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Navy Won't Investigate Nuclear Pollution At San Francisco's Treasure Island

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the charming-fixer-upper-quaint-'50s-charm-must-see dept.

The Military 121

Lasrick writes "The Center for Investigative Reporting spent a year investigating whether San Francisco's Treasure Island is contaminated with radioactive material left over from the decades the island was a naval base. Treasure Island is being transferred into civilian hands, and the city of San Francisco has plans to turn it into a 'second downtown.' Despite the fact that radioactive debris has been found around the island, the Navy refuses to conduct testing that might show whether radiation cleanup should be started before development begins, Independent testing by CIR and others has found high levels of cesium 137 and other radioactive substances at several spots on the island, and by examining unclassified military documents, CIR has found that the history of the nuclear work done at Treasure Island and the lack of safety protocols at the time mean the contamination is most likely wide-spread. Complaints by current residents has only resulted in bureaucratic infighting among state health departments and the Navy."

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Caveat emptor x2 (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46334097)

Let the buyer beware, and be extra wary when the seller is the one responsible for enforcing the safety of sellers.

Re: Caveat emptor x2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334255)

I thiught it was Google Island. Weren't they making those mystery barges there? If Google has already bought it, problem solved. Google can pay for the cleanup.

Re:Caveat emptor x2 (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46336571)

It's more like if public servants want to play with nuclear material they need to take responsibility for it. What would you do if your employee took this attitude?

Re:Caveat emptor x2 (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#46338505)

The navy isn't a public servant.

That aside, they probably do not want to risk their already shrinking budget getting stuck with the cleanup. Instead, once it changes hands to another government entity, congress will allocate money through the superfund process already in place to deal with stuff like this. Its a wash to the tax payers as it would only be an accounting gimmack.

Re:Caveat emptor x2 (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46339967)

Isn't the US military controlled by the civilian government? They serve the civilian government, and by extension the civilians that the government represents.

Smash U.S. imperialism! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 7 months ago | (#46334107)

We need a workers government!

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334593)

have you ever been a member of or in any way affiliated with the communist party

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 7 months ago | (#46337487)

Well you know what old Vladimir said.

"The goal of socialism is communism" ~ Vladimir Lenin

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (2)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 7 months ago | (#46337497)

Though the current system here in the US resembles something Mussolini would setup...

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334951)

Would worker's government be the one who follows they own regulations and laws? Or would we call that a working government?

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 7 months ago | (#46336133)

The Soviets had one of those. They need more help cleaning up their own nuclear waste sites.

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 7 months ago | (#46337481)

It will just get hijacked like the unions did, just a different set of globalist gangsters.

Its funny how most of the governments of the world act like a state sponsored mafia.

The hits just keep coming...

Terrance Yeakey, MIchael Hastings, Andrew Breitbart, Karen Silkwood, Pat Tillman, etc etc...

Re:Smash U.S. imperialism! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46339493)

You think the government cared enough about Andrew Breitbart to kill him? That's hilarious.

Or did the evil government force him to drink like a fish and sniff cocaine into his 40s?

Star Trek IV (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334109)

And Admiral... it is the Enterprise

Re:Star Trek IV (1)

BancBoy (578080) | about 7 months ago | (#46335455)

Alameda, not T.I. But close.

get the mythbusters to test for it (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46334119)

get the mythbusters to test for it

Re:get the mythbusters to test for it (2)

the_skywise (189793) | about 7 months ago | (#46334287)

"Jamie... I'm glowing!"
"Well there's your problem! I'd say that's Myth Confirmed!"
"That's all well and good for you but I look like a dead Jedi Knight now! Although that's pretty cool!"

And coming up next on Mythbusters! (4, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | about 7 months ago | (#46334319)

Has Adam Savage gained super powers after his exposure to radiation?

Jamie: "Okay, Adam jump off the top of the building!" ...
Jamie: "Nope... can't fly..."

Re:And coming up next on Mythbusters! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46339117)

Has Adam Savage gained super powers after his exposure to radiation?

Yes, he can throw cannon balls through house walls.

