[ RadSafe ] is uranium genotoxic? (was Re: CB interview onenrichedU)

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Thu Oct 27 21:32:54 CDT 2011

Oct. 27

         This is more of Busby's lunacy.  (See his message way below.)

         Under the heading "The Battle for Fallujah" Busby's paper says:

"CAS (Close Air Support) weapons included AGM-114 Hellfire, AGM-65 
Maverick and TOW missiles. These mainly use shaped charge warheads 
believed to contain Uranium shaped charge liners (concept identified 
in US Patent 4441428 [fn 55]).  CAS operations in Fallujah also used 
500lb GBU-12, 38 and possibly larger hard target guided bombs e.g. 
GBU-24 for hard targets and suspected bunkers. The advanced 
penetrator warhead versions of these (BLU-110, 111) use high-density 
metal ballast - either tungsten or Uranium [fn 57]."  (The footnote 
numbers are the ones in Busby's paper.)

         For patent 4441428 (fn. 55) go to this link


         The abstract to the patent reads, "This invention relates to 
a new Blasting Device especially adapted to drilling oil and gas 
wells, characterized by a shaped charge of explosives, having a liner 
of depleted uranium."

         According to Busby's lurid fantasy, this "concept" (his 
word) of a blasting device to be used for drilling oil and gas wells 
was being used as a weapon in Fallujah.  You may make of that what you will.

         The device in Busby's footnote 57 is described by this abstract:

"A target penetrating aerial bomb including a penetrating body shaped 
for improved target penetration, having a narrower impact profile at 
approximately the same weight as an existing bomb. An aerodynamic 
shroud encases the penetrating body and emulates the aerodynamic 
shape of the existing bomb, and the weight, center of gravity, and 
moments of inertia of the bomb closely approximate those properties 
of the existing bomb. The bomb constructed according to the present 
invention may be qualified by similarity to the existing bomb, thus 
avoiding lengthy and costly qualification procedures."

         This bomb is a bunker buster bomb intended for use against 
hard targets, and is not a penetrator (anti-tank) weapon for use 
against armored vehicles, as Busby correctly says below.  Hence, 
**technically,** --- and only technically --- Mike Brennan was 
incorrect when he mentioned its use against armored vehicles.  Note 
however that Mike said "presumably mostly against armored 
vehicles."  **presumably**  Not being an expert on this weapon he 
didn't know its application.

         A Google search for patent 6639977 (in Busby's fn. 57) will 
take you to this Wikipedia link:


         According to the Wikipedia article, some organizations have 
linked the BLU-116 bomb to depleted uranium.  However, the article 
continues, these claims "do not constitute evidence that either 
material [tungsten or DU] was used in the actual weapon."  The patent 
application describes this device as a "shrouded aerial bomb," and 
says it can use DU.  That doesn't prove anything about its actual use 
in Kosovo, or anywhere else.

         The patent link is


         The patent description says DU can be used in the 
bomb.  Whether or not is has been used, and on what battlefields (if 
any), is another matter entirely.

         Of course Busby's huffy correction (just below) is 
irrelevant and immaterial.  The dispute is over the human health 
effects of DU, and not whether or not a weapon is an anti-tank 
penetrator.  As he often does, Busby pitches a fit over a minor or 
insignificant error while cleverly ignoring the larger or fundamental 
part of the debate.  For instance, on Oct. 15, he corrected someone 
by saying that he was a Visiting Professor, and not an Visiting 
Assistant Professor.  He harangued us for over a week to read his 
Fallujah hair sample paper.  After I posted a critique of his paper 
he managed to maintain a thunderous silence.

Steven Dapra

At 03:31 PM 10/27/2011, you wrote:
>Excuse me people. This is not an anti tank penetrator. It is not the 
>same weapon. Ok? Its a new weapon. For which patents have been 
>found. Cited in the paper. OK? So anti tank arguments are misplaced.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Brennan, Mike  (DOH)
>Sent: Thu 27/10/2011 18:47
>To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) MailingList
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] is uranium genotoxic? (was Re: CB interview 
>Upon review of the document that you linked to, the problem becomes
>clear: you don't know what you are talking about, and apparently don't
>understand what you read.
>The document you linked to said:
>"Isotope analyses to determine the types of uranium present show that
>0.0028 per cent of the uranium in the penetrators is in the form of
>isotope U-236.  The presence of U-236 indicates that part of the DU came
>from reprocessed uranium.  This information was provided by one of the
>five laboratories being used by UNEP for its DU assessment work.
>According to the laboratory, the content of U-236 in the depleted
>uranium is so small that the radiotoxicity is not changed compared to DU
>without U-236.  However, the final assessment by UNEP will be made only
>once results from all laboratories are available."
>This paragraph says several things.
>It says that one of five labs found U-236 in very small amounts, leaving
>open the question of whether the other labs also found it and hadn't
>reported it, or hadn't found it, which in turn leaves open the question
>of whether U-236 was present only in the samples that went to one lab,
>or if it were missed by the other labs, or if it was identified by
>mistake by the lab that reported it.  All are possible.
>It also says that the presence of U-236 indicates that part of the
>depleted uranium came from reprocessed uranium.  Reprocessed uranium is
>not the same as enriched uranium.  Enriched uranium contains a greater
>percentage of U-235 than natural uranium; usually in at least the
>several percent range.  This article does not mention U-235, and given
>the tiny, tiny amount of U-236 mentioned, one would expect that it would
>have come up.
>The article also clearly states that the samples were collected in
>Kosovo, where there has never been any doubt that DU munitions were
>used, presumably mostly against armored vehicles, for which it is most
>effective.  It's use in Kosovo does not imply its use in Fallujah, where
>there were no armored vehicles on the insurgent side.
>Usually, if I cite something in support of an argument, it has something
>to do with that argument.  Just saying.   (Mike Brennan)


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