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Author Topic: more poisonous lies
redshift
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posted 27 June 2003 11:55 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"So why did the Pentagon insist on using DU weapons in Iraq? Tungsten alloys would have worked as well. Depleted uranium, it turns out, has one tremendous advantage over tungsten. It is provided to weapons manufacturers nearly free of charge by the U.S. government – an ingenious method of radioactive waste disposal. Essentially, depleted uranium is the waste left over from decades of nuclear weapons development. In fact, the United States has stockpiles of depleted uranium scattered at sites throughout the country – 728,000 metric tons to be exact – a tiny fraction of which is used in the manufacture of depleted uranium warheads."

http://tinyurl.com/fh8y
cheap and nasty, like the rest of american foreign policy


From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
tyoung
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Babbler # 3885

posted 28 June 2003 12:06 AM      Profile for tyoung        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
DU has other properties that make it desirable for artillery:

DU Library

quote:
When they strike a target, tungsten penetrators blunt while DU has a self-sharpening property

From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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Babbler # 3838

posted 28 June 2003 01:45 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Two types of depleted uranium exist. One is "clean" depleted uranium, a byproduct of the processing of uranium ore into uranium-235 (which is used in nuclear fuel and weapons). The other type is created at government facilities as a byproduct of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel (done to extract plutonium for nuclear warheads) and is known as "dirty" depleted uranium because it contains highly toxic plutonium.

Just when I thought I couldn't be shocked anymore...

Plutonium?!? They're using DU weapons contaminated with plutonium?!? One of the deadliest substances known to humanity?

God help us all.

I think this about sums it up:

quote:
If the Pentagon and the Federal government can treat American troops and their families with such casual disregard and use doublespeak with such abandon, what hope is there for Iraqi civilians and troops?

Plu-fucking-tonium?!?


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3276

posted 28 June 2003 06:25 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"The leftover uranium, 40% less radioactive than natural uranium, is called "depleted uranium," or DU."

That's what is normally used in artillery shells. Natural uranium itself is not dangerously radioactive, and DU is even less so. That's why it has a half-life of 4.5 billion years: it decays extremely slowly, making its radioactivity very low-level. In fact, because of the density of uranium, the product is also an excellent shield against gamma radiation. In the medical field, depleted uranium has been used for biomedical isotope shields, calorimeters, and radiographic cameras."No human cancer of any type has ever been seen as a result of exposure to natural or depleted uranium."

So it's really scary to read a suggestion that "dirty" depleted uranium (containing plutonium) is being used on the battlefield. ". . . some of the DU munitions in the U.S. arsenal used in Kosovo contained "dirty" depleted uranium." "If some of the DU shells in the U.S. arsenal have been made from dirty depleted uranium, that could help explain . . . the fact that 28 percent of veterans who served in the first Gulf War have over the past 12 years sought treatment for illness and disease resulting from their military service and filed claims with the Veterans Administration for medical and compensation benefits."

Yes, IF dirty DU was used in shells in the U.S. arsenal. But was it? This needs some decent investigation. Unfortunately, scientifically illiterate journalists often assume all DU is the same.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 28 June 2003 11:25 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Long term exposure to any radioactive material is dangerous, it doesn't matter if it's "clean" or "dirty". Exposure causes accumulation. This whole "half-life" argument doesn't make any sense, as far as I'm concerned. The stuff is still going to impact on everything around it and the environment, causing more problems from different sources.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 28 June 2003 12:40 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Longer half-lives do generally meam the radioactivity is less intense, to use a rather lousy word for it, but what you gain by not being exposed to lots of radiation at once you lose under conditions of repeated exposure.

Besides, even leaving out the radioactivity, uranium is still a heavy metal, and like all heavy metals it's not going to be very nice to your body if you have ingested some and it starts reacting with compounds in your body.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 28 June 2003 02:00 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think what you've missed from the article is that , due to the explosive thermal reaction on impact, the uranium is vaporized and becomes a mist, which in fact is a desired consequence . the aerosol dispersion is a factor in contaminating the local environment, contributing to the "scorched earth" nature of DU usage.
there is no possible justification for continued usage. you either have recless disregard for consequential collateral damage , or intentional dispersion among non-combatants to render them subject to social, environmental and economic harm.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 28 June 2003 03:32 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What the last three posts missed is that we are talking about DU as a alternative to lead: lead artillery shells, or lead shields in medical labs. DU has some advantages over lead in both cases. Neither of them are at all good for your body if ingested. Neither of them are at all good for the soil if vaporised. And all artillery attacks are very bad for the health of all those on the receiving end.

