Radioactive Waste Timeline

In the 1940s and 50s, it was standard practice to bury radioactive waste, including radioactive waste generated by nuclear weapons maintenance operations, in unlined pits, until the Air Force implemented Technical Order 00-110N-2 in 1958-59.  Because all activities supporting the Nuclear Defense Program are highly classified to protect national security, the location, material, and amount buried in these radioactive waste sites has not been disclosed to the public or contractors, Federal, State, or local regulators.  Furthermore, Senator John Glenn, the US EPA, and GAO concluded, after numerous investigations, that the Air Force did not know the quantity, material, or location of all of its radioactive waste sites because of inadequate or nonexistent recordkeeping.


US Government Reports, Letters, Personal Accounts, and Newspaper Articles

Radioactive Waste Disposal Site at George AFB SEDA

– George AFB’s Weapons Storage and Assembly Area and Southeast Disposal Area

The Southeast Disposal Area’s RW-09 radioactive disposal site is physically located about a ¼ mile upstream of the Drinking Water Supply Wells for George AFB, Adelanto, CA, several homes, and the former Victor Valley Country Club.  Unfortunately, the groundwater flows northeast from the SEDA, directly toward these drinking water supply wells. [Read More…]

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Investigation of the George AFB Radiological Decontamination Centers

1953-06-xx CDPH – Investigation of the George AFB Radiological Decontamination Centers

According to the following documents, (Vera , 2015) (Vera , 2016) (Headquarters Field Command, Armed Force Speical Weapons Project, March ‐ June 1953), there were several instances where aircraft had flown around and through surface nuclear weapons testing zones for imagery and sample collection, and then returned back to George [Read More…]

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Technical Order 00-110A-1 Radioactive Waste Disposal

1956-05-25 AF – Technical Order 00-110A-1 Radioactive Waste Disposal

a. Disposition of Solid Wastes. Solid radioactive wastes may be disposed of by burial in the ground, or at sea. In addition, certain items which contain radium such as luminous instrument dials, may be returned to a radium refining company such as the Canadian Uranium and Radium Corporation or the [Read More…]

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Radioactive Waste Disposal HQ USAF SCA 71-28

1971-01-19 AF – Radioactive Waste Disposal (HQ USAF SCA 71-28)

In 1971, George AFB was notified by HQ USAF that its radioactive waste burial sites were to be accounted for, fenced off, and clearly marked. They were not. 1. The disposition of solid radioactive waste is strictly controlled in accordance with Technical Order 00-110N-2, “Radioactive Waste Disposal.” The Technical Order [Read More…]

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Burial of Radioactive Waste in the USAF

1972-03-15 AF – Burial of Radioactive Waste in the USAF

A. In the early 1950’s, it was common practice in the United States Air Force to bury radioactive waste. This was merely a reflection of the AEC policy of those times. A technical order (T.O. 00-110A-1) specified procedures to be followed, including identification of the burial site location on appropriate [Read More…]

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Dr Sabol Radioactive Waste Investigation SEDA GAFB

1979-xx-xx Sabol – Radioactive Waste Investigation Southeast Disposal Area (SEDA)

In 1979, John Richard Sabol, J.D., P.E. located 18 to 20, 55-gallon drums of radioactive waste in the Southeast Disposal Area (SEDA) when he conducted an environmental assessment/investigation of the SEDA for the Air Force.  The Air Force has refused to release any of Dr. Sabol’s records from when he [Read More…]

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CERCLA §120(h) - Deed Restrictions

1980-12-11 – CERCLA §120(h) Deed Restrictions – Special Nuclear Material

Because all activities supporting the nuclear defense program are highly classified to protect national security Congress included a provision in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) that requires the DOD to withhold information and records about Special Nuclear Material at its Superfund sites.  This requirement creates a unique [Read More…]

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Efforts To Clean Up DOD-Owned Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites

1985-04-12 GAO – Efforts To Clean Up DOD-Owned Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites

The Air Force has not cited, released, or acknowledged any environmental assessments or remediations performed under the DOD’s Installation Restoration Program. The DOD IRP predates the Air Force IRP by six years. The first report listed in the George AFB Administrative Record is dated 01/01/1982. [Read More…]

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Low-level radioactive dump discovered at George AFB

1985-09-01 News – Low-level radioactive dump discovered at George AFB

Victorville — The existence of a low-level radioactive waste dump near Victorville and the Mojave River was revealed Friday after a telephone tip from an off-road vehicle enthusiast. The dump was apparently unknown to local and county officials, but might be on a state water board list. The approximately one-acre [Read More…]

