16 September 1946
INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY Of Vessels from Bikini At the San Francisco Naval Shipyard Begun 5 September 1946
The principal activity today was the selection and preparation of various sections of piping aboard the USS LAFFEY and the USS HENRICO for a decontaminating experiment to be conducted tomorrow, 17 September, at 0900.
Aboard the LAFFEY in the morning Lt. Chadbourn monitored a section of the Firemain (copper nickel piping) in compartments A-208-L (Food Service) A-2Q5-L (Crews Mess), A-204-5L and A-204-2L (Passageway). The workers from shop 56 who were to open up and blank off the Firemain had their tools monitored before going to work. Men working on a section of pipe forward of that which was to be blanked off did not wear gloves due to difficulty of access. This was done only after the Geiger reading showed the section to be very low in radioactivity. The men were instructed to wash their hands carefully afterwards. Tomorrow the section of copper nickel pipe will be pumped full of a decontaminating solution (1% hydrochloric acid). The section will stand for 72 hours after which the liquid will be drained off and tested.
On the HENRICO Lt. Chadbourn tested with the Geiger counter two sections of the Salt Water Flushing system (galvanized steel) located in the troop’s head and found it sufficiently “hot” to warrant the experiment later with the two solutions (hydrochloric acid in one section, and a mixture of Citric Acid and Ammonium Hydroxide in the other.
Due to the nature of the experiments, Lt. Howell of the Industrial Laboratory has been called on to furnish assistance and required, solutions.
No sandblasting has as yet been attempted. Efforts by Captain Walsh (MC). to secure a vacu-blaster has resulted in the information that the only ones available in the area are held by the 19th Fleet.
Source: OPERATION CROSSROADS. RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON-TARGET VESSELS. VOLUME 2 , DNA ltr, 21 Apr 1982, THIS PAGE IS UNCLASSIFIED, DIRECTOR OF SHIPTECHNICAL INSPECTION REPORT. Radiological Decontamination of Target and Non-Target Vessels, VOLUME 2 OF 3.