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Nuclear bombing of Japanese cities was not needed to end World War 2

text-historyThe Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives. True Activist.com  August 6, 2015 by True Activist Atomic Weapons Were Not Needed to End the War or Save Lives. By Washington’s Blog / globalresearch.ca

Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives.

But most of the top American military officials at the time said otherwise.

The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey group, assigned by President Truman to study the air attacks on Japan, produced a report in July of 1946 that concluded (52-56):

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

General (and later president) Dwight Eisenhower – then Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces, and the officer who created most of America’s WWII military plans for Europe and Japan – said:

The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.

Newsweek, 11/11/63, Ike on Ike

Eisenhower also noted (pg. 380):……….

Why Were Bombs Dropped on Populated Cities Without Military Value?

Even military officers who favored use of nuclear weapons mainly favored using them on unpopulated areas or Japanese military targets … not cities.

For example, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy Lewis Strauss proposed to Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal that a non-lethal demonstration of atomic weapons would be enough to convince the Japanese to surrender … and the Navy Secretary agreed (pg. 145, 325):……..

The Real Explanation?

History.com notes:

In the years since the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a number of historians have suggested that the weapons had a two-pronged objective …. It has been suggested that the second objective was to demonstrate the new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union. By August 1945, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had deteriorated badly. The Potsdam Conference between U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Russian leader Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill (before being replaced by Clement Attlee) ended just four days before the bombing of Hiroshima. The meeting was marked by recriminations and suspicion between the Americans and Soviets. Russian armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe. Truman and many of his advisers hoped that the U.S. atomic monopoly might offer diplomatic leverage with the Soviets. In this fashion, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan can be seen as the first shot of the Cold War.

New Scientist reported in 2005:……….http://www.trueactivist.com/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/

August 19, 2015 Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America and Churchill planned huge pre emptive nuclear strike on USSR

atomic-bomb-lUnthinkable as it may seem, Churchill’s plan literally won the hearts and minds of US policy makers and military officials.

These “first-strike” plans developed by the Pentagon were aimed at destroying the USSR without any damage to the United States.

The 1949 Dropshot plan envisaged that the US would attack Soviet Russia and drop at least 300 nuclear bombs and 20,000 tons of conventional bombs on 200 targets in 100 urban areas, including Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg)

the Kennedy administration introduced significant changes to the plan, insisting that the US military should avoid targeting Soviet cities and had to focus on the rival’s nuclear forces alone.

 

text-historyPost WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike, Sputnik News. Ekaterina Blinova. 15 Aug 15,  Was the US deterrence military doctrine aimed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era really “defensive” and who actually started the nuclear arms race paranoia?

 Just weeks after the Second World War was over and Nazi Germany defeated Soviet Russia’s allies, the United States and Great Britain hastened to develop military plans aimed at dismantling the USSR and wiping out its cities with a massive nuclear strike.

Interestingly enough, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had ordered the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff to develop a strategy targeting the USSR months before the end of the Second World War. The first edition of the plan was prepared on May 22, 1945. In accordance with the plan the invasion of Russia-held Europe by the Allied forces was scheduled on July 1, 1945.

Winston Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable The plan, dubbed Operation Unthinkable, stated that its primary goal was “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though ‘the will’ of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment.” Continue reading

August 17, 2015 Posted by | history, Reference, UK, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The effects of radiation have haunted the lives of atomic bomb survivors.

The A-bombs fell / Specter of radiation lingers on  , Japan News, , August 04, 2015, August 04, 2015 The Yomiuri ShimbunThis is the second installment in a series. “……….When hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) need treatment due to malignant tumors, leukemia, cardiac infarcts and other ailments, they may be officially recognized as having radiation sickness. This entitles them to a special monthly medical allowance of about ¥140,000, which is provided by the government apart from medical costs.

However, there are certain requirements for receiving the allowance, such as how far they were from Ground Zero when they were exposed. There were a total of 183,519 holders of special hibakusha health-care certificates for the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as of the end of March, but only 4.8 percent of them, or 8,749, were recognized as having radiation sickness………..

Poverty and discrimination

The effects of radiation have haunted the lives of atomic bomb survivors.

Hiroshima baby

“Just as I expected.” So thought a 72-year-old woman in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, when she was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma at a hospital nine years ago.

Her older brother and sister, both hibakusha, died from cancer after the war. The woman was the youngest of seven siblings, a boy and six girls. She experienced the bombing when she was 2 years old, in Ushita-Honmachi, now Higashi Ward, in the city of Hiroshima, about 2.5 kilometers from the blast center.

