2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: pkmiller@akaction.net
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 16:04:23 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] new investigative report on Fort Greely nuclear reactor
Dear CPEO Moderator,
Please post this to the distribution list.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics released a new report today that
documents radioactive contamination from the nuclear reactor at Fort
Greely, Alaska, exposing workers and residents. The report also provides
evidence that the Department of Defense used the reactor to covertly
produce weapons-grade nuclear materials. 

The report is available on our web site at: http://www.akaction.net or in
hard copy form by calling (907) 222--7714. Please see attached press
release form more information.

The Anchorage Daily News front page article concerning the report may be
accessed at http://www.adn.com

For Release: June 6, 2000		

For More Information Contact: 	
Pamela Miller, (907) 222-7714, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Norm Buske, (509) 363-1135, Nuclear Weapons-Free America
Chris Chandler, (202) 408-0034, Government Accountability Project


Anchorage, AK (June 6, 2000)An Army nuclear reactor at Fort Greely, Alaska
contaminated workers and area residents, according to a report released
Tuesday by Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT). The victims should now
be found and compensated by the government.

The report presents several lines of evidence that the Army reactor, closed
in 1972, was used to make special isotopes for micro-nuclear (battlefield)
weapons. The "cover story" missions of the SM-1A reactor included providing
steam heat for the Army fort and generating electricity, as well as
research. "The government should declassify documents and tell the public
the truth, including the previously secret military mission of the reactor
and the full extent of nuclear accidents," said report author Norm Buske. 

Analysis of willow tree stems and leaves from the fort sewer outflow
revealed rare neptunium, americium and curium isotopes, not usually found
in abundance at nuclear power plants, but which indicate high-neutron
activation of SM-1A reactor fuel, and the production of special weapons

Political and military leaders should demand investigation of the major
impacts of the nuclear reactor at Fort Greely. The authors of the report
recommend that the fort be designated a Superfund site.

ACAT is already participating with labor unions to identify and assist
nuclear test site workers who were contaminated at Amchitka Island, Alaska,
site of the world's largest underground nuclear explosion. A similar
procedure should be employed by the Department of Energy to locate workers
from Fort Greely and make them eligible for medical treatment and compensation.

The report notes that earlier this year the Department of Energy (DOE)
announced that workers at the nuclear weapons complex had suffered from
radiation exposure, and offered compensation. "Fort Greely reactor victims
should be included in this belated recognition and compensation of Cold War
warriors," says ACAT's director, Pam Miller. 
The Fort Greely reactor operated from 1962 to 1972, with a two-year
shut-down from July, 1967 to May of 1969, following a near-melt control rod
accident analyzed in the new report. On March 13, 1972, it was shut down
for good, as a result of another accident.

Area residents in the nearby town of Delta Junction are concerned about
high cancer death rates. An area on the north side of town is called
"cancer row." The report recommends a broad program of investigation,
admissions of past and present secrecy and cover-ups, environmental
clean-up, and finally medical attention and compensation for victims.

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh described chemical and
biological warfare experiments carried out at Fort Greely in his 1968 book,
"Chemical and Biological Warfare; America's Hidden Arsenal."

The report was written by Pamela K. Miller and Lorraine Eckstein of Alaska
Community Action on Toxics and Norm Buske, of Nuclear Weapons Free America.
Buske is also a researcher for the Government Accountability Project.  

A copy of our report is available on Alaska Community Action on Toxics web
site at:
http://www.akaction.net. Please call (907) 222-7714 for a hard copy of the


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