What is a depleted uranium bomb?
Depleted uranium, also known as depleted uranium (DU), is a heavy metal with a density 1.7 times that of lead and is used to harden ammunition with very high penetrating power.
It is a by-product of the nuclear industry in the process of uranium enrichment, uranium ore refining, and processing; after extracting uranium-235, the remaining “waste” contains a large amount of uranium-238, of which the abundance of uranium-235 is only 0.711%. The radioactivity of depleted uranium material is relatively low, about 60% of natural uranium.
Depleted uranium ammunition is a type of ammunition manufactured using depleted uranium, and its main function is to penetrate hard targets such as armor and concrete. It is denser and harder than ordinary warheads, so it can produce greater lethality and explosive effects when penetrating the target.
The dangers of depleted uranium bombs
Radioactive powders and particles released from depleted uranium munitions can pose serious hazards to humans and the environment.
It is reported that depleted uranium is a chemically and radioactively toxic carcinogen. After the ammunition explodes, depleted uranium burns violently, and uranium oxide and depleted uranium particles will enter the human body silently, which cannot be seen with the naked eye, causing extremely serious damage to the human body. The dust generated after the explosion may also be carried by the wind to other places, polluting water and agriculture.
Depleted uranium bombs were first used in the 1991 Gulf War and have since been used in conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Many organizations and individuals criticize the use of depleted uranium bombs, believing they cause irreversible harm to human health and the environment, and call for a complete ban on their production and use.
Some historical events include: During the 1991 Gulf War, the US military used a large number of depleted uranium bombs, and during the Iraq war, the US military used depleted uranium bombs again; during the Kosovo war, NATO used depleted uranium bombs.
The alleged use of depleted uranium bombs in these conflicts has led to a number of long-lasting health and environmental problems and has sparked widespread anger and protests among the local population.
In recent years, the international community has paid increasing attention to the use of depleted uranium bombs, and many countries have called for prohibit this extremely harmful weapon.