Tags Janette D. Sherman
Tag: Janette D. Sherman
Sixty years ago the name Bikini became famous for the nuclear bombs detonated there. The military took ships that had been exposed to fallout during those nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands to the United States Radiological Defense Laboratory (USNRDL) located at Hunters Point in San Francisco. In addition to toxic chemicals and nuclear isotopes, the USNRDL is contaminated with asbestos, from the extensive ship building and reconstruction.
While sorting through papers, correspondence, news clippings, records etc., I realized that nuclear bomb and nuclear power development has occurred within my lifetime. It was July 16, 1945, when Trinity, the first atomic bomb, was detonated at Alamogordo nuclear site in New Mexico, followed by the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the hydrogen bomb on Nagasaki in August.
March 11 will make the second anniversary of the triple catastrophes that occurred in Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Over the last two years people are asking whether the Fukushima nuclear disaster is worse than what occurred in 1986 in Chernobyl.
Given the detection of “hot particles” in Japan and as far away as Seattle, there is reason for concern. When ingested or inhaled, “hot particles” give intense radiation to local tissue areas. We acknowledge that many factors can cause infant deaths, but the critics who ignore Japanese fallout as possible contributing factors are acting irresponsibly.
Nuclear fallout knows no state or national boundaries and will contribute to increase in illnesses, decrease in intelligence and in instability throughout the world. No country can maintain itself if its citizens are economically, intellectually, politically and socially impoverished. Given the continuing and known problems caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe, we must ask ourselves: Before we commit ourselves to economic and technological support of nuclear energy, who, what and where are we willing to sacrifice and for how long?
While thousands of miles and 25 years separate the sites and the events that led to the catastrophes at Fukushima and Chernobyl, the effects will be very similar – and will remain so for years to decades to centuries.