Rocky Flats: Legacy

A colleague of ours, Scott Bison, has posted his documentary short film called “Rocky Flats: Legacy” online. This was Scott’s senior project for his film degree and is an outstanding piece of work. This film illustrates the trials faced by America’s nuclear workers here in Colorado – just a piece of the whole picture faced by more than 1,000,000 American workers and Atomic Veterans who have died or are facing life-threatening illnesses resulting from exposure to high levels of radiation and related toxic chemicals from the testing, development and manufacturing of nuclear weapons and the nuclear industry as a whole. Come check out this film.

Rocky Flats: Legacy

Your support in getting the stories told here, and the broad picture being told by American Massacre, on behalf of these Cold War Patriots is greatly appreciate. – The Filmmakers

Six Decades of Atom-Smashing at NC State

From the Raleigh Public Record
July 27, 2011
Raleigh’s “First Temple of the Atom” sprang a leak in July.

North Carolina State University’s nuclear reactor made the national news when the university announced the pool cooling the reactor core had begun leaking.  Read more:

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Update

July 18, 2011,

I’ve been looking for some new sites in regards to what is happening at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, so let me know of any you might have found. Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of handling the nuclear accident, reported on July 18, 2001 that the “1st phase of work to contain the nuclear crisis was completed on time.”*

So, as soon as I post this, there will be another update from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), (Murphy’s Law**. I’ve heard this Murphy character was an optimist).

The latest update from the IAEA is from June 2, 2011 (So much for current information). As with the previous ones, this update states “the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant remains very serious.”*** Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) web site doesn’t offer much information.****

The following article was prepared by Seth Tuler, a research fellow for the Social and Environmental Research Institute, (SERI), for the Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Health risks of the releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors: Are they a concern for residents of the United States?

http://www.seri-us.org/sites/default/files/PSR_health-risks-releases-radioactivity.pdf

SERI Home Page:

http://www.seri-us.org/

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)

United States Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Home Page:

http://www.psr.org/

*Latest from The Mainichi Daily News:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110718p2g00m0dm005000c.html

** Origins of “Murphy’s Law”.

http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html

Select list of Murphy’s Laws (I like #17):

http://quotations.about.com/cs/murphyslaws/a/bls_murphys_law.htm

***Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log, June 2, 2011:

http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html

****Press release from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), July 18, 2011:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11071807-e.html

Peace,

JP

Trinity, Part Two

Sixty-six years ago, on July 16, 1945 at 5:30 am, after six years of research and development, and a cost of 2 billion dollars, (that’s almost 25 billion in today’s market) The Manhattan Engineering District (AKA The Manhattan Project), detonated the world’s first atomic bomb with a yield of 21 kilotons in the Tularosa Basin 55 miles northwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico at the Alamogordo Bombing Range (renamed the White Sands Missile Range in 1958).(1) The test’s code name was Trinity, a reference made to the Holy Sonnet XIV, written by 16th century English poet, John Donne.(2)

President Truman was at the Potsdam Conference (July 16-August 2, 1945) in Potsdam, Occupied Germany, at the time of the test. He was there with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee of the UK, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union in an “attempt to confront the delicate balance of power of the opposing governmental structures, democracy and communism”.(3)Truman would then issue The Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, requesting that Japan surrender unconditionally or face “prompt and utter destruction.” They ignored his request.(4)

The Trinity test covered a large area of New Mexico with high levels of radioactive fallout: “A recently formed group known as the Tularosa Downwinders Consortium is attempting to raise awareness of the increase in cancer and autoimmune diseases in four counties adjacent to the Trinity Site (Otero, Lincoln, Sierra and Socorro) up to nine times higher than nationwide figures. Some towns, including Tularosa, Carrizozo and Socorro, are within 25 to 35 miles, and ranches were scattered as close as 15 miles from the blast site.”

