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The Silent Genocide: Depleted Uranium

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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:46 PM
Original message
The Silent Genocide: Depleted Uranium

Almost all M1A1 Abrams Tanks fire 120mm depleted uranium rounds.


The applications of DU are quite extensive. DU is very low cost and is readily available. DU can be used as a commercial aircraft counterweight. A Boeing 747 needs 1,500 kg of DU.12,14c Due to volume restrictions, DU is an ideal dense counterweight that takes up very little space. However, due to widespread fears of DU, Tungsten can also be used in a wide range of commercial aircraft counterweights.14c An interesting note: in past plane crashes (e.g. 1992 Israeli El Al cargo jet crash in Amsterdam), local authorities usually end up scraping around 40 cm of topsoil from the crash site and nearby soils, most likely to rid of toxins produced from DU.13,14f
As well, DU can be used in tank armor. Around 1500 tanks were loaded with DU armor in 1993 and 2000 more were ordered by the US military for the future.14c How do we implement DU armor on tanks? Most tanks contain two thick shields of conventional steel armor. There exists a moderately thick gap between the two shields. DU is inserted into the armor plates and the two shields are then welded together to make one tough three-layer armor plate.
Finally, DU is extensively used in military grade ammunition. Ammunition has always existed in various different forms. DU is simply a new type of ammunition. Regular low-caliber bullets are made of compacted hardened lead.3 Armor piercing rounds (usually of higher caliber) are made out of steel. Incendiary and high explosive rounds (for even higher caliber rounds) are made with chemical explosive compounds.3 DU is merely a recent but simple advancement made in high caliber ammunition. What is depleted uranium ammunition? Basically DU + conventional ammunition = DU ammunition. DU weapons can be installed in conventional ammunition in a variety of ways. However the common methods are the following: you can either coat the ammo in DU or you can make conventional ammo with a DU core. 9,10 DU and tungsten ammunition research was being conducted as early as the 1970s as a means of generating conventional effective armor piercing rounds. 14d Tungsten is generally very expensive, has a higher melting point, and doesnt cut armor as well as DU. Depleted uranium is cheap, abundant, and even provided free to arms manufacturers. DU rounds can be classified in many different types of ammunition. DU is employed in tank rounds (usually as a kinetic dart/projectile, high-explosive device, or smart bombs)1, heavy machine guns (as used by US Bradley Fighting Vehicles), gatling guns (as used by US Apache helicopters, A-10 Warthogs, Harrier jets, and other anti-personnel aircraft), artillery (e.g. Howitzers and mortar shells), and probably in ultra-high caliber sniper rifles. The most common DU round is a high kinetic energy projectile. The projectile can pierce all forms of heavy armor. Contact temperature between the projectile and the armor is 1132 degrees C.1 DU also easily burns, just like magnesium, upon penetration, adding to the effectiveness of the ammo as an armor piercing device.14c When the projectile cuts through the armor, the DU penetrator and parts of the tank get so hot that it literally vaporizes. Anywhere from 18-70% of the DU usually oxidizes (depending on type of impact).14c For example, direct impact yields 99% oxidization. A Uranium oxide (which consists of insoluble UO2 and soluble UO3) aerosol forms, where 50-96% of the particles are less than 10 microns and hence can be inhaled easily.2

Here is a quite extensive photograph showing a wide range of DU ammo, from 25 mm heavy machine gun rounds to 120 mm tank shells.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Recommended
The enviros also need to get on this one...

DU is scary shit...I think the environmentalists also need to go after this one...
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Global Public Health Disaster
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:56 PM by Jcrowley
Depleted Uranium Dust - Public Health Disaster For The People Of Iraq and Afghanistan

by Doug Westerman

May 3, 2006

In 1979, depleted uranium (DU) particles escaped from the National Lead Industries factory near Albany, N.Y.,which was manufacturing DU weapons for the U.S military. The particles traveled 26 miles and were discovered in a laboratory filter by Dr. Leonard Dietz, a nuclear physicist. This discovery led to a shut down of the factory in 1980, for releasing morethan 0.85 pounds of DU dust into the atmosphere every month, and involved a cleanup of contaminated properties costing over 100 million dollars. Imagine a far worse scenario. Terrorists acquire a million pounds of the deadly dust and scatter it in populated areas throughout the U.S. Hundreds of children report symptoms. Many acquire cancer and leukemia, suffering an early and painful death. Huge increases in severe birth defects are reported. Oncologists are overwhelmed. Soccer fields, sand lots and parks, traditional play areas for kids, are no longer safe. People lose their most basic freedom, the ability to go outside and safely breathe. Sounds worse than 9/11? Welcome to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan: "Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer".

"Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.",


By far the most devastating effect is on unborn children. Nothing can prepare anyone for the sight of hundreds of preserved fetuses " scarcely human in appearance. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.


Not only are we poisoning the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are making a concerted effort to keep out specialists from other countries who can help. The U.S. Military doesn"t want the rest of the world to find out what we have done. Such relatively swift development of cancers has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the US military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure. Just 467 US personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served in the first Gulf War now have medical problems.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It's not WMD when we do it... hypocritical bastards may they
rot in hell if there is such a place.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Good stuff-thanks!
Your stuff is always worth a read :thumbsup: -will pass it on to enviros I know!
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Exploding the Myth About Low-Yield, Earth Penetrating Nuclear Weapons
Exploding the Myth About Low-Yield, Earth Penetrating Nuclear Weapons

Volume 5, Number 7,
April 17, 2001
by Dr. Robert W. Nelson, Federation of American Scientists*


In reality, adding low-yield warheads to the world's nuclear inventory simply makes their eventual use more likely. Furthermore, a 1994 law currently prohibits the nuclear laboratories from undertaking research and development that could lead to a precision nuclear weapon of less than 5 kilotons (kt), because "low-yield nuclear weapons blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war."

Last year, Senate Republicans John Warner (R-VA) and Wayne Allard (R-CO) buried a small provision in the 2001 Defense Authorization Bill that tried to circumvent these earlier restrictions. Although the language in the final Act was watered down, the Energy and Defense Departments are still required to undertake a study of low-yield nuclear weapons and other weapons that could penetrate deep into the earth before detonating so as to "threaten hard and deeply buried targets." Legislation concerning research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons will likely be proposed again this year.


The use of any nuclear weapon capable of destroying a buried target that is otherwise immune to conventional attack will necessarily produce enormous numbers of civilian casualties. No earth-burrowing missile can penetrate deep enough into the earth to contain an explosion with a nuclear yield even as small as 1 percent of the 15 kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion simply blows out a massive crater of radioactive dirt, which rains down on the local region with an especially intense and deadly fallout.



In addition to the immediate effects of blast, air shock, and thermal radiation, shallow nuclear explosions produce especially intense local radioactive fallout. The fireball breaks through the surface of the earth, carrying into the air large amounts of dirt and debris. This material has been exposed to the intense neutron flux from the nuclear detonation, which adds to the radioactivity from the fission products. The cloud typically consists of a narrow column and a broad base surge of air filled with radioactive dust which expands to a radius of over a mile for a 5 kiloton explosion.

In order to be fully contained, nuclear explosions at the Nevada Test Site must be buried at a depth of 650 feet for a 5 kiloton explosive and 1300 feet for a 100-kiloton explosive. Even then, there are many documented cases where carefully sealed shafts ruptured and released radioactivity to the local environment. Even if an earth penetrating missile were somehow able to drill hundreds of feet into the ground and then detonate, the explosion would likely shower the surrounding region with highly radioactive dust and gas. Even a 0.1 kt burst must be buried at a depth of approximately 230 feet to be fully contained.

The most optimistic assumptions, however, limit the penetration depth of any earth-borrowing missile to less than a hundred feet or so substantially less than the depth required to contain even a low-yield nuclear explosion. The missile must protect the warhead and its associated electronics from the impact shock while it burrows into the ground. This limit is based on fundamental physics and material properties that are unlikely to change significantly, even with additional research and development. It is simply not possible for a kinetic energy weapon to penetrate deep enough to prevent widespread and intense local radioactive fallout from the nuclear explosion.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. What about our returning soldiers exposed to DU, they are at
...risk same as Iraqis and Afghans
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. ....
:cry: it is making the MIC RICH!
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. the Nuclear Industry get to sell dangerous waste at a premium to DUMP it
in developing countries.. instead of having to pay to store it

someone needs to find out how much money was given in bribes.. oh, campaign contributions to let this atrocity happen

google: Extreme birth defects depleted uranium.. caution graphic

it isn't the radioactivity.. it is the Heavy Metal EXTREME Toxicity that causes the birth defects and cancers and Cronic suffering of this shit.. i hear around a 800 to 1000 tons of this stuff is laying around or blowing in the wind in Iraq.. they are even picking it up in monitors in ENGLAND from Iraq.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is mostly nonsense
There may be legitimate concerns with DU, but this writeup is full of errors, half truths and erroneous suppositions. The page at the URL is even worse.

