Archive for June, 2010

Crossroads – Monte Bello’s inspiration

June 24, 2010

From the US Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to President Clinton (ACHRE, or HRex, available via US DOE Opennet, this version from George Washington University National Security Archives)

DISCLAIMER

The following is a staff memorandum or other working document
prepared for the members of the Advisory Committee on Human
Radiation Experiments. It should not be construed as representing
the final conclusions of fact or interpretation of the issues.
All staff memoranda are subject to revision based on further
information and analysis. For conclusions and recommendations of
the Advisory Committee, readers are advised to consult the Final
Report to be published in 1995.

STAFF MEMORANDUM

TO: Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

FROM: Advisory Committee Staff

DATE: June 28, 1994

RE: Historical Background on Radiological Warfare and Human
Experiments

Military research in the area of Radiological Warfare was one
possible motive behind human radiation experiments. Many, if not
most of the human experiments being studied by the staff had more
than one purpose, as so-called dual-use experiments. It is possible,
though not yet proven, that some of the human experiments were
primarily inspired by military interest in RW. It is certain that
the majority of the intentional releases described in the November
1993 GAO report were directly related to RW research. The purpose of
this memorandum is to provide some brief historical background on RW
and its possible relation to human radiation experiments.

Interest in RW began with the Manhattan Project also known as
“Manhattan Engineer District” or “MED” in 1942. That year, when the
National Academy of Sciences assessed the potential military value of
atomic energy, RW was ranked first in importance, above the
less-certain prospect of a fission bomb. When the Medical Division
of the MED was established in spring 1943, research on the offensive
and defensive uses of radiological agents was included in its
charter. One early result of this interest was the so-called Compton
Report of summer 1943, “Radiation as a War Weapon,” a version of
which was included in the previous Briefing Book. The idea at that
time was to spread fission products from a nuclear reactor upon the
ground as a crude “area denial” weapon. Another idea, entertained
briefly in 1943 by Robert Oppenheimer and Berkeley physicians Joseph
Hamilton and Robert Stone, two of those subsequently involved in the
plutonium injection story, was to put a radiological agent like
strontium in the enemy’s food and water supply. (See Hamilton’s
report to Groves of May 1943, “Review of Possible Applications of
Fission Products in Offensive Warfare.” )

By early 1944, when it was believed likely that the atomic
bomb would work, Army interest in RW shifted to a defensive program,
code named “Operation Peppermint, ” which centered upon the possible
threat of German use of RW agents against the Allied invasion of
Europe. After June 1944, when it became clear that the German atomic
program posed no threat, interest in RW began to decline.

However, interest revived in summer 1946, when results of the
“Baker” test at Bikini, a 20-kiloton atomic bomb set off underwater
as part of “Operation Crossroads,” alarmed and excited those
interested in RW, as related in a recent book by Jonathan Weisgal.
Unexpectedly, “Baker” proved to be a radiological nightmare: the
contamination problem was much worse than the Navy had anticipated,
both for ships and for people. Shortly after “Baker,” the Joint
Chiefs completed a secret study pointing out the offensive potential
of an atomic bomb set off underwater in a port city. The study
emphasized that, in addition to the highly-radioactive “base surge”
from the weapon, the radioactive mist from the explosion would travel
far inland and kill many people. Accordingly, after “Baker,” RW
experienced a renaissance; the interest this time, however, was in
radioactive aerosols. Joseph Hamilton’s December 1946 report on RW,
which urged Nichols to establish a civilian advisory board on RW “of
men trained in the medical and biological sciences,” is attached as
Document #1.

In December 1947, Hamilton and Stafford Warren drew up a
proposed list of civilian scientists to serve on such an RW panel.
Hamilton’s list included many of those who had been involved in
earlier human radiation experiments, and is attached as Document #2.
In March 1948, an RW Study Group in Biology and Medicine, the “McLean
Panel,” was created under the auspices of the AEC’s Division of
Biology and Medicine, with several of those on Hamilton’s list as
members. Two months later, a joint DOD-AEC civilian advisory group
on RW, the “Noyes Panel,” was also established. The Noyes Panel met
six times during the next two years and ultimately concluded that RW
faced the same problems as gas warfare–RW agents were dispersed
unpredictably by the wind; RW was too expensive for the results
obtained, etc. Nonetheless, the Army Chemical Corps between 1948 and
1952 conducted a total of six aerosol RW experiments in the Utah
desert near Dugway. Two additional small-scale RW tests, involving
radio-lanthanum, were carried out at Oak Ridge in 1948. Documents
concerning the Oak Ridge tests are included in the “intentional
releases” section of the current Briefing Book.

The Dugway and Oak Ridge intentional releases are detailed in
the November 1993 GAO report, which was included in the first
Briefing Book. The Dugway RW tests involved the aerial release of
more than 100,000 curies of two radiological agents–tantalum and
protoactinium–in aerosol munitions. Hamilton headed the Army panel
that had responsibility for overseeing the safety of the Dugway
tests. There is no evidence to date that human subjects were
involved in the Dugway tests.

