The On-going Toll

If you go to the Energy Department’s Office of Legacy Management website you’ll read this about the Trinity Project: “The world’s first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945, when a plutonium implosion device was tested at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos on the barren plains of the Alamogordo Bombing Range….Hoisted atop a 100-foot tower, the plutonium device, or Gadget, detonated at precisely 5:30 a.m. over the New Mexico desert, releasing 18.6 kilotons of power, instantly vaporizing the tower and turning the surrounding asphalt and sand into green glass. Seconds after the explosion came an enormous blast, sending searing heat across the desert and knocking observers to the ground. The success of the Trinity test meant that an atomic bomb using plutonium could be readied for use by the U.S. military.”  

This week I introduce you to a coalition of anti-nuclear activists representing a variety of organizations nationwide.  Their tag is #StillHere because they “specifically want to honor nuclear survivors [and] acknowledge that in the 75th year of the nuclear age, survivors and the weapons are still here.”

Survivors include not only the Hibakusha, those men and women now in their 80s and 90s who experienced the actual bombing.  Survivors also include those identified as “down-winders”,  individuals who “grew up near America’s nuclear testing and production sites in places like Utah, New Mexico and Washington State. 

They are survivors. 

People from the Marshall Islands [who] endured 12 years of U.S. nuclear testing, and continue to face the negative health consequences of those tests. 

They are survivors. 

U.S. military veterans sent to observe nuclear tests and clean up nuclear waste [and] have fought for years for compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. 

They are survivors. 

Uranium workers [who] mined and produced the raw materials to make nuclear weapons, often on Indigenous land, without ever being told of the severe health risks. 

They are survivors.

hiroshimanagasaki75 has collected a wide variety of testimony from survivors.  I hope you’ll take the time to browse through them using the tab “Voices”.

— Support the Expansion of Radiation Exposure Compensation Act:  Call on your members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 3783 and S. 947, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019, to extend and expand RECA.

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