S2 E4 – Guest: Paul Griego
In this episode, we sit down with guest Paul Griego, a radiochemist, to discuss his involvement and exposures during the cleanup of the Marshall Islands from 1977-1980. The Marshall Islands Atomic Cleanup was a Joint Task Force of military and non-military personnel. During the atomic cleanup, all personnel lived on two military bases – Enewetak and Lowja.
As young men and teenagers, they were given a futile and dangerous task to ‘cleanup’ the nuclear fallout and debris of 43 atmospheric nuclear weapon tests. The group attempted to gather the highest level of radioactive material and dump it into a nuclear blast crater. They dumped 110,000 cubic yards into a nuclear blast crater on Runit Island before covering it under a massive concrete containment dome, which today is leaking.
We dive into the various radiation exposures and issues endured by enlisted and unenlisted participants, the impact on health and bodies of those exposed, the broader DNA impacts, and the toll these exposures take on loved ones and family members.
Employer during Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission: Department of Energy subcontractor Eberline Instrument Corporation
Rank: Civilian Supervisor
Job Title: Soil Sampling Supervisor, Eberline Instrument Corporation
Unit: Eberline Instrument Corporation
1st Enewetak Atoll TDY Tour: 4/11/1978 – 7/12/1978
Island Lived on at Enewetak Atoll: Enewetak
Islands Worked on at Enewetak Atoll: Enewetak, Enjebi, Lujor, Lojwa, Aomon, Boken, Kirunu, Bokombako, and Runit.
Stay tuned for more podcasts on a variety of base contamination issues, plus interviews and stories. Our goal is to develop a weekly series. You can always find our episodes here, or on our podcast site.