My point is that "dirty" DU is far, far worse than either lead or DU.

Journalists who can't be bothered learning basic physics are a big part of the problem.

The result is that the huge outcry that should be mounted against battlefield use of DU contaminated with plutonium is lost in the noise of others crying wolf.

[ 28 June 2003: Message edited by: Wilfred Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 28 June 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As far as I'm concerned, anything they use in war can cause too much damage. The damage from radioactive materials is more continuous after so called "clean up" than other materials. I didn't miss your point, I'm totally against using any radioactive materials for aggressive use. Controlled use where the leaching to the environment is close to nil is different, though I still think they don't know enough about long term exposure effects.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 28 June 2003 04:19 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It sure seems like whatever the type of DU that is being used thtat there are problems as a result.

If the benign type was harmless then the soldiers wouildn't be getting radiation sickness. So probably it IS the "dirty" (more radioactive) type that is being used. Didn't Madame Cury die from liferime exposure to uranium byproducts like radium? How do know that the body doesn't just store this heavy metal and concentrate it in the liver or spleen or bone marrow? Perhaps it stays in the lungs when it is breathed. I mean imagine low doses of radiation over a ten year period, can the body accomodate this?

The most dangerous biproduct of fission reactors is strontium 90. Apparently it is similar to calcium and so goes directly into the skeletal structures. It has a half life of 28 years and causes anemia, bone necrosis,cancer and possibly leukemia.

(The Effects of Nuclear Weapons United States Department of Defense - June 1957. - an old book I picked up in a garage sale)

I doubt however that it would be allowed to contaminate depleted uranium but how do they prevent it from getting mixed in with the depleted uranium they use since it is a biproduct of the same reaction that creates the depleted uranium?

Just curious - anyone know?

The screwed up military reasoning that does not consider the consequences in terms of human welfare has got to be stopped and eliminated from the world as we know it.
more here


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 28 June 2003 04:21 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boinker:
The most dangerous biproduct of fission reactors is strontium 90. Apparently it is similar to calcium and so goes directly into the skeletal structures. It has a half life of 28 years and causes anemia, bone necrosis,cancer and possibly leukemia.

It is. It is chemically similar to that of calcium, since it follows many of the same reaction types and so your body will uptake it as though it were calcium.

Nasty stuff, that strontium-90.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kindred
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posted 28 June 2003 04:26 PM      Profile for Kindred     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As far as I'm concerned, anything they use in war can cause too much damage. The damage from radioactive materials is more continuous after so called "clean up" than other materials. I didn't miss your point, I'm totally against using any radioactive materials for aggressive use
The effects in Hiroshima are producing horrific birth defects in GENERATIONS of victims - babies born today still face the horror of what the US did - saw a documentary of so many deformed babies born today, mutilated before birth by the asshole Americans -

The US is unparalleled in terms of crimes against humanity and gross indifference to the people they victimize.


From: British Columbia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 28 June 2003 05:32 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
" . . . do they prevent it from getting mixed in with the depleted uranium they use since it is a biproduct of the same reaction that creates the depleted uranium?"

In the interest of understanding the different substances, one should appreciate that depleted uranium is not a product of any reaction. Depleted uranium is natural uranium (which is mostly U238 and some U235) with the more fissionable U235 isotope extracted for use in American reactors which require enriched uranium (with a higher ratio of U235). Since U235 is not only more fissionable but more radioactive, the remaining U238 ("depleted" of U235) is less radioactive and, being less fissionable, of no use in nuclear reactors.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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Babbler # 664

posted 28 June 2003 07:03 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why is it that we are forever trying to explain the mechanics of phenomenon that are observable?

Depleted uranium is making people sick but science is yet to tell the truth about it.

The CBC did a big special on it about 5 years ago.

quote:
Predictably, the Pentagon denies that the DU used in Kosovo poses any danger to the refugees. Indeed, it cites a number of studies in support of its conclusion. But there are a number of critics who say, essentially, the Pentagon is lying.

Still it is an interesting question. How do "experts" lie? The answer must be that they are measuring the wrong thing.

According to the symptoms what do these veterans have?


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 28 June 2003 08:36 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
lymphatic cancer ?
From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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Babbler # 3276

posted 28 June 2003 11:30 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For a comprehensive set of reports on this issue by a source skeptical of the military, see:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uranium/

One reference to plutonium: "While traces of plutonium were found around the sites, it said the amounts were so small that they were less of a hazard than the uranium. There was concern, however, about "huge variations" in plutonium levels in the pieces of munitions."