Re:get the mythbusters to test for it (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46334357)

Just get yourself a shiny Geiger–Müller counter and be done with it.

Re:get the mythbusters to test for it (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 months ago | (#46337353)

You can't just assume that one type of radiation meter will yeild accurate results in all circumstances, GM (Geiger–Müller) type meters frequently under-mesure beta radiation and are barely able to detect the presence of alpha radiation, the CS-137 is primarily a beta emitter and radium is primarily an alpha emitter, so both would likely be under-detected using GM survey meters. Both nucleotides would represent a significant inhailation hazzard to the TI residents while being under-detected. If I had to recomend one instrument for surveying residential areas for fission products it would be a Dual phosphor, scintillation counter [wikipedia.org] .

Re:get the mythbusters to test for it (1)

profplump (309017) | about 7 months ago | (#46338343)

Just FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]

Re:get the mythbusters to test for it (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 months ago | (#46339137)

Just FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]

Oops brain-crap, s\nucleotides\nuclide\.

Is it going to be paved? (5, Interesting)

NReitzel (77941) | about 7 months ago | (#46334121)

If the area is going to end up paved, without wells or agriculture, then low level cesium contamination is beside the point.

When Los Alamos (of Plutonium era) was refurbished for civilian use, the walls were painted over with bright red paint, followed by white paint. The paint was adequate to block plutonium alphas and daughter betas. The rule for the buildings was "if you see red, call maintenance."

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334217)

Unless the red is in the toilet bowl after you use it. In that case, call the funeral home.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (5, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46334253)

Stop pointing out the facts!! The alarmism sells so much better, especially when it involves R A D I A T I O N ! !

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334595)

Yeah, be a man! Whats a little radiation gonna do, besides give you and your children cancer.

Complain, complain! Personally, I'd eat the shit, and die with hair on my chest.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46335589)

If you eat plutonium (especially weapon's grade), you'd probably die of heavy metal poisoning when you eat too much of it. Kind of like eating lead or mercury. You would not die from any "radiations" it produced.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 7 months ago | (#46337603)

The deal with plutonium is if u eat one particle and it lodges in your intestinal track,
it will emit over time and trigger cancer that way.

One molecule of it given to a test dog killed it but it was not a quick death so to speak.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46335597)

Whats a little radiation gonna do, besides give you and your children cancer.

You know what's REALLY scary? I have it on good authority (from a scientist friend of mine) that currently, outside of every American house, is all kinds of R A D I A T I O N, even as we speak. He says that this so-called "ultraviolet" R A D I A T I O N is all over the place, and the government isn't even doing jack-shit about it! Can you believe that? They're just going to let us be exposed to that stuff EVERY DAY, and not do a damned thing about it!

Fuck it, I'm calling my local news station. If we're going to be exposed to this stuff, we need to at least start a panic.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46336155)

Eat the radioactive samples and tell us how harmless they are. If you don't you're a pussy.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334281)

Yes, I agree that demolition, paving, and construction does not throw up any dust. They can just paint the whole thing red first. No biggie . .. no need to test anything.

You must always be giving out your brilliant ideas as random acts of kindness to humanity . . . or work for the NSA . . .

Agreed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334669)

I don't see any issues with them using the island. Cs-137 is pervasive as well as plutonium. As long as no one is ingesting or inhaling particles it shouldn't be a problem. I want to know just how "contaminated" this place is. If readings are a few CPM above background I wouldn't worry in the least.

The story stems for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who have been nothing but scaremongers ever since the Cold War about nuclear destruction.

Re:Agreed. (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46335311)

"As long as no one is ingesting or inhaling particles it shouldn't be a problem."

Easy solution. Just hold your breath and don't eat or drink anything while on the island... people are such wimps.

Re:Agreed. (1)

jafac (1449) | about 7 months ago | (#46339515)

The question is; is the Cs-137 from the Navy, or is it from Fukushima?

