May 21, 2005
A Scientific Perspective
An Interview With
LEUREN MORET, Geoscientist
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 she’s sick, and her friends are dead, and that’s 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 don’t 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. There’s 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. They’ve used so much. It’s the equivalent number of atoms, as the Japanese professor calculated it, to over 400,000 Nagasaki bombs that has been released into the atmosphere. That’s 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 ‘Connecticut’ and write in ‘Louisiana’ on the bill.” You’re 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 he’s 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 don’t think there’s any greater tragedy in the history of the world in what they’ve 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. It’s completely mixed in one year. I’m an expert on atmospheric dust. I’m a geoscientist, a geologist, and that’s what I studied and did my research on. It’s 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 that’s 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. It’s 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. We’re 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. It’s 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 I’m talking about.
ICONOCLAST: In the picture you can see a gigantic wall of sand.
MORET: I have 16 pictures of that storm. They’re 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. It’s 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. It’s actually a radioactive gas weapon and a terrain contaminant.
I’ll email you the URL of the 1943 memo to General Leslie Grove under the Manhattan Project. It’s 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.
I’ve 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 he’s treating, and this is just from Gulf War I. They’ve 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, they’re coming home with rectal cancer from sitting on ammunition boxes. The young women are reporting terrible problems with endometriosis. That’s 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 won’t 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?
MORET: Depleted uranium are these particles that form at very high temperatures. They are uranium oxides that are insoluble. They are at least 100 times smaller than a white blood cell, so when the soldiers breathe, they inhale them. The particles go through the nose, go through the olfactory and into the brain, and it messes up their cognitive abilities, thought processes.
It damages their mood-control mechanism in the brain. Four soldiers at Fort Bragg came back from Afghanistan, and within two months, those four had murdered their wives. This is part of the damage to the brain from the radiation and the particles.
The soldiers from Gulf War I in a group of 67 soldiers who came back, they had DU in their equipment, in their clothes, in their bodies, in their semen, and they had normal babies before they went over there to war. They came back, and the VA did a study. Of 251 Gulf War I veterans in Mississippi, in 67 percent of them, thier babies born after the war were deemed to have severe birth defects. They had brains missing, arms and legs missing, organs missing. They were born without eyes. They had horrible blood diseases. It’s horrific.
If you want to look at something, Life magazine did a photo essay which is still on the Internet. It’s called “The Tiny Victims of Desert Storm.” You should look at that — oh, my God, the post-Gulf War babies playing with their brothers and sisters who are normal.
Basically, it’s like smoking crack, only you’re smoking radioactive crack. It goes straight into the blood stream. It’s carried all throughout the body into the bones, the bone marrow, the brain. It goes into the fetus. It’s a systemic poison and a radiological poison.
ICONOCLAST: What about the people in the United States that are here? You say that DU is being mixed and spread globally?
MORET: Yes, it’s being mixed globally. We’re getting secondary smoke. It’s the secondary smoke effect. You know the people who inhabit a room with smokers? They are getting that secondary smoke, and so are we.
ICONOCLAST: Is that secondary smoke getting thicker as we speak?
MORET: Yeah, the concentration of the depleted uranium particles in the atmosphere all around the globe is increasing. There are indications that the U.S. will go in June and bomb the heck out of Iran. We’re monitoring the U.S. Army ammunition factories. They have very large orders for those huge bunker buster bombs that have 5,000 lbs. of DU in the warhead.
ICONOCLAST: So the prognosis for America isn’t really good?
MORET: No, it’s really bad.
ICONOCLAST: And if this continues then?
MORET: It’s going to kill off the world’s population. It already is, and it doesn’t just effect people. It effects all living systems. The plants, the animals, the bacteria. It effects everything.
ICONOCLAST: So the things that we eat for instance, if they have DU in them, then we’ll just get it in our systems, and so we’re polluting the oceans, so that could effect all marine life?
MORET: Yes, it’s in the air, water, and soil. The half-life of DU, Uranium 238, is 4.5 billion years the age of the Earth.
