Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Once Close to Home, Nuclear Weapons, ICBM?

Rehearsal for Armageddon, ICBM, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. While our country had been testing nuclear weapons in the USA since 1945, they had also been storing them in our back yards since the 1950s.  

Do not go into any of the old silos without permission from the owners and with proper protection since they dangerous, hazardous, and privately owned.

The weapon locations have either been demolished, abandoned filled with rust, dust, lead paint, black mold, trash, and asbestos, or sold to private owners.
  1. Atlas (D sites (30 locations from 1959-1964, California), E sites (28 sites, California, Washington, Wyoming, Kansas), F sites (72 locations: Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska, New York))
  2. Titan I, 6 bases, 18 operational sites in 5 states, 3 missiles each, began in 1959 and was completed in 1962.  By 1965 every single Titan I site and all the Atlas sites, were shut down and later scrapped and abandoned.  None was operational for 4 years.
  3. Titan II, 108 produced in 1963
  4. Minuteman II, 1966, Whiteman AFB Missouri
  5. Minuteman III, from 1971, 450 still operational

Titan II,18 at Little Rock AFB, 2 Strategic Missile Squadrons (SMSs) of 9 missiles each
  • Pulaski County, Jacksonville
  • Van Buren County, accident
  • Cleburne County
  • Faulkner County
  • White County

Titan II, 18 at Davis-Montham AFB2 Strategic Missile Squadrons (SMSs) of 9 missiles each
Titan Missile Museum, 20 miles south of Tucson

Atlas D, 6 at Vandenburg AFB
Atlas E, 1 at Vandenburg AFB
Titan I, 9, from 1961, Chico at Beale AFB, Cost of $40 million, accident in 1962 and rebuilt for $20 million

Titan I, 18 sites near Deer Trail, Aurora, south of Elizabeth, Lowry AFB, 724th and 725th SMS

Titan I, 9, from 1961-1965, Mountain Home AFB

Atlas E, 9, (Rock Creek, Worden, Waverly, Burlingame, Bushong, Dover, Wamego, Delia, Holton), Forbes AFB, 548th SMS
Atlas F, 12 in Salina, Schilling AFB
Titan II, 18 in Osage City at McConnell AFB, 2 SMSs of 9 missiles each

Minuteman, 150 at Whiteman AFB

Minuteman IA, 200 at Malmstrom AFB
Minuteman III, 150 at Malmstrom AFB

Atlas D, 9 at Offutt AFB
Atlas F,12 at Lincoln AFB, 551st SMS

New Mexico
Atlas F, 12 in Roswell, Walker AFB, 579st SMS, 12 locations

North Dakota
Minuteman III, 150, Minot AFB
Minuteman, 150, Grand Forks AFB

New York
Atlas F, 12 in Lewis, Plattsburgh AFB, 556th SMS

Atlas F, 12 at Altus AFB, 577th SMS

South Dakota
Titan I, 9, from 1960-1965, Box Elder, Ellsworth AFB 
Minuteman, 150, Ellsworth AFB

Atlas F, 12 sites in Abilene, Dyess AFB, 578th SMS (Corinth, Anson, Nolan, Shep, Winters, Bradshaw, Lawn, Oplin, Denton, Clyde, Albany, Phantom Lake)

Titan I, 9, from 1961-1965, Moses Lake, Larson AFB, Deer Park
Atlas E, 9 sites at Fairchild AFB

Atlas D, 15 sites at  F.E. Warren AFB
Atlas E, 9 sites at F.E. Warren AFB
Minuteman, 200, F.E, Warren AFB
Minuteman III, 150, F.E. Warren AFB

Titan ISM-68HGM-25A
Titan IISM-68BLGM-25C
Minuteman ISM-80LGM-30A/BHSM-80
Minuteman IILGM-30F
Minuteman IIILGM-30G


The Pentagon is embarking on an ambitious new plan to develop and build a next generation nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. But experts question if the U.S. military really needs to spend billions of dollars on a new missile when the service’s current Minuteman III could easily be refurbished and used for decades to come.

