depleted uranium


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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 ?
The convention THE MOD have used a legal loophole to fire thousands of depleted uranium shells into Scottish waters.
The investigation has shown there is no scientific proof and essentially no confirmation that fine dust contaminated with depleted uranium has been dispersed.
Laflin, Company President and CEO, stated, "Investors should not confuse the events in Japan as a sign that our Company has, in any way, changed our plans or expectations for the commercial success of our depleted uranium processing facility.
Evidence of the use of depleted uranium against Gaza is tenuous and Goldstone merely recorded in paragraph 907 that it had received allegations which it had not further investigated.
The US-led coalition forces used depleted uranium (DU) as a "penetrator " at the core of armor piercing tank rounds in the 1991 and 2003 wars.
When US military personnel who had taken part in the 1991 Gulf War started displaying a wide range of disabling medical symptoms, fingers were pointed at the highly toxic and mildly radioactive US munitions made with depleted uranium that many of them had been exposed to.
Arab states accuse Israel of using ammunition containing depleted uranium in its 22-day war on Gaza as Tel Aviv said it would withdraw all its troops from the coastal strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the US.
GAZA CITY: Arab states accused Israel yesterday of using ammunition containing depleted uranium in its 22-day war on Gaza as Tel Aviv said it would withdraw all its troops from the coastal strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States today.
Three Chinese nationals that were arrested for smuggling 274 kilos of depleted uranium from Kyrgyzstan to China were released from custody, Russian media reported with reference to Chinese press.
GAO's testimony is based on its March 31, 2008, report entitled Nuclear Material: DOE Has Several Potential Options for Dealing with Depleted Uranium Tails, Each of Which Could Benefit the Government (GAO-08-606R).
After more than 50 years pro ducing atomic weapons and nuclear energy, the USA has 500,000 tonnes of depleted uranium.
Armor-piercing projectiles made of depleted uranium have caused concern among soldiers storing and using them.