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Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 12:21 PM
I wonders, if a large accidental discharge of highly radioactive material into either the air or water in a country such as Iran would have an adverse affect on the popularity of pursueing a nuclear weapons program in that country.

[ 01-27-2006, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

uncas
01-27-2006, 12:22 PM
Well...they would save on the light bill as they would all be glowing green in the dark...

Katherine
01-27-2006, 12:23 PM
You want to stage a 3 mile island? A Chernobyl?

[ 01-27-2006, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Katherine ]

Ross M
01-27-2006, 12:25 PM
Good size concern, in my opinion.

Can't keep oil infrastructure in good repair (must import 60% of their gasoline; net importer of natural gas), can't figure out how to make 1960's aircraft parts, but gonna go nuclear :rolleyes:

Ross

Katherine
01-27-2006, 12:26 PM
Darwin in action?

Victor
01-27-2006, 12:31 PM
Are you suggesting sabotage? If so, why shouldn't they do it to us? Has anyone considered maybe they mean it when they say they just want to generate electricity?

Bruce Hooke
01-27-2006, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Victor:
Are you suggesting sabotage? If so, why shouldn't they do it to us? Has anyone considered maybe they mean it when they say they just want to generate electricity?What is suspicious about the "just want to generate electricity" argument is that they have lots and lots of very cheap (to them) oil, so why spend lots of money on nuclear if you just want to generate power?

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 12:36 PM
Katherine and Victor, no I would never suggest that injuring and maiming and killing a large portion of an overall innocent population would be a good thing. However, I wouldn't put it past the Israeli government.

Besides the U.S., Russia, and France, who else has had a significant atomic energy accident? Its highly plausible that one could occur there.

[ 01-27-2006, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

Katherine
01-27-2006, 12:37 PM
Plausible, yes, but let's not try and make it happen. Heck, maybe they could learn from our screw ups.

Dolly Varden
01-27-2006, 12:37 PM
saw the title of the thread and thought you were talking about this

The Pentagon used radioactive bullets in the Gulf War. Now the controversial weapon is being used in Yugoslavia.

By Jim Rendon

IN 1991, CASSANDRA GARNER was an MP serving in the Gulf War. Late in the conflict, she took a trip with her unit to see the highway of death in Basra, where U.S. planes bombed thousands of Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait. The aftermath, miles of charred bodies and twisted tank parts, became a destination for souvenir-hunting American soldiers. Garner was curious. That curiosity may cut her life short.

Following her visit to the highway of death, Garner, now 29 and living in Berkeley, suffers from asthma, aching joints, muscle fatigue and abdominal and gynecological problems. She is unable to work and is not supposed to lift more than five pounds.

Garner and thousands of other U.S. troops were exposed to a fine radioactive dust--a residue left by munitions made from depleted uranium. Depleted uranium weapons were used for the first time in the Gulf War, and medical researchers now suspect they are responsible for many health problems plaguing Gulf War vets. Yet depleted uranium rounds are being dropped from U.S. planes again, this time in heavily populated Yugoslavia.

"The use of DU [depleted uranium] weapons is a war crime. It is a radioactive heavy metal. We are not cleaning it up. It has an effect on noncombatants. Using it is wrong," says Doug Rokke, a professor of environmental science at Jackson State University in Alabama and an Army health physicist who was exposed to depleted uranium in the Gulf.

But while depleted uranium weapons were used primarily in sparsely inhabited desert areas during the Gulf War, they are falling now on parts of Yugoslavia to which 700,000 refugees one day hope to return.

"This is not the desert of southern Iraq, this is agricultural land that is mountainous and gets a lot of rainfall; ground water could be contaminated," says Dan Fahey, a Gulf War veteran from Santa Cruz now working with Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco veterans group.

Radioactive Residue

DEPLETED URANIUM is a byproduct of the refinement process that creates highly radioactive uranium 235, which is used in nuclear reactors. Though less radioactive than its power-generating counterpart, depleted uranium remains radioactive for 4.5 billion years.

It is also a heavy-metal toxin like lead. Because depleted uranium is nearly twice as dense as lead, munitions made with it can pierce the armor of tanks and other war equipment. Though the army has experimented with depleted uranium for decades, it was in the Gulf that the Department of Defense found out how deadly it could be.

