atomic bomb

American military forces participating in Nevada Atomic testing.

I was only eleven years old when The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I remember the moment well for I was sitting across the street at the Thompson Club in Nahant, Massachusetts waiting for my twin brother to join me to play baseball. Suddenly I felt an immense sense of collective loss, and then a short time later my twin brother came running from across the street telling me that we had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. Even at that young age, I somehow sensed we had released an evil, powerful genie that could eventually destroy the planet and ourselves.

Power corrupts. Absolute atomic power absolutely morally corrupts, particularly when it is in the hands of the Military/Industrial complex with the power to control and destroy the world – whereas human life eventually becomes collateral damage as it did with the atomic testing during the sixties in Nevada.

As Wikipedia reports, downwinders refers to individuals and communities who are exposed to radioactive contamination or nuclear fallout from atmospheric or underground nuclear weapons testing and nuclear accidents. Currently, this article focuses on incidents in the United States, or caused by its weapons testing.

The impact of nuclear contamination on an individual is generally estimated as the result of the dose of radiation received and the duration of exposure, using the Linear No-Threshold Model (LNT). The hypothesis was adopted for regulatory purposes about sixty-five years ago and has no scientific evidence to support its validity in the years since then. It is vehemently rejected by the health and epidemiological communities in the face of abundant data refuting its validity. Sex, age, race, culture, occupation, class, location, and simultaneous exposure to additional environmental toxins are also significant, but often overlooked, factors that contribute to the health effects on a particular “downwind” community.

The United States Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) is a federal statute providing for the monetary compensation of people, including atomic veterans, who contracted cancer and a number of other specified diseases as a direct result of their exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing undertaken by the United States during the Cold War, or their exposure to high levels of radon while doing uranium mining. The 1990 act provided the following remunerations:

  • $50,000 to individuals residing or working “downwind” of the Nevada Test Site
  • $75,000 for workers participating in atmospheric nuclear weapons tests
  • $100,000 for uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters

In all cases there are additional requirements which must be satisfied (proof of exposure, duration of employment, and certain medical conditions, etc.).

In some cases, however, it was extremely difficult for people to receive their compensation, especially in the case of the widows of uranium miners. Because many uranium miners were Native Americans, they did not have standard marriage licenses required to establish a legal connection to the deceased. In 1999, revisions were published in the Federal Register to assist in making award claims.

On April 18, 2013, H.R. 1645: The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2013 was introduced in Congress and promptly referred to a committee with virtually zero chance of being enacted. There have currently been no votes related to this bill.

RECA

The yellow states on this RECA chart are still virtually uncompensated for their exposure to radiation from over 1100 atomic tests due to congressional inaction or lack of public outcry. In 1980, People revealed some consequences of continental nuclear testing for American citizens. The magazine disclosed that of some 220 cast and crew who filmed a 1956 film, The Conqueror, on location near St. George, Utah (over 120 miles from atomic test sites) ninety-one had come down with cancer, with an unheard of 41 percent morbidity rate.Of these, forty-six had died of cancer by 1980. Among the victims were John Wayne and Susan Hayward, the stars of the film.

And now we have the 2011 nuclear meltdown at Fukushima releasing another Genie of ongoing deadly radiation, along with the same old government assurances and lies, to an equally complacent public. For those who are not concerned by the payback from nuclear radiation, here’s a time-lapse map of every nuclear explosion since 1945:

Once again, Power corrupts. Absolute power absolutely morally corrupts, particularly when it is in the hands of the Military/Industrial complex with the power to control and destroy the world. And now we are realizing the deadly instant karma from the political mindset of the military complex to bomb, incinerate and fatally radiate over 200,000 people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

“After the thing went off, after it was a sure thing that America could wipe out a city with just one bomb, a scientist turned to Father and said, ‘Science has now known sin.’ And do you know what Father said? He said, ‘What is sin?”
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

 

Allen L. Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and heart centered spiritual counselor. He is also a lecturer and shares a weekly political and social commentary on his web log and website allenroland.com. He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on www.conscioustalk.net. Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements, and private Skype consultations at allen@allenroland.com



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