‘Depleted uranium cannot be used as explosive’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Depleted uranium cannot be used as explosive’

It is depleted uranium. Natural Uranium is extracted from the earth’s crest and contains mainly two isotopes of uranium--U-238 (99.3%) and U-235 (0.7%). The third Isotope, U-234 is present in very low percentage in Natural Uranium.

mumbai Updated: Dec 09, 2009 02:17 IST

What is the substance seized by the Navi Mumbai crime branch from Panvel?

It is depleted uranium. Natural Uranium is extracted from the earth’s crest and contains mainly two isotopes of uranium--U-238 (99.3%) and U-235 (0.7%). The third Isotope, U-234 is present in very low percentage in Natural Uranium.

Depleted Uranium has less U-235 content compared to Natural Uranium. The percentage of U-235 in the seized uranium is 0.2 per cent. The quantity seized is around 5 kg.

What is the scientific use of this seized substance? Is it also used to make explosives?

Depleted Uranium cannot be used as an explosive. It is used to shield large Gamma radiation sources and as a counter balancing weight in ships and aircraft.

Is the seized substance dangerous to those in proximity to it?

Uranium is toxic and is a well-known nephrotoxic [damaging to the kidney] element. However, the form that has been seized cannot be inhaled or ingested and is, therefore, not harmful to human health or the environment. It gives out very low radiation.