Atomic waste dumped in ocean
USS Calhoun County dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste in Atlantic Ocean after World War II
For about 15 years after World War II, U.S. sailors aboard the USS Calhoun County dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste into the Atlantic Ocean, often without wearing protective clothing.
For years, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs insisted that the atomic waste on the boat wasn’t dangerous, according to a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times.
“We turned off all the lights and … [would] pretend that we were broken down and … we would take these barrels and having only steel-toed shoes … no protection gear, and proceed to roll these barrels into the ocean, 300 barrels at a trip,” the late George Albernaz, a sailor on the ship at the time, was quoted as testifying at a 2005 Department of Veterans Affairs hearing.
Albernaz died in 2009 of a heart attack, following a long battle with a brain-debilitating illness linked to radiation exposure.