When you use fradulent data to attack something you sets your cause back 2 or 3 times more. Aruge DU if you think its us inapproriate, but use valid data.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. B61-11 Concerns and Background
B61-11 Concerns and Background

Los Alamos Study Group

February 10, 1997

For further information contact:
Greg Mello
Los Alamos Study Group
212 E. Marcy Street, Suite 7
Santa Fe, NM 97501
(505) 982-7747


The United States is now fielding a new tactical and strategic nuclear military capability that has already been used to threaten a non-nuclear country. This new capability was certified without nuclear testing, using an existing surrogate testing facility with capabilities much less than those under construction and planned. The weapon was developed and deployed in secret, without public and congressional debate, contrary to domestic and international assurances that no new nuclear weapons were being developed. Other new or "modified" nuclear weapons, earth-penetrating and otherwise, are planned.


The B61-11's unique earth-penetrating characteristics, not to mention its wide range of yields, allow it to threaten otherwise indestructible targets from the air and are its raison d'etre. The new weapon is uniquely useful from a military perspective?and hence provocative from an arms control and nonproliferation perspective.

A central and expressed purpose of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has always been to arrest the further evolution of the world's nuclear arsenals. This modified weapon? certified without nuclear testing and deployed after signing the CTBT?undercuts that treaty and could provide political cover to countries which have their own unsatisfied nuclear ambitions.

Earth-penetrating weapons, deployed by the Clinton adminstration in the post-Cold-War era, were rejected for deployment by Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush. What is the new reason to deploy these weapons? What are the new targets? What is known about the B61-11 strongly suggests that its rushed development has been motivated by a desire to target one or more non-nuclear-weapon states.

On July 8, 1996, the International Court of Justice ruled that any use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, other than possibly in the case where the very survival of a nation was threatened, was against international law. After this landmark decision, it is difficult to legally support the deployment, let alone the new development, of any tactical nuclear weapon? especially one whose development appears to have been motivated by a desire to target non-nuclear weapon states.

In order to gain support for indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States repeatedly assured the world during April and May of 1995 that it would not continue "vertical proliferation." Yet during these same months the Department of Energy (DOE) was seeking, and obtaining, approval for a weapon modification with significant new military utility.

Development of this weapon was approved outside the regular budget process and without congressional debate, by means of secret letters to key committee chairmen, raising constitutional questions.

You should be more specific, with possibly a point by point analysis, lest people not simply take your word.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. For anyone knowledgeable about weapon systems, the errors are glaring
and like most people I assume others have similar knowledge as myself.

Some easy ones...
- All M-1As can fire DU rounds
- The A-10 is not an anti personel aircraft, its a tank buster
- DU rounds are used for tank busting not against personnel
- DU is not used in rifles or machine guns
- DU is not used in sniper rifles. Ballistics are unworkable
- 25mm guns on the Bradley AFV are not machine guns, its a chain gun used on other AFV.
- Tomahawks do not carry depleted urainum, neither do 747s for that matter.

BTW, your posts concern tactical nuclear weapons being used as bunker busters. Where does the original concern about DU fit in?
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Here's more

The Silver Bullet (30 mm DU round)

Due to the extensive use of DU weaponry in the Gulf War, one has to consider the chemical, biological, environmental, and radiological effects that resulted. Analysis of DU can be achieved from investigating incidents of friendly fire. Over 200 vehicles that were hit by friendly fire were analyzed by the US military. 14f Over 29 vehicles were found with abnormally high radioactive levels. 12 vehicles (including 6 Bradleys) were buried in Saudi Arabia due to substantial radioactive levels.14f Numerous soldiers were also rumored to have been affected by DU. British SAS and US special forces, cleanup crews, and a wide variety of other military personnel who were constantly in the presence of DU contaminated sites were analyzed and in many cases shown to have contained abnormally high levels of uranium and radiation poisoning. Many veterans (not just those suffering from friendly fire) continue to have persistent medical problems. During the Gulf War, over 85% of military soldiers have wandered through at least some DU contaminated sites (e.g. destroyed Iraqi vehicles, bunkers, etc.) 14i. Veteran groups estimate that +400,000 Gulf personnel have inhaled some amount of DU dust. By 1996, As a result of NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare), nearly +187,000 veterans have sought serious medical help and 18,200 were hospitalized. 14i However in 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs has done medical testing on soldiers who still have retained DU shrapnel within their bodies.16 Interestingly, their claims indicate no direct threat from DU.

