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Chronicling the Disaster of America's Experience with Atomic Radiation, 1945-1982

Table of Contents

The following is a complete on-line reproduction of the text of this book, and is reprinted here with permission of the authors, Harvey Wasserman and Norman Solomon who own the rights to this book.

Permission to distribute this book is freely given
so long as no modification of the text is made.

It is my hope that others will spend some of their time in a similar manner, creating on-line copy of out-of-print books, as relevant today as at the time they were originally published, to provide more and more people with access to the vital information contained in such works about the details of the secret, classified at the time of its occurrence, history of these here "United States of America." As Thomas Jefferson once said, "An informed democracy will behave in a responsible manner."



The Disaster of America's Experience
with Atomic Radiation

Harvey Wasserman & Norman Solomon

with Robert Alvarez & Eleanor Walters

A Delta Book

A Delta Book

Published by
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to use the following material:
Excerpts from "Three Mile Island: No Health Impact Found" by Jane E. Brody from The New York Times, April 15, 1980; "Nuclear Fabulists" from The New York Times, April 18, 1980; editorial from The New York Times, November 23, 1980. © 1980 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission.
Excerpts from "The Down Wind People" by Anne Fadiman in Life. © 1980 Time, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
Excerpts from "No Place to Hide" by David Bradley. Copyright 1948 by David Bradley. By permission of Little, Brown and Company in association with the Atlantic Monthly Press.
Excerpts from NAAV Atomic Veterans' Newsletters. Reprinted by permission of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, 1109 Franklin Street, Burlington, Ia. 52601.
Excerpts from the editorial "The Bomb's Other Victims" in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 1, 1979.
Excerpts from the editorial "Old or Dead Before Their Time" in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 17, 1979. Copyright 1979 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Excerpt of letter from Penny Bernstein to authors, used with permission of Penny Bernstein.
Excerpt of letter from Pat Broudy to authors, used with permission of Pat Broudy.
Excerpt of letter from William Drechin to authors, used with permission of William Drechin.
Excerpt of letter from Bob Drogin to authors, used with permission of Bob Drogin.
Excerpt of letter from Frank Karasti to authors, used with permission of Frank Karasti.
Excerpt of letter from Alvin Lasky to authors, used with permission of Alvin Lasky.
Excerpt of letter from George Mace to Joseph Wershba, used with permission of George Mace.
Excerpt of letter from William Shufflebarger to authors, used with permission of William Shufflebarger.
Excerpt of letter from Gregory Troyer to authors, used with permission of Gregory Troyer.
Excerpt of letter from Joseph Wershba to authors, used with permission of Joseph Wershba.
Excerpt of letter from Warren Zink to authors, used with permission of Warren Zink.

No copyright is claimed on material from United States Government works.

Copyright © 1982 by Harvey Wasserman and Norman Solomon.

Introduction copyright © 1982 by Benjamin Spock.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law.

Delta (R) TM 755118, Dell Publishing Co, Inc.
Manufactured in the United States of America.
First Delta printing
Designed by Judith Neuman

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Wasserman, Harvey.

RA1231.R2W36 363.1'79 81-17438
ISBN 0-440-54566-6 AACR2

A hardcover edition of this work is available through Delacorte Press, 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, New York.

In 1947 Albert Einstein wrote:

"Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since the prehistoric discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense, there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.

"We scientists recognize our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of the simple facts of atomic energy and its implications for society. In this lies our only security and our only hope--we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not death."

It is to that faith in an informed citizenry that we dedicate this book.


Introduction by Dr. Benjamin Spock

    PART I     The Bombs
  1.   The First Atomic Veterans
  2.   300,000 GIs Under the Mushroom Clouds
  3.   Bringing the Bombs Home
  4.   Test Fallout, Political Fallout
  5.   Continued Testing: Tragic Repetitions

    PART II     X Rays and the Radioactive Workplace
  6.   The Use and Misuse of Medical X Rays
  7.   Nuclear Workers: Radiation on the Job

    PART III     The Industry's Underside
  8.   Bomb Production at Rocky Flats: Death Downwind
  9.   Uranium Milling and the Church Rock Disaster
  10.   Tritium in Tucson, Wastes Worldwide

    PART IV     The "Peaceful Atom"
  11.   The Battle of Shippingport
  12.   How Much Radiation?
  13.   Animals Died at Three Mile Island
  14.   People Died at Three Mile Island
  15.   Conclusion: Surviving the New Fire

Introduction now includes Radiation in America map.


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