Fukushima is not the only source of the deadly radiation threatening Americans. The danger is much closer to home than you might think, and it's endorsed, subsidized and cloaked in secrecy by our own government.
The United States is being poisoned by the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, to name two of the culprits. Depleted uranium, a dangerous material prohibited by the United Nations General assembly, is seeping into our soil, water and air. It is being transported by ship, truck and train. Across the country, depleted uranium is being used, stored, processed or buried.
This map shows the locations of depleted uranium facilities in the United States.. If you are unfortunate enough to be downwind of any of these places, radioactive "hot rain" could be in your future. If you are in the continental United States, then you are likely to be in the proximity of one or more sources of DU. Not pictured on this map are Honolulu, Hawaii and Vieques, Puerto Rico. This map is from 1995 - since then we've spent 10 years at war using unlimited DU ammunition and weapons.
Source: US Army Environmental Policy Institute
|1||Aerojet Ordnance Company||Chino, California|
|2||Aerojet Ordnance Tennessee||Jonesboro, Tennessee|
|3||Detroit Army Tank Plant||Warren, Michigan|
|4||Lima Army Tank Plant||Lima, Ohio|
|5||Martin Marrietta Energy Systems|
Milan Army Ammunition Plant
|6||Mason and Hanger at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant||Middletown, Iowa|
|7||National Manufacturing Corporation||St. Louis, Missouri|
|8||Starmet Corporation, formerly known as Nuclear Metals, Inc.||Concord, Massachusetts|
|9||Olin Ordnance Corporation||Red Lion, Pennsylvania|
|10||Specific Manufacturing Capability Facility Idaho National Engineering Laboratory||Idaho Falls, Idaho|
|11||Tank Automotive Command||Warren, Michigan|
|12||Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, |
Alliant Tech Systems
|New Brighton, Minnesota|
|13||White Sands Missile Range||Green River, Utah|
|14||White Sands Missile Range||White Sands, New Mexico|
|R & D and Test Firing Sitesback to map|
|15||Army Research Laboratory||APG, Maryland|
|16||Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs||Richland, Washington|
|17||Energetic Materials Research and Technology Center, formerly known as the Terminal Effects Research and Analysis(TERA) facility||Socorro, New Mexico|
|18||Ethan Allen Firing Range (General Electric)||Burlington, Vermont|
|19||Jefferson Proving Ground||Madison, Indiana|
|20||Los Alamos National Laboratory||Los Alamos, New Mexico|
|21||Manufacturing Sciences Corp.||Oak Ridge, Tennessee|
|22||Nevada Test Site||Mercury, Nevada|
|23||Picatinny Arsenal||Dover, New Jersey|
|24||Sandia National Laboratories||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|25||Tonopah Test Range||Tonopah, Nevada|
|26||US Army Combat Systems Test Activity||APG, Maryland|
|27||Yuma Proving Ground||Yuma, Arizona|
|Storage and Storage/Demilitarization Sitesback to map|
|28||Defense Consolidation Facility||Snelling, South Carolina|
|29||Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant||Hawthorne, Nevada|
|30||Hunter Army Airfield||Savanna, Georgia|
|31||Letterkenny Army Depot||Chambersberg, Pennsylvania|
|32||McAlester Army Ammunition Plant||McAlester, Oklahoma|
|33||Savanna Army Depot||Savanna, Illinois|
|34||Seneca Army Depot Activity||Romulus, New York|
|35||Sierra Army Depot||Herlong, California|
|36||Tooele Army Depot||Tooele, Utah|
|37||US Army Armament Munitions and Chemical Command||Rock Island, Illinois|
|38||Watervliet Arsenal||Albany, New York|
|Processing Sitesback to map|
|39||Carolina Metals||Barnwell, South Carolina|
|40||Sequoyah Fuels Corporation||Gore, Oklahoma|
|Waste Disposal Sitesback to map|
|41||Chem-Nuclear Systems Waste Management Facility||Barnwell, South Carolina|
|42||Envirocare of Utah, Inc.||Clive, Utah|
|43||US Ecology||Hanford, Washington|
|Former DU Use or Storage Sites, and Sites Being Decommissionedback to map|
|44||Alliant Tech Systems, Inc.||Elk river, Minnesota|
|45||Army Research Laboratory||Watertown, Massachusetts|
|46||Camp Roberts Military Reservation||Bradley, California|
|47||Chamberlain Manufacturing||Waterloo, Iowa|
|48||China Lake Naval Weapons Center Alliant Tech Systems||Ridgecrest, California|
|49||Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp.||San Juan Capistrano, California|
|50||Fort Hood||Killeen, Texas|
|51||Fort Riley||Junction City, Kansas|
|52||Fort Stewart||Hinesville, Georgia|
|53||Lake City Army Ammunition Plant||Independence, Missouri|
|54||National Lead Industries||Colonie, New York|
|Otherback to map|
|55||Nellis Air Force Firing Range|
*Not mentioned in the Army Technical Report, but still in use
Another processing facility is being built in Hobbs, New Mexico. This will be the first commercially owned processing facility.
"Idaho Falls-based International Isotopes Inc. is in the licensing and design phase of an environmentally friendly, green technology, uranium de-conversion and fluorine extraction processing facility near Hobbs, N.M."
(Well, of course, if it's an environmentally friendly plant to process deadly toxic waste, then that's a different story.)
So, what is depleted uranium and why is it so bad?