In June 1950, with the outbreak of the Korean war, there was
a sudden resurgence of interest in RW. Following the Chinese entry
into the war, in December 1950, the Army considered using chemical,
biological, or RW weapons against the enemy. One idea reportedly
discussed by General MacArthur at this time was sowing a band of
radioactive cesium across Manchuria as a kind of “cordon sanitaire”
against the Chinese advance. In April 1951, Truman instead
authorized the use of nine nuclear weapons against targets in
Manchuria in the belief that the Chinese, and possibly the Russians,
were planning a new offensive. With the exception of a brief revival
of interest in RW in spring 1952, interest in RW once again dwindled
as the fortunes of war improved in Korea. The war ended in July
1953; the same month funding for the Army’s RW program was
essentially cut off.

Since the mid-1950s, it appears that the military’s interest
in RW has been almost exclusively upon understanding radiation’s
effect upon the body, and defensive measures.
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet4/brief4.gfr/tab_o/br4o5.txt

Nuke Vet questions in Parliament

June 16, 2010

Thanks to Ric from ANVA for this:

Nuclear Veterans

Question | Senator Scott Ludlam (greens)

Friday 14th May 2010, 6:51pm

in Nuclear Issues

Senator LUDLAM (2.24 pm – My question is to the Minister for Defence representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

While the amount of compensation allocated in the budget is clearly insufficient, the Greens join others in welcoming the long overdue recognition of severe health impacts on Australian Defence personnel who were exposed to ionising radiation from nuclear tests.

Beyond the compensation measures announced in the budget, veterans are also calling for full comprehensive health care in particular at a gold card standard. Is the government considering this and is the government aware of those calls?

Will you consider payment of compensation as a lump sum, as is occurring overseas in other countries’ compensation for nuclear veterans? In particular, with the evidence of genetic effects of nuclear tests on children and grandchildren-the families and children of nuclear veterans-what will the government do for the second and third generations affected by their parents’ or grandparents’ exposure to this radiation?

Senator FAULKNER – I thank Senator Ludlam for his question. I will try and deal with those areas of the question that I have some knowledge of.

First, as Senator Ludlam mentioned, in this week’s budget there is a measure of some $24 million for veterans who suffered as a result of the British nuclear tests that occurred between 1952 and 1963 at Maralinga, Emu Field and the Montebello Islands. It is important to say that this represents the delivery of the commitment that the government made prior to the 2007 election to review the recommendations of the Clarke report which were made in 2003. That recommendation of the Clarke report proposed that the ADF involvement in those tests should be declared non-warlike hazardous and, hence, veterans be compensated accordingly. As you point out, there has been a longstanding view that those recommendations should be acted upon. It was a public review and the outcome of the processes for the British nuclear test veterans was a decision to implement the Clarke recommendations.

The government acted on and accepted the recommendations. You made the point about lump sum compensation. It is true that some veterans are now arguing for a different form of compensation. My understanding, as a former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, is that there is an issue in relation to the incapacity of lump sum compensation under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act, but I will check that for you. As you might be aware, the previous government undertook studies that provided white cards for healthcare support only for the treatment of cancer. There was no compensation and no wider health support beyond cancer. (Time expired)

Senator LUDLAM- Thank you, Minister, for that. I recognise I asked the question in a number of parts. I wonder whether I can ask you to take on notice the specific matters that I raised about the gold card standard health care, lump sum compensation for veterans and, in particular, the important issue of compensating second- and third-generation victims because ionising radiation-whether from weapons tests, uranium mining or waste dumping-can affect the children of people exposed to the initial radiation.

On that issue, I particularly seek your advice on notice. Mr President, I have a supplementary question. What is the government doing and what does the government plan to do to address the current situation regarding the health effects- (Time expired)

Senator FAULKNER – This is an important issue. In the spirit of trying to provide some information, where I am able to advise Senator Ludlam I will respond to the issues
he has raised in his supplementary question. My recollection as a former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is, as I said, that the Veterans’ Entitlement Act does not provide for or have the capacity for any lump sum compensation. This of course was an issue when I was veterans’ affairs minister back a very long time ago in 1993. I am more than happy to put to the minister those other substantive questions in relation to the children of veterans. I have to be frank with you and say that I am not aware of any budget measure that goes to that issue. I am aware that the government has implemented the Clarke report recommendation. (Time expired)

Senator LUDLAM – Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. I believe the minister is correct, that there is no budget measure in this year’s budget for the children of veterans. My supplementary question relates to the situation regarding the health effects still being endured by Aboriginal people who were also exposed to the British atomic weapons tests in Australia and who of course have received no compensation whatsoever. Has the Australian government made representations to the UK government regarding the current case before the United Kingdom High Court where the Ministry of Defence is appealing the case of the Aboriginal victims of weapons tests and the veterans affected by the British nuclear testing? Has the government made representations in this matter?

