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Just departing from the radiological hazards for a moment, but isn't uranium a hazard at least as bad as lead biologically? It was badly needed to get lead out of paint and gasoline, the old inhalation hazard, and we aren't going to be making water pipes out of it. Still, why take lead out of circuit boards and then work uranium back into them? If I had my druthers, I would leave the lead in solder until a superior lead-free solder was developed that was also less toxic than the original lead.

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In that link you just gave me, how do you read the charts and tell how many millisieverts of radiation a milligram of uranium gives off in a year? The mSv/mg terms are contracted so that it doesn't say if this is an mSv per second, per hour, per day, or what. It also doesn't explain the term "mSv/a". The term "millisievert", which I did look up, seems to be the average whole body dose for anyone who lives in the United States. If I go with the idea that when the charts say mSv/mg, they mean that one milligram gives off that fraction of a mSv per year, here's what I get. About 9 milligrams of DU is the equivalent of 1 mSv per year from the chart.

 

This is interesting:

the lifetime cancer risk from continuous radiation exposure at ICRP's dose rate standard for the public of 1 mSv/a during a 70 year lifetime is 1 : 286, and the lifetime cancer risk for workers exposed at ICRP's current dose rate standard for workers of 20 mSv/a during a 40 year work life is 1 : 31, while the acceptable lifetime risk from toxics often is selected in the 1 : 10,000 to 1 : 1,000,000 range.

 

Maybe this information sort of gets obscured as it is passed down, but one chance in 31 of getting cancer is a bit scary. I have to agree with people who think that a chance of one in a million is negligible. Breast cancer is a big issue when allegedly about 140 women in 100,000 population get it every year in the U.S. That's a chance in about 700. And we're talking about a whole body dose of 20 mSv/A, and if I am reading the figures right, that's the amount of radiation from about 180 mg of DU. 9 mgs is a flyspeck. 180 mgs is starting to get to be a good sized chunk of grit. The chart also rates the risks of exposures of so many micrograms per cubic meter of air. If you have a burning DU round, that smoke can be pretty dense with a lot of particulate matter that will end up in the lungs. There's a lot of flyspecks in that, and a lot of those flyspecks will weigh many micrograms. Their tolerable level is .07 micrograms per cubic meter. Smoke can exceed that level in a cubic centimeter or less.

 

One thing that makes it hard to estimate the exposure in a hotspot is that we have to know what percentage of the energy of the ionizing radiation consists of alpha particles, gamma rays, and X-rays. Not that I'm happy about neutrons transmuting elements in my body right there next to my germ cells, a process which releases at least some heat and ionizing radiation also.

 

Alpha is blocked by skin. That's what makes it a bit safer from the outside, but more dangerous from the inside. You've obviously seen cloud chamber photographs. Cloud chambers may be thought of as only teaching tools these days, but they give you a picture of hard reality. Observing them this way tells you, in 3D and living color, that even the least penetrating of ionizing radiation travels a certain distance through the air and interacts with it on the way through. It sheds enough energy to move molecules around and make them form clumps. Gamma rays do it too. Without colliding with anything or significantly altering their course, they shed energy into their surroundings. The ionization effects follow a more or less straight line all along their tracks, and gamma rays have a lot of energy to shed. I don't even have time tonight to begin to research how much energy they leave in a particular volume.

 

And right now I don't have time to figure out the mass of U-238 that gives off a millisievert per year of alpha radiation. If I understood the charts right, that mass is going to be miniscule. The stopping power of human flesh is not a blessing in this case. It makes it more dangerous by confining the exposure to a very small mass of flesh. Offhand I'm guessing a millisievert per year to one one hundred thousandth of the body or less. If that were the case, that's the equivalent of a hundred full Sieverts, whole body, of radiation per year to the affected portion of flesh. If you're lucky, that's a cyst and not cancerous. If the cyst is in your lungs, you're going to have a bit of trouble actually feeling lucky. If you have a few thousand cysts, it's going to make you sick. Maybe the X-rays and gamma rays are killing off anything that turns cancerous, just like radiation therapy.

