Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Contamination of fish catches in the Irish sea by Depleted Uranium Penetrators

Information  has  been released by the MOD in response to a FOI request asking

"Could you please provide me with Information including reports etc
about the object recovered by fishermen mentioned at para 3, D of
the DUFERC minutes dated 19/10 1999"

In response to this,  the MOD directed me to a reply they made to a similar request

Recovered DU penetrator

The information the MOD provided only relates to the physical characteristics of the recovered round. Of particular note  is the reference made to "black and friable DU oxide" indicating  a significant risk of loose DU contamination.

This DU penetrator was one of over 6000 lying on the seabed of the Irish Sea

"Some 6,907 shells have been fired into the Solway, and, even allowing for misfires and malfunctions, more than 6,000 are presumably now lying in the Solway. Many of us instinctively object to the Solway being used as a radioactive munitions dumping ground by the MOD."

The MOD have not provided any information about the potential doses and intakes of DU to the fishermen who recovered the round or any information about the extent to which the fish etc caught alongside the round were contaminated with DU or whether or not the catch was sold for human consumption.

The recovery of this DU penetrator begs the question how many other similar situations may have occurred, but where the presence of a DU penetrator in the catch was not recognised or reported.

The MOD in not providing information about dose estimates from the recovered DU penetrator seem to have been negligent in their duty of care to the fishermen who recovered the DU penetrator and the public who may have consumed the fish etc caught alongside the DU penetrator.