(Time expired)
Senator FAULKNER-I will need to check with the minister about representations. I can say frankly that I am not aware of any. I am aware from, again, some 17 years ago, that £20 million was paid by the government of the United Kingdom for the clean-up of Maralinga. Some senators would be aware of that. I know veterans have said that this was for individual
compensation-perhaps there was a debate about site clean-up. Beyond that, I do not have any information as to whether that specific issue that you raise has been progressed. I am very doubtful that it has. I am only saying that because I am not aware of it. What I will do in this circumstance is raise that specific issue with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Also, if there is anything that he can add on the other elements, I am more than happy to provide that to you as soon as I am able.

FURTHER RESPONSE TO QUESTION FROM SENATOR LUDLAM RE VETERANS OF BRITISH NUCLEAR TESTS (BNT)

The Budget measure provides access to the compensation provisions of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) for ex-defence force participants of the British Nuclear Tests (BNT) in the 1950s and 1960s. This was the action sought by relevant veterans groups and re commended by the Clarke Review of Veterans’ Entitlements. This means access to disability pensions, war widow/ers pensions for their widow/ers and associated health care where they meet the requirements of the VEA. There is no automatic access to the Gold Card for BNT participants. However, if they become eligible for a disability pension of a rate equal to or greater than 100% of the General Rate they will receive a Gold Card. Widow/ers of BNT participants who become eligible for a war widow/er’s pension will receive a Gold Card.

The ex-defence force and former Commonwealth government employees who participated in the nuclear tests have always had access to the compensation provisions of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and its predecessor legislation. The Government has accepted the Clarke Report recommendation to provide access to the VEA compensation for ex-defence force BNT participants under the more generous “reasonable hypothesis” standard of proof. The VEA does not have provisions for lump sum payments.

The Australian Government is not a party to current private legal proceedings in the United Kingdom on BNT compensation. A Cancer Incidence and Mortality Study and a Dosimetry Study were released in 2006. The studies found no association between radiation exposure and the increased rates of cancer for this group. Given this finding and other international research, the expert advice available to the Government is that there is no linkage between any radiation exposure associated with BNT participants and health problems suffered by their children or grandchildren.

Five indigenous participants were paid a total of $0.2m in compensation in 1989 under an administrative scheme providing compensation based on the provisions of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). This SRCA-like administered scheme remains open to civilians, including indigenous people and pastoralists, and claims are handled by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. A total of $238,000 has been paid to six claimants under the SRCA-like scheme.

In 1991, the Australian Government settled a further 18 claims for trespass and injury of indigenous persons living in northern South Australia (SA) at the time of the nuclear tests conducted at Maralinga and Emu Field, SA. These claims were settled in full. The total amount of these claims was $618,000. The claimants were identified during the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia (1984- 1985) by a team of lawyers, scientists and historians advising indigenous groups during the Royal Commission.

Nuclear Veterans Update – Mil. & Civilian.

June 9, 2010

Nuclear Veteran Update

This information is complex. Please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure your possible entitlements are explained to you.

The Australian Nuclear Veterans Association (ANVA) website is under reconstruction. The old site was destroyed when Telstra changed its terms of service and increased fees to an unaffordable level.

The new site can be found at http://www.sandersonsite.com/anva/

Ric Johnstone, Founder and National President can be contacted as follows:

Australian Nuclear Veterans Assoc.
P.O. Box 6201 West Gosford 2250
NSW Australia.
E-Mail nucvet@bigpond.net.au
Fax. (02) 4322-0776

The Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association A.C.T. Inc does not have a website.
However the Association’s National Secretary, Mr Terry Toon, can be contacted by email at atomicex2@bigpond.com.au or telephone: 07 3355 9308

This association publishes a quarterly magazine entitled “Atomic Fallout”. The current issue of this long running publication contains a supplementary sheet that explains the recent extension of DVA Health Benefits, pensions and compensation claim access to nuclear veterans.

The Association states:
Due to the recent changes, over 55% of the Association’s membership will benefit from access to improved health care benefits.

Nuclear Veterans who claim compensation for conditions related to their nuclear test duty can now do so under the provisions of the Veterans Entitlement Act. Widows of nuclear veterans whose death was related to nuclear test duty can now also claim under this Act.

Such claims under the Act will be considered under the “more generous “reasonable hypothesis” standard of proof.”

Nuclear Veterans no longer have to fight in court against the Commonwealth in order to prove that their illnesses are caused by their nuclear test duties.

Widows of deceased nuclear veterans may can apply to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the Gold Card if they do not already have one.

I understand that for these purposes a widow of a nuclear veteran who has since remarried may still be considered as a widow of the veteran for these purposes.
So it will be advisable to check your entitlement with Department of Veteran Affairs before assuming anything about your entitlements. Some people may be eligible even though the person might assume they are not.