Moreover, there are serious questions about whether the U.S. even needs a land-based ICBM—especially when the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the American taxpayer is on the hook for at least $348 billion over the ten years to pay for its range of air-, sea-, and land-based nuclear weapons.

A number of experts—including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel—have written that land-based ICBMs are only really useful against single foe: Russia. But there are other nuclear adversaries on the horizon, including China, North Korea, and even Iran. Against them, Hagel and others have written, such weapons would be largely ineffective because they would have to overfly Russian airspace.

“The Government is preparing to acquire a replacement for the MM III [Minuteman III] intercontinental ballistic missile system that replaces the entire flight system,” reads an Air Force document of posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on Jan. 23. “The new weapon system will use the existing Mk12A and Mk21 Reentry Vehicles (RV) in the single and multiple RV configurations. The remainder of the missile stack will be replaced.”

But arms control advocates say that the Pentagon is looking for something it doesn’t need. “There is no need to build a new ICBM,” Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, told The Daily Beast. “RAND did a report last year showing that the United States can maintain the ICBM leg of the [nuclear] triad [of bombers, ballistic missile submarines and land-based missiles] for decades to come by simply pursuing refurbishment,” Reif said. “That would be much cheaper.”

The counter argument is that though the Minuteman III has been refurbished many times, the older the weapon gets, the harder and more difficult it is to maintain. That means that the Pentagon would have to spend ever increasing sums of money to keep the 40-year-old Minuteman III viable. The Air Force wants to field the new ICBM “in the 2027 time frame” due to Minuteman’s rocket and guidance ageing-out and not having enough spare missiles lying around.

Yet the missiles are not quite the creaky old machines they appear to be. In recent years, the missiles’ engines, guidance systems, and other parts have been replaced.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, it costs about $2.6 billion per year to maintain the ICBM force. That sounds like alot—it is a lot—but it’s a relative pittance, compared to the cash needed to maintain the other legs of the nuclear triad. And building replacements from scratch could cost much more. Further, the Pentagon could save a lot of money by reducing the number of existing ballistic missiles. “The ICBM force is the least important leg of the triad,” Reif said.

The Air Force’s ICBM force is largely designed to be a sponge to absorb part of a massive hypothetical Cold War-style Soviet nuclear attack. “An adversary would have to fire hundreds, if not thousands, of missiles to eliminate that leg of the triad,” Reif said. The only potential adversary capable of doing so is Russia—China only has about 100 missiles that are able to hit U.S. territory.

A 2012 report co-authored by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, among others, made a similar argument, that land-based ICBMs are only useful against Russia. That is because to hit other potential targets like China, Iran and North Korea, the missiles would have to overfly Russia.

“ICBMs can only support nuclear wartime operations against Russia because current-generation ICBMs fired from the existing three bases on their minimum energy trajectories have to overfly Russia and China to reach targets in potentially adversarial third countries (e.g., Iran, North Korea), and fly dangerously close to Russia to reach Syria,” reads the 2012 Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission Report. “U.S. ICBMs would also have to overfly Russia to reach targets in China.”

Therefore, Reif noted, ICBMs are inherently inflexible weapons that are of limited utility. But getting rid of them is extremely controversial, even if they are more or less costly white elephants.

Mark Gunzinger, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and former Air Force B-52 pilot, disagreed. He told The Daily Beast that maintain a nuclear triad of bombers, missile submarines and ICBMs is necessary. “Without a land-based ICBM, we would be in a situation where an enemy would only need to strike a very small number of targets to greatly diminish our strategic deterrence posture,” he said. “We have three bases for nuclear-capable bombers and two bases for SSBNs [ballistic missile submarines]. SSBNs at sea during an unannounced, ‘bolt from the blue’ nuclear strike would be secure, but the entire boomer fleet is not at sea during peacetime.”

But even if an enemy nuclear first strike eliminated the bomber and submarine bases, there are a number of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines at sea at all times. Those submarines can carry up to 24 Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) each carrying multiple warheads. Those submarines would be able to launch a devastating counter-attack on any enemy or combination of enemies. “That would ruin anyone’s day,” Rief said.

