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Depleted Uranium: A Scientific Perspective

An Interview With LEUREN MORET, Geoscientist

Interview Conducted By W. Leon Smith and Nathan Diebenow

Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who works almost around the clock educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials on radiation issues. She became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after witnessing fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. She is currently working as an independent citizen scientist and radiation specialist in communities around the world, and contributed to the U.N. subcommission investigating depleted uranium. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia, Moret testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan in Japan in 2003, presented at the World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference in Hamburg , Germany , and spoke at the World Court of Women at the World Social Forum in Bombay , India , in January 2004.


ICONOCLAST: What are the latest developments with reducing depleted uranium exposures on U.S. troops?

MORET: A young veteran named Melissa Sterry of Connecticut has introduced a bill into the Connecticut Legislature requiring independent testing of returning Afghan and Gulf War veterans going back to 2001. She said that she did it because sheís sick, and her friends are dead, and thatís from serving in the 2003 conflict. I have been following the bill and talking to her. Yesterday, she testified twice at the United Nations. I said, "Why donít we get this bill all over the U.S. in state legislatures because it informs the public and get the local media to cover it." The U.S. has blocked any accountability at international and national levels. Thereís a total cover-up just like with Agent Orange, the atomic veterans, MKULTRA, the mind control experiments the CIA did. This is more of the same, but the issue is much, much worse because the genetic future of all those contaminated is effected. Now vast regions around our world, as well as our atmosphere, are contaminated with the depleted uranium. Theyíve used so much. Itís the equivalent number of atoms, as the Japanese professor calculated it, to over 400,000 Nagasaki bombs that has been released into the atmosphere. Thatís really an underestimate.

I went to Louisiana in April. I was invited to speak at the University of New Orleans for three days. One of the veterans asked me to be in their April 19 protest and rally through the City of New Orleans . He took the Connecticut bill straight to the Legislature, and he got two legislators to sponsor it, and he said, "Just whiteout the name Ď Connecticut í and write in Ď Louisiana í on the bill." Youíre not going to believe it. It passed 101 to 0 yesterday in the Louisiana House.

I want you to write about it because we want it (the DU testing bill) in Texas . Nevada is going to introduce it. Congressman Jim McDermott is going to put it into the Washington legislature. We want to get the governor of Montana to do it because heís the first governor to demand his National Guard be returned. I think half of them are back. He said, "I need them in the state." The DU issue is just really, really, really, really so awful. I donít think thereís any greater tragedy in the history of the world in what theyíve done.

ICONOCLAST: Is there a danger of depleted uranium, being used in weaponry over there, spreading by air over here?

MORET: The atmosphere globally is contaminated with it. Itís completely mixed in one year. Iím an expert on atmospheric dust. Iím a geoscientist, a geologist, and thatís what I studied and did my research on. Itís really a fascinating subject. We have huge dust storms that are a million square miles and transport millions of tons of dust and sand every year around the world. The main centers of these dust storms are the Gobi Desert in China, which is where the Chinese did atmospheric testing, so thatís all contaminated with radiation, and it gets transported right over Japan, and it comes straight across the Pacific and dumps all its sand and dust on the U.S., North America. Itís loaded with radioactive isotopes, soot, pesticides, chemicals, pollution -- everything is in it -- fungi, bacteria, viruses.

The Sahara Desert is another huge dust center, and it goes up all over Europe and straight across the Atlantic, to the Caribbean , and up the East Coast. Of course, you get it in Texas with those hurricanes. They all originate in the Sahara Desert .

The third region is the Western United States, which is where the Nevada test site is located. We did 1,200 nuclear weapons tests there, so all this radiation that is already there, which is bad enough, has caused a global cancer epidemic since 1945. All of that radiation was the equivalent of 40,000 Nagasaki bombs. Weíre talking about 10 times more.

In April of 2003, the World Health Organization said they expect global cancer rates to increase 50 percent by the year 2020.

Infant mortality is going up again all over the world. This is an indicator of the level of radioactive pollution.

When the U.S. and Russia signed the partial test ban treaty in 1963, the infant mortality rate started dropping again, which is normal. Now they are going up again. Itís the global pollution with this radiation.

ICONOCLAST: I had one of our correspondents send me a series of photographs of the Al-Asad dust storm in Iraq on April 28.

MORET: That dust is what Iím talking about.

ICONOCLAST: In the picture you can see a gigantic wall of sand.

MORET: I have 16 pictures of that storm. Theyíre posted with photos from Iraqi doctors of the children of people with cancer and leukemia. So what did you think of that dust storm?

ICONOCLAST: I thought it was really dramatic.

MORET: It remobilizes all the radiation, but those are the larger chunks. The DU burns at such high temperatures. Itís a pyroforic metal which means it burns. The bullets and big caliber shells are actually on fire when they come out of the gun barrel because they are ignited by the friction in the gun barrel. Seventy percent of the DU metal becomes a metal vapor. Itís actually a radioactive gas weapon and a terrain contaminant.

Iíll email you the URL of the 1943 memo to General Leslie Grove under the Manhattan Project. Itís the blueprint for depleted uranium. They dropped the atomic bombs, but they did not use the DU weapons because they thought they were too horrific.

Iíve toured and gone all over Japan with a pediatrician in Basra and an oncologist, a cancer specialist. These poor doctors -- their whole families are dying of cancer. He has 10 members of his family with cancer now that heís treating, and this is just from Gulf War I. Theyíve used much, much, much more in 2003. All over the whole country.

ICONOCLAST: What can soldiers expect when they come home?

MORET: If they were in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, theyíre coming home with rectal cancer from sitting on ammunition boxes. The young women are reporting terrible problems with endometriosis. Thatís the lining of the uterus malfunctioning, and they just bleed and bleed and bleed. Some of them have uterine cancer -- 18 and 19 and 20 year olds. The Army will not even diagnose it. They send them back to the battlefields. They wonít treat them or diagnose them. A group of 20 soldiers pushed from Kuwait to Baghdad in 2003 in all the fighting. Eight of those 20 soldiers have malignancies.

ICONOCLAST: Does exposure to depleted uranium effect their psychological background when they come home?