Sandia National Laboratories has completed a two-year study of the potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War.
The study, "An Analysis of Uranium Dispersal and Health Effects Using a Gulf War Case Study," performed by Sandia scientist Al Marshall, employs analytical capabilities used by Sandias National Security Studies Department and examines health risks associated with uranium handling.
U.S. and British forces used DU in armor-piercing penetrator bullets to disable enemy tanks during the Gulf and Balkan wars. DU is a byproduct of the process used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. During the enrichment process, the fraction of one type of uranium (uranium-235) is increased relative to the fraction found in natural uranium. As a consequence, the uranium left over after the enrichment process (mostly uranium-238) is depleted in uranium-235 and is called depleted uranium.
Michael Padilla | EurekAlert!
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