M2 and M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFVs) are armed with 25 mm DU ammunition.

The 25 mm cannon shown here fires DU ammunition.
There are also serious long-term effects of DU that still exist today in Iraq. In regions heavily hit by DU, studies have shown that numerous civilians have extensive problems with their immune systems, malignant cancers (such as ludicrously high leukemia rates), heart problems, and bizarre abnormal birth defects (such as children born without eyes, ears, tongue, etc.).2 In some regions, Leukemia has become one of the main forms of cancer-related death. There has been a 4x increase in cancer among children (+130,000 in 1997).14i Contaminated agriculture and water supplies help spread the DU dust which continues to hurt people in different regions where DU ammo was not used. However, one should note that even before the Gulf War, much of Iraqi soil was already highly contaminated from previous conflicts (e.g. chemical and biological warfare against Iran, Iraqi Kurds).

A-10 Thunderbolt II Aircraft is a tank-busting/anti-personnel attack jet fully loaded with numerous 30mm DU rounds.

Photo showing personnel loading the A-10 with numerous 30 mm DU rounds.

Closeup of the gatling gun that spews out armor-piercing 30 mm DU rounds.

As an aside many commercial jetliners use DU for ballast. Look into it.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Even that short segement you posted there are errors
The A-10 is not anti personnel its purely a tank buster. It was literally built around the GAU-8 with unique safeguards for the pilot. It was designed primairly for use in the Fulga Gap against massed armor attacks by the Warsaw Pact and other European scenarios. Later the ability to drop addtional weapons was added, most recently GPS aided smart bombs.

There is no indication of the loading picture if those are training rounds or not. I bring that up since the picture in question appears to be domesitc, not in the middle east. DU is not used for practice.

The caption of the aircraft in flight is misleading for the same reason. It looks like domesitic training flight to a bombing range based on the loadout and the farms in the background. No DU aboard.

Current interpretations of the Geneva Accords says anything larger than 50 caliber is not supposed to be used on personnel except in self defense. Besides its the GAU and similar weapins are not that accurate to pick off people. Again, not anti personnel.

and that was one of the cleaner sections you quoted...

Not arguing one way or the other about DU, but the overall paper is so flawed that anyone citing it would hurt their own cause.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Criminals in the military knew of the effects
Two Memos (Obtained by Doug Rokke)

"Proponency" Takes Priority over Environmental Concerns

The Los Alamos memo of March 1, 1991 acknowledges that "here has been and continues to be a concern regarding the impact of DU on the environment." It raises a concern that DU weapons could become "politically unacceptable" and advocates "proponency" when "after action reports are written."

'Depleted Uranium' Poses Threats to Health, per Defence Nuclear Agency

This Defense Nuclear Agency Memo was written by Gregory K. Lyle, LTC, USA concerning what "can, must or should be done wtih the millinos of expanded rounds of depleted uranium ordinance" in Iraq. It notes that clean up procedures "were not meant to support shipments of thousands of DU rounds from site restoration." It goes on to note "As Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), ground combat units, and the civil populations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq come increasingly into contact with DU ordnance, we must prepare to deal with the potential problems." Further, "Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expaneded rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with a possible exposure rate of 200 millirems per hour on contact." The memo warns that "specific DoD guidance concerning the disposition of DU material in the post combat period/restoration phase is currently lacking." The writer hoped that "expression of our concerns over the side effects of DU use will help ensure protetion for our troops and allies." This memo is undated - Dr. Rokke says he received it around the same time he received the Los Alamos memo in 1991. .... Per the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, allowable radition does to a member of the public is 100 millrem per year, for a continuous dose. It's obvious that continuous or repeated exposures causing radition of 200 millirems per hour would quickly exceed the National Regulatory Commission's limits.>
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

The use of depleted uranium weaponry by the United States, defying all international treaties, will slowly annihilate all species on earth including the human species, and yet this country continues to do so with full knowledge of its destructive potential.


Since 1991, the United States has staged four wars using depleted uranium weaponry, illegal under all international treaties, conventions and agreements, as well as under the US military law. The continued use of this illegal radioactive weaponry, which has already contaminated vast regions with low level radiation and will contaminate other parts of the world over time, is indeed a world affair and an international issue. The deeper purpose is revealed by comparing regions now contaminated with depleted uranium from Egypt, the Middle East, Central Asia and the northern half of India to the US geostrategic imperatives described in Zbigniew Brzezinskis 1997 book The Grand Chessboard.