ICONOCLAST: With the damage that’s been done to this point, can we turn back? We can’t clean it up?
MORET: There’s no way to clean it up. What happens is these tiny particles float around the Earth. There are still plutonium and uranium floating around the Earth from bomb testing. These particles are so tiny that molecules bumping into them keep them lofted in the air, and so the only way for them to get out of the atmosphere is rain, snow, fog, pollution, which will clear them out of the air and deposit them in the environment. What happens is the surface of these particles gets wetted by the moisture in the air. They come down and land on stuff and stick to it like a glue. You can’t ever get the particles off whatever they’re sticking to because have you ever put a drop of water on a microscope slide and then put another one on top of it? Can you pull those apart?
MORET: Okay, that’s the same effect that happens to radioactive particles. Once they are removed from the atmosphere, they stick to any surfaces they land on. In a way they are removed from circulation from the atmosphere. You can’t wash them off. If it keeps raining or they’re in a creek, you know, if they’re on rocks or stones or something in a creek, they won’t even wash off.
You didn’t know it was this bad, did you?
ICONOCLAST: No, I knew it was bad, but I thought it was fairly isolated.
MORET: No. What is over there (in Iraq) is over here in about four days. I don’t know if you followed Chernobyl. That big bubble of radiation went around and around the world, but this is dust. It becomes a part of atmospheric dust. Like the dust storm you saw in that photo, it goes everywhere.
ICONOCLAST: Is it in the upper levels of the atmosphere or the lower levels?
MORET: It’s in lower orbital space.
They brought the Mir spacecraft back down to Earth when they got done using it, and there was something called a space midge which covered the electronics on the outside of the spacecraft and protected it from radiation that comes from the sun because electronics are real vulnerable to radiation. They analyzed the surface of that space net and found uranium and uranium decayed products which they said came from atmospheric testing or burned up spacecraft with nuclear materials or nuclear reactors on board. Uranium can also come from supernovas, but they thought that the most likely sources were atmospheric testing and the nuclear materials we put in space.
ICONOCLAST: Essentially then, you’re saying that we’re conducting a nuclear war.
MORET: Yes, and that’s exactly what it is. We’ve conducted four nuclear wars since 1991. Yeah, these are nuclear wars. DU is a nuclear weapon.
ICONOCLAST: From the point of view of a scientist, what needs to happen to correct this?
MORET: Well, we need to stop the use of it. We’ve built an international movement to stop the use, the manufacture, the storage, the sales, and the deployment of depleted uranium weapons.
ICONOCLAST: Are the munitions we sell to other countries contained with depleted uranium?
MORET: We have. In 1968 the first depleted uranium weapons systems that we found a patent for suddenly appeared in the U.S. patent office. It was for the Navy. It was sort of a Gatling gun style weapon system that you mounted on ships. It rapidly fires like 2,500 bullets a minute. It’s over 3,000 now. They’ve improved the design. Then in 1973, we gave depleted uranium weapons systems to the Israelis and supervised their use. They used them in the Arab-Israeli war and completely wiped out the Arabs in five days. Then the show was on the road. That was the first actual battlefield demonstration of this new weapon system.
Hughes Aircraft developed the full-length system which is for the Navy. That’s the Gatling gun system. They still use it. That was produced in 1974 and tested. Within six months the U.S. government had sold the DU weapons system to 12 entities which included many branches of the U.S. military and other counties. We’ve sold DU weapons systems to about — we don’t know exactly for sure — it’s been about 12 or 17 countries. The good news is that normally such a weapons system that effective would have been sold to 80, 100, or 120 countries by now. But because of the radiological, biological, and environmental hazard, countries were not only afraid to buy it, the ones who did buy it are afraid to use it. The only countries we know that have used DU are Britain, the U.S., and Israel.
The United Nations in 1996 passed a resolution that depleted uranium weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and they are illegal under all international laws and treaties.
