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12/07/2006

Anyone hate land mines?

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  Like anyone I hate the idea of land mines that are left behind after a conflict to claim lives and limbs. However, they will continue to be manufactured to fill the military's demand.
  My idea is that an internal device should be designed to be easily incorporated (at little cost), to allow a mine to be set to be active for a limited time period (say two years) after which it would be inctive and largely harmless. There are a number of ways that this could be achieved:
  Incorporate a switch that will degrade at a certain predictable rate when exposed to the elements. After a certain period the circuit will break and will no longer carry the charge to the detonator charge.
  Another way is to have a biodegradeable explosive charge that will degrade over a fixed period. This is not as strange as it sounds as BAE systems is focussing on environmentally friendly weapons. As far as I know this application has not been proposed to date. Achievement of this latter idea will be very lucrative while benefitting thousands of collateral victims of continuing or extinguished conflicts. This idea needs a champion to make it happen.
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