"Depleted uranium weapons are extremely effective. They protected our troops and took out Iraqi tanks. It's a good weapon," says Lt. Col. Dian Lawhon, the Department of Defense's spokesperson on the Gulf War.

When a shell with a depleted uranium core hits a target, like a tank, it not only punches its way through the armor, but also ignites. Anywhere from 20 to 70 percent of the uranium core turns to dust as it burns through the tank's plating.

Rokke led a team of 15 soldiers who recovered some Iraqi tanks and American vehicles that were hit with depleted uranium shells during friendly-fire incidents in the Gulf. The bodies, he says, were so black and badly burned by the uranium that the soldiers gave them a euphemistic name: crispy critters.

Rokke and his unit were often in tanks just minutes after they'd been hit. "Inside the vehicles, you couldn't see three feet in front of you," he says of the thick radioactive dust. "We were in there for months."

Rokke's unit prepared the damaged equipment to be shipped back to the United States, scraping charred body parts from the inside of the tanks, throwing out badly destroyed equipment. They identified which tanks had been hit with the radioactive bullets and which hadn't. Though the unit was made up of radiation specialists, they had no training or equipment that prepared them to deal with all the contamination they faced. "No one knew what to do. We made it up as we went along," he says.

Every man but one in his unit has experienced severe health problems and Rokke himself has rashes, diarrhea, and respiratory and kidney problems. In 1997, he received the results of tests performed by the Department of Energy showing he was exposed to 5,000 times the permissible radiation limit.

Environmental Fallout

EIGHT YEARS AFTER the Gulf War, Rokke and others in his unit were finally admitted into a Pentagon program studying the health effects of depleted uranium exposure.

But the Army denies that there are any health problems that can be specifically attributed to such exposure. In 1993, the military began a health monitoring project for the 33 vets who were wounded by depleted uranium shells, many of whom have depleted uranium shrapnel in their bodies. Lawhon says that while many of these vets have health problems, none of them can be attributed to their depleted uranium exposure.

"The preponderance of scientific evidence suggests that the way DU was used by the military in the Gulf War, that there is no tie between that and health concerns," Lawhon says.

But the Army and other government agencies considered the effects of depleted uranium before the Gulf War, Fahey says, particularly lung and bone cancer. Since the war, however, the Army has done nothing besides deny the effects.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations published in 1966 characterize depleted uranium as hazardous to the lungs if it is inhaled and hazardous to kidneys and bones if ingested. In a paper outlining the threat of depleted uranium to Kuwait's population in 1991, the British Atomic Energy Authority warned about the spread of radioactive and toxic contamination following the war. "DU can also be a danger if taken into the body by ingestion or through a cut. Furthermore, if DU gets into the food chain or water, then this will create a potential hazard," the authors wrote.

Depleted uranium emits alpha radiation, generally considered to be the least harmful type of radiation since it is unable even to penetrate clothing. But once in the body, this type of radiation can be very harmful, says Steve Dean, a Superfund radiation expert with the EPA. The soft tissue in the lung is particularly vulnerable when particles are inhaled, he says.

Dr. Hari Sharma at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, tested urine samples from U.S. vets and the local population in Basra, Iraq, near the site where the most depleted uranium weapons were used. Eight years after the fighting ceased, he was able to find detectable levels of depleted uranium in the urine of both soldiers and residents.

While the Department of Defense estimates that only 300 servicemen during the Gulf War were exposed to depleted uranium, Fahey says the Pentagon's own maps show that hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops were moved through areas that were littered with uranium shells.

Sharma puts the number closer to 2 million possible exposures among civilians and soldiers, and he estimates that this group could develop between 20,000 and 100,000 additional cancers at the exposure levels he detected. And the toxin, he says, may have spread even further. In 1993, two years after the Gulf War ended, he says, a Kuwaiti scientist found detectable levels of depleted uranium in the air more than 20 miles away from the battlefield.

The potential for disaster in Yugoslavia is tremendous, Rokke says. "No one is going to know if children are playing in this stuff. There is no protection. If we can't provide adequate medical attention here for our own troops, who is going to do it over there?"

