did you know DU isnt really depleated?

Tigerstripe

Active Member
U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Training film (with edits) on you tube

i didnt know depleted uranium bullets spewing from warthogs and tanks was still radioactive.

gives me a kind of sick feeling because i know that whatever man spreads around ....comes around.

it would not come up with a line under it.
 

thebrasilian

New Member
I'd like to see that report.

Everything is radioactive. The major question is how hot is it. Lot of subjective information on-line about it.
 

Tigerstripe

Active Member
this is on you tube. it is a millitary training film, that someone has added some of their thoughts to, but the actual film is factual.

it is 1.6 times the weight of lead

it is a mixture of so called depleted 98 or so % and a small part U-235.

the dust, smoke and dirt it lands on is bad to be near.

i guess you will have to go to you tube and type that title in.
 
This is true. Also with the DU rds from US tanks. In the first gulf war there was some sickness suffered by soldiers who played around/ search around/investegated the exploded Iraqi tanks that had been hit.
 
Chemically, radioactive and lesser active isotopes of the same element are identical. separation processes to "enrich" or "deplete" the hot from the mild are imprecise, they basically rely on the differences in mass between the isotopes.

Thats why you always hear about the Iranian Centrifuges, they are used to enrich unranium using those physical properties. In the past, lesser technologies were employed, long cylindrical chambers where the gasseous versions of the isotopes migrated, lighter to one side, heavier to another..

DU was basically the leftovers from the enrichment process, Depleted just means the lesser of the two, enriched, is the greater of the two. Its all relative. In nature, naturally occuring Uranium has specific distribution of isotopes, based on radioactive decay, and lead, and other products of radioactive decay. The Uranium is chemically removed from the other elements, but the isotopes require a lot more finess.

Hydrogen, Deuterium(H Isotope with 2 neutrons) and Tritium(H isotope with 3 Neutrons) all form water when joined to oxygen. Deuterium containing water is known as "Heavy Water" because its mass/density is higher due to the added neutron.

uranium in any isotope form is capable of poisoning the human body. A similar impact or effect as lead poisoning. Or other heavy metal exposures. There is greater risk with more radioactive versions/variaties due to inhalation exposes the central body/lungs to the radiation, but in any form, uranium and uranium oxide can cause harm to people.
 

Tigerstripe

Active Member
superchuck,

being as well informed as you are, do you think we should be spreading this stuff around?

surely, we can kill tanks without it.

did you see the , well not part of the actual training film, but the stats on deformed babies in countrys where this was done? i know they may or may not be the cause but what if?

i need to stay off you tube.
 
Tigerstripe,

I haven't looked at the details in the videos, I was going on past information.

From a functionality level, I assume they used the DU because it WAS denser than lead, and the kinetic energy from the load on impact would do more damage. A whole unfragemented round is likely not that hazardous, but rounds that made it into a tank, causing a 3000-5000 degree fire inside killing the inhabitants, burning multiple propellants, metals, and other chemicals present in the tank probably has made a pea soup of new and potentially toxic compounds. These compounds would be in the smoke, and the smoke would contaminate the area around the tank.

Its primary purpose is for tank killing, and apparently its good at that. A little more foresight into the RESULTS of the tank killing after completed appears to be the missing details that may have made a difference. Its the law of unintended consequences, the domino effect. We kill the tank BUT we create a mess that needs to be cleaned up in hazmat suits. There are a myriad of chemicals many toxic, used in military vehicles, the tank itself contained propellants, fuel, explosive shells, various functioning chemicals, lead batteries, etc, etc.. These items, if incinerated completely, may produce their own contribution to the issues...

A lot of times, the focus of one culprit-in this case DU, to the exclusion of all others gets a lot of attention, but it also narrows the focus of the issue. The overarching question is how hazardous is that situation when you take ALL potential hazards into consideration. From a diagnostic standpoint, if a DU-fired tank explosion produces 20 hazardous chemicals, and we exclude all possibilities but DU, then as the focus narrows, we discover that DU causes lung illnesses only, et voila, because we narrowed on one component, they can say only respiratory issues qualify... its a catch 22... I believe that its one of many compounds that probably should have been encountered with better PPE.. Is it the worst actor, maybe, maybe not.. But by focusing solely one the one, the others are ignored..

