2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 11 Sep 2002 23:01:17 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] U.S. Navy says sunken ship off Vieques isn't radioactive
U.S. Navy says sunken ship off Vieques isn't radioactive; island
legislature plans hearings

Tuesday, September 10, 2002
By Lilliam Irizarry, Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico ? A ship once used in nuclear tests in the Pacific
is stirring controversy in Puerto Rico three decades after the U.S.
military sunk it off the outlying island of Vieques.

The Navy says the decommissioned USS Killen was used in nuclear tests at
Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the late 1950s and was moved to
the waters off Vieques in 1963, where for about 10 years it was used as
a target ship during Navy bombing exercises.

When it was no longer useful, the 376-foot-long (113-meter-long)
destroyer was sunk 300 meters (yards) off the Caribbean island in the
early 1970s, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Kim Dixon said Monday. "Recent
and past environmental studies of the site and the surrounding area have
shown the Killen is in no way a threat," Dixon said. "The ship does not
have any detected radioactivity."

But some doubt the Navy's word in this U.S. territory, where decades of
military training has bred resentment and suspicion. Puerto Rico's
Senate is planning hearings later this month on whether the USS Killen
should be raised to test for radioactivity and to determine the contents
of several hundred drums aboard the ship.

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