posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Nexus
What's in depleted uranium to make it such a good tankbuster? And how does the shell work [positions of uranium etc...].
Uranium is a metal that is extremely dense, hard, and self-sharpens when it hits something (unlike metals like lead, which become blunt). Depleted
Uranium is primarily Uranium 238 (by this, I mean somewhere around 99.99999%, as opposed to about 97% in natural uranium). Uranium 238 is non-fissile
(meaning it won't work in nuclear weapons/reactors - this is why it was seperated out in the first place), and although radioactive it has an
extremely long half-life (around 4.5 billion years). What this means is that for a given amount of U238, it gives off an extremely small amount of
radiation compared to something with a shorter half life. In fact, on scientific charts (such as a table of nuclides, a common physics reference)
half lifes such as this are coded the same as non-radioactive materials.