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Old 07-07-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
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While there may be unpleasant side effects of depleted uranium, it is really misleading to label it as a "nuclear weapon." They use the term because they know what people think of when they hear it, and they're trying to employ sensationalist marketing.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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i agree that it is somewhat sensationalizing (since it isn't a bomb) to use that particular term but there really are negative consequences to its use:

Depleted uranium is a metal made from uranium hexaflouride which is the byproduct of the uranium enrichment process. Depleted uranium is actually the uranium 238 isotope. Natural uranium contains 99.2% by weight U-238 while DU contains 99.8% by weight U-238. Recent documents released by the U.S. Department of Energy provide evidence to suggest that a small proportion of other toxic heavy metals such as plutonium also may be present. U-238 emits alpha particles at 4.2 Mev and 4.15 Mev that cause significant internal ionization with consequent cellular damage. In addition daughter products emit beta particles and gamma rays that may cause further radiological damage. While DU may not be an external hazard it is an internal hazard and with consequent inhalation, ingestion, and wound contamination poses significant and unacceptable risks. Although, DU is 60 % less radioactive than natural uranium because U-234 and U-235 which emit gamma rays and beta particles have been removed Depleted uranium or uranium 238 is still very dangerous as an internal hazard because the alpha particle emissions are not reduced but proportionally increased. Also spent penetrators or parts of penetrators emit at 300 mrem/ hour and thus can not be touched or picked up without protection.

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES?

Depleted uranium or U-238 has an atomic mass of 238. Its half-life is 4.468 billion years. It's natural occurrence is 2.1 parts per million. Uranium is silver white, lustrous, malleable, ductile, and pyrophoric. This makes DU an ideal metal for use as kinetic energy penetrators, counterweights, and shielding or armor. High density and pyrophoric (catches fire) nature are the two most significant physical properties that guided its selection for use as a kinetic energy penetrator. (end)

i certainly would think that there would probably be a much higher risk of wound contamination in a war zone.

also, part of it doesn't explode on impact:

On-site impact investigations suggest that the mass loss is about 40% which forms fixed and loose contamination, leaving about 60% of the initial mass of the penetrator in the solid or pencil form.

i also wouldn't think it would be good to have that 60% just lying around to be handled.

on a side war note, a sad note, we lost one of our local boys to the war in afghanistan. there is a story on him with 17 pictures of his life:
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/jul/...in-bombing-in/

these are our hometown boys/men being killed, with real families who depended on them and loved them. we also lost 2 more soldiers in iraq today. for those keeping track, that is about 4,500 american soldiers dead in iraq alone.

Last edited by floridasandy; 07-07-2011 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,089 posts, read 27,730,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subsound View Post
The reactor doesn't use depleted Uranium. The reactors use Uranium that has about 2x the amount of 238 as depleted uranium, it's not plied with other metals like the rounds, and it's surrounded by tritium (which is radioactive and adds neutrons as well).

I'm not saying I like DU, I think it's more chemically dangerous (it is a heavy metal) then radioactively, but lying about it doesn't help anyone. It certainly isn't a fission weapon as stated in the article.
the pro-ghaddafi forces were using tanks and a 30MM cannon on the A-10 warthog would of been the plane best suited for the job and they do use DU rounds because they are effective at stopping tanks from the air. if NATO gets called in UN for a humanrights violation because we used an effective weapon to stop tanks that were a massive threat to the civillians.


sometimes the U.N. is frustrating because they limit our options and what we can use that would be effective but al in all we did a good job of keeping civlian from ketting casulties with precsion strikes and not much more we can do from the air and if gahddafi would step down we could end it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:30 PM
 
9,318 posts, read 11,467,186 times
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I agree that the Libyan conflict needs to end (or we need to at least end all our involvement in it) and that DU is really bad stuff. A battlefield where those weapons have been used could be bathing in toxic 'dust', and I do think it is possibly the cause of the 'Gulf War Syndrome'. But I think it is naive or even intentionally misleading to label it a nuclear weapon.