In 2001, the European Parliament passed a resolution on DU. What happened is that the NATO forces went into Yugoslavia in 1998 and ’99 and flew 39,000 bombing runs and completely bombed Yugoslavia into radioactive rubble. Germany and the U.S. made the most money on the destruction of Yugoslavia, and they made sure that countries that didn’t know about the DU, that the peacekeepers from those countries like from Italy and Portugal, were sent to the most contaminated regions in Yugoslavia. Germans and Americans didn’t send their own troops into those areas. They were in the least contaminated areas. These poor soldiers from other countries came back and died within weeks or in a couple of days or months. The parents in Portugal and Italy are furious and went to the Parliament and media, and there was just a huge media storm of articles about DU.
The cat was out of the bag because of the 1998 NATO invasion of Yugoslavia. The cat was out of the bag, but Japanese troops have been sent into Somawa. They’re self-defense forces. It was the most contaminated area where the heaviest fighting happened in Iraq. We can expect those soldiers to be really, really sick.
ICONOCLAST: What about Iraq itself? What’s been done thus far?
MORET: It’s uninhabitable. The whole country. Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan are completely uninhabitable.
ICONOCLAST: But people live there, so they’re going to live there suffering?
MORET: Well, you can see from the birth defects and the illnesses that it is pretty severe. Each year the number of birth defects and illnesses will rise because of the total contamination levels in all living things will increase because they are breathing that air and drinking water and eating the food from contaminated soils. It’s just a slow death sentence. The same with Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Depleted uranium is a very, very, very effective biological weapon. This is the primary purpose for using it. Marion Falk (a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab), who is the Manhattan Project scientist I work with, taught me pretty much everything about radiation and particles and DU. He said the purpose of weapons used by the military is not only to injure and kill the enemy soldiers, but the purpose is to kill, maim, and disease the civilian population because it reduces the productivity of a country and pretty soon a lot of their resources are going to be used for taking care of sick people. They will have fewer and fewer healthy workers.
Of course, once you cause mutation in the DNA, that damage is passed on to future generations of that affected person or animal or plant. DNA does not repair itself.
ICONOCLAST: So the mutations would be probably destructive moreso than constructive.
MORET: Oh, the mutations are causing those birth defects.
ICONOCLAST: They’re not evolutionary diseases?
MORET: No, they are evolutionary. They are inherited by all future generations and passed on. It’s like if you have red hair and all of your future generations will have that gene.
ICONOCLAST: So if I had a precondition to heart disease because of the radiation, then the generation that would come after me would have the same problem?
MORET: Well, if you damage the cell or parts of the cell or functioning of cells, that doesn’t necessarily damage the DNA. There are two kinds of damage: one damages the cells of the living organism, and that may not be passed on, but if you damage the DNA in the egg or the sperm, that is passed on to all future generations.
ICONOCLAST: So the guys coming back from the war, their sperm is probably going to be —
MORET: Damaged. Yes. They also have depleted uranium in their semen. When they’re intimate with their partners, they internally contaminate them with depleted uranium. The women become sick themselves. They have depleted uranium in their bodies, and there is something called burning syndrome. Just absolutely horrible. You can read about it in an article by David Rose in the December Vanity Fair. It’s on the Internet.
A friend of mine is the widow of a Canadian Gulf War veteran. David Rose interviewed her, and she griped about the burning semen. She said, “I had 20 condoms full of frozen peas in my freezer at all times, and after we were intimate, I would insert one into my vagina, and that is the only way I could bear the pain from the burning semen.” And it goes through condoms, too.
ICONOCLAST: Gosh, durn!
MORET: Yeah, you should see the high school classes when I talk about the burning semen and the internal contamination. The girls’ mouths go into little round Os, and the boys start panicking because they’re like, “I’ll never get sick!” (laughs) The name of this article is “Weapons of Self-Destruction.”
ICONOCLAST: How much DU will it take to kill off all known life on this planet?
MORET: The amount of radiation released is certainly going to have a very, very profound global impact, and we’re already seeing infant mortality increasing globally. The fetus is the most susceptible to radiation damage because all the cells are rapidly dividing, the limbs and the bodies developing, so when you start introducing toxic chemicals and radiation, it really damages the natural process of fetal development.
