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The MOD depleted uranium program independent review board : closure report

Smith, B.. 2007 The MOD depleted uranium program independent review board : closure report. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 28pp. (CR/07/065N) (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

This closure report was prepared by the MOD’s Depleted Uranium Independent Review Board (IRB; see Appendix A for membership) and summarises the review board’s general observations in respect of MOD’s depleted uranium research programme and the associated independent review process. The report starts by providing an introduction to MOD’s research programme on the health and environmental consequences of depleted uranium (DU), membership of the IRB, the operation of the review process as implemented by the IRB and its terms of reference. These explanatory sections are then followed by brief summaries outlining the contribution of the IRB, its general conclusions in respect of the research programme and then recommendations in respect of continuing research needs and the independent review process. The Board concludes that the MOD has taken substantive steps, through its research programme, to demonstrate a commitment to its investigation of DU and to further our knowledge of the impact of DU on man and the environment. Additional knowledge has been generated under virtually all of the research topics and there now exists a substantive body of work that will be eventually made more widely available to those interested in the wide variety of issues associated with the military use of DU. The board felt of particular note within this context was the development of probabilistic modelling of uranium biokinetics and the study of DU corrosion rates. In terms of future research needs the IRB emphasises the need to: undertake and then publish results from the radiochemical analysis of a limited number of DU samples; incorporate and review the results of the NERC research programme; seek further opportunities for urine sampling and analysis to better constrain data on DU intake; continue to press for the exchange of relevant data and analyses with other international bodies and to continue to progress and populate the proposed DU literature data base. The Board also asks the MOD to encourage: the publication of work undertaken in this research programme in peer reviewed journals and that lessons learnt in respect of the assessment of the health and broader environmental impacts of DU based munitions be applied at an early stage in the development of alternative military technologies. The IRB set high standards in undertaking its reviews of technical content, scientific rigour and document quality. As a consequence it recognises that this inevitably introduced some delays into the Dstl research team's planned schedules. However, the Board believes its efforts have helped to target the work at relevant subjects and ensured the quality of the output, in terms of the validity of the conclusions and presentational standard, met an appropriate level. This view has been supported by feedback to the IRB from the Dstl. However, it is for the MOD customer to judge the IRB’s effectiveness within this context and to consider when it is most appropriate to use the IRB ‘mechanism’ in future programmes. From the perspective of methodologies and processes employed by the IRB during its reviewing of the MOD programme it feels that any future review board should be formed at an earlier stage in the process so that it can have a greater influence, if required, in the development rather than just the implementation phase of a given research programme. It found face to face meetings with the Dstl staff, and periodic workshops particularly worthwhile during the course of the review process.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Chemical and Biological Hazards
Funders/Sponsors: NERC, MOD
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Additional Keywords: Uranium
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 17 Jun 2009 15:17
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7495

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