It costs about $2.6 billion per year to maintain the ICBM force. That sounds like alot – it is a lot – but building replacements from scratch could cost much more.

The U.S. Navy is already planning on shelling out over $100 billion to develop and build a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines. While the Navy is refurbishing its fleet of Trident IIs nuclear missiles, it it, for now, deferring the construction of new ones; part of the reasoning for that is the exorbitant cost of the weapons, Reif said. The Navy is already fretting over how the bill for those submarines will impact the rest of its fleet.

Meanwhile the Air Force has embarked on a project to build a new extremely stealthy Long-Range Strike Bomber and associated Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The Air Force hopes to buy between 80 and 100 of the new nuclear-capable stealth bombers for roughly $550 million each—plus the cost of development for both the aircraft and the LRSO missile. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Department of Energy will shell out $6.8 billion to develop a new nuclear warhead for the new LRSO cruise missile.

Now, on top of the expense of building a ballistic missile submarine for $4.9 billion each—if we’re lucky—a new bomber and a new cruise missile, the Pentagon wants to buy a new ICBM, Reif said.

It’s a decision that comes as a surprise to some arms control experts. “I was very interested to see that because up to this point I was operating under the assumption that the Air Force had yet to decide how exactly they would pursue a follow-on to the Minuteman III,” Reif said.

Even the CBO—which issued a report earlier this month on the cost of maintaining America’s nuclear forces through 2024—seems to have been caught by surprise. “The department plans to operate the current Minuteman III ICBM through 2030. Although it is considering several options for fulfilling the ICBM’s mission after 2030—such as refurbishing existing missiles, developing a new missile, or both—its plans are not final,” reads the CBO report.

The CBO had anticipated that Air Force would defer developing a new missile until it had completed refurbishing its existing weapons—which would have saved some money over the long-term.

But as the Air Force document indicates, the Pentagon is already getting the ball rolling to replace its Minuteman III arsenal. But why now?

“There is a lot that must be done before the Air Force finalizes key performance parameters for a new ICBM and issues an RFP [request for proposals] to industry,” Gunzinger said. “A replacement missile will then have to be developed, tested, launched, and go through a certification process to ensure it will be safe and reliable.  This takes time.  Developing a non-nuclear major weapon system typically takes ten or more years.  This is something that we want to take the time to do right—it is about sustaining our nations strategic deterrence posture.”

Another part major reason is that defense companies need the Pentagon’s business to keep missile engineers busy. While arm-manufacturers like Lockheed Martin—which builds the Navy’s Trident D5 nuclear missile—still have the engineers to develop a new missile, they might not in a few years.

The Russians—whose industry imploded in the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union—have had all sorts of troubles building new nuclear missiles to replace their old Cold War-era hardware. Without a new project to work on, engineers and factory workers find other jobs—since people have families to feed. “It would be interesting to ask industry if the answer would still be ‘yes’ [we have the engineering talent] if a new ICBM program were delayed another ten years,” Gunzinger said.

Gunzinger admits that a new ICBM will be expensive, but said it is a necessary price to pay. “It will be expensive, but maintaining our nation’s strategic deterrence posture is worth the investment,” he said. “I would never try to evaluate the cost effectiveness of our nuclear triad from the ‘will it be used in combat’ perspective.  Rather, we should ask what is needed to ensure that it is never used and our enemies understand that a nuclear act of aggression against the United States risks a devastating response.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Truman's Decision

The grandson of former U.S. President Harry Truman is in Japan to discuss the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just ahead of the 67th anniversaries of those momentous events that ended World War II.

Clifton Truman Daniel, 55, spoke with bomb survivors as well as students at a forum in Tokyo University on Friday, making him the first relative of the president to ever attend the commemorations.

A former journalist, Daniel was invited by Japanese anti-nuclear groups.
 "The most impressive thing is that survivors and students and all of us can come together and talk, and they can share their stories," he told Agence France Presse, adding the meetings were "a good first step toward healing old wounds. We are looking at this ... as a good first step to talk and to better understand each other".

