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D.C.

A Favour To Ask - It Will Cost You Nothing

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On that new government suggestion site I have asked the government to ban the use of depleted uranium weapons by the British military.

link here:

http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/restoring-civil-liberties/ban-depleted-uranium-weapons/idea-view

The effect of these weapons if you are unfamiliar with them is truly horrific, there is a link in the petition that shows you a few of the birth defects caused by the DU in the air and water that is left behind long after the fighting is finished.

These are the same sorts of defects that were seen after Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl, but the scale of what we have done is truly staggering.

Chernobyl released 9 tons of uranium into the surrounding area, we have fired 5000 tons of uranium into Iraq and Afghanistan. Because Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, it is going to be causing these problems for a very, very long time.

I know the site is a bit slow and you have to register to vote for an idea, but it takes you a few minutes to do that. A small price to pay to stop your government using your taxes to kill children that haven't been born yet.

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In wartime bullets fly around and bombs drop and soldiers die and civilians also get caught in the middle and die.

That is war, lots of people die and get injured.

Once a bullet has been fired it doesn't pose a threat decades into the future, it doesn't indiscriminately kill innocent people long after war is over.

landmines have been banned because after the war is over the landmines remain and kill people try to farm or children at play.

Cluster bombs have also been banned for the same reason. Long after the war is over unexploded bomblets kill and maim civilians.

After you fire a DU round every single atom ends up either as shrapnel or dust that stays in environment and causes cancer and birth defects decades after the war is over, it indiscriminately harms and kills people that were not even born at the time of the war.

The cancer rate in Fallujah has gone up tenfold and the rate of birth defects are up by a factor of 6.

If you update your scholar search to

depleted uranium fallujah

you will see what I mean.

A report is available here

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A worthwhile cause. The media doesn't do enough to educate the population on the long term effects of dirty war.

Good luck D.C. These weapons are absolutely appalling.

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On that new government suggestion site I have asked the government to ban the use of depleted uranium weapons by the British military.

Chernobyl released 9 tons of uranium into the surrounding area, we have fired 5000 tons of uranium into Iraq and Afghanistan. Because Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, it is going to be causing these problems for a very, very long time.

Hmmmm. Chernobyl released 9 tons worth of highly radioactive fission products, encluding enriched (note the word enriched, not depleted) uranium into the environment.

DU (depleted uranium) is called depleted uranium for a reason. It's been depleted of its highly radioactive 235 isotope (which is the isotope used in nuclear reactors and bombs). You're not exactly comparing like for like here.

Any effects due to the use of DU are probably due to it's toxicity as a metal, not so much it's level of radioactivity, although the degree of toxicity is currently under debate.

Poor science.

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Hmmmm. Chernobyl released 9 tons worth of highly radioactive fission products, encluding enriched (note the word enriched, not depleted) uranium into the environment.

DU (depleted uranium) is called depleted uranium for a reason. It's been depleted of its highly radioactive 235 isotope (which is the isotope used in nuclear reactors and bombs). You're not exactly comparing like for like here.

Any effects due to the use of DU are probably due to it's toxicity as a metal, not so much it's level of radioactivity, although the degree of toxicity is currently under debate.

Poor science.

Erm, sorry but it's not poor science.

Depleted Uranium is simply U-238.

The word 'depleted' does not mean used up, safe or no longer radioactive.

Uranium when dug out the ground comes in three isotopes most of the time, U-234, U-235 and U-238. U-238 is far more abundant making up over 99% of natural uranium.

You can never fully separate the different isotopes so DU still has 0.4% U-235 and reactor fuel only has 2-5% U-235 depending on the design of the reactor.

Enriching uranium is actually the removal of U-238 so you end up with a higher concentration of U-235, to make a uranium bomb you need to get to about 90% U-235.

The usefulness of U-235 for reactors is simply because it can go critical easily (a self sustaining reaction) pure U-238 still gives off 60% percent as much radiation as U-235 and many heavy water designs of reactor can use non enriched uranium.

All the three natural isotopes of uranium have an alpha emitter as the step down in their decay chain, this means that you could hold some in your hand and be safe.

However DU rounds have quite a lot of kinetic energy when fired and the impact at the other end turns it into shrapnel and dust. This dust then gets blown around and breathed in and also ends up in rivers and water supplies in fields and crops.

This does then cause lots and lots of problems because it is ingested and breathed in.

Please don't get fobbed off by the word 'depleted'. The word has no bearing on the underlying physics.

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Erm, sorry but it's not poor science.

Depleted Uranium is simply U-238.

The word 'depleted' does not mean used up, safe or no longer radioactive.

Uranium when dug out the ground comes in three isotopes most of the time, U-234, U-235 and U-238. U-238 is far more abundant making up over 99% of natural uranium.

You can never fully separate the different isotopes so DU still has 0.4% U-235 and reactor fuel only has 2-5% U-235 depending on the design of the reactor.

Enriching uranium is actually the removal of U-238 so you end up with a higher concentration of U-235, to make a uranium bomb you need to get to about 90% U-235.

The usefulness of U-235 for reactors is simply because it can go critical easily (a self sustaining reaction) pure U-238 still gives off 60% percent as much radiation as U-235 and many heavy water designs of reactor can use non enriched uranium.

All the three natural isotopes of uranium have an alpha emitter as the step down in their decay chain, this means that you could hold some in your hand and be safe.

However DU rounds have quite a lot of kinetic energy when fired and the impact at the other end turns it into shrapnel and dust. This dust then gets blown around and breathed in and also ends up in rivers and water supplies in fields and crops.

