Tuesday, March 24, 2015 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)/Army meeting on Hawaii DU contamination

Press Release for immediate release March 22, 2015
Re: questions to the NRC and Army over radiation contamination in Hawaii and elsewhere
further contact: Jim Albertini 808-988-7622   email ja@malu-aina.org

Dear NRC and U.S. Army:
Regarding Davy Crockett “King of the Wild Frontier”  DU License to possess (Nuclear waste dump License) in Hawaii, at least 11 other states and 3 foreign countries (South Korea, Germany, and Japan).  I must note that whatever environmental process and laws and NRC provisions apply within the U.S. should also be applied to U.S. Bases in the three foreign countries where the U.S. admits using Davy Crockett DU spotting rounds.  The people in those countries have a right to know and have equal justice applied.
Below are questions that need answers.

1.  I have been informed by an investigative source that up to six Davy Crockett nuclear weapons were actually detonated at Pohakuloa in the late 1950s-early 1960s, not simply up to 2000 Davy Crockett DU spotting rounds used in training there.
Please attempt to confirm or deny this report by the March 24, 2015 meeting date and investigate if any U.S. nuclear explosions took place at military ranges other than the Nevada, Alamogordo, New Mexico, the Marshall Islands nuclear testing grounds, and Johnston Island. It took 43 years to confirm that DU spotting rounds were used at Pohakuloa.  I hope it will not take another 43 to confirm or accurately deny that nuclear weapons were detonated at PTA in the 1950s or early 60s.

Wikipedia says the Davy Crockett M-388 round used a version of the W54 warhead, a very small sub-kiloton fission device.   The Davy Crockett nuclear warhead (Mk-54) which was also basically the same warhead with a variable yield for the Special Atomic Demolition device and the AIM -26 Falcon air-to-air missile.  The yield range is 10-20 ton yield for the Davy Crockett, to 1 kiloton for the special atomic demolition munition, to 250 ton yield for the AIM-26 Falcon air-to-air missile.  Have any of these relatively low yield nuclear weapons been detonated at Pohakuloa or any other sites besides the Nevada Test Site.  I have seen a report that up to six Davy Crockett nuclear detonations have taken place at Pohakuloa.
Mk-54 (Davy Crockett) — 10 or 20 ton yield, Davy Crockett Gun warhead Mk-54 (SADM) — variable yield 10 ton to 1 kiloton, Special Atomic Demolition Munition device W-54 — 250 ton yield, warhead for AIM-26 Falcon air-to-air missile 2.  For years Army officials repeatedly denied that DU was ever used in Hawaii. They lied.  Then they were caught with their pants down by Peace activists discovering in court documents that DU had been used on Oahu at Schofield Barracks but the Army was keeping it quiet.  Peace activist on Hawaii island stepped up radiation monitoring at Mauna Kea State Park near the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) and recorded initial radiation spikes several times background readings on May 29, 2007 with winds coming from the south off the base toward the park.  Three months later the Army admitted DU was used at Pohakuloa at some ranges approximately 1 mile south of Mauna Kea State park  Peace activists suspect DU was also used at the Army’s Makua bombing range on Oahu, the now closed military bombing range on the island of Kaho’olawe, Ka’ula bombing range near Ni’ihau, and perhaps other Hawaii sites.
On July, 2, 2008, the Hawaii County Council by a vote of 8-1 passed Resolution 639-08 calling for a halt to all live-fire at PTA due to the prtesence of Depleted Uranium radiation. The resolution called for clean up of the DU present at PTA and 7 other actions, none of which have been done by the Army.  This has been brought to the attention of the Army and NRC.  Why hasn’t action been taken as called for by the Hawaii County Council?

3.  Citizens want comprehensive, independent, testing and monitoring to determine the full extent of radiation contamination at PTA.  To date, the community has no confidence in the Army, NRC, etc. that such testing and monitoring will be done.  It’s now more than 50 years since DU was used in Hawaii and we still have nothing to assure the confidence of the community.  When will this pattern of denial, passing the buck, and delays change?  Or will it ever change? To date the response of the Army, State and federal officials has been shameful.

4.  With the new and improved Saddle Road passing through Pohakuloa, traffic has increased considerably.  So too the risk of radiation being spread by vehicles, high winds in the area, and flash flooding. If nothing else, what does the NRC have to say about PTA, with all its known military toxins being located adjacent to a Girl Scout’s Camp?

5.  How many live rounds are fired annually at PTA.  A Stryker EIS done more than a decade ago said 14.8 million.  What is the current figure and name all the weapon systems used?

6.  The Army has said that DU was prohibited in training as of 1996. No word on if and when DU was prohibited in training by the other military branches.  If DU was not prohibited from being used in training was it used at PTA until 1996 in other weapons besides Davy Crockett? NRC –take off your Davy Crockett blinders.  Today DU is used in a wide variety of weapons by all branches of the military:  20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 105mm, 120mm, etc..  Have any of these weapons been used at PTA, Schofield Barracks, and all the other sites where Davy Crockett DU spotting rounds were used? Or will we have to wait another 40 plus years for these questions to be addressed?