People wishing to claim these new benefits may approach the Associations for assistance. The Department of Veterans Affairs will also of course supply and assist with forms.

Civilian employees are also included in
the information below:

The Department of Veterans Affairs website at
http://www.dva.gov.au/health_and_wellbeing/health_programs/nuctest/Pages/index.aspx

contains further information. On this web page click on “Fact sheets” under the “Quicklinks” heading.

Once at the “Facts” page
http://factsheets.dva.gov.au/factsheets/
click on “Numeric Index”

Once at the Index, click on the drop down box and select “DP83 British Nuclear Test”. There are options for opening either a pdf or html version of this fact sheet.

The text of this Factsheet is as follows:

British Nuclear Test Service – Maralinga, Emu Field and Montebello Islands

SUBJECT TO LEGISLATION

Overview

This Factsheet provides information to ex-service personnel and other participants who were involved in the nuclear tests at Maralinga, Emu Field and Montebello Islands between 1952 and 1965 about avenues of compensation that may be available to them. This also covers information on Australian Federal or Commonwealth Police Officers who patrolled the test area at Maralinga after the test period.

Background about the nuclear tests

During the 1950s and 1960s the British Government conducted tests of nuclear weapons at Maralinga and Emu Field in South Australia and on the Montebello Islands in Western Australia.

Is an ex-service person who was involved in these tests entitled to repatriation benefits in respect of this service?

Yes, subject to the passing of legislative amendments to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). Once legislation is passed, this will provide benefits to ex‑members of the Defence Force who participated in the British Nuclear Tests (BNT). British Nuclear Test service will be included in Part IV of the VEA. BNT participants are also able to continue to apply under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for compensable conditions related to their service.

The usual compensation offsetting provisions apply if a British Nuclear Test participant is eligible for compensation under both the VEA and the SRCA, see:

· DP82: Disability Pension and Compensation Offsetting.


Who is a British Nuclear Test Participant under the VEA?

Subject to the passing of legislation, persons who were members of the Australia Defence Force at the time and were persons who:

· were in a nuclear test area any time during:

o 3 October 1952 to 19 June 1958 for Monte Bello Islands area;

o 15 October 1953 to 25 October 1955 for the Emu Field area;

o 27 September 1956 to 30 April 1965 for the Maralinga area; or

· were involved in the transport recovery, maintenance or cleaning of a vessel, vehicle, aircraft or equipment that was contaminated as a result of its use in a nuclear test area, being involvement that occurred at any time during:

o 3 October 1952 to 19 July 1956 for Monte Bello Islands area;

o 15 October 1953 to 25 November 1953 for the Emu Field area;

o 27 September 1956 to 30 May 1963 for the Maralinga area; or

· at any time during the period 3 October 1952 to 31 October 1957 the person flew in an aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force or the Royal Air Force and the aircraft was for the use of measuring fallout from nuclear tests and was contaminated by that fallout.

What compensation is available?

Subject to the passing of legislation, former members of the Defence Force with any condition which is accepted under the VEA as being related to their participation in the British Nuclear Tests program in Australia, will be eligible for compensation and health care benefits under the VEA. War widow/ers of former ADF participants whose death is accepted under the VEA as related to their BNT service will also be eligible. Claims will be determined under the more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ standard of proof. For more information about compensation under the VEA see Factsheets:

· DP01: Overview of Disability Pensions and Allowances;

· DP60: War widow’s and Orphan’s Pension; and

· HSV61: Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card).

Australian Public Service British Nuclear Test participants, Commonwealth Police and military personnel who were injured or suffered loss as a result of their participation in the British Nuclear Tests program will continue to have access to compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). DVA is responsible for administering claims for compensation and rehabilitation under the SRCA and the Defence Act 1903 for members and former members of the Australian Defence Force.

Civilian British Nuclear Test Participants continue to be covered by the SRCA-like scheme administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. This scheme is similar to the SRCA and interested people should call the DEEWR switchboard on 13 33 97 and ask to be transferred through to the Safety and Compensation Policy Branch.

British Nuclear Test Participants Non-Liability Health Care Scheme

All British Nuclear Test participants, whether military, public servants or civilians are eligible for health treatment (white card) for the testing and treatment of any malignant cancer (neoplasia) only. For further information on the treatment available under a white card, see Factsheet:

· HSV61: Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card).

In most cases, ex members of the Defence Force will now be covered under the VEA instead of the non-liability health care scheme for treatment of any malignant cancer (neoplasia). This is subject to the passage of legislation.

The definition of a participant for the purposes of the non-liability health care scheme is broader than for eligibility under the VEA and also includes Australian Federal or Commonwealth Police Officers who were present in the Maralinga test area between 1 May 1965 and 30 June 1988.

Oral advice

While we make every effort to ensure that you are given accurate information, it is important that you seek written confirmation of oral information or advice before making any major decisions based on that information.

