6 Protesters Checked for Radiation After Nevada Nuclear Test
Half a dozen anti-nuclear demonstrators, claiming that they stood near “ground zero” when an underground test bomb was detonated, were examined for radiation by federal doctors Thursday and pronounced all right.
But a Department of Energy spokesman said it was doubtful any of the six were actually standing above the weapon, code-named Darwin, when it exploded Wednesday 1,800 feet below the surface and with the force of 150,000 tons of TNT.
“I think they were driven into the test site after the shot,” said David Miller, a department spokesman.
The medical examinations were a routine precaution in case the protesters later claimed they were injured on government land. Medical reports did not indicate that any of the six had suffered abnormal radiation doses, he added.
Two of the demonstrators, a man and woman, surrendered at “ground zero” 16 hours after the blast. They turned themselves in at 5:30 a.m. to a Reynolds Electric & Engineering drilling crew on Pahute Mesa, 107 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Four others were apprehended a short time later a mile west of the blast site on the Nellis Air Force Base Gunnery and Bombing Range.
Five of the six are members of the Rocky Mountain Peace Center, a Colorado-based anti-nuclear group.