Looking for her brother and sisters, she entered the central area of the city while being carried by her mother for several days.

Her mother died eight months later, probably as a result of that exposure, while her father also died from a disease. The woman was adopted by another family, but three years later, her brother, who was also exposed to the Hiroshima bombing and had reached the age of 17, took her back……..

The woman was recognized as having radiation sickness in 2009. However, a neighbor told her, “You’re lucky to be a recipient” of the special monthly medical allowance. These words were very painful and in May this year, she refused to accept the money.

She wants people to know about her suffering but does not want them to know that she is hibakusha. This spring, a shadow was also found in her pancreas.

“My family was devastated, and I suffered from poverty and discrimination. My life is bound to the atomic bomb. I want to be freed from this,” she said in a trembling voice http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002331263

 

August 5, 2015 Posted by | history, Japan, radiation, social effects | Leave a comment

Nuclear bombing of Japanese cities the”opening salvo of the Cold War”

Hiroshima survivor Keiko Ogura wants people to come and see for themselves.

 “Some people in the world still do not understand the cruelty of nuclear weapons, and that they are absolute evil. This surprises me. I want them to come to Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” she said.

text-historyhistorians like Dr Kinston said the bombs were also about sending a message to the Soviets.

“We have this incredible new weapon, we have a monopoly on it and we are going to emerge as the strongest superpower. In a sense, this was the opening salvo of the Cold War,” he said.

Hiroshima atomic bombing did not lead to Japanese surrender, historians argue nearing 70th anniversary http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-05/hiroshima-bombing-did-not-lead-japanese-surrender-anniversary/6672616 By North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney The world changed forever when a US bomber dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima 70 years ago.

The Americans said they took the drastic step to put an early end to World War II and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of US soldiers, but this official narrative is now being overturned.

On August 6, 1945 the world’s first atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima, wiping out the city centre and killing about 140,000 people by the years’ end.

Keiko Ogura was eight-years-old at the time and only 2.4 kilometres from the hypocentre.

She remembers being engulfed in flames.

“A flash of light and the blast slammed me to the ground and I lost consciousness,” she said.

“I woke up, it was dark and everyone was crying.”

Keiko said the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and another at Nagasaki three days later, which killed 70,000 more, were war crimes.

Many historians say the bombings did not lead to the Japanese surrender, and the Soviet declaration of war on Japan two days later was a bigger shock.

It put an end to any hope the Soviets would negotiate a favourable surrender for Japan. Continue reading

August 5, 2015 Posted by | history, Japan, USA | Leave a comment

Harrowing account of the survivors of Nagasaki nuclear bombing

book Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War

What made things worse for Japanese doctors who tried to ease the suffering of atom-bomb victims is that information about the bomb and its effects was censored by the American administration occupying Japan

It was bad enough for the Americans to have killed so many people, and then hide the gruesome facts for many years after the war. To forget about the massacre now would be an added insult to the victims. Southard has helped to make sure that this will not happen yet.

 

‘Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War,’ by Susan Southard, NYT,  By IAN BURUMAJULY 28, 2015 “………..Susan Southard’s harrowing descriptions give us some idea of what it must have been like for people who were unlucky enough not to be killed instantly: “A woman who covered her eyes from the flash lowered her hands to find that the skin of her face had melted into her palms”; “Hundreds of field workers and others staggered by, moaning and crying. Some were missing body parts, and others were so badly burned that even though they were naked, Yoshida couldn’t tell if they were men or women. He saw one person whose eyeballs hung down his face, the sockets empty.”

Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, which had developed the atom bomb, testified before the United States Senate that death from high-dose radiation was “without undue suffering,” and indeed “a very pleasant way to die.”

Many survivors died later, always very unpleasantly, of radiation sickness. Their hair would fall out, they would be covered in purple spots, their skin would rot. And those who survived the first wave of sickness after the war had a much higher than average chance of dying of leukemia or other cancers even decades later.  Continue reading

July 29, 2015 Posted by | history, resources - print | Leave a comment

70th anniversary of the start of the nuclear age

The nuclear age turns 70 today, Ars Technica On July 16th 1945, the US tested the world’s first atomic bomb. by Jonathan M. Gitlin – Jul 17, 2015 Seventy years ago this morning, the world fully entered the nuclear age with the detonation of the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The bomb was the product of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret research program tasked with developing a bomb more powerful than any that had come before. The test, called Trinity, happened at 5:30am local time and yielded an explosion equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT (20kT).

Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist chosen to lead the bomb’s development, greeted the appearance of a second sun over the desert of New Mexico with a quote from a Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Trinity was the first human-made nuclear explosion on Earth, but far from the last. …….

Growing worries about the harmful effects of radioactive fallout drove nuclear tests underground in 1963 with the passage of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and in 1996 most of the world signed onto the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (while the US signed the latter, it has never been ratified by the Senate).http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/the-nuclear-age-turns-70-today/

July 18, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history | Leave a comment

Address the wobbly words of the nuclear lobby with reason and science!

wobbly   

Radiophobia

damchodronma, 11 July 15    Address each one with reason and science ! “Radiophobia” plants, insects, animals and people… radiophobia is propaganda… all species have the same response… they fall apart from the atomic level on up.

“The evidence from the Chernobyl affected territories reveals the real-world consequences of a simple and terrible new discovery: that the effects of low dose internal irradiation cause subtle changes in the genome that result in an increase in the general mutation rate. … first seen in cells in the laboratory. The Chernobyl evidence, shows that this seems to be true for all species, for plants and animals and humans. It has profound implications that go beyond radiation protection and risk models.

“Krysanov …find that mice living in the high irradiation zone, 22 generations after the initial exposure, are MORE radiosensitive than mice living in lower exposure areas. The same effect is reported for plants by Grodzhinsky who wryly points out that plants cannot exhibit the ‘radiophobia’ that many of the Chernobyl effects have been blamed on. This flies in the face of current ideas about genetic selection.

“The effects of genomic instability are apparent in the evidence of massive harm to the organs and systems of living text ionisingcreatures at low doses of internal exposure, resulting in a kind of radiation ageing associated with random mutations in all cells….

“WHOLE BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS COLLAPSE; at the cell level, at the tissue level and at the population level. Burlakova and Nazarov describe these subtle effects at lower doses of internal irradiation in laboratory cell systems and also people, Grodzhinsky shows the effects in plants, – higher for internal exposures than external, Krysanov shows the effects in wild animals and Yablokov and the Nesterenkos in the children and adults living and continuing to live in the contaminated territories. The effects clearly operate at what are presently thought to be vanishingly low doses.”

“ECRR Chernobyl: 20 Years On” (2006) pg 2
ECRR = European Committee on Radiation Risk
Dr. Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary wrote Introduction.
co-edited with Dr. Alexey Yablokov
http://life-upgrade.com/DATA/chernobylebook.pdf
Spanish http://ciaramc.org/ciar/boletines/cr_bol226.htm

July 12, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, spinbuster | Leave a comment

How the West brought about the Ukraine crisis, and what to do about it

highly-recommendedWhy the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin MULTUM NON MULTA By John J. Mearsheimer , 19 June 15 According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.

But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West…………….
The West’s final tool for peeling Kiev away from Moscow has been its efforts to spread Western values and promote democracy in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, a plan that often entails funding pro-Western individuals and organizations. Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, estimated in December 2013 that the United States had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves.” As part of that effort, the U.S. government has bankrolled the National Endowment for Democracy. The nonprofit foundation has funded more than 60 projects aimed at promoting civil society in Ukraine, and the NED’s president, Carl Gershman, has called that country “the biggest prize.” After Yanukovych won Ukraine’s presidential election in February 2010, the NED decided he was undermining its goals, and so it stepped up its efforts to support the opposition and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions……..
CREATING A CRISIS
Imagine the American outrage if China built an impressive military alliance and tried to include Canada and Mexico….

The West’s triple package of policies — NATO enlargement, EU expansion, and democracy promotion — added fuel to a fire waiting to ignite……….

There is a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, however — although it would require the West to think about the country in a fundamentally new way. The United States and its allies should abandon their plan to westernize Ukraine and instead aim to make it a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia, akin to Austria’s position during the Cold War. Western leaders should acknowledge that Ukraine matters so much to Putin that they cannot support an anti-Russian regime there. This would not mean that a future Ukrainian government would have to be pro-Russian or anti-NATO. On the contrary, the goal should be a sovereign Ukraine that falls in neither the Russian nor the Western camp.

To achieve this end, the United States and its allies should publicly rule out NATO’s expansion into both Georgia and Ukraine. The West should also help fashion an economic rescue plan for Ukraine funded jointly by the EU, the International Monetary Fund, Russia, and the United States — a proposal that Moscow should welcome, given its interest in having a prosperous and stable Ukraine on its western flank. And the West should considerably limit its social-engineering efforts inside Ukraine. It is time to put an end to Western support for another Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, U.S. and European leaders should encourage Ukraine to respect minority rights, especially the language rights of its Russian speakers.

