top of page

US Plan to Supply Depleted Uranium Rounds and Cluster Munitions to Ukraine Provokes Health Concerns



Despite potential adverse health and environmental impacts, the United States has reportedly decided to send depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine to assist in their conflict with Russia, according to The Wall Street Journal. This controversial move by the Biden administration is expected to be formally announced soon.

Depleted uranium rounds, which are typically used by tanks such as the M1 Abrams to pierce the armor of Russia's Soviet-era tanks, are known to pose health hazards. Concerns have been raised in the White House over potential criticism for supplying a weapon that carries significant health and environmental risks.

Last year, the United Nations Environment Programme stated that depleted uranium can result in skin irritation, kidney failure, and heightened cancer risk due to its chemical toxicity. Meanwhile, the Harvard International Review has highlighted the risk of lung damage or lung cancer from inhaling small, insoluble uranium particles, and potential kidney issues.

According to a 2020 report by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, depleted uranium, a by-product of the natural uranium enrichment process, is not as radioactive as natural uranium but still presents a threat. Young children are particularly at risk from exposure to contaminated soil in conflict zones.

The Wall Street Journal has further reported that the White House is seriously considering sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, despite their infamous record for their high failure rate and enduring threat to civilians. These munitions scatter unexploded bomblets that can cause harm for decades after being deployed, particularly to children who may interact with them unknowingly.

The debate around supplying cluster munitions has been fueled by some Pentagon officials and Senator Lindsey Graham, who perceive them as effective against Russian forces. In May, Senator Graham argued that the provision of long-range ATACMS missiles and cluster munitions could help the Ukrainian forces regain more territory and reduce the loss of life.

On Tuesday, an additional $325 million weapons package was announced for Ukraine by the US, which includes Bradley fighting vehicles, Stryker armored personnel carriers, secure communications equipment, and over 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition. The Defense Department asserts that the package is aimed at aiding Ukraine's efforts to reclaim its sovereign territory.

Questions were raised in a recent press briefing about the timing of these new armored vehicles, and if they are intended to replace those lost in the counteroffensive. Increasingly, NATO views this conflict as a "war of attrition," according to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. This has placed logistics at the forefront of the battle, necessitating the constant supply of ammunition, weapons, and other supplies to the front lines.

1,047 views4 comments

4 Comments


Unknown member
Jun 15, 2023

I was an environmental toxicologist for the DOD and DU is not a radiation hazard; however the fumes from a burning round after it strikes the armor is a true vapor hazard. The round will create temps in excess of 2400f as it ignites the atmosphere inside the armor within an instant. Troops inside are fried within seconds ergo the vapor is the least of their worries.

I believed the use of cluster weapons would be suited to dislodge entrenched Russians in defensive positions

Like
Unknown member
Jun 18, 2023
Replying to

Ukraine has requested Mk 20 cluster bombs and 155mm cluster shells. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-seeks-us-cluster-bombs-adapt-drone-use-lawmakers-2023-03-06/

I think we should send them, along with the fuel/air munitions pushed out of C-130s. Trenches would be of limited use against those munitions. Nothing about waging war is humane, the object is to close with and kill the enemy. Russia is using fuel/air (flamethrowers in Russian parlance), time to let the Ukrainians use them. Also, the individual rockeye submunitions are anti-armor, so there is less need to put a drone drop through and open hatch.

Like

Unknown member
Jun 15, 2023

Ukraine dont give a fuvk health risk is worth getting russians to fuck off you could send ukraine dirty diapers they would drop them on russians using drones

Like
bottom of page