Fig. 1: Brzezinskis map of the Eurasian Chessboard

SOUTH REGION: This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbors, is likely to be a major battlefield, both for wars among nation-states and, more likely, for protracted ethnic and religious violence. Whether India acts as a restraint or whether it takes advantage of some opportunity to impose its will on Pakistan will greatly affect the regional scope of the likely conflicts. The internal strains within Turkey and Iran are likely not only to get worse but to greatly reduce the stabilizing role these states are capable of playing within this volcanic region. Such developments will in turn make it more difficult to assimilate the new Central Asian states into the international community, while also adversely affecting the American-dominated security of the Persian Gulf region. In any case, both America and the international community may be faced here with a challenge that will dwarf the recent crisis in the former Yugoslavia. Brzezinski

The fact is that the United States and its military partners have staged four nuclear wars, "slipping nukes under the wire" by using dirty bombs and dirty weapons in countries the US needs to control. Depleted uranium aerosols will permanently contaminate vast regions and slowly destroy the genetic future of populations living in those regions, where there are resources which the US must control, in order to establish and maintain American primacy.

Described as the Trojan Horse of nuclear war, depleted uranium is the weapon that keeps killing. The half-life of Uranium-238 is 4.5 billion years, the age of the earth. And, as Uranium-238 decays into daughter radioactive products, in four steps before turning into lead, it continues to release more radiation at each step. There is no way to turn it off, and there is no way to clean it up. It meets the US Governments own definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

After forming microscopic and submicroscopic insoluble Uranium oxide particles on the battlefield, they remain suspended in air and travel around the earth as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust, contaminating the environment, indiscriminately killing, maiming and causing disease in all living things where rain, snow and moisture remove it from the atmosphere. Global radioactive contamination from atmospheric testing was the equivalent of 40,000 Hiroshima bombs, and still contaminates the atmosphere and lower orbital space today. The amount of low level radioactive pollution from depleted uranium released since 1991, is many times more (deposited internally in the body), than was released from atmospheric testing fallout.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. depleted uranium will kill all life on earth?
don't they dig uranium out of the earth?
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Yes, of course
and in all of those places the land is poisoned and scarcely habitable for what will be many thousand years. The rates of cancer in all of those areas is of course through the roof. If you've ever been to an open pit mine you could see for yourself the devastation.

For further exploration on disinformation on Uranium mining I suggest the oft-cited RAND Corp. study on uranium inhalation by miners.

Stealing Lightning.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. But the uranium was there all the time.
In fact, shouldn't there be less uranium now that they mined it?
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Either
you're being coy or you haven't done research into the consequences of Uranium mining.

General Information
Its located 3 miles outside of Moab, Utah the pile is situated 750 feet from the Colorado River. The pile is only 10-15 feet above the aquifer.

130 acres or the size of 118 football fields it is the largest tailings pile situated on the banks of a river. Additionally, it is the fifth largest tailings pile in the United States.

Contains approximately 10.5 million tons of uranium mill wastes including 426 million gallons of highly-contaminated liquid. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory study shows that the steady rate of uranium tailing contaminant leakage into the Colorado River is estimated at 9,648 gallons per day (6.7 gallons per minute).

Radioactive uranium, ammonia, molybdenum, aluminum, iron, nitrates, and sulfates are contaminating groundwater which feeds into the Colorado River.
Situated on the flood plane of the Colorado, the river has flooded 26 times this century to the level of the tailings.

Uranium content in groundwater near the Moab site is 530 times higher than EPA standards for groundwater at uranium mill tailings piles.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
33. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. No, actually it isn't
It's actually a well researched, highly grounded paper. I worked in the nuclear industry for years, up until two months ago, and have more than a passing acquaintence with the pertinent scientific knowledge concerning the hazards of DU and other radioactive materials. From what I saw, this paper is pretty spot on with their information. The only quibble that I would have with it is that they should have gone into more depth concerning the heavy metal poisoning threat posed by DU. Like all heavy metals, lead, tungsten, etc. DU is toxic, and the more you inhale or consume, the less healthy you are. Take it too far and you die.