Some may argue that changing policy toward Ukraine at this late date would seriously damage U.S. credibility around the world. There would undoubtedly be certain costs, but the costs of continuing a misguided strategy would be much greater. Furthermore, other countries are likely to respect a state that learns from its mistakes and ultimately devises a policy that deals effectively with the problem at hand. That option is clearly open to the United States…….

The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process — a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win. http://multumnonmulta.blogspot.com.au/

June 20, 2015 Posted by | history, politics international, Reference | Leave a comment

Washington was contaminated with radiation in 1949 secret Air Force experiment

text ionisingThe Secret 1949 Radiation Experiment That Contaminated Washington, Gizmodo, 3 June 15  Sarah Zhang The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in New Mexico, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation.

Today, Hanford is the most contaminated radioactive site in America—the site of a massive (and troubled) cleanup effort. Radioactive material is still accidentally leaking into the ground. Though Hanford’s plants routinely released small doses of radioactive material into the air, most of this damage came from an event in 1949 called Green Run.

Green Run was a secret Air Force experiment that released Hanford’s largest single dose of radioactive iodine-131. On the night of December 2, 1949, at the behest of the military, scientists at Hanford let 7,000 to 12,000 curies of iodine-131 into the air, where it rode the wind as far as 200 miles. For a sense of scale, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident released an estimated 15 to 24 curies of iodine-131 and the Chernobyl accident 35 million to 49 million curies.

The Green Run stayed secret until the 1980s, when it was revealed by Freedom of Information Act requests from local newspapers. The military details are still classified. More than half a century later, suspicion and controversy continue to lurk around Green Run, especially among the residents who lived downwind of Hanford.

There’s still much that we don’t know about the Green Run, but here is what we do.

Hanford, Factory and Farm …….Hanford was always more than a production facility; it was also a research complex. Up to 1,000 animals were housed on a farm near reactor F for experiments on the effects of radiation. The animals included fish, dogs, pigs, sheep, and even alligators. Sheep, especially, were given feed with iodine-131, the same radioactive material that the reactors were discharging into the air…….http://gizmodo.com/the-secret-1949-radiation-experiment-that-contaminated-1707748721

June 4, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Nazi radiation experiments on humans

Nazi Human Experimentation NMR’s Blog  29 May 2015 Nazi human experimentation was medical experimentation on large numbers of people by the German Nazi regime in its concentration camps during World War II. At Auschwitz, under the direction of Dr. Eduard Wirths, selected inmates were subjected to various experiments which were supposedly designed to help German military personnel in combat situations, to aid in the recovery of military personnel that had been injured, and to advance the racial ideology backed by the Third Reich.After the war, these crimes were tried at what became known as the Doctors’ Trial, and revulsion at the abuses perpetrated led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics…………..

Sterilization experiments
From about March 1941 to about January 1945, sterilization experiments were conducted at Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and other places by Dr. Carl Clauberg.The purpose of these experiments was to develop a method of sterilization which would be suitable for sterilizing millions of people with a minimum of time and effort. These experiments were conducted by means of X-ray, surgery and various drugs. Thousands of victims were sterilized.
Aside from its experimentation, the Nazi government sterilized around 400,000 individuals as part of its compulsory sterilization program.Intravenous injections of solutions speculated to contain iodine and silver nitrate were successful, but had unwanted side effects such as vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and cervical cancer.
Therefore, radiation treatment became the favored choice of sterilization. Specific amounts of exposure to radiation destroyed a person’s ability to produce ova or sperm. The radiation was administered through deception. Prisoners were brought into a room and asked to complete forms, which took two to three minutes. In this time, the radiation treatment was administered and, unknown to the prisoners, they were rendered completely sterile. Many suffered severe radiation burns……..
Aftermath
Many of the subjects died as a result of the experiments conducted by the Nazis, while many others were murdered after the tests were completed or to study the effect post mortem.Those who survived were often left mutilated, suffering permanent disability, weakened bodies, and mental duress.On August 19, 1947, the doctors captured by Allied forces were put on trial in USA vs. Karl Brandt et al., which is commonly known as the Doctors’ Trial. At the trial, several of the doctors argued in their defense that there was no international law regarding medical experimentation………
Eventually, the minister for religious, educational, and medical affairs issued a directive stating that medical interventions other than for diagnosis, healing, and immunization were excluded under all circumstances if “the human subject was a minor or not competent for other reasons” or if the subject had not given his or her “unambiguous consent” after a “proper explanation of the possible negative consequences” of the intervention. However, this was not legally binding.
In response, Drs. Leo Alexander and Andrew Conway Ivy drafted a ten point memorandum entitled Permissible Medical Experiment that went on to be known as the Nuremberg Code.The code calls for such standards as voluntary consent of patients, avoidance of unnecessary pain and suffering, and that there must be a belief that the experimentation will not end in death or disability.However, the Code was not cited in any of the findings against the defendants and never made it into either German or American medical law. http://neethumreji.blogspot.com.au/

