Camp Parks is a Air Force Base that was previously a Navy Base used for radiation experiments in the late 50’s to mid 60’s where they purposely spread radioactive materials onto streets, yards and buildings in order to figure out how to clean up after a nuclear blast. The Navy created dirty bomb incidents all over the Bay Area and trained military personnel from all branches to clean up after a nuclear blast to remove the radiation by scrubbing, firehosing or with street sweepers etc. In the early days, the late 1940’s they thought that fallout was not dangerous, it was not until Operation Castle in 1954 when radioactive fallout fell onto Enewetak Atoll where US military personnel were stationed as well as natives and they got radiation burned from the fallout.
Camp Parks Cobalt 60 Experiments
Camp Parks was used for many radiation experiments Which I will list above when I get the articles up on the site. Fortunately in Complex III tests they decided to limit the amount of radiation they spread onto the grounds, the roads and buildings to .1R per hour which today is a nuclear accident in a nuclear power plant.
Later it would dawn on the Navy that they could use a different colored sand and then just count the grains to figure out the amount of fallout.
Camp Parks was used by the US Navy Radiological Defense Lab until it closed in 1969 and then became a testing ground for Stanford University and SRI, Today it is being developed for real estate. The results of many of these tests were published by SRI Stanford Research Institute and the people who are moving into these areas should thank them for their service.
It should be noted that the Alameda County Fire Department burned down several of the buildings at Camp Parks in 2019 to train their firemen. One building of particular note is the gymnasium that was used up to the closing is now gone and I wonder if they burned it down for training because I remember it was used in radiation experiments to simulate raining fallout onto building structures because of its high ceiling. I will post more on this when I find the report.
The following are maps of the test areas that were also used in the Complex I and Complex II studies which used more radioactive materials.
Radiological Recovery of Land Target Components – complex III, W. L Owen (Stanford Research Institute, J.D. Sartor, San Francisco: US Naval Radiological Defense laboratory 1963
The Tests were conducted over a 3 month period to train military personnel. They used Barium 140 with a half life of 12.75 days which decays into Lanthanum 140 with a half life of 1.6 days so after 14 days of placing this on the grounds they would come in and clean it up to determine how ordinary weather would affect the clean up of the radiation. The report is full of charts showing the radiation level as the different materials are cleaned.