Saturday, August 05, 2006
Dry Grey Dust -- "Uranium Lite"
[“…the dry, grey dust which falls and lays life waste…”
These words by the unknown poet of the Third Galaxy would seem to refer to “Uranium Lite” which Elmer Eggplant writes about in the following essay about its use]
In order to make it clear to anyone with a mind capable of understanding that 2 + 2 equals 4 and whose soul is not in the thrall of the Bankers of Illusion, in order to explain why the massive use of “Uranium Lite” in munitions is an obscenity – I must first explain what uranium is and therefore what “Uranium Lite” is not.
The heaviest of the naturally occurring heavy metals, Uranium is radioactive with a half-life of 4.7 billion years. When a uranium atom decays, the main radiation is an alpha particle.
Alpha radiation is a helium nucleus (2 protons + 2 neutrons = 4 nucleons). Because it has a positive electric charge, alpha radiation can travel but a few centimeters through air and only some hundredths of a millimeter in solid matter.
This is the basis for all the lies, mis- and dis-information told about “Uranium Lite” and the danger it presents to humans when used in munitions.
Alpha radiation is harmless outside the body, but dangerous inside the body, where it travels far enough to hit a body cell with a lot of energy. Continued disruption of body cells by alpha radiation over longer periods increases the chances of malignancy, tumors and other problems. Also, as a heavy metal, uranium is chemically toxic to the body.
The question then, is how can uranium get into the body and once there how long is it likely to remain in the body?
The answers are, as dust, and quite a long time. It can enter the body as liquid or food which has been contaminated, breathing its dust into the lungs or as bits of shrapnel.
“Uranium Lite” becomes dust and shrapnel when the armor piercing bullet or shell it tips goes through armor plate like a knife through butter.
Because of its great density and because of the projectile’s enormous velocity, it has a large amount of kinetic energy and when it hits an object that energy is transformed into heat.
Uranium is quite flammable, so the tip of the shell literally burns its way into a tank or a bunker and once inside, it is an exploding torch causing great casualties. Much of the metal is aerosolized into very small particles of metal and oxides. The oxides (UO2 and U3O8) are insoluble in water.
But what does all that have to do with “Uranium Lite”?
Uranium Lite is a waste product in the production of “Uranium Rich” for nuclear bombs and atomic reactors.
Raw uranium metal consists almost entirely of two isotopes, U238 and a few percent of U235, which, because it has fewer neutrons in its nucleus is more unstable and therefore suitable for atomic bombs.
It is quite expensive to separate U235 with the degree of purity needed for making bombs and what is left over is a waste product which costs a lot to store.
Therefore, although it is still half as radioactive as raw uranium and therefore quite dangerous as a body contaminant, our leaders in their great wisdom decided to call it “Uranium Lite”, deny that it presented any danger to anyone and sell it cheap to the people who make armor piercing bullets and shells for our military.
As we know, the progenitor to the Automated Army of Arrogance, through the use of such munitions, spread at least five-hundred tons of “Uranium Lite” dust in the first War Zones.
When the our soldiers returned, complaining of symptoms of radiation poisoning it was denied by Official Investigators that “Uranium Lite” had anything to do with their problems – in fact they were never diagnosed as having symptoms of radiation poisoning!
When Ronald Rexona became the Supreme Hole, there was no more frivolous, irresponsible talk and therefore no need for further investigation.
[In our world we have never used waste from atomic weapons production in weapons and called it “Uranium Lite” – we are not deceitful like that! Instead we call it DEPLETED URANIUM and that makes it much safer.
On top of that, to our never ending credit we have spread less than two thousand tons over Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq – that is a figure we can truly be proud of!
Things will have to get a lot worse before they even begin to resemble anything like that which happened in the Third Galaxy!!!]
Ed. note: I was utterly shocked when I first heard about D.U. years ago in the news. Based simply on what I knew from my general knowledge, I was immediately aware of the problem it had to pose to human health when aerosolized. The important questions are how long does the dust remain in an area and how quickly and hoe far does it spread, official research has concentrated on showing that soldiers did not have U traces in their urine, instead of proceeding from the symptoms. I know I am just a half-intelligent layman in this context, but it's not my fault I don't trust anything my government says anymore!