7.  The Hawaiian Island of Kaho’olawe (28,000 acres) was used as a bombing and live-fire target for more than 50 years.  A citizens movement lead by Native Hawaiians stopped the bombing. $450 million was spent to clean up the military mess.  It was suppose to clean the entire surface of UXO (Unexploded ordinance) and 2/3 of the island to a depth of 4 feet  so vegetation could be replanted.  The $450 million is gone and not even the entire surface has been cleared of UXO.  UXO is buried all over the island and in the waters surrounding the island. It’s still a mess and as far as I know has never been tested for the presence of DU.  PTA, at 133,000-acres is nearly 5 times as large as Kaho’olawe.  It has been used as a target for more than 70 years and has confirmed radiation contamination. What will be the cost of clean up at PTA?  Do the math.  And who is going to pay for it?  Not far from PTA is the Waikoloa 120,000-acre live-fire area that was used just for 2 years of training during WWII.  Today the estimated clean up cost of that site alone is over $700 million.  A measly $5-10million a year is presently being appropriated for clean up.  At that rate, at today’s prices, it would take 70-140 years for clean up.  Again, easy to make a mess.  Much harder to clean it up.  Always plenty of money for weapons and war.  NEVER enough money for clean up.

8. Finally, PTA is Hawaiian Kingdom government and crown occupied lands.  Hawaii as an independent nation was illegally overthrown by greedy U.S. businessmen with the direct involvement of the U.S. Marines.  Hawaii has been under U.S. military occupation ever since.  Pohakuloa is translated to mean: The Land of the Night of long prayer.  Pohakuloa is known as the sacred heavenly realm of unity between the three great mountains –Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai.  To bomb Pohakuloa and contaminate it with radiation is considered desecration and sacrilegious to Hawaii’s native people, the Kanaka Maoli, and those of us who believe we need to respect and honor native people’s spiritual beliefs and sacred sites.  It’s time for the U.S. to stop being the ugly American.  Pohakuloa is a good place to begin.  Stop the bombing and all live-fire at PTA.  Clean up the mess and end U.S. occupation.

Jim Albertini
President of Malu ‘Aina

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

On 3/19/2015 1:36 PM, Snyder, Amy wrote:





There has been a change to the agenda for the March 24, 2015 meeting between the Army and the NRC regarding adding the remaining sites that have depleted uranium from the Davy Crockett weapon system.   Specifically, the meeting agenda has been modified to start at 11:00 a.m. (eastern time) and end at 5:15 p.m. (eastern time).  Please note that the meeting announcement is updated to show the updated agenda.


The Link is http://meetings.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=details&Code=20150266 (need to click on ML number under related documents) or  there is a direct link to agenda at http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/view?AccessionNumber=ML15078A425.


Please note that currently there is no licensing review or licensing action.  This meeting is a pre-application submission meeting.  The meeting is not specific to the Hawaiian sites.  Topics that are related to the Hawaiian sites will begin at 1:30 p.m. (eastern time).


Army draft documents (not official records) :

View ADAMS P8 Properties ML15078A094

Open ADAMS P8 Package (Draft Documents from Army Regarding March 24, 2015 Meeting on Depleted Uranium from the Davy Crockett Weapon System)

These documents should be accessible to the public tomorrow (Friday, March 20).


Please let me know if you want the toll free number to call in to this meeting– as indicated in the meeting notice.   Some have requested this number already.  I will respond in a separate email to each of these individuals.


Thank you for your interest in the NRC’s mission and Source Materials License SUC-1593.  If you have any questions regarding the meeting notice, please contact me.


Thank you


Amy M. Snyder, Senior Project Manager

Materials Decommissioning Branch

Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery,and Waste Programs

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

301 415-6822





I am the NRC Project Manager for the license that the NRC issued to the U.S. Army for depleted uranium from Davy Crocket spotting rounds.  I wanted to let you know that the NRC staff will hold a meeting on March 24, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) about this license.  The Army plans on submitting its application to add the remaining sites to be licensed.  The Army intends to address all of the sties, to include the Army’s Hawaiian installations, in its application.


The meeting announcement information can be found at:  http://meetings.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg.  The public is invited to observe this meeting and will have one or more opportunities to communicate with the NRC after the business portion of the meeting but before the meeting is adjourned. If you are interested in calling in to this meeting via a toll-free teleconference, please contact me and I will provide you with the needed information.


Thank you




Amy Snyder, Senior Project Manager

Materials Decommissioning Branch (MDB)

Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs (DUWP)

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS)

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Washington, D.C.  20555


( Office: (301) 415-6822

7 Fax: (301) 415-5369

– Mail Stop: T8-F5M

  • Location: T8-E06B

8 E-mail: amy.snyder@nrc.gov