NH #442: Smug Stupid Los Alamos: Joni Arend’s Toxic Tour of Radioactive Manhattan Project Legacy Sites

Smug Stupid Los Alamos: A guide to the atomic hot spots – meaning REALLY hot – around the radioactive Manhattan Project legacy sites with Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Pictured above: How much more smug can it get than boasting about atomic bombs and making radiation “jokes” on tee shirts for small children and even a onesie for an infant?

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Smug Stupid Los Alamos – its history and current problems – is the subject of this week’s show. Joni Arends is one of the founders of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety and a 32 year veteran of that group. She provided the guided tour of public lands around the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), one of the original Manhattan Project sites. This is where, during World War II, the United States military kicked local farmers, ranchers and a children’s school off their ancestral land in order to build the first atomic bomb in isolation and secrecy. Joni’s Toxic Tour (as it has come to be known) took us to bluffs overlooking Manhattan Project-era laboratories, nuclear weapons facilities, radioactive waste dump sites, and the Rio Grande river, which has been and continues to be impacted by the migration of LANL radioactive, hazardous and toxic contaminants through surface and ground water pathways.

    Additional information on the tour was provided by Leona Morgan, Diné, who helped to found the Nuclear Issues Study Group of Albuquerque, and Ian Zabarte, Head Man of the Western Shoshone Nation.
Nuclear Hotseat producer/host Libbe HaLevy on the Los Alamos Toxic Tour – double masked (“paper and plastic”) for radiation safety. Would that I had a respirator. (You can’t see the plastic bags covering my shoes…)
Statue in Los Alamos commemorating the apparatus that holds the plutonium pits as they move from station to station through the gloveboxes at LANL.
Robert Oppenheimer, the “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” as a bobble head.
Obviously his ubiquitous pipe is sold separately.

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

So much nuclear numnutzery, so little time… The European Union including nuclear in its “green” energy planning, or Japan wanting to use radioactive decontamination soil from Fukushima in parks?! Maybe… both?