Stop Uranium Wars

this Site is maintained by the Pandora DU research Project, which is part of the Stop Uranium Wars coalition. The aim is to publicise and make available information on the uranium weapons subject, plus making resources and data available to be used by groups and individuals in the campaign.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Uranium and the War

March 21, 2007 (for full article go to

In five billion years our sun will explode into a white dwarf and envelope the earth, according to NASA projections.

The half-life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years.

This means that by the time the Earth ceases to be a planet, only a little more than half of the depleted uranium (DU) that the United States Army is firing into Iraq and other countries around the world will be gone. The rest of the radioactive material will still be poisoning the Iraqi people.

The U.S. Army revealed in March 2003 that it dropped between 320 and 390 tons of DU during the Gulf War—the first time the material was ever used in combat—and it is estimated that more still has been dropped during the current invasion, though there have been no official counts as yet.

Depleted uranium munitions are extremely dense, toxic, and mildly radioactive. And despite mounting evidence of DU’s negative health affects for combatants and civilians alike, their use is increasing.

Naturally occurring uranium has three forms: uranium 235, 234, and 238. More than 99 percent of earth’s uranium is 238. Uranium 238 is much less radioactive than uranium 235, which is why it takes so long to deteriorate.

Nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants require highly radioactive uranium, so the uranium 238 is removed from the naturally occurring uranium by a process known as enrichment. Depleted uranium is the by-product of the uranium enrichment process.

Since so much of the natural uranium is 238—which is nearly useless for nuclear weapons manufacturing and use in power plants—uranium enrichment factories are left with large amounts of uranium 238, or DU. According to an estimate by the Kansas-based group Nukewatch, the United States has over a billion pounds of DU in its stockpile. This product is twice as dense as lead, and more toxic than it. DU is used to make numerous weapons systems, from shells to bullets to armor for tanks. DU munitions are commonly called Penetrators, a testament to the material’s density.


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