Nonetheless, Daniel defended his grandfather’s decision to drop the bombs.
"I can't second-guess my grandfather ... (but) there is no right decision in war," he said. "My grandfather always said that he made that decision to end the war quickly. That's what he believed. (He) was horrified by the destruction caused by those weapons and dedicated the rest of his presidency trying to make sure that it didn't happen again.

I hope that I can do the same, to work to hopefully rid the world of nuclear weapons.”
Up to a quarter of a million people died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Book to read by J. Samuel Walker in 1997, Prompt And Utter Destruction Truman And The Use Of Atomic Bombs Against Japan

ROOM 307, UC Berkeley Gilman

Plutonium got its creation here-- and there goes the boom...

Plutonium was created (invented) not discovered.

In 1942, the Berkeley campus became quite involved in the war effort of World War II. The top floor, or "attic," of Gilman Hall was fenced off for classified work in nuclear chemistry. Half of the rooms in the attic had small balconies that could be used as outdoor hoods, but the actual hoods in Gilman Hall were not equipped with fans.

They operated only as chimneys, with a burner flame that produced a draft. For the war work, electrically powered fans were finally installed to vent the hoods.

Plutonium research in Gilman Hall was part of the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.

In 1942, Glenn Seaborg left Berkeley to join the Manhattan Project in Chicago. He returned to Berkeley after the war and directed the university's nuclear chemistry research.

On November 3, 2013 Huntington, WV newspaper brought to light that the Wall Street Journal did a story on the radioactive material surrounding these towns.

A series of articles on America’s  forgotten nuclear legacy has been published in the Wall Street Journal, which , incidentally, first revealed scrutiny of the Social Security disability scheme that allegedly involved a Kentucky attorney and a WV administrative law judge.
The Journal compilation covered over 500 sites in the online database. Cole Street and Altizer Avenue is listed as the location for the facility that utilized nuclear materials.
Specifically, the Journal citing a Report on Residual Radioactive and Beryllium Contamination at Atomic Weapons Employer Facilities and Beryllium Vendor Facilities places the undesignated  Reduction Pilot Plant (a.k.a. Huntington Pilot Plant) in a gray area: “The designation does not mean a health threat exists. It merely means that based on the evidence, a threat (to public health) cannot be ruled out.”

Inconclusive?  Yes, other facilities with the SAME non-listing gray determinations are: Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Savannah River Swamp, and the Mound Laboratory (Miamisburg, Ohio). Similarly, these locations were “considered but eliminated” from the DOE’s Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.

The Journal compilation places the Huntington Alloys, Inc. (formerly International Nickel Company, now Special Metals) in the category despite previously referenced documents from 1981, 1987, and 1994 that based on available evidence at that time, the location was deemed remediated following the removal of the structure and its 1978-1979 burial on the grounds of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. http://projects.wsj.com/waste-lands/site/390-reduction-pilot-plant/

Where has radioactive residue been found?  Thirty six states  have contaminated locations ranging from floors and ceilings of public buildings, hiking trails, vacant lots, and groundwater. The WSJ noted that medical studies have not pinpointed an “exact” relationship to low-level radiation and cancer. But many former workers at the sites have been or are asking for federal compensation for illness, including cancer.
As the forgotten sites article begins, the reporters point to a small room in UC Berkeley Gilman Hall (Room 307) where plutonium was isolated prior to the nation’s entrance into World War II. The university had to rip out an adjacent room in 1957 and 25 years later a dozen rooms were found contaminated.

“We will never know” the exposure levels before the 80s cleanup, reported Carolyn MacKenzie , the UC Berkeley radiation safety officer.

Although federal officials maintain “adequate measures to protect the public health and that the sites do not pose a threat to anyone living or working nearby,” but the WSJ Investigation raises record tracking issues, even at sites that underwent expensive cleanups.
  • At least 20 sites initially declared SAFE have required additional cleanups, sometimes more than once;
  • The government does not have exact addresses for dozens of facilities, including one uranium handling facility for which the state of its location cannot be determined;
  • Spotty record keeping from Department of Energy documentation has left “several dozen sites” where it cannot be decided “whether a cleanup is needed or not.”
Four million people live within a mile of the 300 “forgotten” sites.  260 public schools and 600 public parks are within a half mile, the WSJ stated.
The Department of Energy wrote, in part, to the WSJ about residual radioactive contamination.

“Cleanup does not imply that all hazards will be removed from a given site,” the WSJ reported.  On some sites the federal government imposed “institutional controls,” restricting use of the properties for “centuries , or , in some cases, millennia.”
For instance, two dismantled nuclear reactors used in World War II were dumped and buried in a ditch. Radioactive tritium turned up in ground water in Cook County, and concrete rubble and pipes were exposed in the 1990s. Erosion from bicycle trail use has elevated radiation levels.

Winter visitors to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County walk past oak and maple trees. But, James Phillips, a biologist, told the Journal, that visitors have stated snow does not gather in that plot. That’s  been relegated to  urban legend status. There’s a similar statement about radioactive heat at the former Huntington site, too.  http://projects.wsj.com/waste-lands/

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Affects on Children downwind

Gravestones of Robin Bush, and will be George and Barbara Bush
Last year I went to the George Bush Library in College Station, TX and quickly (less than an hour before closing) walked through reading his life.  A must do if you are into US history at all.  After exiting we walked around the pond and up a trail through the woods.  There we saw what will be the final resting sites of Barbara and George Bush, but next to them was Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush's Gravesite who died at a few months from her fourth birthday.  I remember hearing about another daughter before, but never knew the details.  Tears filled my eyes and I could not speak, since I thought that was so sweet that they had moved her here to be next to them.

Why is this relevant to the nuclear explosions?

Robin died quickly from Leukemia in 1953 while living in Midland, TX (east of the Trinity Bomb site and southeast of multiple bomb tests in Nevada).   Is there a correlation?  Is there an unbias research institute or party who has actively sought out this data?  Positive or negative?

Did Bush ever see a connection because he was so instrumental as VP and President in setting forth the START treaty with Russia to remove nuclear weapons?
On 17 September 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced that the United States would eliminate its entire, worldwide inventory of ground-launched tactical nuclear weapons and would remove tactical nuclear weapons from all U.S. Navy surface ships, attack submarines, and land-based naval aircraft base.
Robin's body was donated to science to try and prevent this from happening to another child.   So the gravestone was given as a memorial for Robin after her death and recently moved to College Station from Connecticut.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bikini Island meets the Fashion World

"July 1, 1946 - US begins a nuclear weapons testing programme called Operation Crossroads on Bikini Atoll (with Able).  Chief Juda of Bikini agrees to evacuate the 167 islanders to Rongerik Atoll, 125 miles east of Bikini Atoll, on the understanding that they will be able to return once the tests are over."

So what happened to those 167 islanders, because they could never go back after that after five nuclear bombs from 1946-1948...?  (34 are still alive, 123 have died), moved from Rongerik Atoll to Kili Island.  In fact the first 2 were  "copies of the plutonium-implosion Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki."  Since these 2 bombs were nicknamed with women's names (Gilda and Helen), then it seems only fair that we show the aftermath of what some men have created.

Five days later Louis RĂ©ard changed women's fashion with the first Bikini swimsuit with fabric showing newspaper accounts of the bombs worn Micheline Bernardini, a french ecdysiast.  I hope that we could reproduce the pattern on fabric to remember what had happened.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fort Worth Paper covers the Atomic Soldiers' stories- Oct 9, 2011

New Article comes out in the Fort Worth Star-Telegraph.

Marine Veteran is free to tell the story of America's nuclear test subjects.

James D. Tyler stuffed cotton balls into his ears and waited for the announcement.

He was kneeling at the bottom of a 6-foot-deep ditch, bearing every piece of his combat gear, too young at 18 to even consider that this might be the end of his life. If it was going to be, he wouldn't be alone. No one in Company F had any better odds.

