[ RadSafe ] Re: Utah Board considering banning DU

George Stanford gstanford at aya.yale.edu
Wed Jun 10 23:08:39 CDT 2009

Roger & All:

Quote: "NRC estimates the total [DU] needing disposal at 1.4 million
tons."  Here's something to think about: A big nuclear reactor delivering
1,000 megawatts of electrical power burns about one ton of uranium per year.
"Fast" reactors, like the Integral Fast Reactor(IFR) can burn depleted
uranium. Therefore that 1.4 million tons of DU is enough to keep 7,000
power plants running for 2,000 years - with no mining, milling, or
enrichment needed.  And we're spending money to get rid of it?


George S. Stanford
Reactor physicist, retired


At 10:41 PM 6/10/2009, Roger Helbig wrote:

Thank you.  If you just look at the decay cycle, that may appear to be true,
but the decay cycle only shows what the daughter products are and not how
plentiful that they will be at a given time and as a result the analogy is
really bogus.  Some of the daughter products are gamma emitters; they are
not produced for thousands of years into the decay cycle and then only half
of half of half of -- etc. of all the U238 reaches that equilbrium point at
any given time - Remember, there is U238 in every backyard all over the
world; there is U238 in every body of water all over the world; there is
U238 in every breeze of air all over the world.  U238 was used to determine
the age of 1000 year old Antarctic ice deep in the icecap - it has always
been on earth and always will be - It is junk science being peddled by
pseudo scientists on a mission - their mission is to outlaw DU (which
probably is completely OK with the military because the most modern tanks
need something else than a DU kinetic energy penetrator to defeat them) and
then make the users of DU in the Gulf War and in Iraq in 2003 out to be

Roger Helbig

I am copying your question and my reply (which is an semi-educated amateur
in comparison to genuine PhD Health Physicists with the coveted CHP
(Certified Health Physicist) after their name who inhabit that list and
their colleages with or without equal alphabet soup following their name) on
the RADSAFE list of radiation protection professionals including a
couple Uranium Geologists, etc. that is hosted by the University of Delft
in The Netherlands so you may receive some other far more informative

On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Mario Bettolo <mabettolo at yahoo.com> wrote:

 >  This email contains my personal thoughts only, and should not be taken as
 > a professional opinion.
 > http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_12556404
 > I thought you would find this article interesting.
 > The main contention of the group asking for the ban is that DU becomes more
 > radioactive over time - essentially leaving the Class A waste designation
 > and becoming Class B and/or C.  Do you have any concise information about
 > that?
 > Thanks,
 > -Mario
 > This email contains my personal thoughts only, and should not be taken as a
 > professional opinion.
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