 

I don't know. I must be getting something wrong because the charts seem to be saying that 180 milligrams of DU puts a person in the category of people who have a chance in 31 of getting cancer over 40 years, and the odds just keep climbing after that.

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I don't know where to start...

 

Effective dose coefficients for adults cannot be converted directly to mass. To start off with they are time-weighted values for exposure, not body-burden values which would be more consistent with your interpretation.

 

Typical TLV/TWA for natural Uranium 0.2 mg m-3; typical STEL 0.6 mg m-3, which is more of a hazard than DU. These are standard exposures from the natural uranium MSDS. Again these figures cannot be converted into body-burden values via simple calculations. As I said above: things are complicated by issues like solubility and retention issues.

 

"ICRP's current dose rate standard" (to address the quote)

 

This is not a protective standard. Even if it were a protective standard, it is not a standard that is capable of protecting any given individual. This is because it is derived and applied using averages. It is quite allowable for some people to get 10 times more radiation, just so long as they are balanced by as many who get ten times less.

 

In terms of its own claims, ICRP does not offer recommendations of exposure limits based on worker and public health criteria. Rather, it offers a risk/benefit trade-off suggestion.

 

And finally: no one can actually verify either a milliSeivert or a millirem directly anyway.

 

I think you have a lot more background reading to do before you start drawing conclusions

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The answers are not that straghtforward' date=' as one must look at both soluble and unsoluble compounds of uranium, plus factor in the radiological hazards of the more active isotopes.[/quote']

 

Thank you,

this is why Umetal in Shells, bombs,Aircraft is so bad, Coal etc not

 

This is a good workup I found a couple years ago: (full attached)

 

Environmental Assessment of Depleted Uranium

According to data gathered from various sources, during Gulf War in 1991at least three hundred tons of depleted uranium (DU) was used by the USA and additional 59 tons by the UK. Twenty six percent of the projectiles found

their targets whereas 76 per cent projectiles are presumably lying buried in sand. On hitting its target, DU catches fire and burns to oxides of uranium. Forty six per cent of this DU converts itself to depleted uranium dioxide aerosol (DUDA). Roughly, half of the aerosols are of respirable size. This gives 21.5 tons of DUDA in an area of 2400 kilometers squared.

 

Assuming complete mixing in atmosphere up to 250 meters height gives the concentration of DUDA 35 micrograms per cubic meter. A person on active duty inhales 25 to 30 cubic meters per day, i.e. about 1 milligram of DUDA per day. For details of the calculation see Appendix A.

 

DUDA stays in the area for a long time. It has been fund that it survived over two years in air in Kuwait City and most certainly in Basra as well.

 

Inhalation of aerosols in the war zone or near the war zone over extended periods resulted in accumulation of uranium dioxide in lungs. From there it is excreted via urine. Uranium dioxide formed at very high temperatures is a ceramic 'type Y' insoluble compound and its excretion rate is very slow. The International Commission on Radiological Protection suggests the biological half life (i.e. the time needed for 50 percent of the original amount of the substance to be excreted from the body) for uranium dioxide Class Y compounds as 500 days. There is evidence to indicate that the biological half life of uranium dioxide produced at very high temperatures is much longer -- can be as long as 20 years.

 

In a pilot study, several 24-hour urine samples were collected during the 1998-99 period from a number of Gulf War veterans. The samples were analyzed for isotopic ratio of uranium-235 (U-235) and uranium-238 (U-238) by the delayed-neutron counting and the neutron activation methods, and later by two other methods based on the use of a mass spectrometer.

Measurements did confirm beyond any doubt the presence of DU in the samples, the average excreted amount was found to be about 3 micrograms per 24 hours. For details see Appendix B.

 

In Table 1 below we calculate the whole body radiation dose in Sv for a person who in 1999, i.e. eight years after the contamination took place in 1991, has the excretion rate of 1 microgram per day, for various assumed biological half life values. For example, if the biological half life is 500 days, the present amount of DU in the person's body is 0.722 milligrams, the amount of the original intake is 41.4 milligrams, the equivalent whole body integrated dose is 0.192 sievert and the risk factor is 1.8 percent. For details of the calculation see Appendix C.

 

Table 1.

