AUTHORBall, Howard
TITLEJustice Downwind: America's Atomic Testing Program in the 1950s
PUBLISHEROxford University Press
CITYOxford, England
DATE PUBLISHED1986
ISBN0-19-503672-7


This book was among the first scholarly studies to examine the ways “downwinders” in Utah were affected by fallout from atmospheric atomic tests in Nevada in the 1950s and their early efforts to gain radiation exposure compensation from the U. S. government. Introductory chapters summarize the development of the atomic bomb and the creation of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the agency that created and operated the Nevada Test Site. Subsequent chapters describe the downwinder communities in southern Utah, their reactions to the above-ground atomic tests, and the health consequences that began to gain national attention in the late 1970s. The author presents medical research on cancer, especially leukemia, in the test site region, and explores legal action by the downwinders, especially Allen v. United States, to win compensatory damages from the federal government. The author’s study period ends in the mid-1980s, well before the U. S. Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to provide money payments to people who suffered cancers linked to the atmospheric tests in Nevada.


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