Decontamination of Cape Arza

Decontamination of Cape Arza from depleted uranium (DU)

In 1991 Montenegro adopted a declaration on the ecological state. Therefore, the Government of Montenegro decided to start financing the decontamination of Cape Arza from depleted uranium, the first project of this kind ever done in the world. After a preliminary search of the field, which showed radiation levels up to 50 times higher than the local level natural radiation, the drafting of the decontamination project started. The project was prepared in December 2000, and preparatory works were carried out during January 2001.

Systematic testing and decontamination of Cape Arza began on 1 February 2001, before the NATO publicly released its data on the use of depleted uranium ammunitions in the territory of Yugoslavia, and also before the publication of the UNEP report on the use of depleted uranium. The campaign started on 1 February 2001 and lasted until 15 June of the same year, continued in April and May 2002, and the entire project was completed in November and December 2002. During the implementation of the Project a total of 18 national experts were hired (10 civilians and eight military officers) and about 12 people in logistics. Two of the first phases of the project were financed by the Government of Montenegro and the last phase was financed by the Federal Government.

Now, Cape Arza is safe and secure for unlimited access of the public.

  • Client: –
  • Contracting authority: Government of Montenegro
  • Donor: Government of Montenegro for Phase I, Government of Serbia and Montenegro for Phase II

Information

Summary

Systematic testing and decontamination of Cape Arza began on 1 February 2001, before the NATO publicly released its data on the use of depleted uranium ammunitions in the territory of Yugoslavia, and also before the publication of the UNEP report on the use of depleted uranium. The campaign started on 1 February 2001 and lasted until 15 June of the same year, continued in April and May 2002, and the entire project was completed in November and December 2002. During the implementation of the Project a total of 18 national experts were hired (10 civilians and eight military officers) and about 12 people in logistics. Two of the first phases of the project were financed by the Government of Montenegro and the last phase was financed by the Federal Government.

More

On 29 and 30 May 1999, NATO planes A-10 attacked the Cape Arza, a very attractive tourist area on the peninsula Lustica, at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. They fired anti-armour ammunitions made from depleted uranium.

According to data released by NATO, the total number of uranium projectiles fired at Cape Arza was 480. On the basis of data published by UNEP on combat mix cannon A-10, 300 of the total number of missiles were of depleted uranium and the rest was with conventional explosive charge.

In 1991 Montenegro adopted a declaration on the ecological state. Therefore, the Government of Montenegro decided to start financing the decontamination of Cape Arza from depleted uranium, the first project of this kind ever done in the world. After a preliminary search of the field, which showed radiation levels up to 50 times higher than the local level natural radiation, the drafting of the decontamination project started. The project was prepared in December 2000, and preparatory works were carried out during January 2001.

Systematic testing and decontamination of Cape Arza began on 1 February 2001, before the NATO publicly released its data on the use of depleted uranium ammunitions in the territory of Yugoslavia, and also before the publication of the UNEP report on the use of depleted uranium. The campaign started on 1 February 2001 and lasted until 15 June of the same year, continued in April and May 2002, and the entire project was completed in November and December 2002. During the implementation of the Project a total of 18 national experts were hired (10 civilians and eight military officers) and about 12 people in logistics. Two of the first phases of the project were financed by the Government of Montenegro and the last phase was financed by the Federal Government.

Now, Cape Arza is safe and secure for unlimited access of the public.

Details

During the decontamination of Cape Arza, the following was done:

  1. Before the dosimetry examination, it was necessary to cut down the bushes and undergrowth to the level of the land surface. All the trees that could be spared were spared, cutting down only what was necessary.
  2. Dosimetry examination covered over 44 500 m2 of the grounds on Cape Arza. Re-examination in terms of checks of  already decontaminated area was conducted on over 16 000 m2, so that the total area that was examined was 60 500 m2.
  3. Contamination was found on over 18 000 m2.
  4. The total number of examined sites was 637 and the contamination was found on 486.
  5. 242 complete missiles of depleted uranium were found and removed, on the grounds from the surface to the depth of maximum 1 m.
  6. 49 larger missile fragments were also found, so that which can reasonably conclude that minimum 258 uranium missiles were removed, or 86%.
  7. Approximately 0.42 m3 (420 l) of materials with high content of uranium were collected and stored in the Vinca Institute in Belgrade.
  8. Volume of material with a low content of uranium is 5.54 m3 – more than 7,000 kg.
  9. Over 200 samples from the environment were taken and analysed.
  10. Upon completion of decontamination, all locations have been covered with earth, so that the Cape Arza was returned to a normal natural state.
  11. All phases of the decontamination project lasted 221 days in total, with about 200 effective operating days.

Last projects

© 2015 Copyright - CETI - Center for Eco-Toxicological Research Podgorica. All rights reserved.