 

 

Biological

Half Life DU in 1999

milligrams DU in 1991

milligrams Radiation Dose

whole body, sv Risk factor %

(fatal cancer)

365 days 0.523 134.7 0.457 4.3

500 days 0.722 41.4 0.192 1.8

2.5 years 1.318 12.1 0.102 1.0

5.0 years 2.636 7.99 0.136 1.3

10.0 years 5.272 9.18 0.320 2.9

20.0 years 10.544 13.91 0.778 7.1

 

 

We see that depending on the biological half life, the risk factor for 1 microgram of DU excreted per day ranges from 1 percent for the 2.5 years half life to 7 percent for the 20 years half life . With 3 micrograms as the average value for the Gulf veterans, these numbers need to be multiplied by 3, giving the risk factor range from 3 percent to 21 percent. In other words,

out of 100,000 veterans having the excretion rate of 3 micrograms per day now, it would appear that there will be additional fatal cancers ranging from 3,000 to 21,000.

 

Other radiation damages to humans (damage to the immune system, genetic defects etc) have not been considered. Effects from exposure to low-level long-term

Environmental Assessment of Depleted Uranium.doc

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Try again. The center in that cross section is rather small. Just how many neutrons are going to be captured?

 

I said "more than"

 

Appeal to Authority is a rhetorical vice' date=' I'm sure you can do better than that. What that worthy person will or will not do is not germane to this issue. For all I know he might be the type that washes his hands fifty time a day or puts on rubber gloves before using the john. I not saying this is the case you understand, just that his option carries little weight in this matter just because of his post.[/quote']

 

It wasn't anything to do with you, little schmuck. I needed to quantify a few variables for a risk assessment I'm doing at the personal request of the co-leader of the Government of our proudly Nuclear free country.

Actually I think everyone should have "da bomb", Its the only way to be sure of not being invaded by the US. -Notice how US invasion and Civilian kill rates have trebled since the BOP of the cold war ended. Probably no real protection from the Terrorist wing of the US state. Google "death squads" CIA If you doubt this.

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AntiN, I note that you filled this as doc. stripped of authors and source. Why, because it is a screed from one of the antiDU groups? Hardly an unbiased source.

 

 

Since it is painfully obvious that science is only a political tool for you, useful only to advance whatever ideological agenda that you have at the moment, (keeping a “proudly Nuclear free country”) let’s look at the background of the debate over depleted uranium.]

 

 

Depleted uranium first emerged as a social, political, and scientific issue after the 1991 Gulf War. The decline of rational discourse about DU can be traced to the 1999 Kosovo conflict. At that time, the DU issue took on a more overtly political role. The Yugoslav government under Sloboban Milosevic suggested the use of DU in the Balkans would have genocidal effects, and when the U.S. government refused to release information about its use of DU following the war, activists and propagandists alike suggested that the United States was responsible for causing widespread and severe effects from its use of DU munitions. Saddam Hussein similarly blamed the United States (and DU) for a sharp increase in cancers and birth defects, and Yasser Arafat joined the chorus by accusing Israel of using DU in Palestinian territories. In the years since 1999, politicians, propagandists, and activists have intoxicated each other with heart-wrenching but extremely misleading and unsubstantiated claims about the effects of DU munitions, radicalizing the issue in a way that has had a chilling effect upon serious debate.

 

Ironically, U.S. propaganda fueled the uncertainty surrounding the effects of DU munitions on Iraqis, which in turn facilitated the Saddam Hussein regime’s own propaganda. A policy of “proponency” to prevent DU munitions from becoming “politically unacceptable” was recommended shortly as the war ended, and in the subsequent years, Pentagon spokesmen dismissed concerns about DU munitions in the same breath as they overstated its success in defeating the Iraqi tank corps. The hype helped create the impression that the battlefield was far more contaminated by DU dust than it probably was, thereby enabling the Iraqi government to effectively exploit an reported rise in cancers and birth defects by blaming the effects on DU munitions and, more importantly, the United States.

 

 

The scientific debate is now bogged down in confusion over the extent and severity of DU exposures, but many of the statements made by extremists have become a muddled mixture of verifiable facts, speculative assertions, and politically motivated falsehoods.

