Nuclear Gaming: Depleted Uranium Dice

Depleted Uranium Dice.

The item above is a pair of (seemingly unique) dice made out of depleted uranium from an early nuclear pile. They are covered by nickel. This is a display at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Health Physics Historical Instrumentation Museum Collection, whose purpose is to chronicle the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation. The museum is the official repository for historical radiological instruments and historical collections related to the use of radiation and radiological medicine in the United States (mostly). You can visit their website HERE, and I assure you it is worth a visit!

The supporting descriptive text for the dice state that there is no doubt about the material– depleted Uranium is heavier than lead. 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.

One wonders what actually throwing dice like these would be like. Obviously they wouldn’t roll very far…


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