[ RadSafe ] DOT Exemption for DU Munitions Shipments

Roger Helbig rhelbig at california.com
Fri Sep 22 23:49:35 CDT 2006

Is this letter genuine or perhaps like the notorious "memo to Gen Groves" that was found to be forged from 4 separate documents in the Manhattan Project archives.


Roger Helbig

On the letterhead of the
US Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street S.W.
Washington DC 20590

May 18 2005

From: Stacey L Gerard, Acting Assistant Administrator/ Chief Safety Officer

Prepared by: Robert A McGuire, Associate Administrator for Hazardous 
Materials Safety

Re: Exemption DOT-E 9649: Depleted Uranium Explosive Munitions


The first two paragraphs, and part of the third, say:

"Exemption DOT-E 9649, which has been in use for almost 20 years, authorizes 
the Department of Defense (DOD) to classify depleted uranium munitions under 
the lowest category of radioactive material (limited quantity) and transport 
them in packages which have no radiological hazard markings or labels, 
provided DOD transports the munitions in accordance with DOD approved safety 

"As part of the two-year exemption review and renewal process, Hazardous 
Materials Safety (HMS) re-examined the basis for the exemption and conducted 
a new safety analysis. HMS determined that: the radiation levels currently 
allowed by the exemption significantly exceed those specified by current 
international radiation protection standards; DOD safety plans (developed by 
each individual service branch) do not provide any substantial radiation 
protection measures for routine transport; DOD is unable to provide relevant 
shipping data (ie quantities of munitions shipped, packages used, dose 
rates, etc,) for depleted uranium transported under this exemption in the 
last two years; and it is therefore possible that transport workers, service 
members and the public, may unknowingly be exposed to radiation slightly 
above regulatory limits."

"Accordingly, HMS intends to notify the DOD on or about May 23, 2005 of its 
intent to phase out the exemption over the next two years. ..."

There is an ATTACHMENT - REEVALUATION SUMMARY which is also interesting 
reading. Enjoy.

-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=- =-=-=

More information about the RadSafe mailing list