NRC “Strykes” Army over Pohakuloa Radiation

The Army cannot be trusted!

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has joined Kanaka Maoli, and other community representatives in criticizing the Army’s radiation monitoring plan for Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) in the center of Hawai’i Island.

In an article written by Alan D. McNarie for the Big Island Weekly –“NCR to ARMY: DU Monitoring Plan Won’t Work”  (See  the NRC said: “We have concluded that the Plan will provide inconclusive results for the U.S. Army as to the potential impact of the dispersal of depleted uranium (DU) while the Pohakuloa Training Area is being utilized for aerial bombardment or other training exercises,” wrote Rebecca Tadesse, Chief of the NRC’s Materials Decommissioning Branch, in a recent letter to Lt. General Rick Lynch, who heads the Army’s Installation Management Command.

The article went on to say “The Army’s handling of the DU issue at Pohakuloa is also drawing fire from some independent experts, including retired army doctor Lorrin Pang, Los Alamos National Laboratory consultant Dr. Marshall Bland, and Dr. Michael Reimer, a retired geologist with a background in radiation monitoring. And Sierra Club researcher Cory Harden has used recently released Army documents to challenge the Army’s own estimates of how much DU may have been released into the environment at Pohakuloa.

“The NRC review seems to vindicate Dr. Pang and myself for claiming that the monitoring was insufficient,” Reimer told BIW.

Dr. Reimer said, “Five-micron size [particles] would fall out within a mile.  Smaller sizes may be carried by the wind.” He recommended .45-micron instead of 5 micron filters to detect radiation possibly moving off base.  Someone compared the Army’s flawed efforts to using tennis racquets to catch BBs. Others say that reported cancer clusters down wind of PTA need to be investigated further.

Dr. Pang also challenged the army’s general credibility by citing a number of former army statements about DU that Pang said simply weren’t true.  “The Army stated to the Dept of Health Environmental Chief that inhaled DU (from exploding weaponry) was not a worry since DU is heavier than air and would not become airborne, therefore not inhaled…”   Pang also claims that an Army study setting human safety thresholds for DU inhalation was scientifically flawed.  “That study has been widely, publicly debunked by the scientific community,” he said. “The Army investigators did not count effects like tumors (both malignant and benign) in the exposed group.”

Peace activists have been saying for years that the Army cannot be trusted about safety claims of radiation contamination in Hawaii.  Now even the NRC seems to be agreeing the Army can’t be trusted.  There may be a lot more radiation and other military toxins at Pohakuloa than the Army wants people to know.

Military Clean-up NOT Build-up!

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