I think this is rubbish but I want further confirmation

David Davis

I would like the blogateriat’s comments on this material.

The glib perversion of real science (the truth of which is not immune to distortion by useful fools and spin-hucksters in the thrall of the enemy) hurts me.

At least, that’s what I think. I could be wrong. But everything I know, and teach, about radioactivity, in physics, screams contradiction of this stuff on the link.

8 responses to “I think this is rubbish but I want further confirmation

  1. Looks like BS. The graphic is too small to read; it has a URL on it which I tried to blow up with my l33t photoshop skillz but it was still illegible, though the legible parts point to the US veterans affairs site.

    It may well be a real document but it’s probable that the dimwit who wrote that article didn’t understand what they were reading or something. It’s a safe bet if this were real, it’d be all over the left-wing blogosphere by now.

    Looks to me like the blogger was poking around the veterans’ site, found somethign they think is a “scoop” and has attributed it to “researchers” to make it sound more official kind of thing.

  2. Thank you Ian.

    The whole “depleted Uranium” thingy saddens me immensely as a scientist. depleted means exactly what you and I know it means but they don’t , and Uranium sounds nuclear and scary.

    I carry a small lump of the stuff, about 10 grams, about with me, to wave at students, who sometimes dive under the table in horror – it is very funny to watch.

  3. Pingback: Umm, Depleted Uranium is, Umm, Depleted, You Know?

  4. Dave:

    As I understand it, the problem is not so much residual radioactivity as toxicity.

    DU is pyrophoric: when a flechette hits a tank, it melts into a dense self-forging slug, which ignites and burns at a very high temperature. This causes the metal surface inside the tank to spallate, so that there is a blizzard of vaporized DU and steel fragments inside the tank.

    ISTR it’s the exposure to DU residues which is thought to be a problem.

    All the US Supercarriers switched from DU to tungsten for their Phalanx CIWS rotary cannons. I’d like to know why.



  5. MikeinAppalachia

    It was due to the superior ballistics of the tungsten rounds as well as costs. The Phalanx mission is to defeat incomming cruise missiles, no need for the superior armor-piercing charateristics of the DU rounds.

  6. Uranium has very low bioavailability, so the amount absorbed by the body is small and usually well below that needed to produce toxic effects. Inhaling U238 dust is not a good idea, but it is worth noting that a Curie of U238 amounts to about three thousand tons. Chernobyl released about 100 million Curies, and thus far other than the prompt fatalities incurred among reactor staff and first responders, it has been exceedingly difficult to pin down any excess cancer mortality due to the accident. This witless, conspiracy-mongering screed is one of the more retarded things I’ve ever seen on the Internet. I particularly enjoyed the bit about soldiers getting ‘fried’ from the radio energy emitted by the ‘mini atomic explosions’. It’s really quite pathetic when liberal arts graduates (especially ones with apparent schizophrenia, as here) try to bolster their arguments with science. The results are pitifully and inadvertently humorous.

  7. I wish some of them could then see the above comment. Trouble is, because we are what we are, and Tim Worstall is who he is, they will not come here, and darkness and un-knowing will therefore prevail a little longer.

  8. Sorry, three thousand kg, not tons. Still a lot though. By comparison, a Curie of Carbon 14 is about 200 micrograms.