Depleted Uranium Dice (ca. 1950s)
|Why, or by whom, these depleted
uranium (DU) dice were made is a complete mystery. If I had to guess, I
would say that they were produced as a type of memento by the Atomic
Energy Commission, possible as paperweights. Nineteen fifties most likely. They are nickel
coated and 7/8" across.
All you have to do is pick these things up to know they are made of DU - not even lead is this heavy.
The photo to the right includes a plate of uncoated depleted uranium for comparison.
Depleted uranium, in this case uranium metal, has less uranium-234 and uranium-235, and more uranium-238 than the uranium found in nature. By weight, natural uranium is approximately 99.3% U-238, 0.7% U-235 and 0.006% U-234. The composition of depleted uranium varies, but it is often on the order of 99.8% U-238 and 0.2% U-235.
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities