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The legacy of the Trinity and Oppenheimer atomic bomb. “I am the fourth generation in my family to have cancer”

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This thread was not included in the plot of the Oscar-winning “Oppenheimer”, but it is part of the real story that the film tells. It concerns the inhabitants of New Mexico, where nuclear weapons were tested. They paid a huge price, not knowing the danger they were exposed to. 80 years later, the grandchildren of the former inhabitants of those areas, which turned out to be a testing ground for the most terrible weapons in the world, tell the difficult story of their families.

It was the beginning of the end of World War II, but also the beginning of a tragedy for hundreds of thousands of people. – Here's the atomic bomb. It is the harnessing of the fundamental power of the universe. The force from which the Sun draws its power was unleashed against those who brought war to the Far East, said Harry Truman, the 33rd president of America, in the 1940s. President Truman spoke these words immediately after dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, the Americans razed Nagasaki to the ground. Japan capitulated, and the creator of the new weapon, Robert Oppenheimer, realized that he had become “death and the destroyer of worlds.”

SEE ALSO: “People died one by one. They were doing well, but suddenly they collapsed, got a high fever and passed away.”

In the movie “Oppenheimer” one key plot was omitted

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Christopher Nolan's film tells the story of the outstanding physicist Robert Oppenheimer and the entire team that constructed the first atomic bomb. The production, which won seven Oscars, reopened the debate about the nuclear arms race, but residents of New Mexico, where the first test was carried out, say that “Oppenheimer” left out a key thread in the whole story.

– The government never warned us about this, either before or since. We were literally left in a radioactive environment. More than four kilograms of plutonium was scattered throughout New Mexico. This gives you an idea of ​​what the people living here experienced, says Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Cordova Consortium.

Tina is a local activist. It documents the stories of people who suffered from the detonation of the test, codenamed Trinity. According to Tina, in 1945 there were up to half a million people in the area where the effects of radiation could be felt after the explosion. Although the Manhattan Project physicists informed the government about the consequences of the test, Washington ignored their comments. Radioactive fallout penetrated human bodies and poisoned the soil and water. This is also Tina's story.

The map shows the extent of radioactive radiation after the detonation of a nuclear weapon as part of the “Trinity” test

SEE ALSO: “I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Test of the first instrument of destruction

– I am the fourth generation in my family to have cancer since 1945. I had two great-grandparents who were alive at the time of the test. They died 10 years later of stomach cancer, at a time when no one in our village had ever heard of the word cancer. I also had thyroid cancer, diagnosed at the age of 39, says Tina Cordova. In 1990, the American government warned people living near places where nuclear weapons were tested. Washington then began paying compensation for exposure to radioactive materials and potential disease. Compensations covered the states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona. New Mexico did not make the list.

The legacy of the Trinity and Oppenheimer test

– Why were New Mexicans left out? I never knew the answer to this question, but without us this project wouldn't exist. Why do I say that? Because we were the ones who built the roads, bridges and buildings. We are women who were transported to Los Alamos and cleaned the houses of scientists and their families, cooked their meals, fed their children and changed their diapers – says the woman. Tina has been pushing for changes to the compensation law for years. Hope came this year. The Senate gave the green light to expand the compensation program to include New Mexico. – Radioactive ash from this bomb fell on nearby communities, communities that the government did not warn or evacuate. Little girls danced, catching ash, thinking it was snow. These little girls, like thousands of New Mexicans, developed cancer and deadly diseases because of the Trinity test, Teresa Leger Fernandez, a congresswoman from New Mexico, told the House of Representatives.

SEE ALSO: A survivor of the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima appeals for nuclear disarmament

The first nuclear explosion in history. Trinity TrialDept. of Energy

Despite this, Tina feels sorry for both the government and the producers of the film “Oppenheimer”. To the former, it took so long to change the law. In turn, the creators of “Oppenheimer” ignored her requests to include even a note about the innocent, nameless victims of the Trinity test. “They had a chance to tell our story and expose the lies of the United States government. They have harmed their citizens in the pursuit of nuclear supremacy. We have a radioactive isotope in our environment whose half-life is 24,000 years. It won't go away. It's the legacy of the Trinity and Oppenheimer bomb that no one wants to talk about, concludes Tina.

Author:Hubert Kijek

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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