[ RadSafe ] US enriched uranium weapons caused Fallujah cancer, UK-Iraq study finds
Dan W McCarn
hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Sat Nov 26 02:00:28 CST 2011
I find it unimaginable that we are still discussing the matter involving
0.75-1.5 mg/kg uranium. I would advise you to go back to the "English
Garden" estimation of typical endowment of uranium in soils.
In my opinion, these published values provide no evidence for anything but
naturally occurring uranium, and at that, a low concentration compared to
many other soils.
As to the method of analysis, no mention is made of whether the samples were
subjected to a differential leach. For example, 1) If "total" uranium is
desired, a complete digestion of the material via hot H2SO4 might be
performed; 2) The characterization of the mineralogy of the soil is
essential. How much uranium, for instance, is tied-up in mineral grains
such as zircon, monazite, biotite, etc. that are relatively unleachable?
3) If surficial uranium is to be determined, then a cold H2SO4 leach might
These data by themselves are not be easily interpreted. An understanding of
the pedogenic processes as well as the parent rock that the soil is derived
from would help in understanding the measurements. Pedogenic processes that
form caliches (hardpans, etc.) Additional information about soil use (e.g.
irrigated farming) would be needed to be factored into the analysis.
In oxidizing desert soils, I would not expect very much easily leachable
uranium to be present, and the bulk of the uranium is probably tied-up in
mineral grains currently undergoing the process of oxidation or mineral
grains that are relatively unleachable. This would differentially remove
more of the U-234 (as I have discussed before) compared to U-238 since it
has been dislocated because of alpha recoil. Gamma spectrometry would
reveal that the progeny of U-238 would be less than secular equilibrium
conditions and the progeny of U-235 would be unaffected. A major caveat
would be whether the soil was being irrigated, which would introduce uranium
as well as other materials. IAEA TECDOC-1396, pp.298-305 models some of
But that begs the question: What are the ratios of the U-238 progeny to
U-238. If those values are significant, then the uranium cannot be "modern".
No mention is made of the sample support. That is, how well does the
individual sample characterize the area in question? Were the samples 5
grams, 100 grams, 1 kg, and was a sample a composite of smaller samples
taken close together. Do the analyses represent "grab" samples or a 10-20 cm
aggregated vertical soil profile? How were the samples selected? Were they
random spatial samples or were they selected because of radiometric
criteria. If they were sampled based on radiometric data, did the geometry
of the radiometric measurement cause operator bias? For instance, a
depression (shell crater) will naturally have a higher radiometric signature
than a flat area.
Since so few samples were taken, there can be little meaningful spatial
Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home - New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Maury
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2011 22:27
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] US enriched uranium weapons caused Fallujah cancer,
UK-Iraq study finds
This article in The Muslim News, Issue 271 dated 25 Nov 2011 is
important to the radiation safety community. It 'reports' that the US
used *enriched* uranium weapons, rather than *depleted* uranium weapons,
in Fallujah, Iraq. This is a serious distinction and distortion
attributable directly to Dr. Chris Busby among others. It is patently
false according to available public information. Obviously I might be
completely mistaken, but there is no evidence known for the use of any
special enriched uranium weapons in Iraq.
I wish the HPS could organize some kind of standing group to identify
and refute this kind of more obvious misinformation. The Muslim world
deserves better than this kind of 'news'.
Maury&Dog [MaurySiskel maurysis at peoplepc.com]
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