We continually strive to improve the level of service you receive and make this request as an added safeguard for you.

Other Factsheets

Other Factsheets related to this topic include:

· DP07 Military Service;

· DP15: Defence Service;

· DP01: Overview of Disability Pensions and Allowances;

· DP60: War widow’s and Orphan’s Pension;

· HSV61: Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card); and

· DP82: Disability Pension and Compensation Offsetting.

More information

All DVA Factsheets are available from DVA offices, and on the DVA website at http://www.dva.gov.au.

You can phone DVA for the cost* of a local call on 133 254 or free call 1800 555 254 if you are outside a major city. The British Nuclear Test hotline number is 1800 044 029.

Note: *Use a normal landline phone if you can. Mobile phone calls may cost you more. Local call rates vary depending on your telephone service provider.

You can send an email to DVA at: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

You can also get more help from any DVA office.

End quote

This information was downloaded from the DVA website on 9 June 2010.

The National Secretary of the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association, Terry Toon points out the the strange and prima facie unjust situation where members of the Australian Military who were engaged at nuclear tests are covered in the new provisions for service:
“3 October 1952 to 19 June 1958 for Monte Bello Islands area;

o 15 October 1953 to 25 October 1955 for the Emu Field area;

o 27 September 1956 to 30 April 1965 for the Maralinga area; or

· were involved in the transport recovery, maintenance or cleaning of a vessel, vehicle, aircraft or equipment that was contaminated as a result of its use in a nuclear test area, being involvement that occurred at any time during:

o 3 October 1952 to 19 July 1956 for Monte Bello Islands area;

o 15 October 1953 to 25 November 1953 for the Emu Field area;

o 27 September 1956 to 30 May 1963 for the Maralinga area; or

· at any time during the period 3 October 1952 to 31 October 1957 the person flew in an aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force or the Royal Air Force and the aircraft was for the use of measuring fallout from nuclear tests and was contaminated by that fallout.”

Latest date of coverage being 30 April 1965.

However, the coverage for Commonwealth Police who saw duty at nuclear test sites extends to 30 June 1988.

This is incongruent as military units visited Maralinga and Emu Field into the 1970s for monitoring purposes. Further, military personnel continued to be engaged at Maralinga until 21 December 1967, RAAF crews continued to be engaged with contaminated stores, vehicles, aircraft etc at Amberley, Edinburgh and Pearce for years after 1965. Naval crews aboard the HMAS Diamantina, HMAS Moresby and HMAS Derwent were exposed to contaminated environments after the 1965 date. Monitoring visits to the Monte Bello Islands by RAN crews continued until the 1970s.

Military nuclear veterans are apparently subject to an arbitary and premature cut off date, and justice demands a new cut off date of 30 June 1988.

It is odd that former South Australian Premier John Bannon might technically be eligible for benefits due to his visit in the 1980s to Maralinga, while military personnel who monitored the contamination there in the 1970s are not.

(Not withstanding, in my opinion, the fact that Mr. Bannon was surprised, as were ARPANSA staff with him, at the contamination present at the site, even though the military had, in my opinion, monitored that radiation and reported it to the Federal Government from the 1950s onward through the 1970’s. Odd how decades of data was apparently “lost”.)

P. Langley
Former RAEME, Radiac, 1971-1973.

There’s a few things at least for Seantors Nick X and Bob Brown to ask about in the Senate.

DIMONA

June 4, 2010

In May 1942 Ernest Lawrence reported in a memo to the National Academy of Sciences that Element 94 (Plutonium) had been studied at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. Lawrence reported that the natural uranium chain reaction could be used to produce plutonium in a reactor.

This meant:
1. Common uranium 238 could be used without isotope separation to power reactors
2. The reactors used to make plutonium could be very small.
3. As plutonium could be used as the fuel for an atomic bomb, a second route to the bomb had opened. One which was free of the complication of the slow, expensive and difficult task of uranium isotope separation

(Smyth Report, 4.24 – 4.28
(“Atomic Energy for Military Purposes” (The Smyth Report)
The Official Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb Under the Auspices of the United States Government
By Henry De Wolf Smyth)
http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/SmythReport/

On 2 December 1942 the Chicago Uranium Pile achieved a self sustained chain reaction. The experiment was carried out under the direction of Fermi, assisted by Zinn and Anderson.

The aim of the reactor pile was to establish that a chain reaction could occur in natural uranium, chiefly U 238, so as to produce plutonium for use in an atomic bomb
(Smyth, 6.29 – 6.32)

“In January of 1943, the Manhattan Project got under way at Hanford, Oak Ridge in Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. Hanford was chosen as the site where they would make plutonium, a deadly byproduct of the nuclear reaction process and main ingredient of the atomic bomb.

Just 13 months later, Hanford’s first reactor went online.”
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa102497.htm

the sole purpose of the first reactors -Handord and Oak Ridge – was to make plutonium, created as a result of the fission of uranium in a reactor.

