1:50 USS independence next to the Nagato before Test Able 2:20 target ships mapped 4:14 The scientists and samples 6:00 Radio controlled drones 7:00 Manhattan project scientists at Kwajalein 9:40 dropping of the bomb 14:31 diffused cloud “dangerous radioactive particles in the air had become so diffused it was no longer a danger to the area.” 15:52 camera on bikini showing shock wave. 17:20 map of what ships got hit as they dropped the bomb off target. Independence noted 18:55 Independence seen just after explosion when the support ships entered the lagoon. 21:54 animals 24:31 Skate stating the inside were damaged, so they went inside it. 25:21 USS Independence 27:34 Baker Test, second test underwater explosion. 40:00 USS Independence
[Page 13] COMMANDER’S OFFICE SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 11 September 1946
NAVAL SHIPYARD NOTICE No, 244-46
Sub: Vessels Arriving from Bikini – Instructions Governing Special Tests. 1. The following instructions will govern relative to the special teats to be conducted by the San Francisco Naval Shipyard on ships employed in the Bikini operation: A. Planning
1. Procure funds and originate Job Orders. 2. Follow up work procedures developed, smoothing same out, and put into such form as may be promulgated to other activities. 3. Compile all data necessary for the development of such reports as may be required from time to time.
1. Develop work procedures in accordance with existing and subsequent instructions.2. See to it that ships have radiological, clearance when they enter yard.
C. Industrial Relations 1. In consultation With Production, disseminate instructions relative to safety precautions.
J. W. FOWLER Commodore, USN Commander
DJBT: CO, OH, OF, CF
Page 13 [Page 14 posted]
REPORT NO. 2 EXPERIMENTAL WORK, SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Navy Reports that document the dumping of nuclear waste directly into San Francisco Bay as well as other Navy Bases, the orders, correspondence, etc.
[Submarine Barracks at Hunters Point Shipyard now used as commercial space and was the ironically the site office of Lennar Builders were used for decontamination of shipyard workers who scraped and sandblasted the ships from the Atomic Tests. These buildings were used by the workers to clean off by showering off the plutonium and other radioactive elements and may be some of the most contaminated buildings on the site. The Hot Cell where they stored nuclear materials in lead lined chambers and maybe the storage of radioactive waste all over the shipyard may have more contamination. These are also where the workers ate their lunches while in contaminated uniforms.
Building 103 which still stands and is directly over the fence from the Artists buildings is referenced directly in this report but the decontamination centers soon expanded to all of the submarine barracks as the ranks of the personnel increased.]
REPORT OF CONFERENCE San Francisco Naval Shipyard Meeting at 1100, 1 October 1946. Present were: Dr. F. H. Rodenbaugh Dr. K. 3. Scott Capt. W. E. Walsh (MC) USN Capt. Wynn, USN Capt. Lemler, USN Capt. Maxwell, USN Lt. Comdr. Turnbaugh, USN Lt. Comdr. Skow, USN Lt. Chadbourn (MC) USN Lt. (jg) Morton (MC) USN Lt. Howell, USNR Mr. Hammond Mr. Gordon Comdr. Hoffman
Page 61 [Page 62]
Maxwell: We called this conference together to make certain recommendations to’ BuShips on the means and methods to decontaminate salt water piping based on experiments conducted at this Yard – using ammonium citrate solution and muriatic acid solution. We found that muriatic acid removes all the foreign matter and activity. It does a complete job. The ammonium citrate does a similar job to a lesser extent – about 90% of the activity is removed. We found a medicine that can be used – it may not be the best, etc.
Dr. Scott and Dr. Rodenbaugh, are you in a position to give us a few answers that we are after – when should we use this medicine – what standard should we use – when should we use the acid and when should we use the citrate thru the salt water system?
TO: COMWESSEAFRON COM 11 NAVSHIPYD SAN FRAN, C0M12 NAVSHIPYD PUGET SOUND NAVSHIPYD MARE BLAND NAVSHIPYD TERMINAL IS NAVSHIPYD NORFOLK, COM ’13 NAVSHIPYD PEARL, COM 14 NAVSHIPYD SANDIEGO, COM 15 ATC M KWAJ, COMMARIANAS COMNAVPHIL CINCPAC COMSERVPAC CNO 032133Z NCR 1162
ON BASIS FURTHER STUDY RADIOLOGICAL HAZARDS AND CONFERENCES WITH BUMED, MANHATTAN DISTRICT, RADIOLOGICAL SAFETY ADVISOR AND UNIVCAL REPRESENTATIVES FOLLOWING DECISIONS MADE. NO HEALTH OR SECURITY HAZARDS ARE PRESENT IN FOLLOWING PROCEDURES. THESE INSTRUCTIONS SUPERSEDE PREVIOUS RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED AND WILL BE INCORPORATED IN CHANGE TO MY CONF LTR ALL/ALL CROSSROADS /C S99) (0) OF 22 NOVEMBER 1946: A SPECIAL DISPOSAL OF SAND USED IN WET SANDBLASTING UNDERWATER BODIES CROSSROADS NON TARGET VESSELS NOT REQUIRED. B. MARINE GROWTH ANTSCALE REMOVED FROM VESSELS AT FIRST DRYDOCKING SHALL BE SEGREGATED AND SUNK AT SEA AS PREVIOUSLY PRESCRIBED. Continue reading “1946-12-04 ACID AND OTHER DECONTAMINATING SOLUTIONS USED IN CLEARING SALT WATER SYSTEMS MAY BE DISCHARGED INTO HARBORS”→
[Note all page numbers and notes will be enclosed in these brackets]
[It is important to note that the safe radiation levels at the time did not put into consideration the cancer hazard and all they were concerned about is preventing radiation sickness. All of the sailors involved in this operation were later compensated with a settlement from the United States after Congressional Hearings in the Clinton Administration, the ones still alive of course.]
DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET VESSELS
1. As a result of Test Able on 1 July, no extensive deposit of long life radioactive fission products or alpha emitters was found on the target vessels. Radioactivity existing was induced type and was of very short half-life. Within a period of twenty four hours after fission of the bomb the level of radioactivity permitted reoccupation of surviving targets, with the exception of concrete barge YO-160, without radiological hazard. Consequently no decontamination of target vessels was required. Continue reading “OPERATION CROSSROADS, RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON- TARGET VESSELS Part I”→
LittleSis Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island Development LittleSIS is a mapping tool and database that connects politicians and their relatives to their donors and relatives. Handy tool for navigating politics and land development.
“Lennar acquires decommissioned military bases in California.
Nancy Pelosi’s nephew Laurence Pelosi was the manager of acquisitions for Lennar when they were granted the agreements to build on California’s decommissioned military bases.”
Operation Crossroads (1946) was two atomic bomb tests where the second one was exploded under water creating a radioactive steam cloud that spread over all of the ships, including the support ships thus irradiating about 80% of the US Pacific Fleet at the time. The Navy had set up a set of Target Ships including the Saratoga and Independence Aircraft Carriers to see what effect a nuclear explosion would have on the ships. The explosion irradiated the water in the lagoon the equivalent of 5000 tons of radium.
Unfortunately they miscalculated and thus irradiated all of the ships present which had to be cleaned immediately to be put back in action. Thus the ships had to go to US Ports and be cleaned by sandblasting and the Navy decided to dump the contaminated sandblast sands directly into the harbors of the Navy Bases. 145 out of 207 ships were sent to be decontaminated, the others were scuttled. Airplanes were sent to their respective bases to be washed down.
The Navy entered the Lagoon with the support ships but had to retreat when the radiation levels exceeded the fatal level and the ships ran out, some went out to sea to escape. One hour after the blast the Battleship “New York” had a reading of 1200 r/hr which is 3 times the fatal dose. Here is a video of the scene, showing the support ships wash down the decks of the target ships like it was a carwash, the sailors completely unaware of the danger of a nuclear blast. https://youtu.be/BKH437o14vA
145 out of 207 ships were sent to be decontaminated, the others were scuttled. There were also airplanes that were affected and they had to return to their bases to be decontaminated. The ships were sent to the following ports to be cleaned:
Bremerton and Puget Sound
Hunters Point Shipyard – San Francisco
The Caroline Islands
Treasure Island – San Francisco
The ships had to be sandblasted to remove the paint in order to clean the ships. Because the non target ships used their pumps and hoses to clean the other ships or operated inside the lagoon, their water lines, pumps and evaporators (used to produce clean water) were contaminated and in most cases they could clean them with acid which was also dumped directly into these harbors. At the time the Navy was only concerned with the effects of the acids dumped into the harbors and they really didn’t care about dumping radiation into the water where civilians fish. One thing they found out fast was that copper piping tends to hold the radiation directly in the copper and so those systems had to be scrapped and all the copper piping had to be replaced.
In 1989 the EPA put out a report on the cleanup of Mare Island, Alameda Air station and Hunters Point and they state that they used samples that dug in 4 inches deep to determine radiation. They cleared all of these bases for nuclear radiation. Problem is that in order to fool a geiger counter all you need is a few feet of dirt. You can cover it up all you want, the radiation is still there. Also to test for Alpha and Beta Particles you have drill down and bring up a core of the materials which are them chemically separated to isolate the radioactive elements and then determine the radioactivity based on the contents, not a geiger counter.
Here is the official video of the project: https://archive.org/details/MISC1323OperationCrossroads1948 No description at the National Archives. Castle Films produced this film for the U.S. military — “Operation Crossroads” US Army film # MISC-1323 and US Navy film # MN 5345. Description from Armed Forces Films for Public and Television Use: “A documentary of the Able and Baker blasts of the Atomic Bomb Test at Bikini, produced by Joint Army-Navy Task Force One.” National Archives Identifier: 88210 source file isn’t in the greatest shape.
Video detailing the Nuclear safety at the blast. Notice the officers checking the status of their geiger counters using a radiation source. Similar sources were found buried at San Francisco’s Treasure Island thus causing the site to become an EPA Superfund Nuclear Radiation Site.