Except that Tyler, then a grunt in 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, would not go over the ditch into the teeth of the enemy.

He and everyone else knew their orders -- hug the side of the ditch, close your eyes, put your face in the crook of your arm. Do not raise your head, under any circumstances.

"It was just before dawn," said Tyler, 72, of Burleson. "We assumed that the people in charge knew what they were doing."

The countdown began, and then everything went blindingly white.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Atomic veterans' stories in the newspaper and other media sources

  1. one soldier's story 1953
  2. Atomic Veterans' Family comments
  3. Did the Government Let Its Veterans Die by Thomas D. Segel, 12-8-2005
  4. Never forget the lessons of Yesterday for the sake of tomorrow By Vincent Guarisco, 2-24-2009
  5. Listen to Joel Healy, US soldier who saw over 20 explosions in 1957, StoryCorps, 6-26-2015
  1. Doctor Gaskin's story as Army cook
  2. Experimental animals by International Alliance Of Atomic Veterans
  3. Vince Van Sickle' story
  4. Atomic Veterans by Charles Clark and congressman Neil Abercrombie 2009
  5. Folding Paper Cranes of Leonard "Red" Bird, 2005
  6. Atomic Mom by M.T. Silvia, 2009
  1. Local atomic soldiers honored By ROY GRABER, 10-1-2009
  2. Atomic Veterans' struggle for recognition continues, despite some successes, Belinda Larsen 6-19-09
  3. Nuclear blasts toll lingers for one man "Darrell Robertson" 6-11-2009
  4. There were four beautiful mushroom clouds a week. Telegraph 2006
  5. August 31, 1957 44-kiloton atomic bomb, code name Smoky, exposed 3,224 soldiers to radiation.
  6. Atomic Veteran slowly gets recognition in Canada 2009
  7. The shared sins of Soviet and U.S. nuclear testing by Hugh Gusterson 2009
  8. Kansas Road Sign Honor's Nation's Atomic Vets 2009
  9. Atomic vet recalls 1946 bomb test, Atomic veterans still keep secrets, Knoxville News, Sept. 2008 
  10. Memories of blast giver Brower concern for future, Joe Miller 2007
  11. 'What the hell is this thing?' by Dave Pugliese , The Ottawa Citizen, 11-08-2007
  12.  Atomic soldier Ray Buell's story By Laura Tode 2003
Commanding officers told them not to worry about the readings from the badges -- that anything under 500 milliroentgens an hour wouldn't pose a risk. But when Buell and the other soldiers took a closer look at the units they realized that 500 was the maximum reading possible, that the Film Badges couldn't have measured anything outside of what the Army called safe.
   13.  Segment 3 (Atomic Soldiers)

   14. Russ Dann and the book the Atomic Soldiers 1999

   15. Vet's Site Chronicles Deadly 'Atomic Duty' by Steve Silberman 1997

   16. Ill veterans who had radiation exposure now caught in bureaucratic web by Mark Reutter 4-3-96

   17. Legal Fallout LA Times, Aug. 1, 1994

   18. Atomic Veterans Group Criticizes VA Handling of Medical Claims Toledo Blade, Feb 8, 1982

  1. Atomic Soldier, American Victims of Nuclear Experiments by Howard L. Rosenberg 1980 
  2. Fallout: An American Nuclear Tragedy by Philip L. Fradkin 1989
  3.  Under the cloud: the decades of nuclear testing by Richard Lee Miller 1986 (republished 1991)
  4. Bombs in the backyard: atomic testing and American politics By A. Costandina Titus 1986
  5. Atomic vets battle time. (veterans exposed to atomic radiation in experiments), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Mary Manning Jan 1995
  6. Killing our Own The Disaster of America's Experience with Atomic Radiation by Harvey Wasserman & Norman Solomon 1982 
  7. The Doomsday Scencario by L. Douglas Keeney 2002 
  8. Mortality of Veteran Participants in the Crossroads nuclear test 1996, Operation Crossroad (1946)
40,000 US navy personnel participated.
From then until the test ban treaty in 1963, the Department of Defense and earlier agencies conducted 235 nuclear detonations, involving at least 210,000 military participants—dubbed atomic veterans—in 19 test series
   9. Metal of Dishonor, National Security' Kept Atomic Veterans' Suffering a Secret (excerpt)
Of the hundreds of thousands of Atomic Veterans exposed to radiation by the military, at most 455 have received compensation.

