[ RadSafe ] [DU-WATCH] Re:U-238 spontaneous fission= birth defects, cancers

Peter Bossew peter.bossew at jrc.it
Wed Jun 18 03:09:16 CDT 2008

The SF branching ratio of 238U is 5.45e-5% (Lund catalogue: 
and others), thus the recommended SF decay half life is 8.202 +- 0.060 
e15 y. (discussion of data in 
http://www.nucleide.org/DDEP_WG/Nuclides/U-238_com.pdf )
The Lund catalogue also quotes a bb decay, branching ratio 2.2e-10%.

so ?


Roger Helbig wrote:
> Elaine Hunter and Cathy Garger's latest speculation - now, they are
> concerned that spontaneous fission is the cause of the birth defects - I
> appreciated being advised by a sharp eyed RASAFer that the British Medical
> Journal published one of the so-called DU victims with an unknown skin
> disease and received a number of electronic replies telling that it was not
> unkown and naming it.
> Roger Helbig
> --- On *Tue, 6/17/08, Cathy Garger <savorsuccesslady3 at yahoo.com>* wrote:
> Dear Elaine,
> This is superb - thank you! I would like to encourage you to consider
> publishing this in article form!
> Cathy Garger
> www.mytown.ca/garger
> From: Elaine Hunter <dutnkyoh at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [DU-WATCH] U-238 spontaneous fission= birth defects, cancers
> To: du-watch at yahoogroups.com, "du-list" <du-list at yahoogroups.com>
> Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 6:50 AM
> Look for the spontaneous fission products of U-238 to find an important cause of
> increased rates of birth defects in Iraq [and other places] and the cause of,
> for example the virulent, aggressive and deadly cancers of deceased veteran
> Dustin Brim and others.
>   Whoever claims that there are no fission products associated with the use of
> concentrated "depleted" uranium has just plain not done their homework.
> I've read such claims.  They are WRONG.
>   The case for fission products when DU munitions are used, especially
> aerosolized, is exactly the same as the case for neuton emissions [and really
> I'd hoped someone else would notice and write an email about it].  We must
> get beyond alpha and consider the whole radioactive/toxic alphabet soup when DU
> munitions are used if we are to fully profile this insidious, surreptitious
> serial killer.
>   Here it is again:
> don't have to be a nuclear physicist, just have some reading comprehension]
> 1.  Rate of Spontaneous Fission Neutrons From Uranium is 59.5 neutrons/g/hr
> [According to one reference [ iop.org/EJ/abstract/0370-1298/65/3/307 from Proc.
> Phys. Soc., D.J. Littler, 1952: "A Determination of the Rate of Emission of
> Spontaneous Fission Neutrons in Natural Uranium"] the rate of emission of
> spontaneous fission neutrons from natural uranium is computed to be 59.5
> neutrons/g/hr of uranium.]
> 2.  Uranium-238 Undergoes Spontaneous Fission at a Rate 35X That of Uranium-235
> [According to another reference:
> [www.mcgoodwin.net/pages/otherbooks/rr_darksun.html
> ], Uranium-238 undergoes
> spontaneous fission at a rate 35 times that of Uranium-235.]
>   ><>
>    Though U-238 is not fissile, which means it does not sustain chain
> reactions, it is indeed fissionable, spontaneously fissionable.
> Now, if natural uranium [U238 + U235, +U234] undergoes spontaneous fission at a
> certain rate, and U238 undergoes spontaneous fission at a higher rate than U235
> here's what happens:
>   Concentrated  "depleted" uranium has had most of the U235 and U234
> removed from the mix; gaseous diffusion sends the lighter isotopes and heavier
> ones to two different streams in the process. [The Revenooers don't mind this
> kind of still, they get their piece of the pie and if they ain't no moonshine
> still within a couple of miles of home… but I digress].  Anyway, the result
> is that the spontaneous fission rate of what we call DU will not be less than
> natural uranium.  A tiny bit more, in fact, but I'll spare you the math on
> that.
>   Also, I'll spare you the math on how many tons of the stuff was used--still
> under debate-- and go with the imprecise "a whoppin' lot."  So there's
> MUST be fission products.  On Wikipedia one can find listing of fission
> products for U-235.  Those from U-238 are probably similar.  Some have long
> half-lives, some short.  ALL are radioactive.  Don't fool yourselves, given
> the opportunity the ones with short half-lives will do the most damage to
> health because of rapid rates of radiative decay.
>   Here's an unknown consideration at least for me.  When a vehicle is
> incinerated there is an intense thermodynamic event.  I do wonder if the
> extremely high temperatures increase the rates of  fission product emissions.
>   In addition, the neutrons released will transmute some of the materials
> involved into radioactive isotopes.
>   Really the scenario is extremely complex.  Mind boggling.
>   Elaine Hunter
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Peter Bossew 

European Commission (EC) 
Joint Research Centre (JRC) 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) 

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Fax. +39 0332 78 5466 
Email: peter.bossew at jrc.it 

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