May 30, 2015 Posted by | Germany, history, radiation | 1 Comment

When a B-52 crashed due to turbulence – carrying 2 nuclear bombs!

the weapons are found. Not entirely safe, but “…relatively intact…” according to the Air Force. It’s a scary sounding moderation to describe radioactive A-bombs lying around in the woods of the Eastern U.S. unattended.

[Read also: On this day in 1968 a B-52 crashed in Greenland with 4 hydrogen bombs]

exclamation- The nuclear nightmare of Savage Mountain: when a B-52 crashed due to turbulence. With two nukes, The Aviationist, Jan 15 2015 By Tom Demerly

This is true. And it’s terrifying. It reads like an Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy thriller. But it’s real. Continue reading

January 16, 2015 Posted by | history, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How radioactive paint contaminated workers

Pappy’s Undark Girls Ghost Stories 2012 – 2014 by Lost Dutchman Ghost“…….The Radium Luminous Material Corporation used radium from carnotite ore to make luminous paint, which was sold under the brand name ‘Undark‘.  The paint was used on military watches and compasses.  Plant workers were told the product was safe and encouraged to handle the substance with their hands and mouth.  When the girls went to the clubs after work, the paint was blazon on their lips and shone brightly in the darkness.  They were very popular, but their looks could kill.

After several workers became ill with radioactive poisoning, plant workers (Grace Fryer and four others) sued for damages.  A media sensation surrounded the case of the Undark Girls.  It established several legal precedents and triggered the enactment of regulations governing labor safety standards; in addition to the historic reference of ‘provable suffering’.

Several of the plant workers died before the litigation was complete.  The company enacted safety procedures and the illness ceased.  Even after death, the bodies of the victims were so contaminated that radiation can still be detected at their grave sites, using a Geiger counter…….http://lostdutchmanghosthunters.blogspot.com.au/

January 10, 2015 Posted by | history, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

The world’s first lump of plutonium – lost and found

How The First Lump Of Plutonium Made On Earth Got Lost http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/01/how-the-first-lump-of-plutonium-made-on-earth-got-lost/ finally found it again — thankfullybefore it got thrown out as radioactive waste.

This precious lump of plutonium dates back to 1941. Plutonium doesn’t exist naturally on Earth, except in trace amounts. So to study plutonium, scientists first had to make it. Berkeley physicist Glenn Seaborg got access to a newly built cyclotron, where he and his collaborators bombarded uranium with neutrons. The material then decays into the new element of plutonium.

After a year, they had enough plutonium for the first sample large enough to weigh. It was all of 2.77 micrograms.

Seaborg would go on to win a Nobel Prize for his discovery of plutonium and other transuranium elements. The room where he did his work in Gilman Hall has since become a US National Historic Landmark. That historic sample was converted into plutonium oxide and placed in a glass tube, where it was put on display in Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science.

In the late 2000s, however, Berkeley began to worry about the dangers putting the plutonium on display. The sample was removed and put away — except no one really knew where. Some time later, a box labelled “First sample of Pu weighed” was found at the Berkeley’s Hazardous Material Facility, a waystation for hazardous waste. Thankfully, a knowledgable eye saw it and discerned its historical value.

The label’s claim was promising, but how could we prove that this was actually Seaborg’s sample? With science, of course. The Physics ArXiv Blog explains:

It turns out that plutonium created in a cyclotron is very different from most plutonium, which is created inside nuclear reactors and then separated from spent nuclear fuel. That’s because this stuff always contains another isotope, plutonium-241.

This is a half-life of just over 14 years and decays into americium-241. So samples of plutonium from nuclear reactors, always contain americium-241 in amounts that grow over time. What’s more, Am-241 in turn decays producing gamma rays with an energy of 59 kiloelectron volts.

Eric Norman’s lab at Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering monitored the sample for gamma rays with an energy of 59 kiloelectron volts. They didn’t find any, meaning the sample was most likely created in a cyclotron like Seaborg’s. In addition, the mass matches up. The evidence all points toward this being the missing plutonium.