Pat Broudy: This article will cover the uses of depleted uranium before and during the Gulf War, the exposures of military and civilian personnel and the resultant coverup of the records of the "Atomic Veterans" exposed to ionizing radiation during the Cold War, as well as the expectation of the same treatment of the Gulf War veterans.

Separation of the slow-neutron-fissionable uranium 235 (U-235) isotope from the major isotope, uranium 238 (U-238), was necessary to build the uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, and other gun-type uranium weapons. Natural uranium is almost 99.3 percent U-238 and only about 0.7 percent U-235. To obtain a few kilograms of U-235 leaves more than a ton of U-238 and remaining U-235 waste.

DU-waste removal discussed 1957: What to do with about a billion pounds of DU waste was discussed in meetings as early as 1957. One of the earliest uses of DU was as a substitute for U-235 in the test firings of the Hiroshima gun-type weapons at Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1945.

A more important early use was as the "tamping" material between the high explosives and plutonium core of implosion bombs, such as the first Fat Man bomb design used at Alamogordo, New Mexico; Nagasaki, Japan; and twice at Operation CROSSROADS. A large mass of U-238 acted both to hold the core together until it could fission more efficiently and to reflect neutrons back into the core for more fissions. The plutonium core of Fat Man was only the size of a grapefruit, but the U-238 tamper and explosive lens surrounding it increased the bomb diameter to five feet.

In addition, about 20 percent of the Fat Man TNT-equivalent explosive yield of twenty-one thousand tons was from fast-neutron fission of U-238, because large quantities of fast neutrons are produced in a fission explosion.

This capability of U-238 to fast fission led to its use in thermonuclear bombs to create more explosive yield. The reaction became fission of a small trigger fission bomb to create the heat and pressure for fusion of hydrogen-containing components, then fission of U-238 by fast neutrons produced in copious amounts by both the fission trigger and fusion reaction.

A negative aspect was production of large amounts of fission products in the fission-fusion-fission reaction from the large amount of DU employed to enhance total explosive yield significantly compared to the large fusion yield. This greatly increased fission product inventory was essentially the opposite of the "clean bomb" development intent.

Resultant heavy fallout from tests such as Shot Bravo, during 1954 in the Pacific, caused beta burns and overexposure of Japanese working on the "Lucky Dragon" fishing boat, Americans on Navy ships caught in the fallout, Marshall Islanders exposed on Rongelap Island, as well as American military personnel on Rongerik Island.

Besides nuclear bomb munitions, other military uses were found for DU. Armor-piercing shells made of DU or with DU claddings were developed as well as hardening of armor with DU cladding. Burn tests of DU munitions alone, as well as DU munitions in shipping containers, in lightly armored Bradley fighting vehicles, and turrets and hulls of Abrams tanks, were conducted at the Nevada Test Site to determine hazards. These uses were prevalent in the Gulf War, the cause of "friendly fire" deaths and injuries.
10. Invisible Enemies of Atomic Veterans by John D. Bankston
as a young Marine served proudly for six and one half years in the USMC, serving twice in the 2nd Marine Division and once in the First Marine Division. He served two years during WWII in the South Pacific and in the Occupation of Japan in the cities of Nagasaki, Sasebo, and Fukuoka during the first 2nd Marine Division tour of duty. During his tenure with the First Marine Division he served on the island of Guam in the South Pacific and as a China Marine; in his third tour of duty he served with the 2nd Marine Division for the second time during the Korean Era.

PREFACE: After suffering with indescribable horrifying health conditions from exposure to ionizing radiation for 57 years, I was driven to expose the effects of this illness and to show what a total displeasure it has been to go through life while suffering by degrees from such a horrible sickness. And because America's Atomic War Veterans in general have been living with ionized radiation exposure, some of which are suffering more than others and because many thousands gave their lives to Atomic radiation, I decided to share my personal experience in the form of a book.

