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Mounting evidence of long term harm of depleted uranium weapons

text-from-the-archivesThere is increasing worldwide support for a Depleted Uranium  ban….There is a du_roundsgrowing consensus among civil society groups, scientists and
some military organisations
that the health risks from DU have been seriously underestimated.

Latest documents advocating the ban of depleted uranium. By Jerry Mazza, Online Journal, 23 July 2010, US Armed Forces Radiobiology Institute Between 2000 and 2003, Dr Alexandra Miller of AFFRI was at the forefront of US Government sponsored research into DU�s chemical toxicity and radioactivity. Through a series of peer-reviewed papers, Dr Miller and her colleagues demonstrated for the first time that internalised DU oxides could result in �a significant enhancement of urinary mutagenicity,� that they can transform human cells into cells capable of producing cancerous tumours,

……and that DU was capable of inducing DNA damage in the absence of significant radioactive decay, i.e. through its chemical toxicity alone. In one study, 76% of mice implanted with DU pellets developed leukaemia.
International response

�There is increasing worldwide support for a DU ban. In 2007 Belgium became the first country in the world to ban all conventional weapons containing uranium with �other states set to follow their example. Meanwhile the Italian government agreed to a 170m Euro compensation package for personnel exposed to uranium weapons in the Balkans.

Later that year the UN General Assembly passed a resolution highlighting serious health concerns over DU and in May 2008, 94% of MEPs in the European Parliament strengthened four previous calls for a moratorium by calling for a DU ban treaty in a wide-ranging resolution. In December 2008 141 states in the UN General Assembly ordered the World Health Organisation, International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Environment Programme to update their positions on the long-term health and environmental threat that uranium weapons pose.

The solution

With more than 100 member organisations worldwide, ICBUW represents the best opportunity yet to achieve a global ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapon systems. Even though the use of weapons containing uranium should already be illegal under International Humanitarian, Human Rights and Environmental Laws, an explicit treaty, as has been seen with chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster bombs, has proved the best solution for confirming their illegality. Such a treaty would not only outlaw the use of uranium weapons, but would include the prohibition of their production, the destruction of stockpiles, the decontamination of battlefields and rules on compensation for victims.

ICBUW has prepared a draft treaty, which contains a general and comprehensive prohibition of the development, production, transport, storage, possession, transfer and use of uranium ammunition.

There is a growing consensus among civil society groups, scientists and
some military organisations
that the health risks from DU have been seriously underestimated. Establishment scientific bodies have been slow to react to the wealth of new research into DU and policy makers have been content to ignore the claims of researchers and activists. Deliberate obfuscation by the mining, nuclear and arms industries has further hampered efforts to recognise the problem and achieve a ban. The past failure of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional �Weapons to deal with landmines and cluster bombs suggests that an independent treaty process is the best route to limiting the further use and proliferation of uranium weapons.

As enshrined in the Geneva Conventions, the methods and means of warfare are not unlimited. We must not allow the short term military advantage claimed for uranium weapons to override our responsibility for the long-term welfare of people and planet.

Latest documents advocating the ban of depleted uranium


December 19, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, depleted uranium, Uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Filmmakers Ash and Kamanaka discuss radiation, secrets and lives

Ian Thomas Ash and Hitomi Kamanaka are perhaps the two most widely viewed filmmakers who have produced documentaries about the effects of radioactivity in Fukushima since the March 11, 2011, disaster. Ash’s commitment to the subject arose after the multiple nuclear meltdown. Kamanaka, on the other hand, has been Japan’s designated nuclear documentarian for nearly two decades.

In a number of ways, they are each the other’s mirror image. Ash is a foreign filmmaker who produces films in Japanese. Kamanaka also made her first widely distributed film about radiation exposure by traveling abroad: She went to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state and to Iraq, where she documented the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqi citizens after the first Gulf War. She has continued to travel since, making films in Sweden and, most recently, Belarus.

Kamanaka has considered herself an activist filmmaker from nearly the beginning, and her films are consciously critical of the nuclear energy industry. Ash’s films, however, are narrative in nature. His camera stays firmly planted in the lives of his individual subjects.

In this way, as well, the two filmmakers’ careers have converged: Kamanaka’s new film, “Little Voices from Fukushima,” eschews a commentary structure in favor of a larger cast of subjects and a similarly narrative style. The film’s subject matter — the effects of radiation on the thyroid glands of children following nuclear meltdowns — also brings Kamanaka into alignment with Ash, whose two post-Fukushima documentaries address this issue exclusively.

Neither filmmaker is unfamiliar with the polarized nature of public discussion about nuclear energy: Kamanaka has lost government-administered funding for her films as a result of their content, and during a period of particularly heated media debate surrounding Ash’s films, his distributor was dissolved by its parent company in an attempt to avoid involvement in any potential controversies.

We asked the two filmmakers — American and Japanese, storyteller and activist — to discuss their work and their films, and to consider the notion of “being a ‘foreign’ filmmaker.” Below is an edited version of their discussion at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. (Dreux Richard)

Ian Thomas Ash: Let’s talk about that now: being a “foreign filmmaker” and how much that affects the work.

I have a few questions about language. I am also a foreign filmmaker. I make films in Japanese in Japan. And you make films in Japan, but you go abroad to make films and you do that in English. You said maybe people feel disarmed by the fact that you are foreign, that it’s a little bit easier for you.

Hitomi Kamanaka: They’re not protective. They become relaxed.

ITA: Your English is not perfect, nor is my Japanese perfect. So I think on some level people sense that they have to speak more straight. They can’t bull—-t, because it won’t work.

HK: In Japanese society, in our culture, we have a sophisticated, indirect way of communicating.

ITA: One of the things in my film “A2-B-C” is “Tadachi ni eikyō wa arimasen to omowaremasu.” It means—

HK: Nothing.

ITA: Yeah: “I believe that at this point in time there will probably be no health effects.” That doesn’t mean anything. You’re just playing with words.

HK: It’s bull—-t.

ITA: Exactly. It’s bull—-t. In 10 years, 20 years, we don’t know. So it’s using language as a weapon — to try to cover things up. But when you are speaking with a foreign person, you can’t do that so much.

HK: (miming confusion) “What? What?”

ITA: I often pretend I don’t understand. People ask me about being a foreign filmmaker, and to be honest, I am not always conscious of the fact that I am foreign. I don’t think all the time, “I’m foreign. I’m foreign.” And how do you feel? When you go abroad, do you always feel like a foreigner? I don’t. Until someone says to me, “Ah, you are a foreigner.”

HK: I think since I was small, I see everyone — American people, Iraqi people or people from any other country — as the same. It’s just a problem of language.

ITA: To prepare for this discussion, I watched “Hibakusha: At the End of the World.” You went to Iraq, and you have been to America. What was that like? Because when you go to Iraq, not only are you foreign, but you are a woman.

HK: I think images about Iraq have been exaggerated and distorted by the mass media, especially the United States mass media — that Iraqis are stubborn people, or narrow-minded. But when I met them, they were warm and kind and full of love for their families. And they were open-minded toward foreign people. Everyone was, from normal citizens to bureaucrats.

ITA: In the movie, there’s a farmer [in Washington state] named Tom, who is leading this group of downwinders who are—

HK: Plaintiffs. In a trial.

ITA: There is a scene in the film where he is making a joke about the fact the government is saying, “It’s all right, it’s all right.” He says, “I’m just a farmer.” He says, “I’m not supposed to say anything. The government says it’s all right, so it must be all right.” You’re in the back of the car, laughing. It’s a really funny moment. He’s saying, “The government says the radiation stops at the barbed wire fence.”

HK: It’s a kind of black joke. He knows everything. But what he’s saying is the reality, how he sees the reality going on around the Hanford area. The farmers are pretending.

ITA: Then Dr. Shuntaro Hida, who is a hibakusha from Hiroshima, at that time he is 85. He talks about compensation only being for people within a 2 km radius. That is true for Fukushima as well, where they had zones. Initially it was 10 km and then it was 20 km, 30 km. If you live outside of 20 km, no compensation.

HK: Society has a different way of facing the truth, I think. Physics says it is impossible to stop radiation, and that anywhere you draw a line, there will be no difference between the two sides. But you must draw the line somewhere. In between, people are trapped.

ITA: In your film “Rokkasho Rhapsody,” there is a woman, Kikukawa-san. Her friend is growing organic foods. I want to read you her quote, because I think it’s important. She says, “There’s no proof that it is OK. But if you don’t like something, you shouldn’t do it. I can’t offer an explanation. It’s only the way I feel. The decision comes down to me, not some university professor.” She, as a farmer, just has this sense.

HK: When I had a press conference and screening for that film, maybe 30 journalists came. I was waiting outside the door [during the screening]. And they came out, and I expected somebody — anybody —to talk about the contents of the film. Everybody was silent. And then they just left. Nobody stopped to talk to me. Nobody.

ITA: I had the same experience with both of my films. I made “In the Grey Zone” in 2012, and it came out one year after the nuclear meltdown. Looking back, I think maybe it was too early. Then I did “A2-B-C,” and again I had a lot of trouble finding a distributor. I decided, “OK, I’m going to show it around the world and then bring it back to Japan,” which is what I did. Now “A2-B-C” is better-known and people say, “Can we see ‘In the Grey Zone?’ Can we see the other film?”

HK: In “A2-B-C” you begin with Yamashita-san. I wondered how you could do that shooting. That is very difficult, to access Yamashita-san. He was so protected.

ITA: Dr. Shunichi Yamashita was an adviser to the government who helped after the nuclear meltdown to create policy. He is from Nagasaki and his parents were hibakusha in Nagasaki. He had been doing research in Chernobyl.

HK: He is a very famous researcher of Chernobyl. Internationally.

ITA: So he came here to the [Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan] press club about 12 days after the nuclear meltdown and he gave a press conference. He gave the press conference in English, which I think is very important, because his English is not very good. I have to tell you that Dr. Yamashita’s English is not very good. This is important.

HK: Why did he not have a translator?

ITA: It’s part of his act. He gives this speech, and of course none of the Japanese journalists understand what he is saying. So all of the foreign journalists leave the room and they go write their articles. Only the Japanese reporters remain in the room. He was still at the table. All the Japanese reporters stayed and he gave an off-record press conference in Japanese. But it’s all off-record. I was there. He looks at me and I am the only white person in the room. He thinks I don’t speak Japanese, and I am sitting there recording the whole thing.

HK: That’s how you could do it.

ITA: This goes back to the thing about being a foreign filmmaker. I want to make a connection between Dr. Yamashita, and Dr. [Michael] Fox, who you interviewed, who works at the Hanford nuclear facility. And one of the things he says is—

HK: “Evidence. Scientific evidence.”

ITA: Exactly. “I’m a scientist. I sort things out based on data. Data should decide these issues. Not propaganda. Not fear.” It really reminded me of Dr. Yamashita. This way of thinking: that it is only about numbers, it’s only about data. When you talk about any of these issues — when you talk about Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Fukushima — if we only talk about numbers, we forget that each number represents a person. People say things like, “Only one person will become sick.” But to that one person, it’s 100 percent.

HK: That kind of sensitivity is always missing in those kind of scientists. But with Dr. Fox, I made a mistake. I had read the history of Hanford. A whistleblower had said they were doing bad things there. They are polluting the area and people. But [Hanford employees] had pride. They were working for a national purpose, protecting the United States from communism, or something. So they had pride, and then their pride had been broken. They became so protective, and that is why I pushed a kind of button when I—

ITA: I don’t think you made a mistake.

HK: But I made him angry about it.

ITA: I made Dr. Yamashita angry. You have to break through that sometimes. That’s why you’re a good filmmaker. I mean, if you don’t break through that, then we have no film.

HK: When I want to ask something, I ask.

ITA: I think of so many things. One is my own struggle when people refer to me as an activist filmmaker. I have not been able to embrace the word ‘activist’ yet. What I am doing, I hope that it can help people. But I feel like if I am only an activist filmmaker, then only other activists will watch the films.

HK: That’s the problem.

ITA: There are people in America who need to see “Hibakusha: At the End of the World,” but the people who need to see this film are not going to seek it out. The people who do seek it out already know there is a problem. I feel this is true for my films as well.

HK: I’ve been thinking about the same thing for a long time. If people think, “Oh, this is my story” or “He is like me,” it will make people interested in seeing this kind of film. The people who are in my new film are very, very ordinary people. They are not activists. The only thing in their mind is “We need to protect children.”

ITA: In your films, you often go to different places and you make connections. When you edit, you don’t give the audience any chance to adjust: We’re in Iraq and now we’re in Hanford, and in Hanford you’ve brought someone with you from Hiroshima. In your new film, is it only filmed in Fukushima or did you go to other places?

HK: The film [“Little Voices from Fukushima”] is about mothers who want to protect their children from radiation exposure, which has occurred in Fukushima. And the other place is Belarus. So I combined two places in one film. I expect a kind of chemical reaction.

ITA: Among the audience?

HK: Yes. After you watch the film. This is a 25-year delay — 1986 and 2011. Twenty-five years separate Fukushima and Belarus.

ITA: I remember now what I was going to ask you. In this world of documentary film in Japan, and especially films that deal with nuclear issues, you are quite well-known.

HK: Because nobody was making these films.

