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Weapons & Warfare

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DU - Heavy Metal and Radioactive Poison
“Depleted" Uranium (DU) is 99.8% Uranium 238 - a toxic waste product of nuclear enrichment. It has a “half life “ of 4.5 billion years. One gram has a radioactive decay rate of 12,000 Becquerels (nuclear transformations) per second. According to Dr. Rosalie Bertell, approximately 6-10 electrons volts are required to break the RNA or DNA in cells. Each DU alpha particle releases 4.2 million electron volts when it decays. DU is used for armour and ammunition penetrators (in shells from 7.62 - 120mm containing up to 4500 grams each), “bunker buster" bombs and cruise missiles. On impact, at least 40% of the penetrator forms radioactive fragments or dust which disperses to the environment. The remaining penetrator is too radioactive to safely pick up without protection. (300 mrem/hour of beta/gamma particles; 10,000 counts/minute alpha.) This contamination spreads on wind and water, lasts for thousands of years, sequesters in human tissues and contaminates air, soil, water, animals and food. The USA, UK and Australia have used DU weapons extensively (Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq - 350+ tons in 1991 and ~1500+ tons in 2003). The hazards and military applications of uranium contamination of people and the environment have been recognized and studied in Canada and the USA since the 1930's.

Sources: “Depleted Uranium Weapons", http://hlp.home.igc.org/docs/uranium.htm, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, www.ccnr.org/decay_U238.html, www.ccnr.org/salzburg.html; “Immediate Action Required on Depleted Uranium", Dr. Doug Rokke, www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_16968.shtml



Both the USA and Canada have over 200 million tons
of uranium tailings which retain 85% of their
original radioactivity.