Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lest we worry. . . .

about the radiation reaching our shores, it's good to be reminded that we've been raining down radiation from nuclear explosions for over 50 years now.  

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).


Closer to home, Kim Stringfellow created "The Hanford Project" as an art installation and permanent website documenting the history of radioactive contamination to the environment, workers and nearby residents over the 40-some years The Hanford Nuclear Reservation operated, producing plutonium for the US nuclear arsenal during the cold war. Plutonium from Hanford was used in the first nuclear test explosion at Trinity and in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Today, Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States.

From the April 2011 Harper's Index:

Radioactive animal droppings found in 2009 near the Hanford nuclear site in Washington : 33

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