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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Depleted Uranium in Fallujah

The US government has papers claiming that depleted uranium munitions are safe, but there have always been questions about exposure.

Fallujah was the first urban conflict where massive amounts of depleted uranium ordinance was used and the anecdotal reports like this one from the BBC have been indicating higher birth defect rates.

We really need to wait to see real data, but it is certainly a floating concern.

(Depleted uranium is the stuff left over after raw uranium is processed in centrifuges to isolate out the more active bits for nuclear bombs. There's tons of it for each bomb built. The military likes it for munitions because it is extremely dense, giving it the incredible penetrating power to punch through armor.

In theory, it's borderline radioactive safe, but there have always been questions, especially since it tends to partially vaporize in some penetrator applications leaving depleted uranium dust across the battlefield area.)


  • This makes me think of the complexity of fighting a war "morally." Which brings me to IEDs...

    Ethically, what's the difference between and IED and a land mine? Are we using land mines anywhere in this foggy "war?"

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:42 AM  

  • No. The US no longer uses land mines although it reserves the right and has not signed the treaty.

    Instead, the US uses cluster bombs which are like targeted minefields dropped from the sky.

    You can do that when you always control the airspace.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:37 AM  

  • 'safe munitions'. the irony shrieks.

    depleted uranium will be haunting us all for many years to come.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:50 AM  

  • That's my feeling. That's why I posted.

    ...and it will blow back on our image for decades.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:19 PM  

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