The reason they were able to convince the Senate to sign the partial test ban treaty in 1963 was because of the increase in infant mortality. It had been dropping and declining two or three percent for quite a long time each year because of better prenatal care and educating mothers.
Infant mortality started going up after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, especially in the ‘50s when the big bomb testing started.
By 1963, it was really obvious that the bomb testing globally was having a real impact on the unborn. They signed the partial test ban treaty. Russia and the U.S. stopped atmospheric testing, and the infant mortality rate started going down right away. They’re going up again now. This is global radioactive pollution, and how long it would take to eliminate all life is something nobody knows, but the depleted uranium is a very, very effective biological weapon.
There are two purposes for the military use of weapons. One is to destroy the enemy soldiers, and the other, which is just as important, is to destroy the enemy civilian population. By causing illnesses and disease, long lingering illnesses really impact the productivity and the economy of a country. It was Chernobyl and other nuclear disasters that actually destroyed the Soviet Union because the former Soviet Union is very, very sick from all the radiation that was released. They were much more sloppier than we were.
I have a World Health Organization world health survey which they published in the Journal of American Medical Association last June. The impact of atmospheric testing is very, very apparent by the percentage of population in each country they investigated for some form of mental illness. For instance, Japan is 8.8 percent. Nigeria is very low — 4.7 percent. They have almost no radiation in Nigeria. In the Ukraine where they had the Chernobyl accident, it is 20.4 percent. Spain is at 9.2 percent. Italy is 8.2 percent. It’s pretty low because they don’t have nuke plants. France is 75 percent reliant on nuclear power, so you have mental illness in 18.4 percent of the population. Mexico is at 12.2 percent, and the United States is at 26.3 percent — the highest rate of mental illness in the world.
And George Bush and his siblings were all exposed in utero to bomb testing fallout in the United States. He had a toddler sister who died of leukemia when she was about three.
I worked with a group called the Radiation And Public Health Project. Their website is <www.radiation.org>. We are all radiation specialists, well-known scientists, and independent scientists. We’ve collected 6,000 baby teeth around nuclear power plants and measured the radiation in them, and one of our members is the neighbor of the women who worked with all of the Bush children, including President Bush himself, because they had severe learning disabilities.
ICONOCLAST: How do we know that the Bush children were exposed?
MORET: By the year of their birth. The year they were carried by their mother. You have to look at how much bomb testing material was released into the atmosphere, and there’s a direct correlation to the decline in SAT scores for all teenagers in the U.S. to the amount of radiation that was released into the atmosphere the year their mother was carrying them. These are delayed effects of radiation exposure in utero.
ICONOCLAST: So they were living in Connecticut, but they were still feeling the effects of the radiation in Nevada?
MORET: Two years ago the U.S. government admitted that every single person living in the United States between 1957 and 1963 was internally exposed to radiation. So for any pregnant woman during those years, her fetus was exposed.
ICONOCLAST: What type of radiation levels are we talking about?
MORET: It’s low levels, and the main pathways are drinking water and dairy products. It even killed the baby fish in the Atlantic. Strontium-90 is a man-made isotope that comes out of nuclear bombs and nuclear reactors. They measured the levels of strontium-90 in milk in Norway from the 1950s up until the 1970s, and they measured the decline in the fishing catch in that same period, and as the strontium-90 increased in the milk in Norway, fishing catches declined.
By 1963, when the U.S. tested a nuclear bomb almost every day (they did 250 tests in one year because the treaty was going to be signed), the fishing catch declined by 50 percent. In the Pacific, it declined 60 percent because there was Russian, Chinese, French, and U.S. testing in the Pacific.
ICONOCLAST: So we’re still eating those contaminated fish today. Has the genetic code been changed?
MORET: The oceans are getting whatever is getting rained down, snowed down, or fogged down from the atmosphere. It’s getting into the oceans. This big frog die-off, which is global, is certainly related to the radiation in the rainwater. It’s a global nuclear holocaust. It effects all living things. That’s why they call it “omnicide,” which means it kills all living things — the plants, the animals, the bacteria. Everything.
