Radiation Monitoring in Hawaii

Aloha Peace Ohana,

Today, Wednesday, Nov. 14th from 3:30-5PM Malu Aina will be doing Radiation Monitoring at Rainbow Falls in Hilo, a busy tour bus stop.  We will have white jump suits, hard hats, 5 radiation monitors, leaflets (see below) and large 3'X 8' signs saying

"Radiation Monitoring"

and two 4'X4' radiation symbols.  We believe it is a useful tool in educating about radiation in Hawaii and creating public pressure for military clean up action.  If you are free please join us or start similar actions in your communities.  Mahalo.

Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent
Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawai`i 96760




     On Tuesday, May 29, 2007 a citizen radiation monitor recorded elevated radiation readings at Mauna Kea State Park adjacent to the military's Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) in the center of Hawaii Island.  The wind on 5/29 blew directly off the live-fire training areas at PTA and dust devils of suspended topsoil were visible in the air.  The elevated radiation readings were as high as 75 counts per minute when normal background is 5-20 counts per minute.  A number of private citizens are now doing radiation monitoring on Hawaii Island.


     On Monday, August 20, 2007 the U.S. Army confirmed the presence of depleted uranium (DU) at the

Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) in the center of Hawaii Island.  DU is primarily U-238, the isotope of uranium that remains after the fissionable isotope, U-235 has been extracted from natural uranium ore.  DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.  The military has used DU in spotting rounds for the Davy Crockett nuclear weapon system and these spotting rounds have been fired at Schofield Barracks on Oahu and at PTA on Hawaii Island, perhaps other firing ranges in Hawaii and elsewhere too. 

See http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/08/ap_hawaiiuranium_070821/  The DU confirmation came

after years of the military denying its presence.  Citizen groups kept the pressure on the military and began

doing their own radiation monitoring.

 Also see http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2007/08/26/local_news/local03.prt


     Davy Crockett was just one of approximately 60 different kinds of U.S. nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal during the 1960s and 70s.  Have other nuclear weapon radioactive spotting rounds been used in training in Hawaii?  Training with a wide range of weapon systems has taken place at PTA and other live-fire areas throughout Hawaii.  The Davy Crockett may just be the tip of a much larger radiation nightmare for Hawaii residents and visitors alike.


     It should be noted that Hawaii Island already has a dubious distinction of the nuclear age.  According to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, of 65 randomly selected worldwide soil samples tested for accumulation of long-lasting plutonium radiation contamination from atmospheric nuclear weapon testing, our Big Island soil ranked NUMBER ONE!   Plutonium is one of the most potent carcinogenic substances known.  Less than one-millionth of a gram is capable of producing cancer after close exposure.  Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years, which means it is potentially toxic to humans for at least a half million years.  As plutonium is concentrated in the ecological food chain, people can absorb significant quantities.  It is preferentially stored in the liver and bone marrow and can cross the placenta into the unborn fetus. (To read the above AEC report see Nature Magazine, Vol. 241, February 16, 1973.)


     It should also be noted that the Navy acknowledges discharging millions of gallons of radioactive liquid waste into Pearl Harbor on Oahu and dumping over two thousand 55-gallon steel drums of radioactive solid waste on the ocean floor off Hawaii's shores.  What effects such pollution may have on marine life and, in turn, the health and safety of Hawaii's people is simply not clear.  But it is commonly accepted that there is no safe level of radiation. (See the book "The Dark Side of Paradise" by Albertini, et. all page 18.)


Military Clean-Up NOT Build-Up!


Call Hawaii County Mayor, Harry Kim, at 961-8211 to urge military clean-up action.  Mahalo.

For more information contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

 P.O. Box AB `Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawai`i   96760. Phone (808) 966-7622. 

Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org


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