Six decades after Trinity Site blast, area residents living with fallout with no help from government. (A link we ran on April 18, 2011):

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Children-of-the-bomb-Six-decades-after-the-Trinity-Site-detonat

Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium: (click on “Trinity Test”, and Attachment 3: Statement by Tina Cordova)

http://www.lahdra.org/meetings/LAHDRA%20Jan%202010%20Public%20Mtg%20Summary-%20v2rfs.pdf

 

 “The invisible shadow of the nuclear weapon, created in the fury of the most intense explosion on earth and falling from the sky with the rain, has already touched each and every one of us.”

Richard L. Miller, Under the Cloud, 1986

 (1) Location of the Trinity Test:

http://www.atomicarchive.com/Maps/Images/Trinity_large.gif

 Fallout pattern from Trinity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trinity_fallout.png

(2) Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), an American theoretical physicist, who was selected by Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves in 1942 to head the secret weapons development laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, was the one who named the test Trinity. When asked where he got the name from, Oppenheimer said it was in reference to Sonnets written by John Donne (1572-1631). He remarked later that a verse from the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scripture) came to mind shortly after the success of the test:”Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Some of John Donne’s work:

http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/sonnet14.php

http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/sickness.htm

A little help on the quote, “Now, I am Become Death…”:

http://www.faktoider.nu/oppenheimer_eng.html

The Bhagavad Gita:

http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/

(3) The Potsdam Conference:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decade17.asp

(4) The Potsdam Declaration July 26, 1945:

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/ferrell_book/ferrell_book_chap7.htm

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists July/August, 2010 Global Nuclear Weapons Inventories, 1945-2010:

http://progettoneda.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/atomic-bullettin.pdf

Other Items of Interest:

Trinitite:

http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/hiroshimatrinity/trinitite.htm

Modern Marvels: The Manhattan Project (I love this show):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8628153120833224911#

Atomic Heritage Foundation; Atomic History Timeline, 1945:

http://www.atomicheritage.org/index.php/atomic-history-mainmenu-38/atomic-history-timeline-mainmenu-200/atomic-history-timeline-1945-mainmenu-203.html

The Manhattan Project (and Before):

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Med/Med.html

 

End Part Two

How Did I Get Here and Why I am Staying

I ask this question, quietly in my head, a lot. How did a marketing and PR professional from the Northwestern Panhandle of Florida end up in Denver, Colorado as an Executive Producer and co-writer on a documentary film project about nuclear workers, veterans and victims?

The answer to the first half of that question would take a lot of time to explain.

Then I realized, it really isn’t about “how did I get here” but more importantly – the second part: “Why I Am Staying” that is truly important.

When we decided to make this film and do our level best to tell the truth without bias and without political leanings, the information we knew was statistical, historical, undisputed facts. Facts are emotionless things, they are simply what they are, like some mathematical equation that can’t be denied. As the research edged closer and closer to completion, we began to reach out to the people who we would want to interview so that we could put human faces and stories to these facts.

Now, please keep in mind, these “facts” I’m speaking of set my blood to boil in anger. The history that I have learned has made me question my belief in government (and that delves so much deeper than political positioning.) These “facts,” in and of themselves, are what set us on the course of making this film in the first place.

This business of making a documentary film is not for the faint of heart. And it’s not like they teach you in a classroom either. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time and effort begging for money to do any project and be no further along than we are. Hell, we haven’t raised enough yet to get a full days worth of interviews on film. But this is not about the struggles to raise money. Not really. Granted, whether or not we ever get to share with others what’s at the heart of this film depends solely on our ability to raise funds. But money can never change what has happened and will never change the “Why I Am Staying” part of this little story.

So, okay, “why I am staying” is this: the people we have met.

People like Laura Schultz, Judy Padilla, Terrie Barrie (though we’ve only met via email to date), Jerry Harden, and more. These folks worked at Rocky Flats, the former nuclear weapons plant that was located just a few miles from Denver. And there are others… with the nuclear lab in Idaho, the uranium miners in New Mexico, the workers’ advocates (Stephanie and Candace have become trusted friends).

These people are the answer to “Why I Am Staying” as well as to the unasked question of “why I will keep begging for money to get this film made.”

