Depleted Uranium shells used by the military are worse than nuclear weapons

by Dhiram Shah

Remember the rail gun in Quake 2 which fired depleted uranium shells at near light speeds. The military has been using the same shells if not the gun since quite some time. Depleted Uranium is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density it is used armor and tank piercing ammunition. Depleted Uranium (DU) has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations and DU particles are highly toxic when inhaled or ingested. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that around 50 tons of DU dust from the first gulf war will lead to 500,000 cancer related deaths. Compare this to the 250,000 deaths caused by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Till date over 2000 tons of DU dust has been generated in the Middle East alone. DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years so Middle East will be radioactive for almost Eternity.

READ  Top 5 facts on US Military Oil Consumption

“More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.” Since the first Gulf War, the rate of birth defects and childhood cancer in Iraq has increased by seven times. More than 35 percent (251,000) of U.S. Gulf War veterans are dead or on permanent medical disability, compared with only 400 who were killed during the conflict.