The bulk of the text of this book is committed to memory and recalling conversations with comrades that I served with in World War II and afterward. Some additional knowledge that I gained was from various sources of information showing the dangers of being exposed to radiation and other chemicals. The history of the Second Marine Division and the battles they fought are portrayed in historical archives, and Second Marine Division books.

Primarily, it is my desire to express how discomforting life can be when exposed to deadly chemicals and the hardships brought upon the families of those who suffer from this exposure. Additionally, this is being written to show that most of us served willingly when called upon to protect our country, performing our assigned tasks with pride and honor, only to be forsaken by our own government who foolishly ignored our pleas for help when we were suffering from Atomic fallout. We at that time were not aware of our invisible enemies.

Atomic Veterans are the ones referred to as the ones that glow in the dark and we are the ones who seek no special favor-simply justice. We are the ones who received little or nothing for our injuries and sacrifices while serving our country. A scant few received very little for horrid infirmities inflicted voluntarily by our invisible enemies. Our invisible enemies put us in an inhumane category with obvious approval by the White House and other high level Governmental bodies working against all principles of civilization, casting their devious immoralities on America's military. It cannot be overstated that it is time for these wrongs to be righted with acknowledgements and compensation for our suffering every second of our lives without justification. Also, there is a need for special legislation to prevent these atrocious acts from ever happening again. Every person who had any responsibilities or assisted in any way in keeping secret the dangers of ionizing radiation from Atomic Veterans should be made accountable publicly. By not exposing those responsible will further erode confidence in our Government and our leaders. It cannot be argued against that to have a strong nation the public must be informed.

I sincerely wish it to be understood that I still love my nation as strongly as always. However, I highly disagree with some of the foolish decisions interjected by the shortsighted disingenuous American leaders who approved researchers' requests for human torture in the testing of what the long term effect radiation exposure would have on those who were exposed.

EPILOGUE: Wars not only cause physical damage to humans and structural loss, but they are destructive environmentally to all natural resources from the outer regions of the Universe down to the infauna that burrow in the substrates of the ocean's floor. I fully understand wars are necessary when your sovereignty is in jeopardy or your homeland is attacked without provocation. The masses are the ones who contribute most in sacrificing for the world-shaking inane leaders who are always embellished with elaborative additions in time of peace and war. When nations are gifted with intelligent leaders they find an alternative to those devastating and ruinous wars if at all possible. The world was created for all species to have independent existence. Ravishing wars are disruptive to families of the innocent. President Franklin Roosevelt once said war begets war.

Preparation for war is exhausting, expensive and arduously severe, switching many of a country's resources and manufacturing for normalcy into fighting equipment for the military causing displacement of need and discomfort of all others, which results in nothing but waste. This includes causing a separation of family and friends.

Injuries and early deaths are inevitable in all wars. The infirmities we incurred from the atomic fallout were never given attention. To my knowledge the Atomic Veterans of WWII are the largest group to suffer invisible wounds after making intolerable sacrifices for their country only to be left stranded without any attempt to be rescued. During our initial extensive training we were taught that it is a Cardinal sin to leave a comrade stranded without exhausting every ounce of energy and all known sources in attempting his or her rescue. Atomic Veterans are contributing heavily to the more than one thousand deaths each day in conjunction with WWII Veterans. A dire need for complete restitution and justice for Atomic Veterans has been overdue for almost 58 years. The atomic legacy must continue until complete justice is served.

After almost 58 years of suffering from exposure to ionizing radiation I have never heard an Atomic Veteran speak anything but good about his country. It is the leaders of the land we are discontented with by letting our families suffer along with us. Another horrifying fact is that many of us suffering from Atomic radiation fallout have genetically transferred this wicked disease to our offspring and the horror of it was compounded by the iniquitous act by our Government who allowed the deep dark secret regarding radiation exposure to be kept from us.