Air Date: Week of April 26, 1996
Facts about nuclear bomb testing in the Nevada desert.
CURWOOD: This year marks the 45th anniversary of open-air nuclear bomb testing at the Nevada proving ground, 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Between 1951 and 1958, there were more than 100 nuclear explosions at the site. The 100,000 people who lived in the area were told the tests posed no danger to them. Scientists originally thought the fallout from the blast would be limited to a 100-mile radius. In fact it reached thousands of miles into Canada and beyond New England. Some historians argue that the highly visible testing program served as a strong deterrent to the Soviet Union, but it came at a high cost at home. According to a study conducted by Dr. Linus Pauling, the test doubled the number of leukemia cases in the nation to an estimated 10,000. Prostate cancer was also found to be elevated among soldiers present at the site. The best known victims of the testing? John Wayne, and the rest of the cast and crew of the film The Conquerer, most of whom died of cancer. The movie, about the Mongolian hero Genghis Khan, was filmed downwind from one of the explosions. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth