Tag Archives | radioactivity

Army’s Cold War Experiments On St. Louis Residents Revealed

Our military secretly sprayed experimental, possibly radioactive chemicals in minority and low-income communities in St. Louis during the 1960s to see what would happen, KSDK in St. Louis reports:

Lisa Martino-Taylor is a sociologist whose life’s work has been to uncover details of the Army’s ultra-secret military experiments carried out in St. Louis and other cities during the 1950s and 60s.

[KSDK] verified that the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide did take place in St. Louis on thousands of unsuspecting citizens. What is unclear is whether the Army added a radioactive material to the compound as Martino-Taylor’s research implies.

Army archive pictures show how the tests were done in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 1960s. In Texas, planes were used to drop the chemical. But in St. Louis, the Army placed chemical sprayers on buildings and station wagons. Documents confirmed that city officials were kept in the dark about the tests.

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Halliburton’s Lost Radioactive Cylinder In Texas

FBI and state officials are on the hunt for a radioactive device which somehow vanished from its container inside the Halliburton truck transporting it this past week — on September 11 (spooky). Bloomberg reports:

Halliburton Co. crew members who lost a radioactive rod used in drilling wells in West Texas weren’t guilty of criminal conduct, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said as a hunt for the tool entered a fourth day.

FBI officials working with the Texas Department of Transportation questioned three employees who were unable to locate the device this week after it went missing on a 130-mile route from Pecos to Odessa, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission incident report today.

A National Guard unit based in Austin sent a three-person team with detection gear yesterday to assist local officials, said Amy Cook, a spokeswoman for the Guard. The Texas Department of State Health Services said yesterday it requested help to find the radioactive item, which can pose a health risk if touched or held for several days.

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Yasser Arafat Likely Was Assassinated By Radioactive Poisoning

A Swiss laboratory says that at the time of his 2004 death, the Palestinian leader’s body contained high levels of polonium, the radioactive element which killed Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko after it was slipped into his tea at a London restaurant in 2006. Via Al Jazeera:

Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him – cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV.

A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.

More importantly, tests [at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland] reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.

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Radioactive Time Capsules Of The Southwest

The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles examines what they term “perpetual architecture” — several dozen cell structures scattered across the desert of the U.S. southwest holding radioactive hazards. These edifices are designed to exist forever — thousands of years from now, in a vastly different world, these may be the only remnant of our civilization. Below is the Green River Disposal Cell in Utah:

More than 30 of these disposal cells have been constructed over the last 25 years, primarily to contain radioactive contamination from decommissioned uranium mills and processing sites. They are time capsules, of sorts, designed to take their toxic contents, undisturbed, as far into the future as possible.

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Atomic Gardens: Mutant Plants In The Suburbs

110420_atomic_03Pruned talks to Paige Johnson about the strange story of atomic gardening, a post-war phenomenon in which plants were irradiated in the hopes of producing beneficial mutations. It’s a largely forgotten, surreal slice of 1950s culture, with housewives hosting atomic peanut dinner parties and attending Radioactivity Jubilees:

After WWII, there was a concerted effort to find ‘peaceful’ uses for atomic energy. One of the ideas was to bombard plants with radiation and produce lots of mutations, some of which, it was hoped, would lead to plants that bore more heavily or were disease or cold-resistant or just had unusual colors. The experiments were mostly conducted in giant gamma gardens on the grounds of national laboratories in the US but also in Europe and countries of the former USSR.

These efforts utimately reached far into the world outside the laboratory grounds in several ways: in plant varieties based on mutated stocks that were—and still are—grown commercially, in irradiated seeds that were sold to the public by atomic entrepreneur C.J.

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