John, my better half and lead writer/researcher on this little project of ours (and son of an Atomic Veteran), sent me a link today in the office we share in our Denver suburban home. It links to the archives of a respected Denver magazine called 5280 (for the area’s altitude). The article is called “Out in the Cold” by the magazine’s Editor At Large Mike Kessler and was published in 2007. This gut-wrenching, well-penned piece of journalism actually features one of the folks I mentioned earlier (Judy Padilla) and tells the stories of so many more we have come to know from Rocky Flats.

This article illustrates why I will keep pushing to get American Massacre made. I will keep pushing until I am no longer breathing because this movie is about Americans who did their duty, some in uniform and some civilian, and who have had their faith and trust and lives betrayed by an industry and by our government.  They did their duty. This film… telling their stories in hope to correct the wrongs or at least shed a brighter light on the problem… that’s our duty. It’s a duty I am proud to fulfill.

Read “Out in the Cold”: http://archive.5280.com/issues/2007/0711/feature.php?pageID=900

If after you read this, you feel compelled to help us fund this film, please visit our funding page. This film is fiscally sponsored by IFP.org and all contributions are tax deductible. ANY amount is appreciated and will be used specifically to tell this story of unsung American patriotism and deadly betrayal. DONATE NOW

Blessings,

Lisa K. Wildman

 

 

 

In memory….

In honor of two Cold War Patriots from the former Rocky Flats Nuclear facility:

John Raymond Stevens, January 31, 1935 – July 6, 2011,  passed away peacefully in Eaton, CO, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, of leukemia.

and

Ron Smith died July 1, 2011 from a heart attack. Ron worked in Building 771 at the facility.

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of these two Cold War Patriots.

– The Filmmakers

Provided by Laura Shultz of Rocky Flats Nuclear Workers Group.

You can visit the  on Rocky Flats Nuclear Workers Group on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/117057898336039?id=220837571291404&notif_t=group_activity

Trinity, Part 1

With the anniversary of the Trinity test (July 16) coming up, I would like to present to you some key events that led up to the event that changed the world. JP

December, 1938-May 7, 1945

In December, 1938, German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann (working in Berlin, Germany) and Lise Meitner (who was working in Sweden), “became the first to recognize that the uranium atom, when bombarded by neutrons, actually split.” This was a continuation of the work that Italian physicist Enrico Fermi had begun several years before, and who won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the artificial radioactivity produced by neutrons, and for nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons. (1)

This discovery coincided with Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity that he wrote in 1905. “A large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter. This was expressed by the equation E=mc2 (energy = mass times the speed of light squared). The atomic bomb would clearly illustrate this principle.” (2)

Realizing that this could result in the development of a weapon, and that it was Nazi Germany who was researching fission, on August 2, 1939 Leo Szilard* (with help from Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner) wrote a letter with Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt warning him on what was going on in Germany, and suggested that the United States start its own research on the use of uranium.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and 2 days later, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany.

President Roosevelt authorized the Advisory Committee on Uranium, in response to the Szilard-Einstein letter. The committee met for the first time on October 21, 1939.

Two scientists working at the University of Birmingham, England, Rudolph Peierls and Otto Frisch (both would end up working at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project), released the “Frisch-Peierls Memorandum” in March, 1940. They were the first to calculate the size of critical mass needed to be used as an atomic bomb.(3)

The MAUD Committee (Military Application of Uranium Detonation) met for the first time in England on April 10, 1940 and began research into the feasibility of building an atomic bomb.

The National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) was created on June 27, 1940 in the United States, and was replaced by the Office of Scientific Research and Development on June 28, 1941. From this office would be the S-1 Uranium Committee, which would become the Manhattan Project.

The MAUD Report on July 15, 1941 concluded and recommended:

1) The committee considers that the scheme for a uranium bomb is practicable and likely to lead to decisive results in the war.

2)  It recommends that this work be continued on the highest priority and on the increasing scale necessary to obtain the weapon in the shortest possible time.

3)  That the present collaboration with America should be continued and extended especially in the region of experimental work. (4)

The project was known as Tube Alloys in Britain and Canada.

On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan, a day after they attacked Pearl Harbor. Germany and Italy would declare war on the US on December 11, 1941.

The Manhattan Project became official on August 13, 1942.