 

Prior to the use of DU munitions in combat, large quantities – probably on the order of thousands of tons of DU – were shot at testing ranges in the United States, United Kingdom, and as well as in the former Soviet Union and other countries. In addition to the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel, it is possible and even probable that other countries or armed forces have used DU munitions in combat. Some anti-DU activists have claimed the quantities of DU shot by U.S. forces are orders of magnitude higher than the figures released by militaries and governments. While such deception is not outside the realm of possibility, the figures released by some activists, such as the claim that the U.S. released 900,000 kg (2,000,000 lbs) of DU in Afghanistan, lack any supporting data, and in some cases are complete fabrications.

 

Some activists also started to advance claims based more on assertion than proof. These activists, including some with science backgrounds, started to exploit the scientific uncertainties and decry DU as a “crime against God and humanity.” Cults of personality formed around activists who spread a dire gospel based on a blend of fact and fiction as they marched forward, ever forward, in a messianic haze. A new crop of self-proclaimed DU experts emerged in the wake of the Kosovo conflict exploiting the DU issue to raise money for their organizations, and others pointed to DU as a manifestation of the evils of the United States and NATO. Some of these new activists joined forces with more seasoned experts to claim not only proof of widespread and severe effects from DU, but also to assert that these effects were an intentional consequence of the U.S.use of DU munitions. A few marginal scientists marred their professional reputations by becoming scientist-activists who made claims and interpreted data to create misleading and intellectually dishonest assessments of DU’s actual and potential effects.

 

The fantastic claims of well-known activists have grown progressively more extreme since 1999. Without any credible health or environmental studies in post-war Iraq on DU, activists have claimed the effects are comparable to those of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion. Some prominent activists have claimed that not only has the use of DU already caused genocidal effects in Iraq, but that the US uses DU munitions to intentionally inflict genocide on populations. In some cases, one lie leads to another, such as when one activist asserted – without supporting data – that U.S. missiles and bombs contain large quantities of DU, and then a publicity-seeking, fund-raising organization calling itself the Uranium Medical Research Centre used this claim to advance its own unsupported assertion that the U.S. had spread uranium contamination across Afghanistan, resulting in severe health effects. The prize for the most outlandish claim about DU to date goes to activist Leuren Moret. Moret, who works closely with Doug Rokke and other anti-DU extremists, has uttered some of the most bizarre and uninformed statements about DU, including the following statement made in February 2004:

 

 

 

Anyone within 1,000 miles of Iraq; anyone within 1,000 miles of Afghanistan is potentially contaminated now. It’s not just the people [living] in the country Anyone going to Iraq or Afghanistan now will become contaminated. There’s no way to escape it.

 

 

Such certainty is the hallmark of the DU extremists. However, Moret’s most distinctive and substantial contribution to the decline of rational discourse about the effects of DU is her claim that the use of DU munitions has resulted in atmospheric pollution by radioactive dust equal to the detonation of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Of course, there are differences of opinion even among the most irrational and uninformed extremists another activist says the use of DU is equal to only 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.

 

When moderate activists raised concerns about the accuracy of the increasingly alarmist claims about DU, they became the target of character assassination campaigns. In fact, the debate over DU has declined to the point where the simple act of questioning a claim made by Doug Rokke, Asaf Durakovic, or other prominent activists is labeled a heresy by a small jury of vocal extremists who operate mainly through the Internet. Rational discourse about the use and effects of DU munitions has become increasingly difficult and rare.

 

 

 

Oh and if the New Zealand Leadership is depending on the likes of you for policy assessments, (which I doubt) do they know that you are discussing it with the likes of us?

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this is why Umetal in Shells, bombs,Aircraft is so bad, Coal etc not

 

Rubbish

 

Most of the pyrolized compounds of uranium from coal burning and impact burning of DU rounds are the same.

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I would just like to make it clear at this point that I do not support the use of DU in weapons; and I do not support the current war in the Mid-East; I am not a supporter of the current U.S. administration. I just dislike propaganda wrapped in a tissue of science.

 

DU is not mother's milk, nor will it kill you by looking at it. But there is a real lack of good studies that have been carried out and with results published in mainstream refereed journals.

