(March 28, 1993) The 450 residents of Point Hope in northwest Alaska were outraged recently when they learned that the US government secretly buried 15,000 tons of radioactive-contaminated soil near their village in 1962.
Ironically, in 1962, area Inuit (Eskimos) had successfully fought a government plan to use a nuclear explosion to blast a harbor out of ice at Cape Thompson, Alaska, 25 miles from Point Hope. But that same year, the US Geological Survey went ahead with a secret plan to bury 15,000 tons of radioactive soil there as part of a nuclear research project.
The contaminated soil, including more than 43 pounds of nuclear material from the Nevada test site, was placed in a dozen separate pits to determine how radioactivity spreads in a Arctic environment, then buried in a four foot-deep unmarked mound of clean dirt.
The unknowing residents of rural Point Hope, continued to practice their livelihood of hunting, herding, and gathering throughout the area; and are angry about the nuclear waste there. The above-average cancer rate in Point Hope, had previously been blamed on smoking and diet, but is now suspected to be related to the radioactive soil buried there for almost 30 years.
Source: CCNS RadioActive Hotline (GreenNet, gn:nuc.facilities, 1 Jan. 1993).
Contact: Dont Waste US; 310 Domer St. #1, Takoma Park MD 20912, US.