Posts Tagged ‘Chemical Warfare’

World can thank Nazis for invention of sarin
By H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Ran Daniel, 2013

Over the past several months the world has witnessed the heinous and lethal effects of sarin gas being deployed in Syria, where an estimated 1,500 people died from its effects in just one attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Yet virtually unknown is the long history of this deadly chemical compound, including its roots entangled with Nazi Germany and the United States’ acquisition and exploitation.

Sarin was invented in 1938 in Germany by I.G. Farben company chemists […]. Quickly found to be a lethal nerve agent to humans, the compound was further refined and then named in honor of its developers: Gerhard Schrader, Otto Ambros, Franz Ritter and H.J. Van der Linde. (more…)

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Chemical plane crash inquiry

From BBC News, Jan. 27 1999 [Edited]

A long-awaited inquiry into the crash of an Israeli cargo jet into an Amsterdam apartment complex has opened in The Hague.

A Dutch parliamentary commission is to find out whether the crash six years ago was responsible for serious medical problems subsequently reported by rescue workers and local residents. It will also look into the cause of the disaster.

Israel admitted last year that the plane was carrying a chemical used to produce a deadly nerve gas. The inquiry will look at whether this or possibly radioactive substances contributed to the illnesses.

The commission, sitting in the upper house of parliament, plans to interview 75 people by the end of March.

Black box never found
The El Al Boeing 747 crashed on 4 October 1992 shortly after take-off from Schipol Airport, killing 43 people, most of them on the ground. (more…)

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Enriched uranium
From Wikipedia

Enriched uranium is a type of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight. 235U is the only nuclide existing in nature (in any appreciable amount) that is fissile with thermal neutrons.

Enriched uranium is a critical component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency attempts to monitor and control enriched uranium supplies and processes in its efforts to ensure nuclear power generation safety and curb nuclear weapons proliferation.

There are about 2,000 tonnes (t, Mg) of highly enriched uranium in the world, produced mostly for nuclear weapons, naval propulsion, and smaller quantities for research reactors. The 238U remaining after enrichment is known as depleted uranium (DU), and is considerably less radioactive than natural uranium, though still very dense and extremely hazardous in granulated form – such granules are a natural (more…)

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