Depleted Uranium (way OT)

Andy Mucho andy at
Thu Mar 9 21:32:29 CET 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-synth-diy at
> [mailto:owner-synth-diy at]On Behalf Of danial stocks
> Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2000 7:10 PM
> To: synth-diy at
> Subject: Re: Depleted Uranium (way OT)
>      I thought the whole idea is that the depleted Uranium core
>      is very hard and
>      very heavy, so when the bullet impacts on the armor, the
>      core comes out to
>      the front of the bullet and crashes through the armor.I
>      think they made some
>      similar armor piercing rounds with tungsten cores but
>      switched to uranium
>      because it was cheaper, being leftovers from the nuclear
>      power industry. Oh,
>      and someone earlier suggested that you might get poisoned by
>      the uranium if
>      you were shot by it - not coz' it's radioactive, but simply
>      a poisonous
>      metal... I dont think lead poisoning is usually a high
>      priority matter when
>      people get shot by ordinary lead bullets, so even if you did
>      contact the
>      uranium core while being shot by it, I dont think it would
>      poison, just
>      hurt..
>      Cheers,
>      Dan

The weight is part of the equation. The U238 also begins to burn upon
impact, due to compression, with the target and literally burns through the
metal ('like a butter through knife' was one description), bursting though
the other side. During this burning process large amounts of U238 particles
are emitted as dust which are duly dispersed into the atmosphere or interior
of the target. This dusted is inevitably inhaled by either the victims or
others and lodge deep in the lungs. No matter how small I'm sure it doesn't
take much imagination to see how U238 particles lodged inside lungs can
easily lead to a net result of various cancers or even other radiation
poisoning linked illness that can quite easily be passed through to
successive generations and/or lead to birth defects. This resulting dust
left from the round is left in the atmosphere or to settle in the ground
depending upon particle size and easily ingested by animals and/or humans
for long periods of time afterwards. Glow in the dark [insert naturally
occuring grazer here] anyone?
In case you didn't read the above, it's the inhalation of the U238 particles
that are the cause for concern not external contact, though this will
obviously vary with concentration. U238 particles lodged inside lungs are
going to be there for a long time and will do an awful lot of damage.
As far as I know, the US deem the use of depleted U238 in conjunction with
conventional weaponary in this fashion as 'recycling'. The US alone produce
approximatly 1.1M lbs of the stuff per year as a by-product of various
Estimates are that in excess of 1 million DU rounds were fired during the
Gulf war.
There is also debate as to how much DU weaponary was used during the Balkan
As a point of reference here and to put into context the amounts of U238
used in such rounds, the 112mm gun of the Abrams tank used in the Gulf War
was equipped with rounds that were tipped by 10lbs of U238..
An evil extension of already evil weapons by all accounts. Dubbed Agent
Orange of the 90's, since we're going to be paying the price of DU rounds
discrimate use for quite a while to come..


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