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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
As in the Kosovo
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.
and had and
Available at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/uranium.pdf. Available at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/duserbiamont.pdf.