[ RadSafe ] How tough is it to build a dirty bomb?

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Tue Feb 15 19:59:41 CST 2011

Feb. 15

         Well, James, what would you like us RADSAFErs to do about it?

Steven Dapra

At 02:53 PM 2/13/2011, you wrote:
>Twenty years ago this month, the U.S.-lead coalition in Iraq shot
>about 320 tons of depleted uranium, mostly as 30 mm rounds, against
>targets in Kuwait and Iraq.[1] Coalition soldiers quickly moved in to
>hold those positions, where the uranium trioxide dust vapor and mist
>had not yet settled.
>Gulf War Illness, associated with "exposure to fumes from munitions"
>was first recognized in the Navy Seabees.[2] Ten years ago all combat
>troops showed greatly increased miscarriage and birth defects,
>amounting to about twice as many "moderate to severe" birth defects
>among fathers who saw Gulf War combat, and about three times as many
>among mothers.[3]
>The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses has
>referred to that increase in birth defects as "modest" and has implied
>that the many epidemiological studies linking uranyl exposure to birth
>defects do not exist.[4] No further statistics have been forthcoming
>from the Department of Defense's Birth and Infant Heath Registry,
>which abruptly stopped publishing in 2002.
>In 2003, between 1000 and 2000 tons of depleted uranium munitions were
>used in Fallujah, Iraq.[5]  Cancers and infant mortality have since
>spiked in Fallujah over nehboring Iraqi cities.[6]
>During the 2008 Russian-Georgian border war, both sides had depleted
>uranium weapons in their arsenals, but neither side chose to use them.
>  Depleted uranium weapons have since been made illegal to manufacture
>or transport in Brussels, Belgium, the headquarters of NATO.
>Dirty bombs have already been all too common, by the accident of
>governments and health physics professionals.
>[1] http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/du.htm
>[2] http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/155/11/1033.full
>[3] http://www.annalsofepidemiology.org/article/PIIS1047279701002459
>[6] http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/7/7/2828/
>James Salsman

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