Uranium , depleted uranium , biological effects. Physicists, chemists and biologists at the CEA are developing scientific programs on the properties and uses of ionizing radiation. Since the CEA was created in , a great deal of research has been carried out on the properties of natural, enriched and depleted uranium in cooperation with university laboratories and CNRS. There is a great deal of available data about uranium ; thousands of analyses have been published in international reviews over more than 40 years. This presentation on uranium is a very brief summary of all these studies.
Depleted uranium management alternatives. This report evaluates two management alternatives for Department of Energy depleted uranium : continued storage as uranium hexafluoride, and conversion to uranium metal and fabrication to shielding for spent nuclear fuel containers. The results will be used to compare the costs with other alternatives, such as disposal. Cost estimates for the continued storage alternative are based on a life-cycle of 27 years through the year Cost estimates for the recycle alternative are based on existing conversion process costs and Capital costs for fabricating the containers.
Additionally, the recycle alternative accounts for costs associated with intermediate product resale and secondary waste disposal for materials generated during the conversion process. The Toxicity of Depleted Uranium. Depleted uranium DU is an emerging environmental pollutant that is introduced into the environment primarily by military activity. While depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium , it still retains all the chemical toxicity associated with the original element.
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In large doses the kidney is the target organ for the acute chemical toxicity of this metal, producing potentially lethal tubular necrosis. In contrast, chronic low dose exposure to depleted uranium may not produce a c Riddle of depleted uranium. Depleted Uranium DU is the waste product of uranium enrichment from the manufacturing of fuel rods for nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants and nuclear power ships.
DU may also results from the reprocessing of spent nuclear reactor fuel. Potentially DU has both chemical and radiological toxicity with two important targets organs being the kidney and the lungs. DU is made into a metal and, due to its availability, low price, high specific weight, density and melting point as well as its pyrophoricity; it has a wide range of civilian and military applications. Due to the use of DU over the recent years, there appeared in some press on health hazards that are alleged to be due to DU.
Report and presentations from 'Towards a Uranium Weapons Treaty' Workshop, Geneva, April
In these paper properties, applications, potential environmental and health effects of DU are briefly reviewed. Directory of Open Access Journals Sweden. Full Text Available Depleted uranium DU is an emerging environmental pollutant that is introduced into the environment primarily by military activity. In contrast, chronic low dose exposure to depleted uranium may not produce a clear and defined set of symptoms. Chronic low-dose, or subacute, exposure to depleted uranium alters the appearance of milestones in developing organisms.
Adult animals that were exposed to depleted uranium during development display persistent alterations in behavior, even after cessation of depleted uranium exposure. Adult animals exposed to depleted uranium demonstrate altered behaviors and a variety of alterations to brain chemistry. Despite its reduced level of radioactivity evidence continues to accumulate that depleted uranium , if ingested, may pose a radiologic hazard. The current state of knowledge concerning DU is discussed. Uranium , depleted uranium , biological effects; Uranium , uranium appauvri, effets biologiques.
Depleted uranium : an explosive dossier. This book relates the history of depleted uranium , contemporaneous with the nuclear bomb history. Initially used in nuclear weapons and in experiments linked with nuclear weapons development, this material has been used also in civil industry, in particular in aeronautics. However, its properties made it interesting for military applications all along the 'cold war'. The Chemistry and Toxicology of Depleted Uranium.
Depleted uranium DU is a byproduct of the processes for the enrichment of the naturally occurring U isotope. Such weapons were used by the military in the Persian Gulf, the Balkans and elsewhere. The testing of depleted uranium weapons and their use in combat has resulted in environmental contamination and human exposure. Although the chemical and the toxicological behaviors of depleted uranium are essentially the same as those of natural uranium , the respective chemical forms and isotopic compositions in which they usually occur are different. The chemical and radiological toxicity of depleted uranium can injure biological systems.
Normal functioning of the kidney, liver, lung, and heart can be adversely affected by depleted uranium intoxication. The focus of this review is on the chemical and toxicological properties of depleted and natural uranium and some of the possible consequences from long term, low dose exposure to depleted uranium in the environment.
Depleted uranium disposal options evaluation. Historically, DU has been maintained as a strategic resource because of uses for DU metal and potential uses for further enrichment or for uranium oxide as breeder reactor blanket fuel.
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This study has focused on evaluating the disposal options for DU if it were considered a waste. This report is in no way declaring these DU reserves a ''waste,'' but is intended to provide baseline data for comparison with other management options for use of DU. To PICS considered in this report include: Retrievable disposal; permanent disposal; health hazards; radiation toxicity and chemical toxicity.
Uranium under its depleted state. This day organised by the SFRP, with the help of the Army Health service, the service of radiation protection of Army and IPSN is an information day to inform the public about the real toxicity of uranium , and its becoming in man and environment, about the risks during the use of depleted uranium and eventual consequences of its dispersion after a conflict, to give information on how is managed the protection of workers civil or military ones and what is really the situation of French military personnel in these conflicts.
The news have brought to the shore cases of leukemia it is necessary to bring some information to the origin of this disease. Plutonium in depleted uranium penetrators. Depleted Uranium DU penetrators used in the recent Balkan conflicts have been found to be contaminated with trace amounts of transuranic materials such as plutonium. This contamination is usually a consequence of DU fabrication being carried out in facilities also using uranium recycled from spent military and civilian nuclear reactor fuel.
