Re: Mystery over 1992 El-Al crash

Date:         07 Dec 98 23:19:13 
From:         Pete Mellor <>
References:   1 2
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On Mon Nov 30 13:39:25 1998, (HatCat) wrote:-
> Uranium does get used as a ballast weight and the 747 does use them. I
> don't know if that's standard on all makes and models but, in any case,
> the uranium used is "depleted uranium" which is not usually radioactive
> above measurable normal background levels. If it retains residual
> radioactivity, it would be of a very, very, low order.

By coincidence, in The Guardian last Friday there was an article
about uranium glass. (The article mentioned one of the staff at
Sizewell B as being a keen collector! :-) Apparently, the addition
of a little bit of uranium oxide to the melt can produce vivid
yellow, green and magenta (depending on quantity). The amounts of
uranium present vary from tiny traces up to 3%. Since this was popular
since early Victorian times, it presumably used non-depleted uranium.
Its popularity declined after 1945 (surprise! :-).

The collector in question goes around antique sales with a geiger
counter looking for suitable items. Alternatively, if he is at a
car-boot sale, he waits until dusk and looks for the eery glow! :-)

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, Northampton
Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, Fax: +44 (171) 477-8585