Mother nature cleans up such things via rainfall, unfortunately they were in an area that has almost NO rainfall.. so, even if past studies were performed in North American target ranges, mather nature may have been giving a helping hand in cleaning up the hazards.. in the desert, its going to remain as a dust, and be mobile, and inhalable much longer... every step, every truck passing by lifts it up into the air for breathing, or coating your food as you eat, etc, etc...

I woudl like ot believe that if it was a well understood and widely known risk in the military, it would have been brought up.. there are other materials they could use.. But sometimes ignorance is bliss, and whoever performed a risk analysis did not consider varying environmental conditions, and since obedience is better rewarded than innovative thinking a lot of times, those concerns were never raised...

But thats just my $0.02. I believe that the administrations in the past were Pro-Military and genuinely cared for the welfare of our fighting forces. I can't see it as a callous "to hell with the troops" moment. The government is prone to making mistakes, its also VERY hard to get them to admit their mistakes. Anyone that signed off on the use of DU would/could be accountable, and there would be a lot of resistance to accept that blame.. Typical beuracratic scrambling and posturing unfortunately.

SC
 

PCShogun

Member
Correct, Depleted Uranium has about 60% of the radiation of natural uranium. It is more accurate to call it "Reactor Depleted Uranium". Primarily an "Alpha" emitter, DU is not dangerous to handle and will not penetrate the body, but when fired into a hard object it can react, and its this reaction that release alpha particles into the air. When it penetrates the body or is inhaled, its radiation can cause damage to human tissue.

Tungsten is a very rare metal and is very expensive. DU was seen as a cheap replacement for a pretty worthless enrichment byproduct.
 

Tigerstripe

Active Member
PCS, did you watch the training film?

they even use it in our vehicles armor.

they mentioned alpha beta and another radiation mixtures but the depleted part is 98% of the mix.

straight U-235 is a small part.

" unless you are involved with a detonation or fire with depleted uranium, hazzards are very small"

and ive got this beachfront property for sale in Arizona.
 
Generally speaking, low-activity uranium/depleted is a low radiation risk, chemical risk is the greater of the risks.. even if burned, and inhaled, alpha radiation is not the bad actor, its the chemical compounds being absorbed into the body. Its more akin to heavy metal absorbtion, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, etc.. Your lungs and stomach are an easier avenue into the bloodstream than the skin. Once inside the body, your body may not have a means to expell them, and they substitute for similar compounds, messing up the internal chemical body workings..

All radiation is not the same, as PCs mentioned, alpha is absorbed/stopped quickly its low-energy relatively speaking.. Gamma, is an ionizing form, it travels through the body, damages tissues, and leads to broken DNA strands that could potentially repair in a manner that would become cancerous, etc..

Unfortunately, radiation is a complex issue that is not generally explained in great detail to the public.. so it makes it easy to make the blanket statement that "radiation is bad". As mentioned elsewhere, earlier in this thread, radiation is all around us, every x-ray causes a bump in your exposure. If you live in a brick home with ceramic tile you get an extra dose, if you travel more than once a year by airplane, you're getting extra doses because there is less atmosphere to protect you from harmful radiation, if you don't ventilate your crawlspace, you may have Radon and are getting extra doses. Background radiation levels are something your body is persistantly exposed to. There is a very quantitative element to the critical nature of exposure, exposure per se does not indicate damage. There is an intensity and activity level that determines severity.

Depleted uranium is an isotope, enriched uranium is another isotope. any given element that is radioactive can have several isotopes. Each isotope decomposes in its own activity cycle. Enriched uranium is much more active, and is only a small fraction of the uranium deposit, and is the most valuable component to the ore. The fission reaction they are trying to activate in nuclear reactors must obtain a "critical density" which means that the Uranium concentration has to be increased to the point that a self-sustaining nuclear reaction (chain reaction) can be generated. This is where'/when splitting the atom happens, and the alchemy of old occurs. We turn uranium into not-uranium.. it can be thorium, lead, or some other compounds based on how the split happens, but it no longer exists as the element it once was... This releases huge amounts of energy as the mass balance is violated and excess mass lost is converted into pure energy.

