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                           Traces of Plutonium In Shells, U.S. Says
                           Reuters Reuters
                           Monday, January 22, 2001

                           BRUSSELS Just when it thought it had the
                           depleted uranium scare under control, NATO may
                           face a fresh onslaught of concern as the United
                           States belatedly confirmed that some of the
                           munitions contain minute traces of plutonium.

                           Uranium is one thing. Plutonium is quite another,
                           especially if it arises from flaws at a problem
                           plagued U.S. nuclear plant.

                           Plutonium, a known carcinogen, is a heavyweight
                           in the lexicon of scare words. Scientists have been
                           quoted as saying that a particle as small as a
                           millionth of an ounce, if inhaled, can cause a fatal

                           The German defense minister, Rudolf Scharping,
                           summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Berlin to
                           seek more information, after a German television
                           network reported on the plutonium factor.