depleted uranium


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, 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 ?
Depleted uranium, the byproduct of enriched uranium that can be used to power nuclear reactors, is much more radioactive than natural uranium.
Thorium oxide was also found, which is radioactive, as are depleted uranium and caesium.
The US Department of Defense has denied that depleted uranium is an exposure threat, but does monitor soldiers with embedded DU armor fragments as a result of combat operations.
Hundreds of thousands of munitions coated with depleted uranium were fired.
New York State joins other states to show growing concern for our troops through legislation aimed towards getting veterans the best practice testing for depleted uranium exposure.
and British militaries have been taking fire for their use of tank-piercing bullets made from depleted uranium, a weakly radioactive manufacturing by-product of nuclear fuel and warheads.
These findings raise new questions about the possible consequences of tungsten exposure, and undermine the view that tungsten alloy is a nontoxic alternative to depleted uranium and lead.
began moving depleted uranium into its nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, on Monday in preparation for a test operation starting Tuesday, company officials said.
The Ministry of Defence has revealed that Stockton's University Hospital of North Tees is to collect urine samples to be tested for toxic depleted uranium.
Depleted uranium is created by "uranium enrichment" plants that process natural uranium to extract U-235, but those same plants also may process spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power reactors.
A former soldier has become the first veteran to win a war pension appeal after suffering depleted uranium poisoning during the Gulf War, it emerged yesterday.