Here is Nagasaki City’s official account of the next set in the construction of the modern military industrial complex:

“At 11.02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, the sky above Nagasaki was filled by a white flash, and all the clocks stopped. A gigantic mushroom-shaped cloud soared up towards the blue sky. What’s going on? What’s happened to everyone? Even now the debris of the magnificent collapsed cathedral, torn clothes and melted bottles silently tell a story. We will continue to relay a message of peace from Nagasaki, a message passed on by the survivors, who overcome great difficulties.
In the hope that the people of the world can join hands and face a future free of nuclear weapons.”
http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/peace/index_e.html

The environmental cost of the Hanford reactor and associated bomb making facility as operated from WW2 through the Cold War, is briefly described:
“During its defense production years, the Hanford Site was under strict military security and never subject to outside oversight. Due to improper disposal methods, like dumping 440 billion gallons of radioactive liquid directly onto the ground, Hanford’s 650 square miles is still considered one of the most toxic places on earth. ”
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa102497.htm

Under General Groves and then the Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear reactors spread out across America. This was justified in the name of cheap electricity, reactor produced radio-isotopes used in medicine and industry and research.

But throughout the period since 1945, America’s nuclear stockpile grew, aided by the production of plutonium from its reactors.

More and more more nations followed in America’s footsteps. The means of rapidly producing nuclear weapons lies at the heart of nuclear reactors throughout the world.

In the West, these reactors are commonly located near civilian areas.

In 1961 US President gave the following address:
Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040

My fellow Americans:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.

My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

II.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

III.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology — global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle — with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage — balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

IV.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

* and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

V.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

VI.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war — as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years — I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

VII.

So — in this my last good night to you as your President — I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I — my fellow citizens — need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation’s great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love. ”
http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html

Israel and the Cold War

Israel was created by UN mandate in 1948:
“Israel was created in 1948, after UN Resolution 181 partitioned the territory of the British Mandate for Palestine into two states for Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The Arabs objected to the creation of the Jewish state and fought a war against it. The Arab side lost the war, and the Palestinian state never really came into being. The territory allotted to the Palestinian state by the UN partition resolution was taken over by Israel and Jordan. About 780,000 Palestinians became refugees.”
http://www.mideastweb.org/misrael.htm

The refugee problem persists to this day. Entire generations of families have been born into and died within a situation of statelessness, poverty, and control by foreign powers.

The nations who voted for the creation of the state of Israel seem to me to bear a special responsibility for the resolution of conflict and the imposition of the rule of civil law and equal rights throughout the Occupied and Blockaded Territories.

Nations who voted for the creation of the State of Israel are:
In favour: 33

Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian S.S.R., Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukrainian S.S.R., Union of South Africa, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Uruguay, Venezuela.
(UN resolution 181,
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

Throughout much of the period of modern Israel’s existence a Cold War raged between the Western and Soviet Blocs. Though initially given minimal military support, Israel came to be heavily supported by Western powers.

Many Arab states were supplied and supported by the USSR. The conflicts between Israel and the Arab States thus came to be fought within the context of East – West rivalry. Western criticism of Israel was oftern performed in secret for the sake of National Security in this Cold War setting. This was especially true for events of 1967 and 1973

Conflicts Between Israel and its Nieghbours

The War of Independence (1947-49)
The Sinai Campaign of 1956 (Operation Kadesh)
The Six-Day War (June 1967)
The War of Attrition (1968-70)
The Yom Kippur War (October 1973)
Operation Peace for Galilee (1982)
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Modern+History/Centenary+of+Zionism/The+Arab-Israeli+Wars.htm
The Israeli Foreign Ministry does not list the recent excursions into Gaza or wars within Lebanon. It does not list the Intifadas.

Israel sought and obtained the ultimate deterrent. The Dimona nuclear reactor enabled Israel to develop its own nuclear weapons. It has developed its own means of delivering these weapons.


Dimona Revealed
Israel started the construction work at the Dimona site sometimes in early 1958, but it took the United States intelligence community almost three long years to “discover” the site for what it was, namely, a nuclear site under construction. The final “proof” was a testimony came from a human source, Professor Henry Gomberg of the University of Michigan, a nuclear physicist who visited Israel as a consultant to the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). In his conversations with Israeli officials and scientists he came to the conclusion that Israel was engaged in a vast classified nuclear project, in addition to the Soreq peaceful project. ……….On December 7, 1960, an action on the matter was taken. The State Department summoned Israeli Ambassador and asked Israel for explanation. For the first time Dimona was placed on the table. ” (George Washington University, “Dimona Revealed”,
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/israel/documents/reveal/index.html

The discovery of the French assisted Israeli nuclear program by the US and consternation the US expressed in private to the Israelis may have led to two acts of aggression toward the US by Israel.