However, normally the only way that products of nuclear fission known as transuranics - neptunium, plutonium, and americium - could get into depleted uranium was through reprocessing, that is, using spent reactor fuel to make enriched uranium and calling the residue Depleted Uranium. But "both the US and UK defence organisations denied the uranium had been reprocessed. The uranium had been supplied from the same civil source in the US and had accidently been contaminated because it had been placed in the same containers as reprocessed material."

Maybe. However, the US government admitted in 1999 that initial test rounds had contained reprocessed uranium, and were investigating further:

http://www.miltoxproj.org/DU/DOE.pdf

I have failed to find a report on that investigation.

[ 28 June 2003: Message edited by: Wilfred Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 28 June 2003 11:57 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
some info from a market source
http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/#MILDU

don't drink the water.

"ingestion of contaminated groundwater
For consumption of groundwater contaminated from DU dust in a target area, the UNEP/UNCHS Balkans Task Force (BTF) made the following theoretical assessment [BTF1999 p.60]: the DU concentration in groundwater may reach 1 mg/l. "At this level chemical toxic effects cannot be excluded. The annual radiation dose caused by consumption of that water will be about 1 mSv." (See also Uranium Toxicity)

U.S. EPA standard for uranium in drinking water (65 FR 76707, Dec. 7, 2000):
30 µg/l

WHO guideline for uranium in drinking-water [WHO1998]
2 µg/l

[ 29 June 2003: Message edited by: redshift ]


From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 29 June 2003 04:20 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Seems to me the real problem must involve chemical toxicity (including of plutonium, which as I understand it is some of the most poisonous stuff on earth). Even non-depleted uranium isn't all that radioactive; really, the count can't be that much above background. But the health effects are very real and, indeed, have been massive and horrifying. So it seems to me the stuff must simply be really poisonous.
Someone pointed out that normal bullets involve lead, which is also a heavy metal. But I dunno--
OK, so lead is also kind of toxic. But as these metals go, how bad is it? Would we have survived decades of adding, say, cadmium or mercury to our gasoline and inhaling the fumes? Presumably if we'd used equivalent amounts of plutonium in the gastank we'd all be long dead, right? There can be big ranges in how toxic substances can be, even within general classes of thing.
And, hey, victims of US aggression having horrible debilitating diseases, cancers and huge rates of birth defects long after the attack is nothing new, and doesn't require radioactivity. Vietnam still has massive problems with all that kind of stuff, courtesy of nonradioactive Agent Orange. Living proof that dioxins really are dangerous and they really don't go away. If anyone ever bugs you about wanting pollution controls for pulp mills etc. and mock you for your hypersensitive environmentalism, being up on the results of dioxins in Vietnam might make them shut up; d'you know their defoliated areas are *still* defoliated to this day?

From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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Babbler # 664

posted 29 June 2003 10:24 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am suspicious of these reports from the United Nations simply because they lack detail. According to the 1957 study done by the Department of Defence ingestion of low radiation elements is dangerous because although the dose is low the exposure is continuous. The tissues in the body are far more sensitive to the beta and alpha particles emitted by radioactive decay than tissues on the outside of the body. As well, there is this "secondary effect" phenomenon where cells damaged by low level radiation do not have time to repair themselves and get hit again with a particle before they are fully recovered.

There is also the phenomenon of radioactive elements being treated like similar elements, most of which are classified asd "bone-seekers" harming bone marrow. The factors that determine whether these particles get into the bloodstream depends, according to this US DoD study, on the size of the particles and the solubility of the bodily fluid.

The study says that the body can filter out most particles over 5 microns in diameter. The modern study (previously mentioned) shows that the DU particles from exploded shells were ALL under 5 microns!

death of slow radioactive cuts

To determine the "dose" a low radiation element gives you perform some calculation based on how long it is in the body and its half-life.

The point is that the military has known about this since 1957! Quoting the US DoD:

"11.111 ...It should be mentioned that , apart from immediate injury, any radioactive material that enters the body, even if it has a short effective half-life, may contribute to damage that does not become apparent for some time."

- The Effects of Nuclear Weapons

Apparently the liver and spleen can pass strontium, barium and plutomium fairly easily with ittle damage but " By contrast, uranium causes damage to the kidneys, but as a chemical poison rather than because of radioactivity."

So you see the thinking on this. It is better to be able to "take out" a tank than it is to protect your own troops from getting a long term, possibly fatal disease!

[ 29 June 2003: Message edited by: Boinker ]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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