 

As far as heath and environmental impacts both long and short term, I am reminded of a poster common in my youth by a group of women who called themselves Another Mother for Peace : "War is not healthy for children and other living things."

 

Rather than arguing for the disuse of one type of round, we should insist that war cease.

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DV8, unlike yourself I do not believe that the personal reputation of the scientist is more important than easily verifiable objective data.

I did not remove any ID details from this page, simply converted it in entirety to word when sfn rejected the html attachment.

Please ask yourself if your objectivity as a scientist is compromised by your insistance on branding and discarding any fact based studies of the very large sample Iraq experiment as activist "propaganda wrapped in a tissue of science."

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I'm finding it more than a little suspicious that a Canadian is prepared to devote so much time to defending the safety of large scale use of DU.

After all the cheaper, safer, easier to build CANDU reactors used by Canada require no uranium enrichment and therefore there is little need to find a way to dispose of large quantities of DU nuclear waste.

The US propaganda that has buried CANDU sales under a crappile of claims that you have to enrich U for Nuke power has seen Canada sell only ~20 CANDU's compared to some 5000 of their expensive and dangerous light water reactors.

 

Are you really from Canada?

Are you certain you are not a spin doctor for the US nuclear industry?

 

None of your attempts to belittle and discredit me seem like the word's of a true scientist, or are based on any objective examination of my figures.

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Rubbish

 

Most of the pyrolized compounds of uranium from coal burning and impact burning of DU rounds are the same.

 

Bollocks! U in coal is finely divided soluble ionic salts ( probably to the level of single u ions).

There is no way this could form the hard glassy ceramic particles formed by burning uranium metal. :rolleyes:

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DV8, unlike yourself I do not believe that the personal reputation of the scientist is more important than easily verifiable objective data.

 

Would you please show me where I made that assertion. The entire thrust of the argument I presented in post #84 is that there is a lack of objective data.

 

I'm finding it more than a little suspicious that a Canadian is prepared to devote so much time to defending the safety of large scale use of DU.

 

Read post #86 again, I am not defending it's use - I am criticizing propaganda masquerading as science.

 

After all the cheaper, safer, easier to build CANDU reactors used by Canada require no uranium enrichment and therefore there is little need to find a way to dispose of large quantities of DU nuclear waste.

The US propaganda that has buried CANDU sales under a crappile of claims that you have to enrich U for Nuke power has seen Canada sell only ~20 CANDU's compared to some 5000 of their expensive and dangerous light water reactors.

 

Yes, I have defended CANDU technology elsewhere and at great length, however it's not so much US propaganda as it is the unsuitability of CANDUs for the production of weapons-grade fissionables. India by the way made it's bombs from fuel bred in a series of "research" reactors charged with HEU from American and French sources.

 

None of your attempts to belittle and discredit me seem like the word's of a true scientist, or are based on any objective examination of my figures

 

Go look at my profile; unlike you I don't pretend to be. You have discredited yourself because based on your posts in this thread. I have to come to the conclusion that you are one of the following:

 

a. you are using your scientific training to advance an ideological agenda.

 

b. you're a youngster who knows just enough about the subject to think he can sound like an expert because you can fool the ignorant around you into believing you know what you are taking about.

 

c.you are parroting concepts you do not understand and that you do not have the foundation to put into any scientific context.

 

As to my knowledge, you will recall that I started in this thread pointing out that I have worked with DU for over thirty years. Do you think in that time I haven't developed a good working knowledge of dosimetry or the properties of this material? That's how I can tell most of what you have written here is ill-informed.

 

Now start addressing some of the specifics rather than engaging in ad hominem mud slinging – I'll respond to nothing else.

 

And yes, I am Canadian.

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You also can't get nearly so much of the stuff into your lungs from a coal-burning plant as you can when many rounds have filled the air with smoke, or when it's on dry sand that never gets washed down.

 

Yeah, In the doc' the DU & the dying children the phd nucphysicists measured 60% uranium content in the dust fraction in residential sites bombed a year earlier. Their radiation meters were measuring 25000x allowable limits for habitation some 5 meters from the crater and sounding audible alarms to "leave the area immediately" (They had to smuggle their counters in as America has blocked the importation of radiation detectors since 1991. If they had been spotted using them by US troops (in 2004!) they would have been arrested and deported.)

