depleted uranium

(redirected from Depleted uranium ammunition)
Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

depleted uranium

The metal remaining after the most active radioisotope (235U) has been extracted from uranium. It is a heavy metal, used in munitions, e.g., in armor-piercing weapons.

It is estimated that, worldwide, more than 1 million tons of depleted uranium are stored. About 95% of the depleted uranium produced until now is stored as uranium hexafluoride, (D)UF6. The long-term storage of (D)UF6 presents environmental, health, and safety risks because of its chemical instability. When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride), which are both highly soluble and toxic.

See: enriched uranium
See also: uranium
References in periodicals archive ?
Arafat has repeatedly alleged that Israeli soldiers are using depleted uranium ammunition and poison gas against Palestinians, but he has offered no evidence.
THE Royal Navy is phasing out depleted uranium ammunition used on some of its warships after the American manufacturers ceased producing the shells, it emerged today.
THE Royal Navy is to stop using depleted uranium ammunition after the American manufacturer ceased production.
NATO has confirmed the use of depleted uranium in Kosovo by the Air Force's A-10 Warthog, which can fire about 3,900 rounds of thirty-millimeter depleted uranium ammunition every minute.
TROOPS who served in the Balkans are to be screened for cancer following the alert over radioactive depleted uranium ammunition, it was reported today.