A DU penetrator recovered from a May attack site at Bratoselce in southern Serbia and analysed by University College Dublin was found to contain This analysis is described. An account is also given of the general population radiation dose implications arising from both the DU itself and from the presence of plutonium in the penetrators.
According to current dosimetric models, in all scenarios considered likely ,the dose from the plutonium is estimated to be much smaller than that due to the uranium isotopes present in the penetrators. Gulf war depleted uranium risks. Uranium particulate is generated by DU shell impact and particulate entrained in air may be inhaled or ingested by troops and nearby civilian populations. As uranium is slightly radioactive and chemically toxic, a number of critics have asserted that DU exposure has resulted in a variety of adverse health effects for exposed veterans and nearby civilian populations.
The study described in this paper used mathematical modeling to estimate health risks from exposure to DU during the Gulf War for both US troops and nearby Iraqi civilians. The analysis found that the risks of DU-induced leukemia or birth defects are far too small to result in an observable increase in these health effects among exposed veterans or Iraqi civilians.
The analysis indicated that only a few approximately 5 US veterans in vehicles accidentally targeted by US tanks received significant exposure levels, resulting in about a 1. These veterans may have also experienced temporary kidney damage. Iraqi children playing for h in DU-destroyed vehicles are predicted to incur a cancer risk of about 0. In vitro and animal tests suggest the possibility of chemically induced health effects from DU internalization, such as immune system impairment. Further study is needed to determine the applicability of these findings for Gulf War exposure to DU.
Veterans and civilians who did not occupy DU-contaminated vehicles are unlikely to have internalized quantities of DU significantly in excess of normal internalization of natural uranium from the environment. Natural uranium is comprised of three radioactive isotopes: U, U, and U. Depleted uranium processing and fluorine extraction. Since the beginning of the nuclear era, there has never been a commercial solution for the large quantities of depleted uranium hexafluoride generated from uranium enrichment. In the United States alone, there is already in excess of 1.
INIS is constructing a commercial uranium processing and fluorine extraction facility. The INIS facility will convert depleted uranium hexafluoride and use it as feed material for the patented Fluorine Extraction Process to produce high purity fluoride gases and anhydrous hydrofluoric acid. Depleted Uranium and Human Health. Depleted uranium DU is generally considered an emerging pollutant, first extensively introduced into environment in the early nineties in Iraq, during the military operation called "Desert Storm".
DU has been hypothesized to represent a hazardous element both for soldiers exposed as well as for the inhabitants of the polluted areas in the war zones. In this review, the possible consequences on human health of DU released in the environment are critically analyzed. In the first part, the chemical properties of DU and the principal civil and military uses are summarized.
A concise analysis of the mechanisms underlying absorption, blood transport, tissue distribution and excretion of DU in the human body is the subject of the second part of this article. The following sections deal with pathological condition putatively associated with overexposure to DU.
Developmental and birth defects, the Persian Gulf syndrome, and kidney diseases that have been associated to DU are the arguments treated in the third section. The aim of the authors is to give a contribution to the debate on DU and its effects on human health and disease. Department of Energy depleted uranium recycle. With its strategic supply of depleted uranium , the Department of Energy is studying reuse of the material in nuclear radiation shields, military hardware, and commercial applications. Such a program, if implemented, would become the largest nuclear material recycle program in the history of the Department of Energy.
The bulk of the current inventory of depleted uranium is stored in ton cylinders in the form of solid uranium hexafluoride UF 6.
The radioactive U content has been reduced to a concentration of 0. Present estimates indicate there are about 55, UF 6 -filled cylinders in inventory and planned operations will provide another 2, cylinders of depleted uranium each year. The United States government, under the auspices of the Department of Energy, considers the depleted uranium a highly-refined strategic resource of significant value. A possible utilization of a large portion of the depleted uranium inventory is as radiation shielding for spent reactor fuels and high-level radioactive waste.
To this end, the Department of Energy study to-date has included a preliminary technical review to ascertain DOE chemical forms useful for commercial products. The presentation summarized the information including preliminary cost estimates. The status of commercial uranium processing is discussed. With a shrinking market, the number of chemical conversion and fabrication plants is reduced; however, the commercial capability does exist for chemical conversion of the UF 6 to the metal form and for the fabrication of uranium radiation shields and other uranium products.
Department of Energy facilities no longer possess a capability for depleted uranium chemical conversion. Ecological considerations of natural and depleted uranium. Depleted U is a major by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle for which increasing use is being made in counterweights, radiation shielding, and ordnance applications. This paper 1 summarizes the pertinent literature on natural and depleted uranium in the environment, 2 integrates results of a series of ecological studies conducted at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory LASL in New Mexico where 70, kg of depleted and natural uranium has been expended to the environment over the past 34 years, and 3 synthesizes the information into an assessment of the ecological consequences of natural and depleted uranium released to the environment by various means.
Results of studies of soil, plant, and animal communities exposed to this radiation and chemical environment over a third of a century provide a means of evaluating the behavior and effects of uranium in many contexts.