Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remembering the bomb that rocked Farmington-The Farmington Times

"I didn't think twice about the radiation then," said [Bennie] Armenta, who returned to remove the drilling equipment after the explosion. "These days with all that's going on, I would probably be a bit more worried."

Code-named "Gasbuggy," and part of Operation Ploughshare, the goal of the 29-kiloton nuclear test was to see if a small nuclear blast could stimulate the release of difficult-to-extract natural gas trapped in shale deposits deep below the national forest.

Atoms for Peace and Operation Ploughshare promoted the idea that nuclear explosions could be used for peaceful projects such as mining, canal building and dams.

Twenty-seven nuclear blasts were carried out under the program — all in the Southwest — before it was discontinued because of radiation concerns."

The "naturally occurring background levels" of radioactive contamination referred to without culpability by our government and by corporate industry is in large part the result of these "27 nuclear blasts" in Farmington, NM in 1967, Bikini Island/U.S atomic bomb testing, Marshall Islands/US detonated 67 nuclear bombs 1946-1958, 3 Mile Island meltdown, Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bomb detonation/WWII by the U.S. against Japan, Chernobyl/Soviet Union, White Sands missile testing/New Mexico, today's nuclear facility damage in Japan, nuclear stations daily emissions, nuclear powered submarines, and countless additional tests and nuclear accidents around the world.

Government and industry pretend that our environment's ever-growing levels of persistent harmful radioactive isotopes have no actual man-made cause. In fact, they imply that  Nature is to blame for the rising nuclear pollution.  While some folks have granite mountain walls or uranium sources under their feet, intact, these formations do not mount to the levels which currently make up the "naturally occurring background levels" we have in our environment.

We know, however, that the nuclear facility tragedies and bomb blasts that have carried these radioactive isotopes far and wide are the reason the food chain and now our baby's milk is laced with radioactive isotopes, no matter where on this planet you happen to live.

Not unlike the persistence of perchlorate in our ground water--a component in jet fuel which damages the thyroid gland--nuclear contamination is a result of man-made activities.  In the case of nuclear isotopes , they are used either for the experimentation of extermination (war or medical--killing humans or killing cancer cells), or for energy generation.  In either case, these man-made nuclear isotopes are today considered "naturally occurring" when found in our environment.  When man repeats mistakes enough times, the result is considered "natural." Does this sound familiar?  "When a lie is repeated enough times, it becomes the truth."

Government and industry's tinkering with atomic weapons and generating facilities has proven well beyond their greatest expectation.  And lives are continually exposed and ultimately harmed with this development by the first scientists who gathered and developed these weapons at Los Alamos Laboratory, New Mexico in the 1940s and tested them around the world.  And now today by elected officials who continue this madness.

Despite the knowledge of the catastrophic harm from this great weapon, it continues to be deployed and its use expanded in this world as if it had some greater good than the tragic effects it renders upon this planet and beyond.  Rather than looking toward less egregious and in fact, less costly and less harmful ways of bringing peace and energy to the world, our current government administration continues to push for expansion of nuclear development.  Renewable solar energy, which is proven effective in supplying electrical generation in Germany, lies dormant in the plans by United States leaders.

In the words of Manfred Max-Neef, Chilean Economist and environmentalist, "Our government leaders know exactly what to do, they just don't do it."  And with the knowledge that "everything is connected" according to Alfred Einstein, perhaps considering and implementing the correct action is well worth our leaders' considerations--before it is truly too late.

Drilling Mora County

By Kurt Madar The Daily Times

Bennie Armenta clearly remembers the nuclear explosion that shook Farmington to its roots — from the bottom up.

He should. He helped move into place the rig that drilled the 4,222-foot hole where the bomb was detonated.

"I didn't think twice about the radiation then," said Armenta, who returned to remove the drilling equipment after the explosion. "These days with all that's going on, I would probably be a bit more worried."

Armenta was 18 when the federal government performed the underground atomic test approximately 55 miles east of Farmington in Carson National Forest on Dec. 10, 1967. The detonation was part of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace campaign....continued....