RADIOACTIVE TIMES 6/1 Dec/06 - Summary of main points.


The invasion of Lebanon last year was supposedly triggered by the kidnap of some Israeli border guards provoked by frustrated ‘negotiation’ about releasing Lebanese, long imprisoned  by Israel. Everyone opposed the massive and disproportionate Israeli bombing and invasion – with the exception of George & Yo-Blair!

The Israeli campaign was not successful yet Israel systematically caused huge damage to Lebanon. Israel denied using phosphorous weapons but later conceded it had. As well as conventional weapons a variety of Uranium weapons were used. Though these have been used in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past it hasn’t been easy to gain access to the sites which have remained occupied for long periods afterwards.

Israeli withdrawal assisted investigation so that soil, water, and air filter samples could be taken. These clearly showed the presence of enriched Uranium compounds in areas where powerful explosives had been used. The presence in air filters confirms that radioactive aerosols in the atmosphere would certainly have been breathed in by local inhabitants. But more than that, depending upon weather and wind, breathable dust must have been dispersed far and wide. An earlier investigation showed that air filters at Aldermaston recorded a dramatic ‘spike’ in radioactive air contamination when Uranium weapons were used in Iraq in 2003.

Further investigation of low-level radioactive contamination continues to show that the establishment models for assessing risk to human health are inadequate. Chromosome aberrations have been detected in people exposed to contamination by weakly radioactive substances which are routinely dismissed as too weak to pose any risk. Current research points to Uranium compounds having a particular affinity with DNA which its radiation consequently targets, causing damage and secondary events. Uranium may remain in the body for a long time with a half-life of 15 years.

There are serious implications for the Nuclear Power lobby which uses official statistics showing power plants contaminate their environments with weak Uranium - claimed to pose no health risk. In fact nuclear power plant statistics frequently under-state contamination. Animal experiments have shown that genetic damage from low-level radiation can endure for 22 generations. 20 years after the Chernobyl accident evidence suggests that the true effects from exposure to doses, normally dismissed as inconsequential, are far more severe than first thought, particularly in respect of genomic instability. The aerosols from the accident were breathed by millions of Europeans and were frequently of the same level of radioactivity as officially approved discharges from nuclear plants.

The British government has recently been heavily criticised for supposedly initiating a consultation exercise about further nuclear power. Their proposals put out for comment lacked important information about the true costs, contamination, and how to deal with nuclear waste safely.  


The picture on the front cover of Radioactive Times is of a huge cloud caused by a massive Israeli missile strike at Khiam, South Lebanon, where radioactivity was found.


Noel Hamel