The current debate right now is quite frankly which is worse, the effects of radiation or the biochemical effects of heavy metal poisoning. There is research being done on this, but it is far from complete or definitive. Either way though, the tragedy is still the same. The US is engaged in letting loose a nuclear weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. It doesn't matter that this weapon does its damage in slow motion, what matters is that over a period of time it will kill thousands upon thousands of people, and lay waste to thousands of square miles of land. In fact, the slow motion, insideous nature of DU makes its use in warfare obscene. Long after hostilities cease, it will be "the gift that keeps on giving".
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I was not commenting on his statement or conclusions about DU
but many of claims about weapons systems are nonsense. That in turn casts considerable doubt on the rest of what he has to say.

My main point is to use solid reasearch when attacking something, not garbage, and since a good portion of this paper is garbage, it really hurts the postion he is taking, namely that DU should not be used.

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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. Question...
what's the toxicity of DU compared to lead?

Personally, if I were going into combat I'd want the DU.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. With a 4.5 billion year halflife! That is "forever" in human terms.
Here's the part that is the horror-

"On the outside DU is quite harmless. It is a low-level alpha particle emitter. Fortunately, alpha particles can easily be stopped by a piece of paper! Hence, a soldier can be in contact with a DU-armored tank for years and not see any effects at all! However, DU dust that enters the body can be quite harmful, depending on the amount of exposure. When DU enters the body, alpha particles directly bombard ones cell tissue. On average 1 in 70,000 human cells that are bombarded from alpha particles emitted from DU turn into cancer cells."
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R.(nt)
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
12. I was lucky enough to hear Leuren Moret discuss DU
And one of the scary things she said was that if you take any material and disperse it in the atmosphere - even locally - as it blows away in the air, some of it will go into the upper atmosphere -a nd within five days or less, the entire amount that has reached the stratosphere will now hang over the entire earth - equally distributed.

This means that when a DU shell is blown up and parts of its material incinerates, the amount that goes up and up will in a short time exist in equal parts over your head, regardless if you are in Chicago or Tokyo or Rio de Janero
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Uranium bombing in Iraq contaminates Europe
Indeed, the American permanent war establishment has known the effect of poisonous uranium oxide gas since 1943. A declassified World War II memo to Gen. Leslie Groves, director of the ultra-secretive Manhattan Project to make atomic bombs, listed two reasons to use radioactive gas: One was to kill people, and the other was to contaminate their land. <3>

A British newspaper quotes Dr. Busby, a government adviser on radiation, as saying: "This research shows that rather than remaining near the target, as claimed by the military, depleted uranium weapons contaminate both locals and whole populations hundreds to thousands of miles away." <4>

There were and are laws in England that require notification of the government when levels of radioactivity are reached around the nuclear weapons complex at Aldermaston. No notification was made. When the records were requested, the clearly labeled "shock and awe" time frame data was omitted.

The Defense Procurement Agency in Bristol supplied the missing data to scientists Busby and Morgan. The real British patriots are the ones who provided the deleted incriminating data to Busby and Morgan.

Bush and his faithful followers, the neocon fascists, will be remembered as securing their place in history by exposing hundreds of millions of people to high levels of internal radiation poisoning. Make no mistake about it; this is real radioactive uranium gas. The Americans used this genetics changing and killing weapon on men, women and children. It made no difference to the Americans.

Moret states, "In Iraq it is even worse where babies are born without brains, organs are outside the body, or women give birth to pieces of flesh. In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births. Takashi MORIZUMI's photos: in / record the tragedy in Iraq."
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Existing in the upper atmosphere is OK
The radiation is too weak to effect us. However coming down might be a bit of a problem. Most likely it will come down with the rain, and go into the ground. At some point it will uptake into a plant, which will be consumed by an animal, which will be consumed by us. That's when the problems start. However I would wait until the concentrations are much higher before I would begin to worry. We have much more immediate radioactive threats to deal with. Hell, Wisconsin dairy cattle are still consuming plants that uptook radioactive dust that was dispersed in the fifties during the US above ground nuclear tests.

I live in Missouri, as did my high school chemistry teacher. He clearly remembers going out to his car, taking a dust swipe a day or two after one of these tests, taking it into the lab and watching the geiger counter needle start bouncing. Now then, depending on where you live and what's been done to the landscape, that fifty year old dust, still hot, is probably only four to eight inches below my feet. Good thing that earth is a wonderful shielding material.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
39. Thanks for the report. Scary stuff, your chem
teacher's lab tests.