As an aside, DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosives) using tungsten or other heavy metal powders are being scrutinized for having toxic biological effects also.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:29 PM
 
29,920 posts, read 38,350,027 times
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You'd rather have the SCO in charge? (like you know what that is)
Quote:
I know we meet tomorrow to inaugurate our strategic dialogue, but I wanted to share
with you beforehand my thoughts about the SCO and how far we have come. Fifteen to
20 years ago, I would never have imagined the SCO to be NATO’s equal—if not (patting
myself on the back) an even somewhat more important international organization. Just
between ourselves, we were not destined for “greatness” except for the West’s stumbling.
I think it is fair to say it began when you pulled out of Afghanistan without accomplishing
your mission of pacifying the Taliban. I know you had little choice. Years of slow or
no growth in the US and West had decimated defense budgets. The Americans felt
overstretched and the Europeans were not going to stay without a strong US presence.
The Afghan situation threatened to destabilize the whole region, and we could not stand
idly by. Besides Afghanistan, we had disturbing intelligence that some “friendly” Central
Asian governments were coming under pressure from radical Islamic movements and
we continue to depend on Central Asian energy. The Chinese and Indians were very
reluctant to throw their hats into the ring with my homeland—Russia—but they did
not have better options. None of us wanted the other guy to be in charge: we were so
suspicious of each other and, if truth be told, continue to be.
The so-called SCO “peacekeeping” action really put the SCO on the map and got us
off the ground. Before that, it was an organization where “cooperation” was a bit of a
misnomer. It would have been more aptly called the “Shanghai Organization of Mutual
Distrust.” China did not want to offend the US, so it did not go along with Russia’s anti-
American efforts. India was there to keep an eye on both China and Russia. The Central
Asians thought they could use the SCO for their own purpose of playing the neighboring
big powers off against one another. Iran’s Ahmedi-Nejad would have joined anything with
a whiff of anti-Americanism.
Still, even with these operations, the SCO would not have become a “bloc” if it had not
been for the rising antagonism shown by the US and Europe toward China. China’s
strong ties to the US had oddly enough provided Beijing with legitimacy. China also
benefited from a strong US presence in the region; Beijing’s Asian neighbors would have
been much more worried about China’s rise if they had not had the US as a hedge. China
and India were content with the status quo and did not want to get into a strong alliance
with us Russians for fear of antagonizing the US. As long as that status quo held, the
SCO’s prospects as a “bloc” were limited.
Then came the growing protectionist movements in the US and Europe led by a coalition
of forces from left to right along the political spectrum. Chinese investments came
under greater scrutiny and increasingly were denied. The fact that China and India
became first adopters of so many new technologies—next generation Internet, clean
water, energy storage, biogerontechnology, clean coal, and biofuels—only added to the
economic-driven frustration. Protectionist trade barriers were put up. Somebody other
than “the West” had to pay a price for that recession which dragged on there but not so
much elsewhere. China’s military modernization was seen as a threat and there was
a lot of loose talk in the West about the emerging powers piggy-backing off the United
States’ protection of the sea lanes. Needless to say, the West’s antagonism sparked a
nationalistic movement in China.
Interestingly, we Russians watched this from the sidelines without knowing what to do.
We were pleased to see our good friends in the West take an economic drubbing. It
was still nothing like what we went through in the 1990s and, of course, we took a hit as
energy prices sagged with the recession in the West. But we had accumulated a lot of
reserves before then.
In the end, these events were a godsend because they forced Russia and China into
each other’s arms. Before, Russia had been more distrustful of China’s rise than the
United States. Yes, we talked big about shifting all our energy supplies eastward to scare
the Europeans from time to time. But we also played China off against Japan, dangling
possibilities and then not following through. Our main worry was China. Fears about
China’s overrunning Russia’s Far East were a part of it, but I think the bigger threat from
our standpoint was of a more powerful China—for example, one that would not forever
hide behind Russia’s skirts at the UN. The Soviet-China split was always lurking too. I
personally was angered by endless Chinese talk about not repeating Soviet mistakes.
That hurt. Not that the Chinese weren’t right, but to admit we had failed when they might
succeed—that struck at Russian pride.
But now this is all behind us. Having technology that allowed for the clean use of fossil
fuels was a godsend. Whether the West gave it to us, or as we were accused of doing,
we stole it, is immaterial. We saw a chance to cement a strong tie—offering the Chinese
opportunities for a secure energy supply and less reliance on seaborne supplies from
the Middle East. They reciprocated with long-term contracts. We also learned how to
cooperate in Central Asia instead of trying to undermine each other by our actions with
various regimes. Seeing a strong Sino-Russian partnership arise, the others—India, Iran,
etc.—did not want to be left out of the picture and have rallied around us. Of course, it
helps that US and European protectionists lumped India with China, so there really was
not much left for them to do.
How stable is our relationship? Don’t quote me, but this is not a new Cold War. Sure, we
talk a great game about state capitalism and authoritarianism, but it is no ideology like
Communism. And it is in our mutual interests that democracy not break out in Central
Asia as China and Russia would be the targets of any such uprisings. I can’t say that we
Russians and Chinese really like each other much more than before. In fact, both of us
have to worry about our respective nationalisms getting in the way of mutual interests.
Let’s put it this way: the Russian and Chinese peoples are not enamored with one
another. Russians want to be respected as Europeans, not Eurasians, and China’s elites
are still in their hearts geared toward the West. But temporary expedients have been
known to grow into permanence, you know?
http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf (broken link)