ICONOCLAST: You think we ought to have the Weather Channel report on the current sand storm conditions in Iraq so we can prepare four days in advance for the radiation?
MORET: I’ll tell you what I did when 9/11 happened.
I called all the doctors with Radiation And Public Health Project, and I said, “Get out of town, and don’t come back until it has rained three times.” One lived 12 miles downwind from the Pentagon. She went out on her balcony with her geiger counter. I said, “Get that geiger counter out of your purse.” We had just done a press conference in San Francisco, and I knew she had it in her purse. Well, the radiation levels were 8-10 times higher than background.
We called the EPA, HAZMAT, FBI, and said, “Get all those emergency response workers suited up. They need to be protected.” Two days after 9/11, the EPA radiation expert for that region called back and said, “Yup, the Pentagon crash rubble was radioactive, and we believe it’s depleted uranium, but we’re not worried about that. It’s only harmful if it’s inhaled.”
He said, “We’re worried about the lead solder in the plane.” Well, you know what’s in Tomahawk missiles? They have depleted uranium warheads. The radioactive crash rubble contaminated with DU is evidence of a DU warhead.
ICONOCLAST: I did not think about that, but going back to my original question: Should the Weather Channel report for us on the toxic dust storms in Iraq?
MORET: But how could people get away from them? These dust storms are a million square miles. They’re huge, and they come right across the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and Texas coast line, and right up the East Coast. There are people who are going to leave the state every time there’s a hurricane It’s in the food, drinking water, dairy products, and then the problem with Uranium 238, which is 99.39 percent DU, is that it decays in over 20 steps into other radioactive isotopes.
That’s why I call it the “Trojan Horse.” It’s the weapon that keeps giving. It keeps killing. This is like smoking radioactive crack. It goes right in your nose. It crosses the olfactory bulb into your brain. It’s a systemic poison. It goes everywhere. These particles that form at very high temperatures — 5,000-10,000 degrees C — are nanoparticles. They are a 10th of a micron or smaller. A 10th of a micron is 100 times smaller than a white blood cell. They get picked up in the lipids and probably the cholesterol and go right through the cell membranes of the cell. They screw up the cell processes. They screw up the signaling between the cells because the cells all talk to each other and coordinate what they’re doing. It messes up brain function.
ICONOCLAST: Do you know what Iraq was like before the first Gulf War?
MORET: Iraq prior to the 1991 Gulf War was the most advanced in the entire Middle East. They had scrupulous databases of the health problems and disease rates, which is why the U.S. bombed all of the offices in the Ministry of Health. We destroyed all those records so that a pre-Gulf War health base could not be established to show how much these diseases have increased. This would concern the U.S. in terms of compensation for war crimes.
In these horrible U.N. sanctions, they (the Iraqis) could never get all of the protocol medicine for the treatment of leukemia. They (the U.N.) would say, “These steps of the leukemia treatment were components in weapons, so you can’t have that.” They never gave the people the full proper protocols in the areas of treatment they needed to get rid of the leukemia. It hid the effects of the depleted uranium because the children were starving. They had malnutrition. They had the healthiest population in the Middle East (prior to Gulf War I).
ICONOCLAST: Let’s talk about the children of Iraq.
MORET: After the Gulf War, they had maybe one baby a week born with birth defects in the hospitals in Basra. Now they are having 10-12 a day. The levels of uranium are increasing in the population every year. Every day, people are eating and drinking while the whole environment is contaminated. Just what you’d expect. There are more babies born with birth defects, and the birth defects are getting more and more severe.
An Iraqi doctor told me that babies are being born now that are lumps of flesh. She said that they don’t have heads or legs or arms. It’s just a lump of flesh. This also happened to populations that were not removed from islands in the Pacific when the bomb tests occurred. Basically, governments were using them as guinea pigs.
ICONOCLAST: So all the countries that were equipped with nuclear weapons are guilty of those atrocities.