Dutch

LeeG
01-27-2006, 12:40 PM
Don't think Chernobyl had an effect on Russias weapons programs.

cedar savage
01-27-2006, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Hooke:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Victor:
Are you suggesting sabotage? If so, why shouldn't they do it to us? Has anyone considered maybe they mean it when they say they just want to generate electricity?What is suspicious about the "just want to generate electricity" argument is that they have lots and lots of very cheap (to them) oil, so why spend lots of money on nuclear if you just want to generate power?</font>[/QUOTE]Generate cheap electricity and sell the oil at a premium later on.

Bruce Hooke
01-27-2006, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by LeeG:
Don't think Chernobyl had an effect on Russias weapons programs.No, but the Iranian government is a LITTLE more responsive to popular opinion than the USSR was. Also, most people living in the USSR at the time probably felt that nuclear weapons were essential not optional. I'd guess that most people in the US thought (and think) the same thing. However, I'm not so convinced that the Iranian populace thinks the same way.

Bruce Hooke
01-27-2006, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
Generate cheap electricity and sell the oil at a premium later on.Given the cost of starting a nuclear program, I doubt any electricity they generate will be anything like cheap!

Furthermore, given that they export vastly more oil than the use internally, the amount they will save for the future by using nuclear now for a little of their internal electricity needs is beyond miniscule.

Garrett Lowell
01-27-2006, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Victor:
Has anyone considered maybe they mean it when they say they just want to generate electricity?(From the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,16518,1677541,00.html) I'm not sure how good a source the Guardian is for this type of news since I'm not a regular reader.)

The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes.
Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.

The warning came as Iran raised the stakes in its dispute with the United States and the European Union yesterday by notifying the International Atomic Energy Authority that it intended to resume nuclear fuel research next week. Tehran has refused to rule out a return to attempts at uranium enrichment, the key to the development of a nuclear weapon.

The 55-page intelligence assessment, dated July 1 2005, draws upon material gathered by British, French, German and Belgian agencies, and has been used to brief European government ministers and to warn leading industrialists of the need for vigilance when exporting equipment or expertise to so-called rogue states.

The assessment declares that Iran has developed an extensive web of front companies, official bodies, academic institutes and middlemen dedicated to obtaining - in western Europe and in the former Soviet Union - the expertise, training, and equipment for nuclear programmes, missile development, and biological and chemical weapons arsenals.

"In addition to sensitive goods, Iran continues intensively to seek the technology and know-how for military applications of all kinds," it says.

The document lists scores of Iranian companies and institutions involved in the arms race. It also details Tehran's growing determination to perfect a ballistic missile capable of delivering warheads far beyond its borders.

[ 01-27-2006, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 01:49 PM
Yawn.

Garrett Lowell
01-27-2006, 01:51 PM
Well, I did my best to add something informative to the discussion. Now go back to sleep. The "3 0'clock wall" is fast approaching, and I don't need your yawns to hasten it's arrival.

Victor
01-27-2006, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Hooke:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Victor:
Are you suggesting sabotage? If so, why shouldn't they do it to us? Has anyone considered maybe they mean it when they say they just want to generate electricity?What is suspicious about the "just want to generate electricity" argument is that they have lots and lots of very cheap (to them) oil, so why spend lots of money on nuclear if you just want to generate power?</font>[/QUOTE]We have lots of cheap oil too, but we're about 15% nuclear. If Iran wants a bomb they can jolly well buy one - don't think they can't. Maybe we should bomb France's nuclear facilities.

Once again, it looks like Iran considered opening up to us a year or two ago and saw it was a nogo, so it's back to the anti-Israel, anti-US rhetoric.

Nicholas Carey
01-27-2006, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Hooke:
What is suspicious about the "just want to generate electricity" argument is that they have lots and lots of very cheap (to them) oil, so why spend lots of money on nuclear if you just want to generate power?Maybe, unlike us and the rest of the 1st world, they have a good idea about what their oil reserves are actually like.

Maybe they're thinking in the long-term.

uncas
01-27-2006, 02:52 PM
I don't think it has anything to do with oil...
The leaders are playing " king of the castle "
Who is bigger or the biggest in the ME...
A few nuclear warheads would put them close to the top.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 02:52 PM
I've read that Iran's oil reserves will be depleted in the next 10-15 years.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
I don't think it has anything to do with oil...
The leaders are playing " king of the castle "
Who is bigger or the biggest in the ME...
A few nuclear warheads would put them close to the top.I think you're completely wrong.

uncas
01-27-2006, 02:57 PM
How many countries in the ME ( not Isreal) have nuclear capablilities....today....Meer!
N. Korea has been doing the same thing...