1. The sinking of the USS Liberty in inernational waters on June 8, 1967. 34 US sailors lost their lives in the air and sea attack. The survivors were sworn to secrecy for 40 years.
http://www.gtr5.com/

2. The firing upon a US SR 71 aircraft which detected the arming of Israeli nuclear missiles in conduct of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“The war began on Oct. 6, the holiest day of the Jewish year, and it was clear to almost all that Israel stood to win, even though at first it didn’t look that way. Egypt’s Second and Third Armies crossed the Suez Canal into the Sinai and Syria attacked the Golan Heights. On Oct. 8, when the Syrian threat grew severe, Defense Minister Moshe Dyan received approval from Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir for Israel to arm 13 of its Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.

The work went on feverishly for three days and six hours, and when the arming was discovered on Oct. 11 by a U.S. SR-71, which detected the radiation, the Israeli air force ordered the plane to be shot down. But according to former CIA analyst and Middle East expert Russell Warren Howe, the U.S. aircraft escaped. ”
http://www.rense.com/general30/down.htm

The USSR began shipping theatre nuclear weapons to Egypt in aid of the encircled Egyptian Army and there was at the time a serious threat of limited nuclear exchanges in the MIddle East.

Intense negotiations between the USA, USSR, Israel and the involved Arab states prevented this.

The Federation of American Scientists records that:
“The actual size and composition of Israel’s nuclear stockpile is uncertain and the subject of many – often conflicting – estimates and reports. It is widely reported that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel’s first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War. It is also reported that, fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs.”
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/

“The problem of Israel’s nuclear capability is of grave concern it seems to the USA. The problem may have been the rigger for attack that cost the lives of US sailors engaged in electronic intel work aboard USS Liberty in 1967. The problem also caused an Israeli attack against a US aircraft in 1973.

Further, the Soviet response to the events of 1973 caused the United States to place it’s forces on high alert. Any use of Soviet nuclear weapons of any kind, no matter how limited, would result in US retaliation.

“On 25 October U.S. forces went on Defense Condition (DEFCON) III alert status, as possible intervention by the Soviet Union was feared. On 26 October, CINCSAC and CINCONAD reverted to normal DEFCON status. On 31 October USEUCOM (less the Sixth Fleet) went off DEFCON III status. The Sixth Fleet resumed its normal DEFCON status on 17 November 1973.”
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/defcon.htm

This prompted Leonid Brezhnev to threaten, on 24 October, to airlift Soviet troops to reinforce the Egyptians. Pres. Nixon’s response was to bring the US to world-wide nuclear alert the next day, whereupon Israel went to nuclear alert a second time (according to Hersh, Burrows and Windrem do not recognize this alert). This sudden crisis quickly faded as PM Meir agreed to a ceasefire, relieving the pressure on the Egyptians.”

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Israel/Isrhist.html

The presence of Israeli nuclear weapons has not deterred attacks. They may have caused Israel however to twice attack US forces.

Kissinger later stated that Nixon raised the alert level merely for PR purposes. For the troops involved around the world, the alert was real.

Is Dimona another Hanford?

Like Hanford, Dimona is operated in secret and has a primary role of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Like the authorities at Hanford, Dimona authorities have issued statement regarding safety at the facility. They deny any contamination has ever occurred. Unlike Handford, there has been no reassementi of these assurances. Such reassessments found Hanford to be in fact “one of the most polluted places on the planet.”

Military secrecy and radiological safety razrely go together:

TEXT OF LETTER OF 24 APRIL 1996 FROM THE PRESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SAUDI ARABIA TO THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
Dear Sir,
On behalf of the Arab States Members of the Agency and members of the Board, I wish to express the concern felt by the Arab Governments and peoples at the news and reports concerning the potential danger of leakage of nuclear radiation at the Israeli Dimona
reactor and the hazards of storage and burial of atomic waste in the area of the reactor, for they feel that the continued existence of the nuclear reactor without any real knowledge about the extent of its safety and also the nuclear waste burial sites in the area pose a threat to security, life and the environment.
The following are among the factors that increase the intensity of this concern:
1. Persistence of news and reports, including reports from Israeli sources, about
radiation leakage at the reactor and the nuclear waste burial sites in the area
of the reactor;
2. The reactor is old and has reached the end of its assumed lifetime;
3. The region is subject to earthquakes and earth tremors;
4. Monitoring of radiation leakage into groundwater across the borders will
require a long time before such leakage is detected in the neighbouring States,
making it technically difficult to determine, on the basis of measurements
performed outside Israel’s borders, that there was no accident which might
have devastating consequences in the future.

page 2
The continuation of Israeli nuclear activities outside international control does not
provide the least assurance about the nuclear safety of these activities, and there is no doubt that any nuclear accident in Israel will have transboundary effects and give rise to hazards beyond its borders. For this reason, it is necessary that there should be at least a minimum of transparency in the Israeli nuclear activities and that Israel should become a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to a safeguards agreement with the Agency.

