What I Know About Human Life as a Nuclear Downwinder
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I am a casualty of the Cold War, a survivor of nuclear weapons testing. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah during the Cold War I was repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive fallout from hundreds of detonations at the Nevada Test Site just 65 miles west of Las Vegas.
Our government detonated 100 bombs above ground in Nevada between 1951 and 1962 and 828 more bombs underground through 1992, many of which broke through the earth’s surface and spewed radioactive fallout into the atmosphere as well. The jet stream carried fallout far beyond the test site where it made its way into the environment and the bodies of unsuspecting Americans, while a government we trusted repeatedly assured us “there is no danger.”
In the spring before my 30th birthday, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Children, especially those under the age of five at the time of radiation exposure, as I was, were most at risk.
I have been sliced, radiated and scooped out. I have buried and mourned the dead, comforted and advocated for the living, and worried with each pain, ache and lump that I am getting sick again. I survived thyroid cancer as well as subsequent health complications that left me unable to have children. My sister and others I grew up with were not so fortunate. They lost their lives to various cancers and other radiation-related illnesses. Before she died, my sister and I counted 54 people in a five-block area of our childhood neighborhood who developed cancer, autoimmune disorders, and other diseases that ravaged them and their families.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
June 21, 2022 at 11:47 AM #492280djean111Participant
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The same government that deliberately uses ammunition made with radioactive waste overseas has pretty successfully convinced Americans that nuclear energy is Our Friend and that Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen. The same government that waved its dick around by needlessly nuking millions of civilians in Japan assures us no one else would ever use those bombs; that is why we have so many as a deterrent. From their own bomb shelters, most assuredly. And whatever happened, and is continuing to happen to those folks affected by nuclear testing is/was an anomaly!
I do wonder, given recent revelations about where the Nazis found safe haven after WWII, how many of those folks were/are connected to the US nuclear arms programs – remember, human life is not exactly sacred to many people; just a means to an end, used to achieve objectives.
America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)
"Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" GRRM
A YouTube comment – we need new conspiracy theories – the old ones have all come true.
June 21, 2022 at 2:22 PM #492307jbnwParticipant
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She’s ok, but her son, born the next day, has very weak bones and even broke his neck because of it.
He’s part of a generation of weak children I have only heard of from her.
She did not react well when she heard of Hanford leaks a few years ago.
June 22, 2022 at 12:07 AM #492412MistaPParticipant
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also casually mentions a near TRIPLE Chernobyl 2000, when Russia was NOT capable of containment: the backup generators had rusted solid under the Yeltsinaya and three reactors began to steam up
June 22, 2022 at 12:13 AM #492415
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