Maeve Conran and Arjun Makhijani discuss the first nuclear bomb test in 1945 in New Mexico

The Trinity Test:

July 16, 1945 was more than two months after the war in Europe was over and Hitler had committed suicide.  Hitler was the main reason that the bomb project was started in the US, at the recommendation of Einstein. However the nuclear project was not abandoned after Germany was defeated.  Some did suggest that there be a demonstration of the bomb in an unpopulated area before its use on cities.

Decades after that first test of a nuclear bomb, the people around the test site at Alamogordo , NM, have organized and are demanding recognition of the risks and cancers they believe have resulted.  They want to be included among the group that has been officially designated as “downwinders” and who are compensated if they have one of a specified set of cancers.  They have not so far succeeded.  The downwinders group has also not been expanded to include those who were identified as most at risk from the milk contamination with iodine-131.  Compensation for downwinders under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act is $50,000

This is part of an ongoing series, Conversations on Money, Politics and Science, a bi-weekly segment with KGNU’s Maeve Conran and Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

Listen to the conversation on the Trinity test.  Recorded on August 3, 2017.

Hear more in this series, Conversations on Money, Politics and Science, in the weeks ahead.