ITA: How does that affect your ability to make another film? When I went somewhere while I was making “A2-B-C,” for example, people didn’t know who I was. It was easy. Now if I go back to make another film: “Ah, you’re the guy that made ‘A2-B-C’. ” You made “Hibakusha,” you made “Rokkasho Rhapsody.”

HK: For “Rokkasho Rhapsody,” Madarame-san [Haruki Madarame] is in it.

ITA: He’s the geneticist, or the University of Tokyo professor.

HK: And also the head of the [now-defunct] Nuclear [Safety] Committee in Japan. So he doesn’t know me. He just thought I was a small woman bringing a small camera. He could speak freely. But now the [trade ministry]—

ITA: Know who you are.

HK: They hate me.

ITA: Because you got some cultural funding from the Japanese government to make your films.

HK: That’s why they were angry. Later, when my film got famous, then they thought, “This film got a grant from the government? Who gave it?” I guess they were angry with the ministry of culture. Since then, I can’t get this kind of grant. People develop an image about you. It’s difficult.

ITA: Interesting. We were just talking about professor Madarame. He says something like—

HK: “It’s money.”

ITA: Exactly. He says, “Regardless of whether the path we are on is the right one, this is the path that we have chosen. And it all comes down to money.”

HK: Documentary film production in Japan is not easy. Mass media is taking over whole fields and people believe what mass media says, even after March 11. So we are making a smaller type of media. But this media only can tell the things that mass media doesn’t talk about. That’s why I think it’s important.

Ian Thomas Ash is currently touring in Japan and abroad to support his latest film “-1287,” about a late friend’s terminal cancer. He is also in production for two feature documentary films: The first is about a rarely explored niche in Japan’s sex industry; the other is the third installment in his series about Fukushima. More information on his films can be found at
Hitomi Kamanaka’s most recent documentary “Little Voices from Fukushima” is now showing in theaters ( A screening with English subtitles will be at 10:45 a.m. on 20 May at Uplink in Shibuya, Tokyo (
Special thanks to Dreux Richard. Your comments and story ideas:

 Source: Japan Times

Video on Youtube:
Filmmakers Ash and Kamanaka discuss radiation, secrets and lives

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | 1 Comment

Nuclear Repression, not Nuclear Renaissance, in Jaitapur, India

Jaitapur’s people are more concerned about being treated as sub-humans by the state, which has unleashed savage repression, including hundreds of arrests, illegal detentions and orders prohibiting peaceful assemblies. Eminent citizens keen to express solidarity with protesters were banned, including a former supreme court judge, the Communist party’s secretary and a former Navy chief. Gadgil too was prevented. A former high court judge was detained illegally for five days. Worse, a Maharashtra minister recently threatened that “outsiders” who visit Jaitapur wouldn’t be “allowed to come out” (alive).

This hasn’t broken the people’s resolve or resistance.

The truth behind India’s nuclear renaissance Jaitapur’s French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods   Praful Bidwai,  8 February 2011 The global “nuclear renaissance” touted a decade ago has not materialised. Continue reading

February 10, 2011 Posted by | civil liberties, environment, India | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia ramps up nuclear weapons in Europe

True totals of Russian tactical nuclear weapons is a tightly-held secret, but the Federation of American Scientists estimated last year that Moscow has nearly 5,400 of them, with about 2,000 deployed.

  • Russia Moves Tactical Nukes Closer to NATO. Gulp., By Spencer Ackerman November 30, 2010

While the U.S. and Russia have been publicly crowing about their awesome new friendship for the past two years, Moscow’s been moving small, ground-based nuclear weapons closer to the borders of Washington’s easternmost NATO allies. Continue reading

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | , , | Leave a comment

The potential for Stuxnet computer worm to attack nuclear centrifuges

Forensic experts dissecting the worm found that it was calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges “wildly out of control.”… thing is clear: Stuxnet is a worrying escalation in cyber attacks.

A dangerous new level in malware, Pittsburg Post Gazette, TechMan:  2 Dec 10, Malicious software turned a dangerous corner recently with Stuxnet, a computer worm that attacks the control systems for things like nuclear power plants and electrical grids………….. Continue reading

December 2, 2010 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear company EDF has financial and legal problems

The European Commission plans to take France to the European Court of Justice over a provision in the reform which maintains local taxes on electricity, La Tribune reported today……..….

EDF May Sell Nuclear Power Below 42 Euros, Deputy Says, Bloomberg, By Tara Patel – Nov 26, 2010 Electricite de France SA may be forced to sell nuclear power to rivals at less than it says it needs to recoup production costs under a law adopted yesterday by France’s National Assembly, according to a lawmaker. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Human error the biggest danger in nuclear technology

In 2007, six nuclear warheads were transported from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, to Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base – by mistake. It’s a pattern of mistakes where there’s zero room for error.

