September 03, 2003

Depleted Uranium

Being that I'm not a nuclear physicist, I've stayed away from the debate regarding the military's use of depleted uranium shells. But, in the back of my mind, I've always pretty much sided with the military. After all, it would have to be a pretty jaded military juggernaught that would specially train skilled tank crews and then load them into a tank chock full of radioactive shells.

But, there are those folks out there, the perpetual whiner known as Riverbend being top amongst them, who maintain that DU shells are responsible for everything from children with three legs to old men with bad breath. Being that she's an Iraqi (supposedly), I can understand why she casts doubt on everything around her, but I just end up thinking that her screeds against DU shells sound suspiciously like the rantings of a soul who has been fed Ba'athist propaganda her whole life. Hell, according to her, the 1991 Gulf War was overkill (note to Riverbend: blame Saddam on that one, sweetheart, I'm sure the Kuwaitis didn't appreciate being raped and killed by your overhyped military machine).

But, getting back to the issue of DU. I don't know all the science, but I DO know that UNDEPLETED uranium-238 isn't all that toxic in its own right. It's present in a lot of things on this planet, including tobacco plants. Sure, it can be refined to be more radioactive, but that's a different story entirely. To hear critics tell it, though, you'd think DU shells are miniature nukes, and that's just plain, well, wrong. Overly simplistic, and wrong.

Like I said, I don't profess to know all the science surrounding DU, but this blogger does, and his take on DU seems a lot more informed and a whole lot more level-headed.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Posted by Ryan at September 3, 2003 10:35 AM
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