U.S. War with Iraq

by Crazy151drinker 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • seawolf

    Also, it appears they're sticking 'other' stuff in there besides U238.

    UN finds Kosovo nuclear danger

    Officials of the UN environment programme said tests on material gathered by its team of experts in Kosovo had revealed traces of uranium 236 - an isotope found only in spent nuclear fuel - among weapons delivered by Nato aircraft in the 1999 conflict.

    The latest DU discovery, which follows the investigation of eight of the 112 sites in Kosovo by a team of UN scientists last November, is likely to prompt questions about what other dangerous radioactive materials may have been contained in the US shells.

    It seems like no one knows exactly what is in these DU things. That's what scares me.

    Edited by - seawolf on 10 August 2002 17:15:10

  • seawolf

    Plutonium contamination raises stakes

    In Europe, a wildfire of publicity was lit anew by the United States official admission that its DU contains plutonium and other reactor-borne fission products far more radioactive and carcinogenic than uranium-238.

    The discovery of uranium-236 contamination in spent munitions used against Kosovo revealed that the DU was not obtained before the nuclear reaction process. The Pentagon, NATO and the British Ministry of Defense have always downplayed the danger of DU saying it was "less radioactive than uranium ore." But at least half of the DU (250,000 metric tons) is now known to have been left over from the reprocessing of irradiated reactor fuel (done to extract weapons-grade plutonium), leaving it salted with fission products.(18)

    "If it has been through a reactor, it does change our idea on depleted uranium," says Dr. Michael Repacholi of the World Health Organization, which has demanded to know how much plutonium is in DU ammunition. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is still working on an answer to that question.

    As early as January 2000, the DOE admitted that its DU munitions are spiked with plutonium, neptunium and americium "transuranic" (heavier than uranium) fission wastes from inside nuclear reactors.(19) The health consequences here are fearsome: americium -- with a half-life of 7,300 years -- decays to plutonium-239, which is more radioactive than the original americium.

    DU "contains a trace amount of plutonium," said the DOEs Assistant Secretary David Michaels, who wrote to the Military Toxics Project's Tara Thornton January 20, 2000. "Recycled uranium, which came straight from one of our production sites, e.g. Hanford [Reservation, in Richland, Washington], would routinely contain transuranics at a very low level...." Michaels wrote. "We have initiated a project to characterize the level of transuranics in the various depleted uranium inventories," he said.

    Dr. Von Hippel says in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that plutonium-239 is 200,000 times more radioactive than U-238. Plutonium "is probably the most carcinogenic substance known," according to Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of IEER, writing in his 1992 book Plutonium.


  • seawolf

    I was just going to embed this and not paste any quotes but IE has locked up 5 times trying to do this so I give up. First time IE6 has ever given me a problem hmph. Anyway.....

    Deception over health risks of depleted uranium

    How can one explain that children of Gulf War veterans suffer the same birth defects as Iraqi children born in zones contaminated by DU? That the same symptoms - fatigue, depression, respiratory and kidney problems and in many cases leukaemia - affect civilians and soldiers exposed to DU in both the Gulf and the Balkans? And if DU is harmless, why is Kuwait paying private companies millions of dollars to decontaminate its battlefields? Who will pay to decontaminate Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo?
    The book and a television documentary by the same journalists show the US government was at best grossly negligent and deceitful towards US nuclear workers, soldiers and the civilians of Iraq and former Yugoslavia. At worst - as stated by Paul Sullivan, the head of the National Gulf War Resource Centre - the US is guilty of knowingly contaminating parts of the Gulf and former Yugoslavia for the next 4.5 billion years.
    In other words, the hundreds of tonnes of DU fired in the Gulf and in the Balkans were not so "depleted" after all.
  • Xander

    Boy, this has taken a lot of research to try and track down where that plutonium rumor came from.

    Seems like here (from the DOE in Jan, 2000):



    We believe that minute quantities of plutonium may be contained in some of the depleted uranium stocks presently at the gaseous diffusion plant sites.

    Which is interesting, but irrelevant. Not all depleted uranium is used in weapons. In fact, most ISN'T. (And in any case, this is referring to 'raw' depleted uranium - it is usually refined further for weapons use).

    Further, most telling from the article (and what I said above):

    One may normally expect that depleted uranium contains a trace amount of plutonium. However, the quantity of plutonium in depleted uranium is generally very low, and the major health concern is from the uranium, not the traces of plutonium.

    IOW, as I mentioned above, the *radiation* hazards are not significant. This is obvious as few, if ANY sufferers of 'Gulf War Syndrome' show symptoms of radiation poisoning.

    The PROBLEM is that DU is a 'heavy metal'. Like lead. And Tungsten. Heavy metals = VERY, VERY poisonous. ALL of them. If the shells had been solid lead (or tungsten), you may rest assured that anyone breathing their vaporized debris would get just as sick.

    So, unless you want to replace every round of DU, Tungsten, and lead ammunition in every 1st world nations arsenal with, say, iron....you're wasting time chasing a ghost.

    YES - DU *IS* dangerous. VERY dangerous. DON'T BREATHE IT!