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#46335539)

Eventually yes, but generally construction involves a lot of digging up and moving materials around first. So if there is significant contaminated dirt it then becomes contaminated dust and that is a bit more of a problem.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46335763)

Unfortunately to pave the area they have to dig up all the contaminated topsoil, which is a worker exposure issue. The soil's two orders of magnitude above the statutory limit.

Then there's the issue of what you do with the topsoil that you do not intend to pave over.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 7 months ago | (#46335909)

Just toss it in the bay; with the radiation plume arriving from Japan, no one will ever notice!

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 7 months ago | (#46336083)

The Red Paint was, likely, what the navy calls Red Lead. It's a lead-based primer used on ship to protect against corrosion. Perfect for stopping alpha and beta particles. The white paint is also, likely, lead-based but suitable as a base for regular paint.

I just wish they would use lead-based paint when painting the lines on roads...the new, non-lead stuff wears off too quickly. But, the eco-folks would probably have a bear (not literally).

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 7 months ago | (#46337383)

The Red Paint was, likely, what the navy calls Red Lead. It's a lead-based primer used on ship to protect against corrosion. Perfect for stopping alpha and beta particles. The white paint is also, likely, lead-based but suitable as a base for regular paint.

I just wish they would use lead-based paint when painting the lines on roads...the new, non-lead stuff wears off too quickly. But, the eco-folks would probably have a bear (not literally).

We have to protect the children who crawl onto highways and eat the paint off the roads.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46339905)

I didn't realize children also drank gasoline in the 1960s.

I think you dramatically underestimate how seriously toxic lead is to children's neurological development. I'm the kind of guy who buys samples of Polonium-210 and sticks it my pocket so I can show it off to friends. Lead, OTOH, scares the crap out of me, at least as regards kids.

The Caesium issue is probably overblown. And in any event, the island is small, and it should be easy to skim the top-soil off. This is really just an issue of money and accountability.

The problem with lead on roads is that roads are everywhere, and they leach contaminates into the watershed. And lead poses a helluva lot more danger to children than Cs-127 does on a tiny, man-made island.

Re:Is it going to be paved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46340007)

Wow, OK. I just RTFA. We're not talking about a dusting of radioactive material. They buried chunks of radium, and other contaminated material, on site, in various pits. Then never told anybody about it. Then in the 1990s when development started, construction workers inadvertently spread it around everywhere.

"McLean reported finding radium pieces that emitted enough radiation for a person at close range to receive, in an hour, five times the maximum radiation a nuclear worker is allowed to absorb in a year."

Re:Is it going to be paved? (1)

spongman (182339) | about 7 months ago | (#46336231)

red paint isn't going to stop the gammas from Ba137.

where Treasure == Poison (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 7 months ago | (#46334123)

Yeah, sounds about right.

The City is built on a landfill (1)

Buck Feta (3531099) | about 7 months ago | (#46334125)

So pick your (radioactive) poison.

Our government has forgotten who they work for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334129)

That's all. Move along.

come on (-1, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | about 7 months ago | (#46334157)

This is slashdot, where most posters don't believe nuclear waste can be harmful to anyone you commie pinko liberal terrorist.

Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46334205)

The wind shifted
back in the fifties particles drifted
A wave set in motion
the Pacific Ocean
test of the hydrogen bomb
There from would come
too close to home
ships from the test
put to rest
and convalesce with heavily armed guard
in Hunter's Point shipyard
Heavy metal sandblast
Facemask

Deoxidize
Remove the radiation from the outside
a hazardous cargo
dumped into the harbor
went farther then that though
Sand from the blasting
made into sidewalks
played on by kids
that just got over chicken-pox
Glowing faces
All races
Hop-scrotch bare feet
on Geiger counter concrete
Mother prepares a fruit salad treat to eat
sprayed with messed up pesticides
none have been tested for health effects
on the side

Medical racist social statistics
Has everyday life become a health risk

Meanwhile, back in the backyard,
father lights-up a barbeque fire
and he sizzles hormone injected meat
on top of a toxic source of heat
He becomes light headed
as the toxins easily meet
with the lite beer in his head and
he glances to his portable television set
from his eyes he wipes the double vision sweat
visions of white supremacists
posing as right conservationists
holding an Aryan agrarian Woodstock
lead the stray sheep into the flock
hookin' em in with the music of flower power
change their energy into fire power