Now that Seaborg’s sample has been recovered, there’s talk of putting it back on display in his former office in Gilman Hall — perhaps a more fitting place than the trash bin. [The Physics ArXiv Blog]

January 10, 2015 Posted by | - plutonium, history | Leave a comment

USS Calhoun County and the dumping at sea of atomic waste

“Nuclear Waste Dumping Diary.”

Jan. 20 1957: “371 tons atomic waste.”

Feb. 7, 1957: “368 tons atom waste.”

Nov. 13, 1957: “299 (tons) poison gas (and) A.W.”

One of Albernaz’s last entries was on June 12, 1958: “200 tons. Spec. weapons,” or special weapons. That was the day, Albernaz later told his wife, that he helped dispose of an atomic bomb.

none of the men who served on theCalhoun County are eligible for automatic VA benefits for radiation illnesses because they did not participate in underwater or atmospheric atomic tests and related activities, the government says.

Thus, the crewmen do not meet their country’s definition of “Atomic Veteran.”

USS Calhoun County sailors dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste into ocean, Tampa Bay Times , 20 Dec 2013  William R. Levesque, Times Staff Writer  They asked the dying Pasco County man about his Navy service a half-century before. He kept talking about the steel barrels. They haunted him, sea monsters plaguing an old sailor.

“We turned off all the lights,” George Albernaz testified at a 2005 Department of Veterans Affairs hearing, “and … pretend that we were broken down and … we would take these barrels and having only steel-toed shoes … no protection gear, and proceed to roll these barrels into the ocean, 300 barrels at a trip.”

USS-Calhoun-County-dumping-

Not all of them sank. A few pushed back against the frothing ocean, bobbing in the waves like a drowning man. Then shots would ring out from a sailor with a rifle at the fantail. And the sea would claim the bullet-riddled drum.

Back inside the ship, Albernaz marked in his diary what the sailors dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. He knew he wasn’t supposed to keep such a record, but it was important to Albernaz that people know he had spoken the truth, even when the truth sounded crazy.

For up to 15 years after World War II, the crew of Albernaz’s ship, the USS Calhoun County, dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste into the Atlantic Ocean, often without heeding the simplest health precautions, according to Navy documents and Tampa Bay Times interviews with more than 50 former crewmen………. Continue reading

January 7, 2015 Posted by | history, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Thatcher government pursued peace activists, ignored threat of nuclear winter

Home Office dismissed nuclear winter threat as scaremongering, files show , Guardian   30 Dec 14 1984 memo released by National Archives shows civil servants decided not to research possible consequences of nuclear war Threats that civilisation would be devastated by “nuclear winter” after conflict with the Soviet Union were dismissed as scaremongering, according to Home Office files.

Officials were more interested in monitoring the activities of campaigners opposed to cruise missiles, documents released by the National Archives in Kew reveal.

A confidential file on “Nuclear winter – global atmospheric consequences of nuclear war” shows that civil servants in the department’s emergency planning section, F6, decided they did not need to research the disputed phenomenon.

An internal memo in December 1984 records: “It was agreed with F6 that no assessment of the [nuclear winter] theory would be carried out by the branch and as such our interest is limited to general reading which could not be regarded as following the subject in any depth.”………

nuclear-winter

Closer attention was paid to anti-nuclear activists. ………

Anti-nuclear groups were under surveillance. “Data is now collected on demonstrations and incidents by anti-nuclear groups at MoD establishments,” the file states.

In the battle for public sympathy, pro-nuclear groups received official help. “Continued government support – both financial and through the provision of nuclear PR material – will be necessary,” one report records. “Co-ordination of [their] activities … is best left, in general, to the groups themselves although periodic advice and encouragement from ministers will continue to be valuable.”

Architectural drawings of DIY nuclear blast-proof shelters were commissioned for the latest edition of the Protect and Survive pamphlets. They suggested householders excavate holes in their living rooms and build “igloo shelters”; the components cost £554 – about £1,500 in today’s money……A separate memorandum was headed: “Spontaneous evacuation of civil population in a future war.”……..

“The guts of the matter is that in a war emergency a task of the police would be to ensure that, as it does in peacetime (eg peak holiday weekends), that the country does not come to a grinding halt through traffic congestion howsoever caused.”     http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/30/home-office-nuclear-winter-threat-scaremongering-war

December 31, 2014 Posted by | history, UK | Leave a comment

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