2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: loc@icx.net
Date: 21 Jan 2002 16:34:40 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] DU munitions
Steven Pollack's concern about Al Qaida using depleted uranium as a
dirty nuclear weapon is completely misplaced.  DU is barely radioactive. 
 It's DEPLETED in U-235, the primary radioactive isotope in naturally 
occuring uranium.

Terrorists wanting to build a dirty nuclear bomb would more likely steal 
an X-ray or other source using Co-60, Sr-90, Cs-137, or other "hot" 
isotope from a radiological perspective.  Of course, working with those 
is pretty dangerous to whoever is building and transporting the bomb, 
which makes the whole concept less attractive to the individuals 

The US military uses DU weapons for three excellent reasons:
1. Incredible penetrating power
2. Self-sharpening
3. Cheap and plentiful

Let's face it, war is hell on the environment and people's health,
whether you use DU or conventional munitions.  I don't believe in unduly 
handicapping our military in the field; DU munitions gives them a strong 
advantage, especially in tank-killing operations.  After all, we're 
talking about immediate life-and-death situations, not theoretical 
future cancer cases.

And by the way, DU is such a heavy element that the particles fall out
of the air immediately and are difficult to re-suspend.  Thus actual
exposures after the immediate hit are negligable.  There are plenty of
places in this country where the bedrock is a low-grade uranium ore,
giving you more exposure than would occur if you'd had a tank hit in
your backyard.

We'd be better off focusing our energy on real problems, then trying to 
spread disinformation about non-problems in the name of a politically 
correct cause.

Susan Gawarecki

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