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Land
  • The nuclear reactor of the VINCA research institute near Belgrade has not been working for more than 15 years. A significant amount of U-235 enriched and unused fuel, however, apparently remains in its interior. Highly radioactive material presumably for research activities is also located in several research laboratories.1

  • Tests conduced by the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment show no deviations from the previous gamma radiation levels.

  • Large flocks of birds which normally nest in Yugoslavia have instead been taking refuge in Macedonia, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.2

Water
  • NATO has admitted dumping unexploded bombs into the Adriatic Sea. The procedures were carried out in international waters in "designated areas" for this type of operation, with bombs being dumped in six sites of eight kilometers’ diameter. The dumping is "obligatory" when: a pilot comes back in an emergency status from a mission, the bomb release didn’t work or the plane is short of fuel. The Italian Government had not been informed of this procedure, and has requested an official explanation from NATO.3

  • The Governments of Bulgaria and Romania have provided WWF with a list of the equipment needed for monitoring, detection and alleviation of water quality problems.4

  • The Yugoslav representative at the Danube Pollution Reduction Programme meeting indicated that in addition to oil, three of the substances released to the environment during the bombing were chlorine, mercury and vinylchloride monomer. Neither of the latter two substances have been analysed by the Bulgarian or Romanian authorities.

  • In Bulgaria, samples from the Vladaiska River and rain indicate no change in the content of uranium or any other toxic substance since the military operations were initiated.5

Human Settlements
  • In Belgrade, 350’000 persons are estimated to be without heat due to destruction of a central heating plant.

  • UNDP announced on 13 May the creation of the "Clean and Green Macedonia" project, which will provide short-term employment for 900 unskilled workers who are among the host families accommodating refugees. These workers will clean up public areas near the Stankovac camp in Skopje and the Neprosteno camp in the municipality of Tetovo. UNDP intends to replicate this project in other parts of the country with the financial support of international donors.6

  • Sanitation is a growing concern in Cegrane camp, where there are 200 people using each latrine (five time the number each is meant to serve).7

1. VINCA Institute of Nuclear Sciences, FRY, 5/11/99.
2. The Guardian, 5/17/99.
3. ANSA, Italian News Agency, 5/17/99.
4. WWF, 5/13/99.
5. BTA, Bulgarian News Agency, 5/17/99
6. UNDP, 5/14/99.
7. UNICEF, 5/14/99.
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