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 ?
To make sure all aspects of safe management of depleted uranium are taken into account, the meeting participants were also joined by IAEA experts on technology, safeguards, transport and safety.
Depleted uranium, the byproduct of enriched uranium that can be used to power nuclear reactors, is much more radioactive than natural uranium.
He told the Commission that he had no expertise of depleted uranium and so had not investigated it.
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.
by Committee on Toxicologic and Radiologic Effects from Exposure to Depleted Uranium During and After Combat.
that traces of depleted uranium have been found in Palestinian victims." The letter requested the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El-Baradei, to urgently "carry out a radiological and physical assessment in order to verify the presence of depleted uranium in the weaponry used by Israel ...
DOE's current legal authority to sell its depleted uranium inventory "as is" is doubtful, but DOE generally has authority to carry out the other options.
Armor-piercing projectiles made of depleted uranium have caused concern among soldiers storing and using them.
A special Health Registry Examination Program has been set up for veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange, depleted uranium, ionizing radiation as well as environmental hazards in the Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cliff Kindy, a Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) member, stands outside Alliant Techsystems/Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket City, West Virginia, where radioactive depleted uranium is added to warheads and other munitions.
Alliant calls itself "the nation's leading producer of conventional munitions, serving both military and commercial markets" and has provided depleted uranium to the Department of Defense.