2015 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:05:52 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] RADIATION: BOMARC accident aftermath (NJ)
Nuclear ‘Cleanup’ Leaves Many Questions

Sand Paper  (NJ)
July 23, 2015

In June 1960, the people of the eastern United States, especially those in Ocean County, breathed a sigh of relief after a possible nuclear accident apparently had been avoided. Earlier, a Bomarc missile, one of 56 armed with a nuclear warhead, had caught fire. According to The New York Times, it had “melted under an intense blaze fed by its 100 pound detonator of TNT. … The atomic warhead apparently dropped into the molten mass that was left of the missile, which burned for forty-five minutes. … the radiation had been caused when thoriated magnesium metal which forms part of the weapon, caught fire. … the metal, already radioactive, becomes highly radioactive when it is burned.”

On June 9, the Trenton Times editorialized, “The situation, it must be conceded, was one of potential danger. Even without an explosion, the nuclear warhead of the Bomarc could produce radiation which, if scattered profusely, would threaten life. In this instance, according to the official announcement, a ‘small amount of radioactive matter was scattered in the immediate shelter area,’ but without producing a ‘significant health hazard of contamination problem.’”


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650-961-8918 or 650-969-1545
Fax: 650-961-8918

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