What has happened to the survivors of the early Los Alamos nuclear accidents Metadata

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  • Main Title What has happened to the survivors of the early Los Alamos nuclear accidents


  • Author: Hempelman, L.H.
    Creator Type: Personal
  • Author: Lushbaugh, C.C.
    Creator Type: Personal
  • Author: Voelz, G.L.
    Creator Type: Personal


  • Name: Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Place of Publication: New Mexico
  • Name: Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc., TN (USA)
    Place of Publication: United States


  • Creation: 1979-01-01


  • English


  • Content Description: Two nuclear accidents involving a plutonium sphere just subcritical in size occurred at the Los Alamos Laboratory, LA-1 in 1945 and LA-2 in 1946. Because remote control devices were deemed unreliable at the time, the tamper material (tungsten carbide bricks in LA-1 and beryllium hemispheres in LA-2) was added by hand with the operator standing next to the assembly. In each case the critical size of the assembly was accidentally exceeded and the resultant exponentially increasing chain reaction emitted a burst of neutrons and gamma rays. Ten persons were exposed to the radiation bursts which were largely composed of neutrons. The doses ranged from fatal in the case of the two operators, to small in the case of some survivors. The two operators died within weeks as a result of acute radiation injury. Only six of the eight survivors were available for follow-up study ten or more years after the accident. Four of these six survivors are now dead, but the two living survivors are in excellent health with no clinical or laboratory evidence of late radiation injury. Two of the deceased died of acute myelogenous leukemia, another died at age 83 of refractory anemia, and the fourth of myocardial infarction. The heart attack could have been precipitated by the myxedema assumed to have been the result of the radiation exposure.
  • Physical Description: Pages: 33


  • Keyword: Elements
  • Keyword: Diseases
  • Keyword: Hemic Diseases
  • Keyword: Radiation Accidents
  • Keyword: Acute Exposure
  • Keyword: Transuranium Elements
  • Keyword: Us Organizations 560151* -- Radiation Effects On Animals-- Man
  • Keyword: Baryons
  • Keyword: Data
  • Keyword: Survival Time
  • Keyword: Us Aec
  • Keyword: Neoplasms
  • Keyword: Acute Irradiation
  • Keyword: Early Radiation Effects
  • Keyword: Radiation Effects
  • Keyword: Isolated Values
  • Keyword: Hadrons
  • STI Subject Categories: 054000 -- Nuclear Fuels-- Health & Safety
  • Keyword: Delayed Radiation Effects
  • Keyword: Accidents
  • Keyword: Nucleons
  • Keyword: Lasl
  • Keyword: Spheres
  • Keyword: Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Keyword: Irradiation
  • Keyword: Actinides
  • Keyword: Leukemia
  • STI Subject Categories: 63 Radiation, Thermal, And Other Environ. Pollutant Effects On Living Orgs. And Biol. Mat.
  • Keyword: Metals
  • STI Subject Categories: 11 Nuclear Fuel Cycle And Fuel Materials
  • Keyword: Neutrons
  • Keyword: Experimental Data
  • Keyword: Numerical Data
  • Keyword: Myocardial Infarction
  • Keyword: Injuries
  • Keyword: National Organizations
  • Keyword: Information
  • Keyword: Data Forms
  • Keyword: Radiation Injuries
  • Keyword: Elementary Particles
  • Keyword: Personnel
  • Keyword: Us Doe
  • Keyword: Plutonium
  • Keyword: Anemias
  • Keyword: Symptoms
  • Keyword: Fermions
  • Keyword: Biological Effects
  • Keyword: Us Erda
  • Keyword: Mortality
  • Keyword: Biological Radiation Effects


  • Conference: Radiation accident preparedness conference, Oak Ridge, TN, USA, 19 Oct 1979


  • Name: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports
    Code: OSTI


  • Name: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
    Code: UNTGD

Resource Type

  • Article


  • Text


  • Report No.: LA-UR-79-2802
  • Report No.: CONF-791085-1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5702327
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1093988


  • Display Note: Dep. NTIS, PC A03/MF A01.