MORET: They were all doing it. France, Russia. China, and the U.S. And I’m not sure if Britain did bomb testing. They were real low key about it.
ICONOCLAST: Where are the radiation hot spots in the United States?
MORET: In the United States, it would be within a 100 miles of nuclear power plants. We have 110 nuclear power plants in the U.S. We have the most of any country in the world, but only a 103 are operating. Almost all of the entire East Coast.
What we did was we took government data from the Centers of Disease Control on breast cancer deaths between 1985 and 1989. Anywhere from within a 100 miles of a nuclear power plant is where two-thirds of all breast cancer deaths occurred in the U.S. between 1985 and 1989.
It’s also around the nuclear weapons laboratories. That would be Los Alamos in New Mexico, the Idaho Nuclear Engineering Lab in Idaho, and Hanford in Washington State, which is where they got the plutonium for all the bombs. They contaminated the entire Columbia River watershed and almost the whole state of Washington.
It gets into the water and into the plants and into the vegetation. If you eat clams or mussels or crabs or things like that, even certain kinds of fish that eat off of the mud at the bottom of the river, you have much higher levels of radiation in your tissues. It depends on each person and on how healthy they are, but this man from Washington State died suddenly. He was in his late 40s. They did an autopsy, and he was full of radioactive zinc. They went, “Where in the world did he get this? It only comes from nuclear bombs and nuclear reactors.” They studied his diet and discovered he loved to eat oysters. They found out where he bought his oysters and found the oyster beds. They were 200 miles off shore, from Washington State. The radiation was being carried off out to sea from the coastline. It was passing over this oyster bed. The oysters were just gobbling them up.
ICONOCLAST: What are the symptoms of DU poisoning?
MORET: Soldiers on the battlefield have reported a metallic taste in their mouth. That’s the actual taste of the uranium metal. Then within 24-48 hours, soldiers on the battlefield have reported that they felt sick. They start getting muscle aches, and they lose energy. Some of them came back incontinent. In other words, in adult diapers.
One woman reported that the first night home, she wanted to be intimate with her husband, but she had absolutely no feeling. She couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. This particulate matter damages the neuromuscular system, the nerves; it just goes everywhere. And there’s no treatment for it. These particles are very, very insoluble, so they can’t even dissolve in body fluids, so they can be excreted from the body. Then they keep releasing. Even when uranium decays, it turns into another radioactive isotope. So it’s a particle that just sits there shooting bullets until you die.
Another problem is that soldiers have crumbling teeth. Teeth just start falling apart. The uranium replaces calcium in the calcium-phosphate structure of the teeth. Some have complained about grand mal seizures, cerebral palsy. Some diseases reported at very high rates in Air Force and Army soldiers are Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Hodgkin’s disease. This is damage to the mitochondria in the cells and the nerves. The mitochondria make all the energy for the body, so when you damage mitochondria, another symptom is chronic fatigue syndrome. There’s just not enough energy produced by the body to function normally.
I found a study in the SanDia Nuclear Weapons Laboratory employee newsletter in September 2003. They are doing major studies in mitochondrial disfunction related to Lou Gehrig’s, Hodgkin’s, and Parkinson’s diseases for veterans. Since it’s at a nuclear weapon’s lab, they are fully aware of the health damage.
ICONOCLAST: Tell me about the tests that detect for DU in the body.
MORET: The chromosome test in the best indicator. It’s $5,000. The urine test is a $1,000. If you test positive with the urine test, you know you’re contaminated. If you test negative, it does not mean that you’re not contaminated. It just means that you may or may not be contaminated but enough hasn’t dissolved in your blood stream to go through your kidneys to be excreted in your urine. Anyone who goes now cannot avoid being contaminated. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Everyone who goes to the Middle East and Afghanistan will be contaminated.
The DU issue affects every single living thing on this planet. What else has that impact? They have altered the genome for the entire planet forever with this DU. The Pentagon people say, “You’re exaggerating or you use the uranium word to scare people.” I don’t care if people believe me or not. All I can say is that over time what I am saying will actually be an underestimation of the long term effects.