Britain promises depleted uranium ammunition for Ukraine, a radioactive weapon that has angered Russia. Photos/graphics Mail Online
JAKARTA – Depleted uranium (DU) has a number of dangers that can arise in its use as ammunition for military weapons.
The British government plans to provide DU ammunition to Ukraine which is still fighting with Russia . Later, these ammunition will be used in Challenger 2 tanks which are also sent as military aid.
Quoting the Mail Online page, Thursday (23/3/2023), DU is a by-product of nuclear enrichment that was previously used to manufacture nuclear weapons or nuclear reactor fuel.
Although it is radioactive when solidified, it tends to be less reactive than the original uranium. In this case, quite a number of countries in the world do have depleted uranium supplies and use them as ammunition, including Britain.
The use of DU in weapons is actually nothing new. However, please note that depleted uranium has a number of hazards that may arise when used.
Dangers and Risks of Using Depleted Uranium
According to the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, depleted uranium is not considered a nuclear weapon. But only DU has its own dangers when used as ammunition.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that inhaling or even ingesting uranium could be dangerous. This happens because of its chemical toxicity.
The main risk is not from the radioactive aspect, but because of the chemicals. For example, too much inhaled uranium levels in the body can cause kidney failure.
However, this is slightly different from depleted uranium which is said to have a lower risk. The long-term risk of using DU in ammunition is said to be left on former battlefields.
In this case, several concerns arise such as the danger of DU which can contaminate the surrounding water or even food supplies.
In addition, there are also views regarding the dangers of using DU in ammunition. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has previously pressed the British government to support a global ban on the use of uranium in weapons.
According to them, the use of DU has a negative impact on civilians who are trapped in related conflict areas. Several countries such as Belgium and Costa Rica have agreed and banned the use of uranium in their conventional weapons ammunition.
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