    Also - lead *IS* dangerous. VERY dangerous. DON'T BREATHE IT!


  • seawolf

    Xander, thanks for spending the time to research what you wrote. BTW this is an interesting conversation we're having here. Wonder if anyone else knows it's going on.

    I'm not really familiar with some the stuff on the plutonium bit other than what was at the BBC, etc so I dunno.

    Now about it being highly radioactive. What I said in my original post was paraphrased from the linked article on that page. I agree that it is slightly radioactive and like you are saying it is NOT highly radioactive. I think I understand that more-or-less what you are talking about is about the radioactive part? All the previous posts I did with the links were my attempt to show that A LOT of people are getting sick and this is what I thought you were questioning but now that I re-read what you wrote and my original post I think I am understanding your point a bit better? Also, the article's author's definition of "highly" is anyone's guess.

    What it seems like what the articles are talking about (and correct me if I'm wrong) is internal exposure.

    Prominent scientists also worked to calm the uproar. Dr. John Boice, of the International Epidemiology Institute, told the New York Times, "To get leukemia you need to get the radiation to the bone marrow. The radiation does not go to the marrow. And Uranium 238 will not get to the bone marrow. I don't think it causes leukemia at all."(8) U.S. physicist Steve Fetter told the Times that uranium did not penetrate to bone and bone marrow where leukemia originates.

    This slick obfuscation refers to external DU exposure and ignores the hazard from DU ingestion or inhalation. Jean Francois Lacronique, director of France's National Radiation Protection Agency, flatly contradicted NATO, saying, "U-238 has been found stored in bone, and if it gets into bone, it can reach the bone marrow."(9)

    Dr. Frank von Hipple, author of a December 1999 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article on DU, told me, "Yes, it does get to the bone. We looked at that in our study." And the December 2000 Science for Democratic Action -- from the Institute for Environmental and Energy Research (IEER) -- reports that, "Some [DU] particles remain in the body where they can build up in lung [tissue], or enter the blood stream where it can accumulate in bone tissue." Internal exposure, the IEER article says, "increases the risk of leukemia and lung, bone and soft tissue cancers, particularly when inhaled or ingested."

    and it's making ppl sick. I guess this sums it up:

    "It's true that DU is not very radioactive. But when you inhale it, it does go to the lymph nodes surrounding the lungs, and that means it could irradiate all the blood cells which pass through the nodes.

    "Many experts say DU is more of a chemical threat than a radioactive one, and I think the chemical toxicity is an issue. The uranium atoms are chemically toxic, and they will visit every cell in the body where they may have an effect.

    "And it would not be hard to absorb a serious dose of DU quite quickly. When it vaporises, it forms a very fine powder which can blow a long way.


    The problem with it being very toxit and not breathing it is people over where this stuff (stuff=DU) is being used don't have a choice. They're all being exposed to it and it's causing skyrocketing birth defects and things of the like.............

    Not all depleted uranium is used in weapons. In fact, most ISN'T.

    agreed. But still, 270 tonnes of it have been fired during the wars in the Gulf and the Balkans.

    IOW, as I mentioned above, the *radiation* hazards are not significant. This is obvious as few, if ANY sufferers of 'Gulf War Syndrome' show symptoms of radiation poisoning.

    agreed. But like I said I wasn't trying to say that they were dying from radiation, although I admit my first post with the "highly radioactive" statement made it seem that way and made the post take on an 'air' of which I wasn't intending. I see that now. They're dying--for whatever reasons--from the DU that is being used. Whether the soldiers were in the Gulf or Balkans, whether the children were born from Americans or Iraqis in the Gulf, etc they're showing the same things at around the same time... something is going on. The EU even banned DU last year http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1121384.stm

    To reply to an earlier post of yours that was a reply to my post, I agree, why not assasinate him instead of blasting their way in like it's some Dirty Harry movie. The legalities of it all concern me. Then again, the US isn't in the world court. *shrug*

    So we assasinate him, Saddam's son takes over, we have bigger mess on our hands. *shrug* It's all a big mess. I think I'll join Ted Williams in the frig. Wake me up when it's all over.

    Edit: TYPOS

    3rd edit: took out the tongue-in-cheek comment about loving FredHall since I just saw his lastest thread.

    Edited by - seawolf on 10 August 2002 19:54:45

    Edited by - seawolf on 10 August 2002 19:56:6

    Edited by - seawolf on 10 August 2002 20:24:11

  • Xander
    270 tonnes of it have been fired during the wars in the Gulf and the Balkans


    My point is that it is not DU's radioactivity that is harmful, it is that it is a 'heavy metal'. If all tank rouns were replaced with lead or tungsten, and 270 tons of lead or tungsten were fired during the gulf war and balkans and turned into dust over civilized areas....the environmental damage would be the exact same as the DU.

    (FWIW, WW2 rounds were steel until very late war, when a tungsten penetrator was fitted to some rounds - steel is now far too obsolete to get any kind of penetration on a modern tank, although it has the advantage of being a 'safe' metal.)

  • seawolf
    My point is that it is not DU's radioactivity that is harmful, it is that it is a 'heavy metal'.

    yes. agreed.

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