July 29, 2013 - On Thursday, officials with the
Florida Division of Emergency Management
received an anonymous call indicating that there
were storage containers at Opa Locka Airport
that contained uranium (U-235).
HazMat crews closed down the airport and
identified the location of the uranium. The
uranium was tested and considered to be depleted
uranium (DU), a lower content of the fissile
isotope U-235 than natural uranium. Natural
uranium is about 99.27% U-238, 0.72% U-235—the
fissile isotope, and 0.0055% U-234).
Uses of DU take advantage of its very high
density. Civilian uses include counterweights in
aircraft, radiation shielding in medical
radiation therapy and industrial radiography
equipment and containers used to transport
radioactive materials. Military uses include
defensive armor plating and armor piercing
projectiles. Most depleted uranium arises as a
byproduct of the production of enriched uranium
for use in nuclear reactors.