Medical racist social statistics
Has everyday life become a health risk

All of a sudden
acid rain falls from the sky
and gets into the nuclear family picnic pie
not to mention their Kool-Aid
The nuclear family sits down to lunch
They munch it down with acid rain punch
and they begin to hallucinate
disassociate
the pain in their bodies
from the pain in their minds
They go inside and remember a time
before the world went
completely blind
When people grew bald naturally
no mutations
unlike Skinheads
and chemo-therapy patients

Medical racist social statistics
Has everyday life become a health risk

--M. Franti/Spearhead

heh heh offtopic, nice shillmod you traitor (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46334329)

If there's one thing this isn't, it's offtopic. This song actually addresses the specific topic we're discussing here.

Re:heh heh offtopic, nice shillmod you traitor (1)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | about 7 months ago | (#46335001)

My kingdom for mod-points today.... Not sure how it ever got modded offtopic, thanks for sharing however.

Ooh Scary! (5, Informative)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 7 months ago | (#46334235)

You have to read to just about the end to get this:

Those concentrations do not confirm a health hazard, according to Jan Beyea, a prominent nuclear physicist specializing in the health effects of low-level radiation. They are no greater than common contamination worldwide from 20th-century nuclear fallout.

Re:Ooh Scary! (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 7 months ago | (#46334611)

That line only applies to the cesium. The radium contamination is more relevant, as it means the building will have radon problems that will require dealing with.

Radon and radiation is Everywhere! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46335973)

Radon is a problem that is prevalent all over the country. Quoting the EPA:

"Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation."

You also get a daily dose from cosmic rays, again quoting the EPA:

"Fortunately, Earth has an atmosphere that helps absorb and filter them out, which protects us from high doses of cosmic radiation. However, some radiation is able to make it through. The dose of cosmic radiation that you receive varies depending on the altitude of the area in which you live."

Currently we are enjoying a bath of man made radiation from all the bombs we have set off, all the nuclear plant leaks, improper handling of materials over the years, etc.

If the folks in charge in San Francisco aren't too concerned then I wouldn't be either. If memory serves they are about as green as you can get in that neck of the woods.

Re:Ooh Scary! (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 7 months ago | (#46336797)

Radon is generally only an issue in poorly ventilated areas, usually cellars or basements where the radioactive gas can build up. These are rare in California in general, and unlikely on Treasure Island where groundwater is present at ~4-8 feet below the ground surface. Direct exposure to radiation, especially through inhalation or ingestion of radioactive dust, is probably a bigger issue.

Re:Ooh Scary! SLR (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 7 months ago | (#46338589)

Speaking of "ground water", I believe the island is susceptible to high tides now and it (the island) is not getting any higher. A recent study (http://www.bcdc.ca.gov/planning/climate_change/TreasureIslandStudy.pdf) used 55" as a plausible/high level for sea level rise (SLR) by 2100. It rose 8 inches in the last 100 years, according to the same study. Plus the island is isolated as far as public transportation - perhaps people are looking to build in a place near SF that most people have trouble getting to?
Seems like a poor choice for a place to invest in the long term, if it's going to be underwater.

Re:Ooh Scary! (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46335427)

"McLean reported finding radium pieces that emitted enough radiation for a person at close range to receive, in an hour, five times the maximum radiation a nuclear worker is allowed to absorb in a year."

"In addition to the dangerously radioactive radium pieces, McLean’s readings showed that soil surrounding the objects was contaminated with traces of the material."

"For 46 years before the base was selected for closure, Treasure Island was home to nuclear war academies that used a variety of radionuclides in their training—including radium, plutonium and cesium 137—an in-depth review of military and government documents shows. The Navy knew for years that those materials were not always in safe hands. But the Navy did not acknowledge that history publicly, and as a result, cleanup crews and others preparing for redevelopment may have inadvertently spread radioactive material around the island."

It does look like they at the minimum should do a very thorough investigation of radiation on the island.

Re:Ooh Scary! (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 months ago | (#46338647)

Don't assume this is just an isolated case, just google Fort McClellan. [wikipedia.org] Agent Orange contaminated with dioxin, PCB, Sarin and Mustard are all still there.

east rutherford was a chemical dump (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334239)

now it's big hotels a stadium racetrack luxury up the wazoo, with an odd caveat; when the summer swelter comes the swamp rises again (as profitsized) & takes our breath away. that's making use of our leftovers....

'breathtaking view' re-defined? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334361)

dead man talking series; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ2VpfUqRoo

Re: east rutherford was a chemical dump (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46335055)

Was? Still is. Along with the whole state of New Jersey

Fuck the Navy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334291)

Air force is best! Navy are just a bunch of pussy seamen (semen) asslickers.

Re:Fuck the Navy (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 7 months ago | (#46334543)

And the Marines are just the Navy's policemen. Yea, yea.

Remember the Air Force used to be PART OF THE ARMY and the NAVY existed 100+ before the guys in blue. Also remember that the Navy flies too, only they use 1,000 foot long runways that float around and does just about EVERYTHING the guys in Blue can. The Air Force rarely uses anything under 6,000 foot, so who has the better pilots?

Ah, the old flame wars of old, BEFORE we had the internet, before we had FIDONET, before we even had modems and computers..

Re:Fuck the Navy (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 7 months ago | (#46335661)

Also remember that the Navy flies too, only they use 1,000 foot long runways that float around and does just about EVERYTHING the guys in Blue can. The Air Force rarely uses anything under 6,000 foot, so who has the better pilots?

The Air Force does. The Navy has aviators, not pilots. ;)

Re:Fuck the Navy (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 7 months ago | (#46335761)

And the ARMY has the flame throwers so they win Flame wars..

That's no lady, that's YOUR wife!

Stick around folks, I'm here all day!

It's deja vu ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 7 months ago | (#46334333)

... all over again for those who lived through Love Canal.

Yeah, sounds like another superfund site (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 7 months ago | (#46334389)

I found out years later I lived pretty close to a superfund site. Not a happy discovery. Hmm, I wonder if there are any funds available if its govt?

Re:Yeah, sounds like another superfund site (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 7 months ago | (#46334507)

At least at first, expect more hand-washing than environment cleaning.

Re:It's deja vu ... (5, Informative)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | about 7 months ago | (#46334603)

Thought you might like this from Troubled Lands The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Destruction by D. J. Peterson
http://www.rand.org/pubs/comme... [rand.org]
(Chapter 5)

"For example, in the town of Sillamae in northeastern Estonia, nearly
300 children attending two kindergartens suffered a loss of hair in 1989.
When the story first broke in March of that year, the Soviet press agency,
TASS, reported that specialists initially had suspected the cause to be
natural radioactivity emanating from local shale deposits. Subsequent
tests, however, revealed that background radiation in the town was
normal. After months of speculation and controversy, the former director
of the Baltiets enterprise, a local defense industry, revealed that his com-
pany had dumped radioactive wastes in the town. The two kinder-
gartens were built over the dump, separated from it by only a thin layer
of sand."

Re:It's deja vu ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 7 months ago | (#46334709)

I have long held that the former Soviet Union and its satellites provide the best example of the costs extracted from a society by the most common form of corporate welfare, being allowed to pollute. Unfortunately, it is a lesson the West has largely ignored.

Thank you for your insightful post

no numbers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334487)

It is telling that this news article, published in "The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists" contained zero quantitative radiation or dose rate information within its several thousand words. Lots of "He Said" stories but no numbers. Did the authors of the article labor under the false assumption that their intended audience was numerically illiterate or do they have nothing but unsubstantiated anecdotes?

Re:no numbers (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#46335743)

Despite it's title - the "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists" is and always has been a political rag. They publish numbers when it suits them, and fall back on unsubstantiated anecdotes when it doesn't.

Love Canal II: Nuclear Boogaloo (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 7 months ago | (#46334515)

Can't imagine anyone would ever think building on a toxic radioactive dump would be a good idea

Re:Love Canal II: Nuclear Boogaloo (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 7 months ago | (#46334783)

But there's big money involved, so that's okay.

Re:Love Canal II: Nuclear Boogaloo (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 7 months ago | (#46336401)

They'll just take care of that through a disclosure form in the 8 inches of paperwork that a prospective homeowner has to go through. And, when that one comes up, the realtor will just say "Aww, that's just one of those forms the State makes us put in there. This next one deals with..."

FTFY (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 7 months ago | (#46334653)

>Complaints by current residents has only resulted in bureaucratic infighting among state health departments and the Navy."

Complaints by current residents have...

Treasure Island already paved and populated!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334689)

wtf, treasure island is fully populated and has complete infrastructure, seems like people have been living there for years already......I just looked at google maps. So wtf is everyone on about?

Re:Treasure Island already paved and populated!!!! (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 7 months ago | (#46337987)

It was a Navy base starting in World War II, and then used for "Atomic Warfare Training" until the end of the cold war.

I'm guessing they're on about the crap disposal procedures they used in the 50's and 60's regarding chunks of radioactive material, as well as the procedures used to hose down the "USS Pandemonium" with radioactive shit (simulating a nice coat of nuclear fallout), and then clean it off.

It was all in TFA, in case you were curious.

St. Mary's Island (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46334705)

Part of Chatham dockyard (at which my father worked)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary's_Island,_Medway
was allegedly used to wash down the Royal Navy ships that had been to pacific nuclear tests when they came back in the 1950's & 1960's
Those were very dirty tests
http://www.nuclearveterans.com/breaking_news.html

The CIR doesn't exactly have the best track record (1)

bferrell (253291) | about 7 months ago | (#46334711)

Look into their recent Richmond CA HUD reporting. They sort of chose to ignore huge chunks of stuff in favor of sensationalism

The Army actually built this island from scratch.. (3, Interesting)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 7 months ago | (#46334873)

... now the corporate sector is getting impatient that they can't profit off of it! Ridiculous.

The most cost efficient solution would be to just remove the highway exit leading to the island.

Build a new island if you want to build high-priced condos to continue to overpopulate San Francisco. Or let the corporations that will profit off of the condos actually pay to cleanup the island.

Re:The Army actually built this island from scratc (1, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 7 months ago | (#46335621)

Except it was built for the World's Fair and intended to be re-purposed as an airport. The Navy base idea came later.

But hey, no reason to let facts get in the way of your knee-jerk response, right?

Re:The Army actually built this island from scratc (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 7 months ago | (#46339107)

Not sure what your point is: The island was still built by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Navy base idea came after Pearl Harbor, when the Navy needed an area to stage its ships before sending them out to war. They requested that San Francisco submit a purchase price. After San Francisco decided that the island was not for sale, the Navy seized it. They then traded Mills Field for the island. (Mills Field eventually became the San Francisco International Airport, which probably would not have fit under the Bay Bridge anyway!)

The city still got to hold its exposition, which is why the island was built. They then got land elsewhere for their airport. It's not like they got screwed, especially since most of the island creation and subsequent development cost was funded by New Deal funds (Works Public Administration and Public Works Administration). The rest was supported by exhibition funds and the local governments.

And keep in mind, that this was during WWII. The priorities were a little bit different then.

Re:The Army actually built this island from scratc (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46335805)

Contracts are already signed; it's not "impatience" when you've been sold the goods and told that, hey, turns out they might be more radioactive than permitted by state law.

Re:The Army actually built this island from scratc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46337157)

Fancy that. The Navy does not need to give two shits about state laws, especially in backwards California.

Re:The Army actually built this island from scratc (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 months ago | (#46339057)

When the Government gives something away or sells it, your due dilligence should be much more dilligent than usually due. If it really had any value the chances are someone's cronies would have had the first refusal, so if you really get a crack at it, it most likely has a negative value.

morons (1, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46334965)

Since it's San Francisco, the planners probably think the nuclear radiation will help their quantum auras if they wave around new age crystals and hang them from the mirrors of their Toyota Priuses.

Re:morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46336419)

No, that's just Governor Moonbeam up in Sacratomato.

The real big shots in The City just see a win-win financially, while being sure to keep the windows of their Bentleys and Lambos rolled up on their way over the bridge.

Re:morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46339059)

You've never been to San Francisco have you pussy?

Re:morons (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 7 months ago | (#46339365)

I'm with you on any new age bashing you can think up. But if you bash my prius, I'll run you over, and then run you over another 99,000 times with all the extra gas I have. </joke>

how much?! More or less than average human? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#46335185)

Humans are radioactive too. The question is, how much? What are the numbers? Without that information, the article is 100% completely useless.

The state of California once proposed standards for formaldehyde levels that would have categorized human beings as dangerous carcinogens, because our bodies produce formaldehyde needed for certain body processes. With no numbers and no sense of scale, anything, even your own body van be made to sound scary.

Start selling it (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46335617)

These are some stupid corporations. Start selling the dirt in the middle east. Best case scenario: you'll make bank from selling it to stupid terrorists who think it will be useful for making dirty bombs (and it will be, for certain definitions of "dirty"). Worst case scenario, the government will decide maybe they SHOULD clean it up.

Just ask (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 7 months ago | (#46336437)

Michael, Trevor or Franklin to clean it up in a submarine

That's what the NRC is for (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 7 months ago | (#46336485)

Why would you even want the Navy investigating nuclear contamination if they are the ones who are responsible for it in the first place? Honestly, what do you expect them to find?

That's a bit like asking BP to determine if there is any oil contaminating the Gulf of Mexico or asking Union Carbide if there happens to be any toxic chemical pollution in Bhupal.

The Nuclear Regulation Commision is the agency that oversees radioactive material safety, have them do it.

Re: That's what the NRC is for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46337815)

The NRC regulates commercial applications. It has no authority over the military, and it would require congressional action to allocate funds and authority to scratch the fleas on this sleeping dog.

Why not ask the Fed to ingest Treasure Island in their pool of publicly funded toxic assets? Then have Citi derive bonds from the future value of the decontaminated and developed property once it becomes a destination resort, swap credit default with Japan for its Fukushima exposure, sell the future value of the interest income to China to offset its carbon footprint and create an indexed electronically traded fund to capitalize the remaining risk using a structured investment vehicle that is legislatively qualified as a trust prefered investment? By the time it unravels, all of SF will be owned by Google and they can take it as a tax loss.

Re: That's what the NRC is for (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 7 months ago | (#46338085)

The NRC regulates commercial applications. It has no authority over the military, and it would require congressional action to allocate funds and authority to scratch the fleas on this sleeping dog.

This isn't about assigning blame; everyone knows that you can't hold the US military accountable for anything. it's about finding out if the site is safe to build on before it is developed commericially. From TFS "Treasure Island is being transferred into civilian hands, and the city of San Francisco has plans to turn it into a 'second downtown.'

That's why I said the NRC should be involved. I don't really care if they do it or some other entity. I was just questioning why anyone thought it would be a good idea to let the Navy handle the investigation.

In other words.... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 7 months ago | (#46336787)

"Piss off, you hand-wringing, liberal, enviromentalist weenies. Your federal government is all about privatizing profit and socializing expenses. You want it cleaned up? You pay for it."

They figured Equalization would solve the problem (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 7 months ago | (#46337449)

I guess they figure that the radioactive material coming from Fukushima would
equalize it all given enough time and decided not to bother....

What most ppl don't realize is that the US taxpayer paid for this happen TWICE....

The 1st time for what this article is talking about, and the 2nd time when stuxnet
either caused or made worse the disaster in Fukushima.

http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/no... [berkeley.edu]

Send this guy there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46338229)

How about sending The Director of Sustainability for New York's MTA there. He thinks companies need to build in blighted downtown areas. Here's his chance.

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