When We’re Our Own Biggest Nuclear Threat Gizmodo Australia, By Brian Barrett  November 23, 2010 Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | general | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Act of mischief’ irradiated 50 nuclear workers in India

No breakthrough yet in Kaiga radiation case, The Times of India, STANLEY G PINTO, TNN, Nov 25, 2010, MANGALORE: The tritium poisoning episode at Kaiga Generating Station (KGS), which exposed around 50 employees to increased levels of  radiation a year ago, remains shrouded in mystery, with police investigations apparently hitting a roadblock.
Asserting that investigations are still on, police officials admit it’s a difficult case to crack since it was an act of mischief……No breakthrough yet in Kaiga radiation case – The Times of India

November 26, 2010 Posted by | India, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK used atomic test soldiers as radiation ‘guinea pigs’

The Government of the day had to discover the effects a nuclear bomb would have, not only on the infrastructure but the effects it would have for the human race over a prolonged period of time. It was decided the Armed Forces would be used as ‘Human Guinea Pigs’ in order to discover the effects radiation would have on the Human Body.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BRITISH NUCLEAR TESTS,  Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog, by Dave Whyte One of the ‘Human Guinea Pigs’ 26 Nov 10, After WWII the British Government decided they would develop their own nuclear deterrent and made plans to conduct the tests at remote areas in Australia and the Pacific as they were not fully aware of the devastating power these devices were capable of producing. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK’s “independent” research into nuclear veterans far from independent

The reason for this covert examination of body parts is exposed by Redfern ( p.90 ) as “mainly scientific research and potential damage claims .”

Dear Members of Parliament « Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog. 26 Nov 10, “…………The Minister for Veterans has admitted nuclear test veterans were exposed to radiation . Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nuclear bomb test veterans were exposed to unnecessary risks

we look back now at the veterans of atom bomb tests and conclude that, whatever the law says, these men were exposed to unnecessary risk.

Soldiers deserve better treatment, Manchester Evening News, November 23, 2010 …..All but one of ten test cases were deemed to have been brought to court too late, and with veterans unable to prove the Ministry Of Defence was negligent, and that radiation was the probable cause of illness. So the veterans fail at law. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radiation danger and illicit nuclear tracking fears in Ghana

Government to provide protection of nuclear and radioactive materials, Accra, Nov. 23, Ghana News Agency, GNA – Government has expressed its commitment to provide the physical protection of nuclear and other radioactive materials and associated facilities, Mr Alex Segbefia, Deputy Chief of Staff said on Tuesday. He said government would in addition; work to combat illicit trafficking and inadvertent movement of radioactive materials…………Government to provide protection of nuclear and radioactive materials

November 25, 2010 Posted by | AFRICA, safety | , , , , | Leave a comment

British nuclear cover-up will affect atomic veterans legal case

The Redfern Report reveals that scientists and doctors from the National Health Service ( NHS ) , the Medical Research Council ( MRC ) , the National Radiological Protection Board ( NRPB ) and the Atomic Weapons Establishment ( AWE ) examined and then destroyed evidence of exposure to ionising radiation with the aid of coroners and pathologist to enable the Ministry of Defence to avoid accountability for future damage claims . These are facts veterans and widows are passing to the legal team of Rosenblatts ..


November 23, 2010 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian soldiers, Aborigines, civilians exposed to depleted uranium in ’50s nuclear tests

The government is preparing a study of those who may have been affected, including soldiers, and Aboriginal and civilian populations in the area at the time of testing.

Depleted uranium used at Maralinga Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog, 23 Nov 10, Australian Government Confirms Depleted Uranium Used in 1950s The Australian Federal Government announced that it will conduct a health study of Australian volunteers who worked at Maralinga, a British nuclear test site. Continue reading

November 23, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, depleted uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuxnet computer worm might target North Korea’s nukes

  • the North Korean control system “is dual use, also used by the petrochemical industry, but was the same as those acquired by Iran to run its centrifuges.”
  • Could Stuxnet Mess With North Korea’s New Uranium Plant? By Kim Zetter and Spencer Ackerman November 22, 2010 The Stuxnet worm may have a new target. While security analysts try to figure out whether the now-infamous malware was built to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, North Korea has unveiled a new uranium enrichment plant that appears to share components with Iran’s facilities. Could Pyongyang’s centrifuges be vulnerable to Stuxnet? Continue reading

November 23, 2010 Posted by | North Korea, safety, Uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment