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U.S. Nuclear Bomb Tests Reverberate Still

March 04, 2004

"From a Tropical Paradise to a Nuclear Hell" (Commentary, March 1), on Bikini, was quite accurate. I was there in 1954 aboard an LST (or landing ship, tank) that served as a troop carrier, "device" carrier and berthing ship for Atomic Energy Commission scientists. Besides the Marshallese, many military personnel on the atolls and afloat were hit by [nuclear test] Bravo. For many years the government, when confronted with this, used a "dog ate my homework" excuse. Only well after the fact did it take responsibility for certain types of cancer. This was after pressure was exerted by the National Assn. of Atomic Veterans.

No recognition was afforded those who participated. We were told there was no danger and that we had been exposed to minimal roentgens. Before Bravo was set off, I was discussing chain reactions with one of the scientists, using my high school physics knowledge. I asked how they knew when the chain reaction would end. He replied, "We don't, but we have a pretty good idea!"

George Camisa

Rolling Hills Estates

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