 

Oh, hydrophobic nature of ceramicised U0 and fact that aerosol size particles flow with the air around raindrops mean that water has little effect in burying it anyway.

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DV8 stop using:

-the fallacy of personal attack

-the fallacy of false authority

-the fallacy of false analogy

three of the 4 basic fallacies in logical argument as I remember them from university 20 years ago to attempt to discredit everything I say.

You have not shown any evidence or valid argument to discredit ANYTHING I have posted. While a "devils advocate" is a great counterpoint to dissemble the nitty gritty of the subject, if as you say, we are on the same side then well thoughtout and supported criticism's will advance the collective knowledge far more effectively.

"ye cannae change the laws of physics Cap'n" (Alas poor scotty, the late Canadian we knew so well)

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-the fallacy of personal attack

 

It wasn't anything to do with you, little schmuck

 

Are you really from Canada?

 

-the fallacy of false authority

 

I spoke to the head of nuclear physics at Auckland University today. He was adamant that he wouldn't get within 100 paces of the uncoated oxidising blocks of U in airliners, though would not be concerned if one was in a plastic bag. (inhalation risk)

 

Yeah, In the doc' the DU & the dying children the phd nucphysicists measured 60% uranium content in the dust fraction in residential sites bombed a year earlier. Their radiation meters were measuring 25000x allowable limits for habitation some 5 meters from the crater and sounding audible alarms to "leave the area immediately" (They had to smuggle their counters in as America has blocked the importation of radiation detectors since 1991. If they had been spotted using them by US troops (in 2004!) they would have been arrested and deported.)

 

and compare the last quote to the following one for extra points:

 

DV8, unlike yourself I do not believe that the personal reputation of the scientist is more important than easily verifiable objective data.

 

I rest my case

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This is a prevalent misconception. The issue is a 1974 atomic test explosion by India, which led to an immediate severance of international cooperation in India's nuclear technological development that exists to this day (similar sanctions were placed on Pakistan as well). The plutonium used in this explosion was manufactured in a small research reactor near Bombay, India, which Canada supplied as part of a larger "technology-transfer" program in the late 50's, early 60's.

 

 

The Indian research reactor, CIRUS, was based on Canada's NRX design, a heavy-water-moderated, light-water-cooled research reactor commissioned in 1947 at AECL Chalk River Laboratories (2 hours west of Ottawa). The main role of the NRX, which was decommissioned in the late 1980's, centred around materials testing, solid-state physics research, and isotope production, although it initially served as a prototype heavy-water plutonium production reactor, conceived during the days of the WWII Manhattan Project under a tripartite agreeement between Canada, the U.S., and Britain (see related FAQ, also "Early Years of Nuclear Energy Research in Canada" by Dr. G.C. Laurence, and the author's article, "Entering the Nuclear Age", published in Legion Magazine). The heavy water and the financing for the Indian CIRUS reactor were both provided by the United States; hence the "US" in the title.

 

 

As an issue affecting CANDU reactors, the matter is irrelevant. The technology for producing electricity with a CANDU reactor is highly incompatible with the production of weapons-grade plutonium (see related FAQ). However, because of the highly technical differences between research reactors and power reactors, along with the regrettable fact that the Indian affair is linked to Canadian technology, the incident has caused some confusion.

 

From the Canadian Nuclear FAQ: http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionF.htm#x1

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I reserve the right to personal attack as long as I'm not trying to prove/disprove anyones data with it.

 

"DV8, unlike yourself I do not believe that the personal reputation of the scientist is more important than easily verifiable objective data. " Here I'm paraphasing the very fallacy you think this statement contravenes.

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DV8, If we cannot conduct a cool, rational discussion, It may be because we are both too full of hate. Or it could be because your long term Uxposure has left too many ionisation trails scrambling your logic circuits (joke).

Seriously though you should have your sperm cells checked for chromosome breakages. Knowledge is power, denial the route to madness. You may be able to chelate some of your internal dose out and looking after your immune system will help it deal with damaged cells. I'd look at some stem cell therapy too.

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