It is therefore requested that necessary steps be taken on your part to inform the
Agency’s Member States of the extent of the concern felt by the Arab region as a result of these activities. The Agency is also requested to make contacts with a view to carrying out the necessary technical studies to measure the radiation level at the site of the Dimona reactor and in its neighbourhood and at the nuclear waste burial sites in the area in an endeavour to prevent the potential hazards of nuclear radiation leakage, and to submit a report thereon to
the Board

In this connection, I should like to point out that the potential danger from any
nuclear accident would extend beyond the region. The Chernobyl accident and its consequences certainly continue to be a source of concern to the world and illustrate the real importance of nuclear safety.

In view of the urgency and importance of this matter, we hope that necessary steps will be taken without delay, and at the same time we request you to circulate this letter to the Member States of the Agency as an official document.
With kind regards,
(signed) Essa Al-Nowaiser
Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps and
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
GC(40)/6/Add.1
Attachment 3
page 1
TEXT OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPLY TO THE COMMUNICATION
FROM THE RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SAUDI ARABIA
TO THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
Excellency,
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 24 April 1996
concerning the Israeli Dimona Reactor. As requested, your letter has been circulated for the information of Member States (INFCIRC/507, 8 May 1996).
As you are aware, the IAEA has been endeavouring to establish internationally
binding legal norms in the field of nuclear safety. The Nuclear Safety Convention relevant to nuclear power reactors has recently been concluded and it is hoped that it will enter into force sometime this year. A Convention on the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste is under active preparation by an international technical and legal group of experts from the
Agency’s Member States. At present the Agency’s role is limited to providing advisory services, facilitating exchange of information and developing safety standards. These standards, which are recommendatory in nature, are not, however, legally binding upon the Member States.

It follows that, unless requested and authorized by a Member State, the
Agency has no legal authority to make radiological measurements within a State or intervene, even in cases of nuclear accidents except with regard to an Agency project.

The Agency has been entrusted with certain responsibilities under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident. Under the terms of that Convention, Parties to the Convention are obliged to inform the IAEA and potentially affected States, either directly or through the Agency, of a possible or actual transboundary radioactive release that could be of radiological safety significance.

No such notification has been received from Israel, as Party to the Early Notification Convention, relating to the Dimona Research Reactor.

In view of media reports brought to our attention on a leak from the reactor, the
Agency on 4 April 1996 approached the competent authorities in Israel to ask them to comment on these reports. As a consequence of that enquiry, the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission informed the Agency on 12 April 1996 that “The Ministry of the Environment [of Israel] monitors the air, water and ground outside the perimeter of the Nuclear Research Centre Negev (NRCN) and to this day no radioactive leakage endangering the population has been detected. NRCN monitoring inside its perimeter ensures the same results” and that “the
radioactive waste at the NRCN does not endanger the population, the environment and water sources. All the waste is stored safely according to the strictest international criteria and is constantly monitored. No contamination was ever detected”.

Please accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.
(signed) Hans Blix
Director General
IAEA
http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC40/GC40Documents/English/gc40-6-add1_en.pdf

http://www.haaretz.com/news/state-says-dimona-reactor-is-safe-mks-call-for-investigation-1.55291

State says Dimona reactor is safe; MKs call for investigation
By Gideon Alon, Zafrir Rinat and Ha’aretz Correspondents 2002

The Director of the Ministry, Yitzhak Goren, noted that in 1993-1994, the Minister for the Environment at the time, Yossi Sarid, visited the small crater in the Negev to investigate the issue of radioactive materials. The inspection was carried out with a team of experts from the Weizmann Institute and with the presence of the media.

During the past four years a group of some 50 former workers at the complex are involved in a legal struggle to recognize their suffering of cancer as being the result of their exposure to radioactive emissions at the site.

In a report published five years ago by Hebrew University researchers, during the decades between 1960-1980 there were problems with safety at the complex and in some cases leaks of radiation did occur. The report also states that the conditions improved during the 1980s. Professor Uzi Even from Tel Aviv University says that a big concern revolves around the conditions in which radioactive waste is being stored.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/at-the-dimona-nuclear-reactor-employees-no-longer-drink-uranium-1.261433

* Published 01:14 14.01.10
* Latest update 10:57 14.01.10

At the Dimona nuclear reactor, employees no longer drink uranium
Special committee of inquiry reprimands researchers who carried out medical experiments on employees.
By Yossi Melman Tags: Dimona Israel news

Last August, Haaretz revealed that workers at the Dimona nuclear reactor had been required to participate in an experiment in which they drank a certain quantity of uranium mixed with juice. Following the publication of that report, Dr. Shaul Horev, the director general of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is in charge of the reactor, appointed a special committee of inquiry to look into the matter.

The committee submitted its findings a week ago to the AEC management. These findings include a recommendation that new and clear procedures stipulating when and how it is permissible to carry out medical experiments on workers be established.