BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 31 January, 2003, 06:17 GMT
DU shell tests to resume
Gun firing shell
Tests have been conducted at Dundrennan for 20 years
Fresh tests of depleted uranium (DU) weapons are set to be conducted in south west Scotland as military preparations continue for possible conflict in Iraq.

The trials involving 'charm three' anti-tank rounds are scheduled to get under way at the Dundrennan range, near Kirkcudbright, next week.

Thousands of the DU-tipped shells have been fired into the Solway Firth from the base over more than two decades.

The Ministry of Defence launched an inquiry into the potential health effects of DU weapons last year.

Map showing location of Dundrennan
Spent shells are lying in the Solway Forth

It insists that the practice poses no significant health risk to the public or personnel on the site.

Two years ago, concerns about the effects of the DU used in the Gulf conflict with Iraq and the Balkans War led to protests about the Dundrennan range.

The health concerns over DU rounds relate to the material released into the atmosphere when a shell hits a tank or other "hard" target.

The fears at Dundrennan relate to the spent - and intact - DU rounds lying on the bottom of the Solway Firth.

Councillor Jane Maitland, who represents Dundrennan on Dumfries and Galloway Council, said she was prepared to accept the assurances given by the MoD.

Necessary evil

"I don't think there will be any further community concern," she said.

"Inevitably people are interested to know what is happening but I think that they will consider it to be part of the normal routine process of testing these weapons.

"It is a necessary evil and I think is perceived to be so by the populace. We have got to have defence."

The Dundrennan range forms part of the MoD's Kirkcudbright training area, which was first established in 1942 and runs to 5,100 acres.

It is the only area in the UK where DU-tipped shells are now tested.


Key stories

Eyewitness

TALKING POINT

FORUM
See also:

21 Feb 01 | Scotland
20 Feb 01 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes