Camp Parks, Dublin CA – Cobalt 60 Experiments

Camp Parks which is located next to Dublin California is where the US Navy built a railway track to move a device using Cobalt 60 to irradiate Phantom Sheep. This is part of a series of articles where I will demonstrate the use of radiation at various locations in the San Francisco Area to inform the public of just what they were and still are being exposed to on a daily basis.

Google map of the base

Camp Parks is currently under development for housing projects and the The Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin was built directly on top of various radioactive sites.
Camp Park’s facilities were reused by the base when it was transferred over to the Air Force from the Navy. It is clear that the Navy did not tell the Air Force about the use of buildings that were used by their personnel because no sane person would reuse a building used in nuclear experiments. The Gymnasium in particular was used for nuclear experiments as it had a large area and I noticed recently that they have torn it down. When they were tearing down the facility, Alameda County fire department conducted training on these buildings. That was in early 2019. The Navy has a lot to answer for!

Phantom Sheep are not real sheep, they are made of masonite to simulate a sheep because the Naval Radiological Laboratory conducted live animal experiments in the past with the help of the University of California San Francisco and housed them down on a farm near Stanford University and the mess was so terrible and useless that they gave up on using livestock for experimentation in San Francisco. They had trouble hiring people to take care of the animals especially when they realized what was going on, were appalled as anyone would be and then they realized that they were being exposed to the radiation as well as the animals without consent and this all came out in the Congressional Hearings on Human Radiation Experiments in the Clinton Administration. Then they ran into the problem of disposing of the bodies, nobody would take them into landfills and so it got too complicated and messy. It wasn’t like on the Nuclear Tests where they could just kill them and dump them overboard, or just kill them in the Nevada desert. So they came up with a phantom Sheep made of Masonite to measure radiation exposure.

Also fake sheep do not move so they could get accurate readings on exposure. This test was to determine how many sheep would be exposed in a typical farm to determine if the sheeps bodies closest to the exposure protected the other sheep in the area. It is a sign of the many experiments that were used to figure out how much exposure to a nuclear blast happened in everyday real world scenarios in raising animals and how people live their lives. All of this data would eventually be used in computer models but they had to have a real world experiment to prove the concept.

There were extensive tests conducted at Camp Parks which was taken over by Stanford Research Institute (SRI) after the USNRDL was closed.

The Experiment

They built a cross shaped railroad track where they could remotely open up a railcar with the cobalt coming out of a lead structure so that they could control the amount of radiation exposed to the “sheep”.

DOSIMETRY FOR LARGE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS USING MULTIPLE Co 60 SOURCES AND I MVP X RAYS by C.K. Menkes, USNRDL – TR-842 21 April 1965 U.S. NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LABORATORY; SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 94135 Figure 2. P. 14
DOSIMETRY FOR LARGE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS USING MULTIPLE Co 60 SOURCES AND I MVP X RAYS by C.K. Menkes, USNRDL – TR-842 21 April 1965 U.S. NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LABORATORY; SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 94135 Figure 1 page 13
DOSIMETRY FOR LARGE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS USING MULTIPLE Co 60 SOURCES AND I MVP X RAYS by C.K. Menkes, USNRDL – TR-842 21 April 1965 U.S. NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LABORATORY; SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 94135

Distribution List

Distribution List and number of copies of this report sent. These lists are included in Classified Reports to note who knew what and when and to keep track of the reports. Note the Colleges involved:

INITIAL DISTRIBUTION
Number of copies and institution

NAVY

1 Chief, Bureau of Ships (Code 320-364A)
2 Chief, Bureau of Ships (Code 21OL)
1 Chief of Naval Operations (Op-07T)
1 Chief of Naval Operations (OP-75)
3 Director, Naval Research Laboratory
1 Chief of Naval Research (Code 422)
5 CO, Office of Naval Research, FPO, New York
1 Supt., Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey
1 CO, Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officer School

ARMY

1 Chief of Research and Development (Atomic Office)
1 Commander, Nuclear Defense Laboratory
1 CO, Army Electronic Research and Development Laboratory

AIR FORCE

1 Chief, Systems Engineering Group (SEPIR)
1 Director, USAF Project RAND
1 Director, Air University Library, Maxwell AFB
1 Commander, AF Cambridge Research Laboratories (CRT)

OTHER DOD ACTIVITIES

3 Director, Defense Atomic Support Agency (Library)
1 Commander, FC/DASA, Sandia Base (FCTG5, Library)
20 Defense Documentation Center

AEC ACTIVITIES AND OTHERS

3 Argonne National Laboratory
3 Atomic Energy Commission, Washington
1 Atomic Energy of Canada, Limited
2 Battelle Memorial Institute
4 Brookhaven National Laboratory
1 Carnegie Institute of Technology
2 Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (Library)
1 NASA, Lewis Research Center
1 National Bureau of Standards (Library)
1 Sandia Corporation, Albuquerque
1 Sandia Corporation, Livermore
2 U. of California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore
2 U. of California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley
15 Div. of Technical Extension, Oak Ridge

 

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