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No More DU?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:52 pm
Post subject: No More DU?

I found this quote in an article at 'The Gun Zone'. It came as quite a surprise! I guess DU was a good idea as long as you didn't have to occupy the territory afterward. Has anyone witnessed this supposed ammo changeover actually taking place?

"Now, the Army has disclosed plans to expand the "green ammo" program to fill all 120mm tank rounds with tungsten, instead of depleted uranium. Depleted-uranium ammunition afforded American ground forces an advantage over their Iraqi targets during the Gulf War. But, since the material is indisputably an environmental hazard, it's soon to be replaced by tungsten, which will give shells a smaller effective range. So a tactical edge is also being thrown out the window along with the depleted uranium... ...Incidentally, as the United States lacks tungsten reserves, it is obliged to purchase the metal from China."
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:22 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

Hmmm...color me skeptical, until I hear it officially. I can't see tossing out any advantage just for some perceived environmental benefit, but I've been wrong before. As far as contamination, I don't recall ever hearing any discussion about it while I was there, aside from the basic safety measures of "wash your damn hands, etc.". I don't know of any contamination problems that have come up at all.

Truthfully, I doubt that many DU rounds have been fired since the initial invasion, since it's virtually exclusive purpose is anti-armor. A sabot dart of any material is pretty useless against mud huts, cinderblock buildings, and automobiles. It would make a pretty hole, but not much else.

I'd rate this as an unlikely rumor, without completely discounting the possibility it is true.

C

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:23 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

There was a report awhile back in B.A.R. that spaced armour was proving to be effective against DU rounds it didn't go into specifics but its one of the reasons the UK has already abandoned DU.

Cool

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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:49 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

Once DU penetrates it supposedly shatters and burns. That could 'theoretically' be its achilles heel against properly spaced armor I suppose. Also, aerosolized DU might be a problem for battlefield cleanup and disposal. I vaguely recall a report about a soldier involved in cleanup dying from exposure - but I may be wrong about that. If they're not partiicularly concerned about the outskirts of Bagdhad they may be pretty concerned about accumulated DU at firing ranges over time.
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:02 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

- mike_Duplessis
Also, aerosolized DU might be a problem for battlefield cleanup and disposal. I vaguely recall a report about a soldier involved in cleanup dying from exposure - but I may be wrong about that.


At the time of the liberation of kuwait I recall that orders not to climb/approach vehicles knocked out by DU rounds were quite widely distributed so the aerosolized DU must have been a known problem.

Cool

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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:19 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

- JimWeb
- mike_Duplessis
Also, aerosolized DU might be a problem for battlefield cleanup and disposal. I vaguely recall a report about a soldier involved in cleanup dying from exposure - but I may be wrong about that.


At the time of the liberation of kuwait I recall that orders not to climb/approach vehicles knocked out by DU rounds were quite widely distributed so the aerosolized DU must have been a known problem.

Cool


There was a long thread about this in the misty past. The primary hazard of DU isn't the direct radiation hazard, as DU is relatively stable and not particularly radioactive. The problem is that Uranium is a heavy metal and behaves as such in the body if it is ingested (mainly by swallowing the dust). The Uranium concentrates in the soft tissues, organs and glands. The effects are uncertain, but concern is twofold: 1. The Uranium may cause systemic problems similar to lead or other heavy metals, and 2. The low level radioactivity, concentrated in soft tissues, may (slightly) increase the chances of some types of cancer.

Physiologically, the effects of uranium ingestion are not really clearly known, but no one wants to take chances with heavy metals. The radiation hazard is very, very low, but anything that mentions "radiation" scares some folks to the point of hysteria. There has been a great deal of effort in the international Green community to find some imminent hazard from the US use of DU, with no appreciable scientifically verifiable results.

It is instructive that the primary action for possible exposure to DU is "keep your hands out of your mouth, and wash your hands/skin with soap and water".

Hope this helps!
C

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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:04 pm
Post subject: Re: No More DU?

Another heavy metal you might not want to injest is Arsenic Smile
The populace/press generally tends to confuse and conflate threats. Sure uranium might cause cancer but its more likely to poison you first! Its like confusing global warming with the ozone hole. The both might be from the same source but it's totally different threats.
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