Its an amazing thing, and unfortunately, sometimes our reach exceeds our grasp... it is also a dangerous technology, rife with a myriad of risks. This is a very technical issue thats being fought/played out in a very political arena. When it comes to technical issues, and technical arguements, unfortunately the desire to win leads to making the arguements emotional, gut wrenching, or symbolic. 99% of the population does not have a grasp about the nuances mentioned above, they only know, from every movie and the recent tsunami in Japan that radiation is Evil... Unfortunately, the issue is not so simple and its not a cut-and-dried.

Every moment in my life I am exposed to radiation, the bones inside my own body were built upon and contain elements that irradiate my own body from within.. My wristwatch has tritium dials. Its the scale/magnitude/relative intensities/length of exposure.. these things are critical when it comes to radiation.

Those are the types of details that genuinely address the issue. Using the term "radioactive" in the discussion(referrring to videos, etc, not THIS discussion) is designed to create the knee-jerk recoil of fear and loathing, to gain public support and sway public opinion. If the radioactive toxicity is the lesser of the threats, and the chemical toxicity is the greater of the threats, then any argument that subordinated the chemical arguement for the radiation arguement is sensationalizing - maximizing effect. Because a chemical arguement must bring into play ALL chemical compounds.. again, narrowing the argument, the focus, is actually a disservice, because its to the exclusion of all potential harms that occured..

Regards,

Charles
 
Does any of the DU happen to get scraped/chipped/knocked off during handling procedures of the rounds, i.e. dropping rounds, hitting rounds against other objects, loading, unloading, et al? Is there any residue that remains inside the tank after firing?

I don't know much about the finer points of this product. My questions may instantly be assuaged with "The Uranium is too dense to be damaged in the fashion you describe" and "There is no residue left due to the nature of the uranium being encased as a sabot with the uranium not changing configuration until impact with a target downrange."

Would the issues described hereto be inherent to the uranium armor on the Abrams should this armor suffer a direct hit from an anti-tank round? Hypothesizing, of course, that the crew is not killed outright, would it be safe to assume their cancer rates just spiked substantially?
 

PCShogun

Member
Tigerstripe said:
PCS, did you watch the training film?
No I didn't. I tend to not watch propaganda videos. They contain half truths or lies to present their points to the viewer. But for you, I went and watched a few minutes of it. My first question was, how does the presenter of the edited comments KNOW that this material was not shown to the soldiers during training? they would not be shown this video in Iraq because they would have already seen this material in basic training. He lists no references whatsoever or has any facts to support it. Like the other videos on his page, they are all anti government, anti-manufacturing, and anti-American. I stand by my statements. DU use in armor and munitions is not dangerous to handle or be near.
Tigerstripe said:
they even use it in our vehicles armor.
Yes, they do. The same properties that make DU an excellent penetrator, make it excellent for use in armor. My statements in the previous post are correct. When DU hits a hard target, it DOES react, and this reaction creates radioactivity, and disperses radioactive dust in the area of impact. It is this radioactive dust that is dangerous, not the DU round or armor. We may be arguing semantics and perhaps this is what you are really referring to. The problem here is that military personnel may not be trained correctly, including those involved in the repair of military vehicles that were struck by DU rounds, for this is where the danger lies; through constant exposure to radioactive dust created by the impact of DU rounds.
Tigerstripe said:
they mentioned alpha beta and another radiation mixtures but the depleted part is 98% of the mix.
straight U-235 is a small part.
Correct, Depleted Uranium has less radiation that natural Uranium. U235 makes up about .7% of natural uranium, and DU has less than that. DU is actually used in many civilian areas as radiation shielding. You wear false teeth? If so, then you have a small amount of DU in your mouth right now within the dental porcelain. Tritium was used to illuminate watch dials. The ladies who painted the watch dials used to lick the brushes to keep the bristles together and thus ingest the tritium. Many died. This does not mean tritium is dangerous to be near, you just don't want to eat it.
Tigerstripe said:
" unless you are involved with a detonation or fire with depleted uranium, hazzards are very small"
and ive got this beachfront property for sale in Arizona.
Sell it cheap, and I'll buy it.
 
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