Nuclear Terrorism without H-Bombs
* Yugoslav officials warned the International Atomic Energy Agency in April of its concern about a possible NATO attack on the Vinca Institute of Nuclear Science, 10 miles from Belgrade. The institute holds 60 kilograms of highly radioactive uranium-235. U.S. officials said that Vinca was not on NATO's target list, but when asked about missed targets, an unnamed official said even it if were hit by accident, "there would not be major radiological contamination." (New York Times, April 19, 1999)
* The use of U.S. uranium-tipped munitions - so-called depleted uranium or "DU" - against populated areas in Yugoslavia was a first in military history. The weapons were used extensively in the Persian Gulf bombing, but Yugoslavia is more densely populated and has far more precipitation than the desert. The U-238 turns into toxic and radioactive dust upon impact with armor and is water-soluble. No warning of the potential dangers of DU exposure has been issued to the people of Kosovo.
* By bombing oil refineries, NATO sent giant oil slicks down the river that provides cooling water for a Bulgarian nuclear reactor. At one point a 24-kilometer-long slick threatened to clog the giant intake screens and shut off coolant to the reactor core.