La seguente lettera avvisa quanti dovessero entrare in contatto con l'uranio "impoverito" durante le indagini sugli incidenti aerei.
Tra l'altro avvisa di non respirare ed ingoiare in vicinanza di aerei che hanno i contrappesi all'uranio danneggiati, e noi sappiamo che ogni anno se ne danneggia il 5% dal rapporto della NRC che abbiamo pubblicato. Ora, se da noi nessuno lo sapeva, in che condizioni saranno gli aerei (ad esempio dell'ALITALIA) che contengono questi contrappesi? Sarà mai stata fatta la manutenzione?
A chi è stata inviata questa circolare? Chi
l'ha ricevuta in Italia? Chi ha fatto finta di niente fino ad oggi? Chi
doveva provvedere e non ha provveduto? Di chi sono le responsabilità?
Cosa ha fatto l'ANPA in merito? E il RAI, il Registro Aeronautico Italiano,
poteva forse NON SAPERE? E l'ALITALIA? E la SEA? Tutte domande a cui i
cittadini ESIGONO sia data una risposta. Entro questo millennio, prego.
|Subject:||AVOIDING OR MINIMIZING
WITH AIRCRAFT EQUIPPED WITH
DEPLETED URANIUM BALANCE WEIGHTS
DURING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS
Initiated by: AWS-330
|AC No: 20-123
1. PURPOSE. This advisory circular provides information and guidance to individuals who come in contact with depleted uranium contained in aircraft control surfaces during accident investigations.
2. RELATED READING MATERIAL. Additional information on depleted uranium may be found in the maintenance manual of each affected aircraft and also in service information provided by the aircraft manufacturer.
3. DISCUSSION. For many years, aircraft manufacturers have used "depleted" uranium to balance ailerons, rudders, and elevators on certain jet aircraft and rotor blades on certain helicopters. Uranium is 1 1/2 times as dense as lead and is the heaviest naturally occurring metal. According to a 1983 McDonnell Douglas Customer First Quarter Pubblication, only "depleted" uranium is used, wich means it has been processed to remove most of its uranium 235, the most highly radioactive form used in nuclear powerplants. The remaining uranium 238 emits only low-level alpha radiation. While the depleted uranium normally poses no danger, it is to be handled with caution. The main hazard associated with depleted uranium is the harmful effect the material could have if it enters the body. If particles are inhaled or digested, they can be chemically toxic and cause a signifiant and long lasting irradiation of internal tissue. Depleted uranium is slightly radioactive. To minimize radiation hazards, depleted uranium balance weights are 100 percent cadmium plated during the manufacturing process. If the cadmium plating is intact, normal handling of the parts is considered to be non-hazardous and no special precautions are recommended. The use of radioactive materials in many every day applications is not at all unusual. For example, tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, is used in self-luminous signs, such as exit signs, and watches. Thorium, wich has a radiation activity level comparable to depleted uranium, is used in making gas mantels for lanterns, electronic equipment, and high-quality optical lenses for cameras and overhead projectors. Also, smoke detectors contain americium 241, a radioactive material.
a. Avoid contact with balance weights using depleted uranium. On arrival at accident scenes of aircraft suspected of containing balance weights made of depleted uranium, determine if balance weights have been damaged or lost their cadmium plating coating. Request specialized assistance if balance weights have been damaged or lost their cadmium plating. No penetration of the plating is allowed.
AC 20-123 12/20/84
b. Avoid breathing or swallowing particles of balance weights found damaged or with cadmium plating damaged or lost.
c. If it becomes necessary to handle balance weights, the following precautions should be observed:
(1) Personnel handling the balance weight should wear gloves.
(2) Industrial eye protection should be worn.
(3) Respirator mask should be worn to ensure no radioactive dust particle ingestion.
d. Gloves, wrapping material, wiping cloths, respirator filters, or any other articles used in the handling of damaged weights should be discarded and appropriately labeled as radioactive waste and disposed of accordingly.
M. C. Beard
Director of Airworthiness