Depleted Uranium 101
Depleted Uranium (DU) is nuclear waste. Uranium naturally occurs as three different isotopes: U234, U235 and U238. U235 is fissionable, which means that U235 is so unstable that firing neutrons at it can produce a self-sustaining series of nuclear reactions, releasing huge amounts of energy. This is the basis of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
Before U235 can be used, it must be concentrated as it only makes up a small proportion of naturally occurring uranium - around 0.7%. After natural uranium has had most of the U235 removed from it, it is called ‘depleted uranium’.
Depleted Uranium is both chemically toxic and radioactive. When DU burns it becomes a dust made of two oxides. The distribution of particle sizes includes sub-micron particles that are readily inhaled into and retained by the lungs. From the lungs, uranium compounds are deposited in the lymph nodes, bones, brain and testes. Hard targets hit by DU penetrators are surrounded by this dust and surveys suggest that it can travel many kilometres when re-suspended, as is likely in arid climates. The dust can then be inhaled or ingested by civilians and the military alike.
Depleted uranium processing is a big business. A toxic waste product, due to it's extreme density (twice that of lead) it can be processed to be used in many ways:
defense armor plating
armour penetrating military ordnance
material for the nuclear fuel industry
oil well drilling equipment
radiation shields in medical radiation therapy machines
The DOE has also proposed using DU to reinforce concrete and other building materials.
Not only do we need to worry about the high levels of radiation from the Fukushima disaster - we must also worry about the radiation being quietly emitted from our own soil. We must worry about radioactive rain that has originated from within our borders. Our water is being poisoned, our crops are growing in tainted soil and the very air we breathe contains radioactive particles.
Radiation sickness can either be acute or chronic. Acute radiation sickness occurs after a large one-time exposure. Chronic radiation sickness occurs from a build-up of low-level radiation that accumulates in the body.
According to the Mayo Clinic website:
"The absorbed dose of radiation is measured in a unit called a gray (Gy). Diagnostic tests that use radiation, such as an X-ray, result in a small dose of radiation — typically well below 0.1 Gy, focused on a few organs or small amount of tissue.
Signs and symptoms of radiation sickness usually appear when the entire body receives an absorbed dose of at least 1 Gy. Doses greater than 6 Gy to the whole body are generally not treatable and usually lead to death within two days to two weeks, depending on the dose and duration of the exposure.
The initial signs and symptoms of treatable radiation sickness are usually nausea and vomiting. The amount of time between exposure and when these symptoms develop is an indicator of how much radiation a person has absorbed.
After the first round of signs and symptoms, a person with radiation sickness may have a brief period with no apparent illness, followed by the onset of new, more serious symptoms."
|Early symptoms of radiation sickness|
|Mild exposure (1-2 Gy)||Moderate exposure (2-6 Gy)||Severe exposure (6-8 Gy)||Very severe exposure (8-10 Gy or higher)|
|Nausea and vomiting||Within 6 hours||Within 2 hours||Within 1 hour||Within 10 minutes|
|Diarrhea||--||Within 8 hours||Within 3 hours||Within 1 hour|
|Headache||--||Within 24 hours||Within 4 hours||Within 2 hours|
|Fever||--||Within 3 hours||Within 1 hour||Within 1 hour|
|Later symptoms of radiation sickness|
|Dizziness and disorientation||--||--||Within 1 week||Immediate|
|Weakness, fatigue||Within 4 weeks||Within 1-4 weeks||Within 1 week||Immediate|
|Hair loss, bloody vomit and stools, infections, poor wound healing, low blood pressure||--||Within 1-4 weeks||Within 1 week||Immediate|
Source: Adapted from "Bushberg JT. Radiation exposure and contamination. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals" and "Upton AC. Radiation injury. In: Goldman L, et al., eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007."
Treatment for radiation sickness depends upon the exposure.
For acute exposure, the initial treatment is "decontamination". According to the Mayo Clinic website, removing your clothing and shoes reduces your exposure by up to 90%. The skin is then washed with soap and water. The length of time between exposure and decontamination is directly proportionate to the amount of radiation exposure.
When seeking medical care, preventative treatment will focus on reducing the damage to blood-producing bone marrow.
Internal contamination is caused by particles being inhaled or eaten. Treatments include medication to shield the thyroid as well as medications that "bind" to the radioactive particles to help remove them from the body.
Even after death, the human body retains "hot particles" - ionized particles of radiation. Cremation of the body leads to a high risk of environmental contamination. Remains should be decontaminated and then buried in a sealed metal casket, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
It was very difficult to find information when researching depleted uranium on US soil. If Google (allegedly allied with the NSA) could be trusted, we would be led to believe that no one, in any of the locations above, has ever protested the location of these facilities near their homes or their children's schools. We'd also believe that no viable studies have been performed in areas around these facilities and toxic waste dumps.
This leaves us with only hypotheses and a lot of question marks. We, as concerned citizens, can summarize the following information:
- There are numerous facilities across the United States that possess depleted uranium.
- Depleted uranium is both chemically toxic and radioactive.
- Radioactive isotopes cause genetic mutations and cancer when inhaled, consumed or absorbed through the skin.
- There is big money being made from the processing and storage of depleted uranium.
- The mainstream media is not talking about depleted uranium (another media blackout)
- The use of depleted uranium in weapons is prohibited by Draft Convention on the prohibition of development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of uranium weapons and on their destruction. It is considered a violation of the UN Convention on Human Rights.
We must look closer to home than Fukushima for the sources of deadly radiation in the United States. The danger is within our own borders, stamped with a seal of approval and heartily endorsed by our own government.
sources and information:
Depleted Uranium: Uses and Hazards
Depleted Uranium Storage and Processing Facilities
Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War
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