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A/63/170/Add.1

penetrators) still in the environment. The key questions facing the mission were: What are the present levels of depleted uranium contamination in Kosovo? What are the corresponding radiological and chemical risks, both now and in the future? Is there any need for remedial measures or restrictions? If so, which measures are reasonable and realistic?

4.

The final report, Depleted Uranium in Kosovo: Post-conflict Environmental

Assessment,1 published in March 2001, concluded that analyses of the samples collected showed only low levels of radioactivity. Furthermore, the results suggested that there was no immediate cause for concern regarding toxicity. However, major

scientific uncertainties persisted over the long-term depleted uranium, especially regarding groundwater.

environmental

impacts

of

5. Due to recommended

these scientific uncertainties, UNEP called for precaution and action to be taken for the clean-up and decontamination of the

polluted sites, monitoring.

for

awareness-raising

among

the

local

population

and

for

future

6.

During

the

Kosovo

conflict,

a

few

sites

outside

Kosovo,

in

Serbia

and

Montenegro, had also been targeted with ordnance containing depleted uranium. It was, therefore, evident that a second phase of scientific work would be needed

following the Kosovo assessment.

Serbia and Montenegro 2001-2002

7.

The report Depleted Uranium in Serbia and Montenegro: Post-conflict

Environmental Assessment in the Federal additional information and revealed important

Republic of Yugoslavia2 provided new discoveries on the environmental

behaviour of depleted uranium. Experts found that more than of the conflict, particles of depleted uranium dust could

two years after the be detected from

end soil

samples and from extremely low, it could be detected.

sensitive was only Based on

bio-indicators like lichen. However, as the levels were through state-of-the-art laboratory analyses that these the findings, UNEP could confirm that contamination at

the targeted sites be measured.

was

widespread,

though

no

significant

level

of

radioactivity

could

8.

Furthermore, during this assessment the UNEP team used modern air-sampling

techniques and detected airborne depleted uranium particles at two sites. While all levels detected were below international safety limits, these results added valuable new information to the scientific body of knowledge concerning the behaviour of

depleted uranium and construction works.

had

important

implications

for

site

decontamination

and

9.

As in the Kosovo

awareness-raising

for

the

case, local

UNEP called for precaution, monitoring population. Clean-up and decontamination

started in both Serbia and Montenegro detailed recommendations on these issues

when the assessment was were given in the report.

ongoing,

and had and

__________________

1 2

Available at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/uranium.pdf. Available at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/duserbiamont.pdf.

6

08-50661

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