Moderators: This is a .gov website and unclassified information.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Del Rio, TN
38,302 posts, read 24,331,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruSan View Post
My understanding, which could be erroneous, is the 20 and 30 mil stuff as was used by Tomcats gatlings in the Bosnia region and later in Iraq were DU rounds but I've not heard of any "dropped" munitions being tipped with DU.

Perhaps missions flown by copters with gatlings are using them in Libya but what other munitions being used there would have DU rounds?

Those who know the types of munitions fitted to F18 Hornets etc., would be better to answer this.
The Tomcat was phased out of use a decade or two ago, IIRC the early 90s. I don't know if the 20mm rotary cannon (M61 Vulcan IIRC) it or most other US fighters ues has a DU round or not. The 30mm GAU-8A cannon in the Thunderbolt II does have a round with a DU bullet, used in anti-armor roles. It also has rounds with more conventional bullet construction for soft targets.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:06 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
42,179 posts, read 55,142,541 times
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Actually the Tomcat (F-14) was decommissioned in late 2006.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,272 posts, read 12,449,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz in SC View Post
LOL...can't wait to see how the leftist droids who complained bitterly over the use of DU in Iraq and Afghanistan think it now is okay to use by their boy Obama in Libya....

That is outright ignorant. I could care less who uses this material. It should be banned and war crimes are a potential when used., I don't care if it is W or Obama. I will gladly escort either to the plane for the Hague.

DU is dangerous to our forces it causes a great deal of pain and suffering and then starts a whole cover up from the military so they won't admit why such young people are dying. They are provided this ammunition without knowledge of the danger then everyone is baffled when they erupt with nasty illnesses and the military discharges them after they spend all their time in the hospitals.

I think we need to eradicate this material from our stock piles. If our officials use it they need to be brought up on crimes against humanity.

This is my leftist position.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
42,179 posts, read 55,142,541 times
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YouTube - ‪A-10 Warthog showing their stuff‬‏


At just under 3 minutes in is the tank busting with DU.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,568 posts, read 21,226,653 times
Reputation: 2518
Quote:
Originally Posted by AONE View Post
That is outright ignorant. I could care less who uses this material. It should be banned and war crimes are a potential when used., I don't care if it is W or Obama. I will gladly escort either to the plane for the Hague.

DU is dangerous to our forces it causes a great deal of pain and suffering and then starts a whole cover up from the military so they won't admit why such young people are dying. They are provided this ammunition without knowledge of the danger then everyone is baffled when they erupt with nasty illnesses and the military discharges them after they spend all their time in the hospitals.

I think we need to eradicate this material from our stock piles. If our officials use it they need to be brought up on crimes against humanity.

This is my leftist position.

DU has been in use for several decades now.It has it's purpose.
You seem to know little about the topic but don't let that stand in the way of posting your feelings.
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