BTW, I did not mean we should be concerned about the radioactivity that exists in the stratosphere and stays there. There is indeed enough space between us. What I meant, as you pointed out is when it rains, we are getting a lot more than we bargained for.

I was out on a raft on a lake IN ILLINOIS the day Mt St Helena blew up. (that volcano went off in the state of Washington) I thought these young guys were flicking their cigarette ash on my legs to tease me (I didn't like smokers doing things like that) Then I went swimming and they went away. Got back on the raft, to see once again soot fall from the sky. Couldn't blame the cigarette smokers - they were not there.

It was an instant lesson on geography, the atmosphere and the non-localizing nature of pollutants
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
19.  Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets
Depleted Uranium:
Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets
A death sentence here and abroad
by Leuren Moret
San Francisco Bay View
18 August 2004

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." -- Henry Kissinger, quoted in Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW's in Vietnam

Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation.


Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. One of the first published researchers on Gulf War Syndrome, who also served in 1991 in Iraq, Dr. Andrs Kornyi-Both, is in agreement with Barbara Goodno from the Department of Defense's Deployment Health Support Directorate, that in this war soldiers were not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, bioagents or other suspect causes this time to confuse the issue.

This powerful new evidence is blowing holes in the cover-up perpetrated by the Pentagon and three presidential administrations ever since DU was first used in 1991 in the Persian Gulf War. Fourteen years after the introduction of DU on the battlefield in 1991, the long-term effects have revealed that DU is a death sentence and very nasty stuff.

Scientists studying the biological effects of uranium in the 1960s reported that it targets the DNA. Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as "spectacular, and a matter of concern."

This evidence shows that of the three effects which DU has on biological systems -- radiation, chemical and particulate -- the particulate effect from nano-size particles is the most dominant one immediately after exposure and targets the Master Code in the DNA. This is bad news, but it explains why DU causes a myriad of diseases which are difficult to define.

In simple words, DU "trashes the body." When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Fulk was more specific: "I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
20. Depleted Uranium: An Introduction, by Thomas Fasy MD PhD

The Health Effects of DU Weapons in Iraq by Thomas Fasy MD PhD


By the early 1900s, uranium was well recognized to be a kidney toxin. By the mid-1940s, uranium was known to be a neurotoxin. By the early 1970s, uranium was recognized to be a carcinogen based on mortality studies of uranium workers and on experiments with dogs and monkeys. The first evidence that uranyl ions bind to DNA was reported in 1949 and by the early 1990s, uranium was shown to be a mutagen. Also, in the early 1990s, uranium was shown to be a teratogen, that is, an inducer of birth defects. The toxic effects of uranium on the kidney and on the nervous system typically occur within days of exposure and radiation probably plays little or no role in mediating these effects. In contrast, the carcinogenic effects of uranium have a delayed onset. The teratogenic effects of uranium might be due to exposure of one parent prior to conception as well as to exposure of the mother to uranium early in pregnancy.

Now let us briefly consider the routes of exposure to uranium. In the context of the dust particles derived from depleted uranium weapons, this means exposure to uranium oxides. By far the most dangerous route of exposure to uranium oxides is the inhalational or respiratory route. Absorption of uranium oxides through the gastrointestinal tract, the skin and the conjunctivae is possible but quite limited.

Following impact with hard targets, uranium metal undergoes combustion releasing large quantities of very small uranium oxide dust particles into the environment.

These dust particles derived from depleted uranium weapons are drastically different from the natural uranium that is normally present in rocks and soil.

Soil particles contain uranium at very low concentrations, typically less than 5 parts per million; the vast majority of these soil particles, however, are too large to be inhaled deep into the lungs. In contrast, the dust particles derived from depleted uranium weapons contain very high concentrations of uranium, typically more than 500.000 parts per million; moreover, most of the D.U. dust particles are sufficiently small to be inhaled deep into the lungs. Thus, compared to the uranium naturally present in the environment, D.U. dust contains uranium in a form that is vastly more bio-available and more readily internalized.

Uranyl ions bind to DNA; they bind in the minor groove of DNA. While bound to DNA, uranyl ions are chemically reactive and can give rise to free radicals which may damage DNA. Chemically mediated DNA damage of this type may contribute to the ability of uranium to induce cancers.