The United States and Britain conducted their first major offensive together during World War II on November 8, 1942 with the invasion of French North Africa in Operation Torch.

Collaboration on the development of the atomic bomb between the United States, Great Britain, and Canada happened when the Quebec Agreement was signed on August 19, 1943 at the Quebec Conference (August 17-24, 1943) in Quebec City, Quebec. In the agreement, they pledged that this technology would not be used against one another, not to employ it’s use against another country or share information about it with another country, without mutual consent.(5)

Because Great Britain was at war with Germany at the time, it was decided that a majority of the work was to be done in the United States, and that we would pick up most of the check.

This project would be one of the largest undertakings in the history of the United States, and create thousands of jobs. Three of the largest sites were: Hanford, Washington; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The work would involve close to 100 other sites across the United States, including at least nine major universities.(6)

May 7, 1945: Germany signs unconditional surrender document in Berlin, never developing the atomic bomb.

(1) Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassmann:

http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/chemistry-in-history/themes/atomic-and-nuclear-structure/hahn-meitner-strassman.aspx

Enrico Fermi:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1938/fermi-bio.html

(2) Albert Einstein and the Atomic Bomb, by Doug Long:

http://www.doug-long.com/einstein.htm

(3) The Frisch-Peierls Memorandum

http://www.stanford.edu/class/history5n/FPmemo.pdf

(4) The MAUD Report:

http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/Begin/MAUD.shtml

(5) The Quebec Conference-Agreement Relating to Atomic Energy:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/q002.asp

(6) The Office of Health, Safety, and Security; Facility List for the Energy Employees Occupation Illness Compensation Program:

http://www.hss.doe.gov/healthsafety/fwsp/advocacy/faclist/findfacility.cfm

A well written website for you to check out, written by Gene Dannen, who researched the life of Leo Szilard:

http://www.dannen.com/

An interesting story about the (Leo) Szilard Petition, July 1945, by Howard Gest:

http://sites.bio.indiana.edu/~gest/HGSzilard.html

Federation of American Scientists, Franck Report Summary:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/franck.html

End Part One.

Happy Independence Day to All!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Independence Day! – The Filmmakers

Germany Agrees to Ditch Nuclear Power

Glad that Germany is paying attention to the safety and health concerns for their citizens and environment on this issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrAttj99Aj0&feature=youtu.be

Top News Stories About Nuclear Concerns in America

Worth reading in today’s news:

Population density around nuke plants soars

(AP) BUCHANAN, N.Y. — As America’s nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural areas around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Populations around the facilities have swelled as much as 4½ times since 1980, a computer-assisted population analysis shows.

But some estimates of evacuation times have not been updated in decades, even as the population has increased more than ever imagined. Emergency plans would direct residents to flee on antiquated, two-lane roads that clog hopelessly at rush hour.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/27/national/main20074641.shtml#ixzz1QUOuypmb

U.S. nuke regulators weaken safety rules

(AP)LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.

The result? Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety — and inching the reactors closer to an accident that could harm the public and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the United States.

Examples abound. When valves leaked, more leakage was allowed — up to 20 times the original limit. When rampant cracking caused radioactive leaks from steam generator tubing, an easier test of the tubes was devised, so plants could meet standards.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/20/national/main20072497.shtml#ixzz1QUQ9FDe2

Radioactive leaks found at 75% of US nuke sites

(AP) BRACEVILLE, Ill. – Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP’s yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard — sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

While most leaks have been found within plant boundaries, some have migrated offsite. But none is known to have reached public water supplies.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/21/national/main20072884.shtml#ixzz1QUPN3wyS

High radiation prompts evac at Ohio nuke plant

(AP) CLEVELAND – High radiation levels recorded at a nuclear reactor in northeast Ohio have prompted a special inspection by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The NRC says workers at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant immediately evacuated it April 22 when radiation levels rose while it was shutting down for a refueling outage. The commission says the plant is safe and officials don’t believe workers were exposed to radiation levels “in excess of NRC limits.”

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/27/national/main20057775.shtml#ixzz1QUPmOaHO

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American Massacre

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