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US Nuclear Weapons Complex Leaves 'Legacy of Death on American Soil'



Death, Inc.


Cancer kills about 1 in 4 Americans whether or not they worked in the US Nuclear Weapons Complex. There is nothing in this article about what amount of radiation each worker was exposed to and therefor whether the cancer he experienced was more likely than not due to the work. Is the cancer rate among such workers higher than otherwise to be expected? This article's title is not a valid conclusion without such an analysis.


It's nice to know that if you ever get cancer from your work, we will all be assured that it wasn't from radiation.

Best of luck in getting compensation.


No doubt there were lots of shoddy safety standards and even reckless disregard for worker safety at these facilities - particularly during the cold war (although much or most of the hazard exposure was from chemicals not radioactive materials). But overall, the whole report contained only anecdotes without any context and absolutely no statistical analysis. So, it is impossible to tell whether the report has merit or not - but one hint is that it seems that the workers lived within the normal distribution of average life spans anyway. I sure wish we could pass a law making it mandatory that all journalists receive formal training in science and the scientific method - including probability and statistical analysis.

And of course the commenters here will take this report to criticize commercial nuclear power even though they have as little to do with anomic weapons manufacturing as steelmaking has to do with woodworking.


And as usual, the blinders that see only what happens to Americans and inside our borders. DU anyone?


And you are presenting a viewpoint that is every bit as imbecilic (actually superstition) regarding science and the scientific method as the global-warming denialists do. "Death cult"? that is a strong accusation. Do you have any credible evidence of all this widespread death from commercial nuclear power generation?


Yes, we can't be sure anyone really got extra sick because of their work and good old taxpayers are just being taken advantage of by the lax oversight. Surely we all know the US government is always so eager and ready to accept liability and compensate claims for on the job injury or sickness.


I only skimmed the McClatchy report but I agree that it would be helpful for them to provide links to the documents and data that they obtained. I didn't see in depth statistical analysis, but I did note reference to workers receiving doses of radiation well above acceptable levels for Uranium workers (It should be noted that these levels are well above acceptable levels for people who are not Uranium workers).

Yes, shoddy safety standards, to say the least, were common in Uranium mines. I helped with some of the research into the medical effects of Uranium exposure by Navajo Uranium workers. Since they were uninformed, and unprotected, they not only breathed in large amounts of depleted uranium dust, they carried it home on their clothing. The negative health effects of depleted Uranium (as a heavy metal and an alpha and gamma emitter) are exacerbated by repeatedly breathing it in as small aerosolized particles. As far as I know, the Uranium mined by the Navajo workers was intended for both weapons and nuclear power. Whether for nuclear power or nuclear weapons, mined uranium undergoes a refinement process which also has a history of shoddy safety standards. ( http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdaf.html )

A good deal of sound scientific research/information on the impacts of Uranium mining on Navajo mine workers is available online.

I found this on the US National Institutes of Health site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222290/


A McClatchy investigation has reported that at least 33,480 American workers have died as a result of working on atomic weaponry in the last 70 years.


A friend just died from mesiothelioma seemingly contracted from past work with asbestos. Today there are lawsuits pending on the asbestos industry. The nuke power and weapons industry will have its turn, as will the fossil fuel industry. If the true costs of producing and releasing toxic substances of all kinds into the environment were taken into account, they would be gone.


Yunzer....come on....how much science will it take to convince you that building Diablo Canyon Reactor
(Sister Facility Design to Fukushima) on the ocean 30 miles from the San Andreas fault is a REALLY bad design methodology.

And that it is tantamount to holding a loaded gun to the heads of the local citizenry up and down the west coast. Obfuscation is not helping.

And whose rods do you think were in the manufacturing at Hanford?
And where are those rods coming from, that all that wonderful DU ammunition is made from that causes
Gulf War Syndrome (Aerosoled DU kills everyone exposed)?

Also, the only federal lawsuit won against the US and Nuke Industry, through the hard work of John Glenn and Stewart Udall, was for exactly the exposure Mr Fernandez speaks about.

The miners of yellow cake were never informed of the consequences, for God sake they were allowed to make adobes for their homes out of contaminated mud.

According to US Gov, each civilian who died mining yellow cake is worth $50,000
to the surviving family. Max award under the federal lawsuit. How Gracious.

Or how about............


Not....the nuclear industry is given an immunity coverage because all their work is for the FED/DOE.

It takes the one branch of the government to sue to the other branch of the government to get anything done. And the industry aficionados will still be off the hook.

The rules have to change on this one before the play field is level or we can see ANY restitution in the courts.

BTW for the employee insurance coverage to kick in, the employee has to have had a active case of cancer on the books, from a proven exposure, prior to leaving employment.

Now about those down winder civilians in Nevada and Washington.....oops


US also stores nuclear missiles in Israel.


One last thing on this, because you hit a critical point...
"shoddy safety standards and even reckless disregard for worker safety"

Have you read the final report regarding the radiation leak at Waste Isolation Plant in Carlsbad, NM.
This is the place that all medium level waste product is stored.

When the radiation engineer failed to respond to his "On Call" emergency pages,
the breached containers were allowed to aerosol for almost an entire shift.

And when first level containment failed, and secondary ventilators became contaminated, the BRILLIANT DOE tertiary method of containment was to throw tarps over the outlets of the ventilator shafts.

Now do you really think this is science that doesn't affect the lives of civilians....
This type of cloistered reasoning is rampant in the military and civilian sectors.


Ike was right!


If you don't believe the dangers of nuclear anything try reading the book written by a Russian journalist who interviewed the survivors of Chernobyl. She was recently awarded a Nobel prize for literature. I had to stop reading after 10 pages - horrifying words on each page and still the deaths continue - that "accident" happened in 1968 and basically exposed the entire world folks. Now do you get how over it is for us all???????????? Wake up and enjoy what little we have left while we still can. Humanity is indeed a failed experiment. Given paradise we created hell.


correcting my error of inverting numbers - the tragic Chernobyl happened in 1986 - not 1968. sorry


Time to get rid of those garbage instead of recycling them for further nonsensical acts. It is probably the high time when economy is rapidly sliding downhill.


I challenge you to do any woodworking without using anything steel. Like your understanding of all things nuclear, void of understanding.