief Seattle leader of the Duwanish tribe in Washington Territory in an 1854 letter to U.S. President Franklin Pierce to mark transfer of ancestral Indian lands to the United States
There are efforts underway to oppose explosions of radioactive materials by the US government into the air in which we breathe. This article will outline various reasons why and how radioactive explosive “tests” are harming America – and describe the efforts of citizens in one area of the country who are now working to try to put a stop to them.
Like most people over 21, you may already know that the United States used to “test” nuclear bombs in the NV and NM deserts, right out in the open air. If asked, most people would probably be able to tell us that yes indeed, both above ground and below ground “nuclear testing” in the United States ended years ago. Yet, even though 1992 saw its last nuke bomb “test” inside the United States, how many know that our government is still firing radioactive explosives into our atmosphere? This fact appears to be one of Uncle Sam’s “dirtiest” not-so-little, well-kept secrets.
Yes, they fire radiation out into the very same air that our families breathe. Tons of radioactive munitions, in fact. Depleted Uranium is the name of one of the materials they use. And if that material sounds familiar? It because it’s the same stuff that they’re using on the “enemy” – that is, on civilians – in Afghanistan and Iraq.
No, we do not know what in the world the civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan ever did to deserve the “honor” of being blasted to kingdom come with Uranium-238 – rendering their nations permanently uninhabitable. By the same token, nor do we know what American citizens have done to deserve Depleted Uranium being exploded into our air so that we are gassed with it, either.
But now the country is starting to buzz with the word of radioactive open air “testing” near San Francisco. And with such a progressive part of the nation that has historically fought hard for peace, equal rights, racial equality, gay rights, and ecological sustainability? As one could say, the Greater San Francisco Bay area is now again boldly “coming out of the closet” with regard to letting the proverbial cat out of the bag about this “dirty” business of Uncle Sam’s.
But this is not a story entirely about San Francisco’s troubles. Nor is it even all about California. As you will see, this story affects you and me, no matter where we live in the country. California’s tale is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The story about your community and mine? Now that’s the heart of this story.
The fiery “hot” issue of Depleted Uranium explosives “testing” has emerged into the spotlight in the San Francisco Bay area recently all because of some people who live in a city called Tracy. That’s how anything important usually starts – when just a few people who are fed up enough get together and become vocal enough and publicly put up a fuss.
No wonder why they’re upset. Only a few miles away from them on a federally owned 7,000 acre parcel of land in the Altamont Hills at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in San Joaquin and Alameda Counties, California, radioactive explosives containing Depleted Uranium are being shot out into the open air at a location called Site 300. Yes, Depleted Uranium is being exploded across the street from a motorbike recreational area. Site 300 is only a few miles away from where people live.
What started all the ruckus was that on November 13 a new permit, issued by California’s San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, was put into effect that allows the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to use more than triple the amount of explosive materials in “test” detonations at Site 300 than in the past. This means that the equivalent of 350 pounds of explosives may now be fired instead of the previously permitted 100 pounds.
There are two efforts underway to appeal the new permit for Site 300 that allows for much larger explosions by using greater amounts of radioactive materials. Two appeals have been filed, one by a housing developer and the other by a resident who lives about five miles from the radioactive blast location, Site 300.
Small business owner, Tracy resident, and long-standing member of Tri-Valley Communities Against A Radioactive Environment (CARES), Bob Sarvey is leading the way to protect his community of 72,400 from radioactivity at Livermore’s Site 300 by appealing the permit of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. A health risk assessment performed recently shows a higher health risk just from merely inhaling toxic non-radioactive air contaminants than the Livermore Lab shows in its own radiological assessment.
Residents realized something was not quite right about this report. “Previously“, according to Sarvey, “the Lawrence Livermore Lab didn’t need a permit from the Pollution Control District because their chargers were under 100 lbs. equivalent to TNT – and under 1,000 pounds per year. Now, they are going to increase that to 350 pounds per charge, equivalent to TNT …and they are also going to increase the annual limit to 8,000 pounds. That’s eight-fold of what it was annually… and on a per change basis, three and a half times per charge”.
In addition to allowing up to 8,000 pounds of explosives containing radioactive matter annually, as reported in the Tracy Press on December 14 the current county air pollution control permit allows Livermore Laboratory to emit up to 1,440 pounds of particulate matter up to 10 microns in diameter per year into the air. The public does not even have to be notified of such emissions unless the particulate matter exceeds a 20,000 pound limit.
It only takes one invisible micron of Depleted Uranium to cause organ damage and health failure. Can anyone possibly hazard a guess as to how much potential hazard that 1,440 pounds of particulates could cause – never mind the 20,000 pound particulate upper limit? Can you imagine willingly causing up to 1,440 pounds of radioactive particles to be blasted into the open air? If one miniscule particle so tiny as to be invisible can cause a terminal illness, whose mind can even fathom the devastation 1,440 pounds of this stuff could do to countless numbers of people?
But we must remember – Livermore Lab is allowed to explode up to 20,000 pounds into the air in a year and not even have to notify the neighboring communities. And Site 300 is only one of several such explosive “test” sites in the nation.
Read the rest here.