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:01 PM
IMO, N. Korea and Iran are completely different fish.

Have you ever heard of any ambition on the part of Iran to take over any of it's neighbors?

uncas
01-27-2006, 03:04 PM
Yes N K. is different but..both share a desire...nuclear capabilities.

Direct confrontation...no...not yet...however, it seems that most agree that a lot of the insurgents in Iraq are based or from Iran....
And Iraq appears to be moving towards a gov. with the same philosophy as Iran.
And Iran has stated...at least the politicos have...that Isreal should not exist.

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 03:07 PM
Have you ever heard of any ambition on the part of Iran to take over any of it's neighbors? There certainly seems to be a lot of violent anti Israel rhetoric coming from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of late, including both implicit and explicit threats of using nuclear weapons against the Isrealies. Also it is not beyond comprehension that Iran would like to be a 'player' in the political future of Iraq.

[ 01-27-2006, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

High C
01-27-2006, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
I've read that Iran's oil reserves will be depleted in the next 10-15 years.I read that about our oil reserves, 15 to 20 years ago.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:12 PM
Every nation in the ME talks of wanting to off Israel.

As for Iraq, who fired the first shot in the Iran/Iraq war in the 80's? I don't recall.

I'm unthrilled with the theocracy heading Iran, but I wonder how much the people of Iran are unthrilled with it too. Reports suggest they are (and one can always buy or threaten a crowd for a pro-theocracy rally).

PeterSibley
01-27-2006, 03:12 PM
When saw the thread title "Nuclear Deterrent",I thought it was going to be about how the US didn't need one anymore ,how they were going to get rid of 95% of their nucs. :D Silly me.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by High C:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Meerkat:
I've read that Iran's oil reserves will be depleted in the next 10-15 years.I read that about our oil reserves, 15 to 20 years ago.</font>[/QUOTE]:eek: You can read!?!? :eek:

[ 01-27-2006, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by PeterSibley:
When saw the thread title "Nuclear Deterrent",I thought it was going to be about how the US didn't need one anymore ,how they were going to get rid of 95% of their nucs. :D Silly me.T'would be nice!

High C
01-27-2006, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
:eek: You can read!?!? :eek: Yess, qwite whell, thancks.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by High C:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Meerkat:
:eek: You can read!?!? :eek: Yess, qwite whell, thancks.</font>[/QUOTE]:D

LeeG
01-27-2006, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by High C:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Meerkat:
:eek: You can read!?!? :eek: Yess, qwite whell, thancks.</font>[/QUOTE]good, then what is US domestic oil production right now compared to 15-20yrs ago?

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:26 PM
Now Lee, you know HiC is busy sopping up oil slicks, while dodging the gator, to feed his tdi. ;) :D

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 03:26 PM
good, then what is US domestic oil production right now compared to 15-20yrs ago? hey, go start your own thread :D

High C
01-27-2006, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by LeeG:
...what is US domestic oil production right now compared to 15-20yrs ago?More than none.

Sorry, Paul. tongue.gif :D

[ 01-27-2006, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: High C ]

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by High C:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by LeeG:
...what is US domestic oil production right now compared to 15-20yrs ago?More than none.

Sorry, Paul. tongue.gif :D </font>[/QUOTE]More then than now. tongue.gif

Sorry, Paul. tongue.gif :D

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 03:41 PM
hell, I can't really complain, there's been at least three times that I can think of that I've contributed to thread drift...

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 03:42 PM
Still, no one has answered the original question.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:43 PM
oil and/or nukes/nuclear - it's all about energy/power.

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Paul Pless:
Still, no one has answered the original question.Well, what do you think would happen?

BTW, I do think someone answered earlier.

Paul Pless
01-27-2006, 03:45 PM
Meer, the original question was in regards to what would an accident in their program due to their continued desire for an atomic energy program.

High C
01-27-2006, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
...More then than now. tongue.gif
I know a good way to rectify that.

Still sorry, Paul... ;)

Meerkat
01-27-2006, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Paul Pless:
Meer, the original question was in regards to what would an accident in their program due to their continued desire for an atomic energy program.Didn't someone say something about Cherynoble not detering the russians?