US Colonel Admits 500 Tons of DU Were Used In Iraq
Thursday, 8 May 2003, 10:53 am
Article: Jay Shaft
U.S. Colonel Admits 500 Tons of D.U. Were Used in Iraq

By Jay Shaft
Coalition For Free Thought In Media
5 May 2003


U.S.C.: Well (long pause, followed by heavy profanity). Okay, Ill give you some dirt if thats what youre looking for. The Pentagon knows there are huge health risks associated with D.U. They know from years of monitoring our own test ranges and manufacturing facilities.

There were parts of Iraq designated as high contamination areas before we ever placed any troops on the ground. The areas around Basra, Jalibah, Talil, most of the southern desert, and various other hot spots were all identified as contaminated before the war. Some of the areas in the southern desert region along the Kuwaiti border are especially radioactive on scans and tests.

One of our test ranges in Saudi Arabia shows over 1000 times the normal background level for radiation. We have test ranges in the U.S. that are extremely contaminated, hell they have been since the 80s and nothing is ever said publicly. Dont ask dont tell is not only applied to gays, it is applied to this matter very heavily.

I know at one time the theory was developed that any soldier exposed to D.U. shells should have to wear full MOP gear (the chemical protective suit). But they realized that just wouldnt be practical and it was never openly discussed again.

J.S.: So the stories that they know D.U. is harmful are true?

U.S.C.: Yes, there is no doubt that most high level commanders who were around during the 80s know about it.

J.S.: So how do you feel about the fact that you exposed your own men to D.U.?

U.S.C.: Fk you!! What do you know about my job? I did what I had to do to take out the targets I was given. If it was necessary to use D.U., than I put it in my target analysis reports. I didnt actually fire the rounds myself; I work in a remote office.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
22. "and hence can be inhaled easily"
Oh joy. Another extremely toxic substance to be widely used in a populous area.

I can't see the future probems with this. Can you?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
23. Kick!!!
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. a war crime of huge magnitude

the bushmilhousegang belongs in prison along with the corporations that produce the ammo and the military officers who knowingly use the ammo.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
34. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
35. DUSK

DUSK is a group of concerned Australian individuals and representatives from community organisations who are concerned about the increasing use of depleted uranium (DU) and uranium weapons throughout the world.

We are seeking the abolition of these weapons since they are already illegal under the terms of the Geneva Convention to which Australia is a signatory. Australia is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The results of exposure to the effects of these horrific weapons, which are both chemically toxic and radioactively harmful, are not acceptable to civilised humanity.

We condemn the American, Australian and British Governments (and the fifteen or more other countries who have bought these weapons from American armaments manufacturers) for their use, or their support of the use of these weapons.

We call on all involved governments to institute without delay a full-scale testing program for veterans of all the wars in which these weapons have been used.

We call for this program also to be used to test every civilian in every theatre of war where these weapons have been used and for the urgent implementation of a program of care, support, treatment and compensation for all victims of exposure to this toxic tide.

We call on the United Nations to implement a program right away for the abolition of these weapons from the world's arsenals. /
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Weekend kick!
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. ditto
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Climate change, Depleted Uranium...
Edited on Sat Oct-14-06 02:53 PM by Karenina
WHO will rack up the higher numbers fastest? *MIC or Mo' Nature? :think:
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
40. Depleted uranium remains a nagging problem

When the US Army advertises for recruits, it emphasizes jobs and benefits the Army offers, but nowhere are prospects informed about the risk of illness, sickness and death caused by the Army's use of radioactive munitions.

On September 7, in the first court case on Gulf War I to reach Federal Court, nine veterans from a National Guard unit argued their case before a judge in New York, claiming the Army violated its own safety protocols by exposing them to radioactive depleted uranium and refusing to provide medical care. Representing the US Army, Assistant US Attorney John Cronan asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit immediately because courts can't decide "sensitive military matters" and a 1950 Supreme Court decision ruled that soldiers can't sue the government for injuries caused by their military service. The Court has not reached a decision.

Depleted uranium remains a nagging problem for the US Army, which extensively used such munitions during fighting in Gulf War I, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. DU is a chemically toxic, radioactive element with a half-life of 4.5 billion years that damages the kidneys and lungs, causes genetic mutations and cancer, and is associated with a number of medical problems.


The Pentagon took 25 years to acknowledge problems with the corrosive defoliant Agent Orange, used in Vietnam to destroy the jungle. It took 40 years before sick WWII veterans were compensated for exposure to atomic bomb radiation. Officials today can't say, "We didn't know," because they are fully aware of the dangers of DU. How long will it take them to stop using radioactive ammunition and exposing soldiers and civilians to genetic damage, cancer and other illnesses?
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