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    I remember there was a huge discussion regarding teh harmfull effects of depleated uranium in pansar piercing amunition. I think teh conclusion was that the radioactive radiation was neglectable, but that since uranium is a heavy metal it could have some toxic effects which were to be considdered as a risk.

    This makes me think about conventional amunition. After all, the most commonly used amunition is lead, surely that cant be very good if uranium is a risk. After all, uranium occurs in quite large ammounts naturally.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    I remember there was a huge discussion regarding teh harmfull effects of depleated uranium in pansar piercing amunition. I think teh conclusion was that the radioactive radiation was neglectable, but that since uranium is a heavy metal it could have some toxic effects which were to be considdered as a risk.

    This makes me think about conventional amunition. After all, the most commonly used amunition is lead, surely that cant be very good if uranium is a risk. After all, uranium occurs in quite large ammounts naturally.
    actually the radiation is not negligable. because thats what the discussion are all about,the effects of radiation to civilians,soldiers,etc
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    I remember there was a huge discussion regarding teh harmfull effects of depleated uranium in pansar piercing amunition. I think teh conclusion was that the radioactive radiation was neglectable, but that since uranium is a heavy metal it could have some toxic effects which were to be considdered as a risk.

    This makes me think about conventional amunition. After all, the most commonly used amunition is lead, surely that cant be very good if uranium is a risk. After all, uranium occurs in quite large ammounts naturally.
    Not sure about this but I have a feeling that its not the uranium that's the problem. Uranium decays into Thorium which is itself radioactive. The problem is that Thorium is VERY soluble in water so rainwater etc. will absorb large amounts of Thorium and deposit it in the water supply. Radioactive substances are only really harmful in small concentrations if they get inside the body - it's unlikely you'll chew on a depleted uranium bullet but you may well drink some water that's got dissolved thorium in it.
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    i think theproblem was that after the shells were used, they would break up into a fine powder that was easy to breathe in, and radioactive substances are many times more harmful inside the body than outside it.
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    (Original post by davey_boy)
    Not sure about this but I have a feeling that its not the uranium that's the problem. Uranium decays into Thorium which is itself radioactive. The problem is that Thorium is VERY soluble in water so rainwater etc. will absorb large amounts of Thorium and deposit it in the water supply. Radioactive substances are only really harmful in small concentrations if they get inside the body - it's unlikely you'll chew on a depleted uranium bullet but you may well drink some water that's got dissolved thorium in it.
    But the soil contains so much radioactive uranium anyways. Depleated uranium is perhaps 95% of teh stable isotope, so I doubt the amunition would add significantly to the large amounts of uranium already present in the soil.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    But the soil contains so much radioactive uranium anyways. Depleated uranium is perhaps 95% of teh stable isotope, so I doubt the amunition would add significantly to the large amounts of uranium already present in the soil.
    I'd question what you mean by depleted uranium is 95% the stable isotope,
    "Uranium has 23 isotopes, one of which is an isomer and all of which are radioactive" - there is no 'stable isotope'.

    Not convinced there are large amounts of uranium in the soil - what evidence do you have for this? - data I have is that it occurs at 1.8ppm in normal soils - I'd consider this to be a trace element.
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    (Original post by davey_boy)
    I'd question what you mean by depleted uranium is 95% the stable isotope,
    "Uranium has 23 isotopes, one of which is an isomer and all of which are radioactive" - there is no 'stable isotope'.

    Not convinced there are large amounts of uranium in the soil - what evidence do you have for this? - data I have is that it occurs at 1.8ppm in normal soils - I'd consider this to be a trace element.
    Depleted Uranium contains mainly U-238 and U-235. Although U-238 is radioactive, it has a very long halflife and so the radiation from it is close to neglectable. Also, according to the WHO The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that there are typically
    four US tons of uranium in one square mile of soil,

    (just checked it out at http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiatio...ranium_Eng.pdf )

    Now, obviously if the danger is that the compounds is absorbed by water in the ground, then it doesnt matter very much if this uranium is concentrated at one spot, or distributed over a large area since the compounds would have to difuse into the water, and this water would later have to run through large distances in order to reach a point were humans would actually drink it.
 
 
 

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