This does then cause lots and lots of problems because it is ingested and breathed in.

Please don't get fobbed off by the word 'depleted'. The word has no bearing on the underlying physics.

There is no comparison between the enriched uranium and daughter products produced in the Chernobyl blast and DU. Period.

This sort of nonsense does this cause a great disservice. Your objectives may be sensible, but your science isn't.

What do you think happens when government ministers see this sort of stuff ? They hand it off to a scientific advisor who can rip it to shreds when it has claims like this, which completely underminds its objectives.

If you were to attempt to make a case based on unknown toxic effects plus effects due to weak radioactivity it might catch someones attention.

If you're going to make a difference you have to get the science right, otherwise it doesn't get past the first hurdle.

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There is no comparison between the enriched uranium and daughter products produced in the Chernobyl blast and DU. Period.

This sort of nonsense does this cause a great disservice. Your objectives may be sensible, but your science isn't.

What do you think happens when government ministers see this sort of stuff ? They hand it off to a scientific advisor who can rip it to shreds when it has claims like this, which completely underminds its objectives.

If you were to attempt to make a case based on unknown toxic effects plus effects due to weak radioactivity it might catch someones attention.

If you're going to make a difference you have to get the science right, otherwise it doesn't get past the first hurdle.

Where exactly did I mention 'daughter products'?

I compared tons of uranium.

I have at no point attempted to convince people that the 5000 tons of uranium in Iraq can burn someone's face off at 50 paces, I have argued that it stays in the environment and causes cancers and birth defects. Which it does.

Attempting to pass off Depleted Uranium as 'safe' and enriched Uranium as 'unsafe' is bad science.

http://www.wise-uranium.org/rup.html

Take a look at the activity table for natural Uranium just under the introduction.

Adjusting the amount of U-235 in a gram of uranium has a fairly small impact on the total radioactivity of the sample if you are talking about comparing

Natural Uranium - 0.7% U-235

Depleted Uranium - 0.2-0.4% U-235

Enriched Uranium - 2-5% U-235

Granted weapons grade Uranium at 90% U-235 is considerably more radioactive than Depleted Uranium but Chernobyl didn't release of that did it?

You are correct that if you just tot up the amount of radiation present in an area over a small timescale (days) than the very short lived decay products immediately after the Chernobyl accident were pumping out vastly more radiation than all the DU dumped in Iraq does over that same short period.

But if you are talking decades, as it is perfectly reasonable to do when talking about public health and radiation exposure, than the DU in Iraq is pumping far more radiation.

If you want to dismiss it, why not break out the maths and tot up the Becquerels yourself?

Prove me wrong.

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Where exactly did I mention 'daughter products'?

I compared tons of uranium.

I have at no point attempted to convince people that the 5000 tons of uranium in Iraq can burn someone's face off at 50 paces, I have argued that it stays in the environment and causes cancers and birth defects. Which it does.

Attempting to pass off Depleted Uranium as 'safe' and enriched Uranium as 'unsafe' is bad science.

http://www.wise-uranium.org/rup.html

Take a look at the activity table for natural Uranium just under the introduction.

Adjusting the amount of U-235 in a gram of uranium has a fairly small impact on the total radioactivity of the sample if you are talking about comparing

Natural Uranium - 0.7% U-235

Depleted Uranium - 0.2-0.4% U-235

Enriched Uranium - 2-5% U-235

Granted weapons grade Uranium at 90% U-235 is considerably more radioactive than Depleted Uranium but Chernobyl didn't release of that did it?

You are correct that if you just tot up the amount of radiation present in an area over a small timescale (days) than the very short lived decay products immediately after the Chernobyl accident were pumping out vastly more radiation than all the DU dumped in Iraq does over that same short period.

But if you are talking decades, as it is perfectly reasonable to do when talking about public health and radiation exposure, than the DU in Iraq is pumping far more radiation.

If you want to dismiss it, why not break out the maths and tot up the Becquerels yourself?

Prove me wrong.

So why mention Chernobyl at all then ?

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So why mention Chernobyl at all then ?

Because over time the 5000 tons of DU dumped into the air, water supply and food chain of the residents of the cities of Iraq and Afghanistan will have a worse effect on human life than Chernobyl.

That is why.

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So why mention Chernobyl at all then ?

Coz mention of Chernobyl, Nagasaki and Hiroshima will get more signatures.

It's a common tactic. Like the time I approached some people with the skinless Chinese dog and cat photos plastered all over the pavement.

They were playing on the minds of dog and cat lovers. They didn't care about the fact that these animals were tortured (it's not as if all dogs and cats eaten for meat are mistreated). After some digging I got to their real agenda, they were vegetarians and against the killing of any animal for food!

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Coz mention of Chernobyl, Nagasaki and Hiroshima will get more signatures.

It's a common tactic. Like the time I approached some people with the skinless Chinese dog and cat photos plastered all over the pavement.

They were playing on the minds of dog and cat lovers. They didn't care about the fact that these animals were tortured (it's not as if all dogs and cats eaten for meat are mistreated). After some digging I got to their real agenda, they were vegetarians and against the killing of any animal for food!

There is a fairly small number of radiological disasters that people are familiar with, given the increase in the rates of cancers and deformities observed in areas where there has been heavy DU contamination the loss of life from radiological causes will be in the same league as those three.

As the accusations of 'bad science' seem to have stopped, could you explain what possible 'real agenda' I could have?

And no, before you ask, I don't sell Geiger counters...

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