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1988-07-xx News – Ex-officers: Air Force lied about [George AFB] range

This article might explain why the Air Force went from a training base (George AFB) with 360 days of flying weather to Idaho with 100 good days of good weather (Mountain Home AFB). Fighter pilots need lots of training and lots good weather. I understand doing winter training to be [Read More…]

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Base Realignments and Closures (BRAC) 1988

1988-12-xx DOD – Base Realignments and Closures

Air Force Base for closure primarily due to degraded training effectiveness, air traffic congestion, and because of excess capacity within the category. The net cost of closure and relocation will be paid back immediately. The Commission expects annual savings to be $70.2 million. The military value of George AFB is [Read More…]

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Proposed National Priorities List

1989-07-xx EPA – George AFB Proposed Placement On The National Priorities List

George AFB was proposed as a Superfund site on 07/14/89 Related

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1990-02-21 EPA – George AFB Listed as a Superfund Site

George AFB was proposed as a Superfund site on 07/14/89 and placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) on 02/21/90. George AFB’s Superfund id is EPA ID: CA2570024453.   Related

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Aerial Photographic Analysis of George Air Force Base

1990-02-xx EPA – Aerial Photographic Analysis of George AFB

This report identifies two, possibly 3, Weapons Storage Areas (WSA) at George AFB. The significance of these WSA has been outlined in the 8 May 2003 Air Force report, titled Buried Radioactive Weapons Maintenance Waste. EPA – Aerial Photographic Analysis of George Air Force Base – February 1990 – Large PDF [Read More…]

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1990-05-23 GAO – The Military Would Benefit From a Comprehensive Waste Disposal Program

Senator John Glen requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examine the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s oversight of the Department of Defense’s use, handling, and disposal of radioactive material. The GAO found that no comprehensive DOD waste disposal program exists, and none of the three services knows the full extent of [Read More…]

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George Air Force Base Federal Facility Agreement

1990-10-21 DOD – George Air Force Base Federal Facility Agreement

The DOD inserted a provision in the Federal Facility Agreement that allows for the withholding of information and records about Special Nuclear Material (radioactive contamination that is the result of the nuclear weapons program.)  This exemption is codified in CERCLA and it provides legal grounds for withholding records about radioactive waste. Legal grounds for [Read More…]

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Sites Contaminated and Potentially Contaminated With Radioactivity in the United States

1991-02-xx EPA – Sites Contaminated and Potentially Contaminated With Radioactivity in the United States

The Department of Defense (DoD) has 7463 sites in the United States and 952 sites in CA contaminated or potentially contaminated with radioactivity. THIS IS A PRELIMINARY DRAFT (Not Yet Subjected to Peer Review) 2.1.4 Department of Defense (DoD) The U.S. Department of Defense through its Departments of Army (including the Army National [Read More…]

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Better Data Needed for Radioactively Contaminated Defense Sites - GAO

1994-08-24 GAO – Better Data Needed For Radioactively Contaminated Defense Sites

On December 22, 1992, Senator John Glenn requested that the General Accounting Office (GAO) investigate whether the Department of Defense (DOD) has accounted for all of its radiologically contaminated sites.  The GOA found that the DOD could NOT identify the location, isotopes, or amount of radioactive material disposed of at [Read More…]

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Nuke Waste Toughens Closings

1994-09-30 News – Nuke Waste Toughens Closings

The military could run into difficulty in closing bases because a poor job was done keeping track of radioactive waste, Sen. John Glen (D-OH) said yesterday.  DOD does not know how much or what kind of radiation is contaminating American bases, according to a GAO report.  GAO examined DOD’s inventory [Read More…]

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What's contaminated Services can not say for sure

1994-10-16 Army Times – What’s contaminated? Services can’t say for sure

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense is unable to clean up radioactive contamination on military bases because it doesn’t have accurate records of where the waste is, according to congressional investigators. The services have reported 420 sites with low levels of radioactive waste. But investigators from the General Accounting Office [Read More…]

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Criteria for the Certification and Re-Certification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

1996-01-xx EPA – Lost Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Records

Lost AEC Records Another recent example of the failure of records to maintain knowledge of waste burial operations pertains to low level nuclear waste buried on U.S. Air Force controlled land under the authority and purview of the AEC.22  This example in no way establishes or suggests that the sites [Read More…]

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Buried Radioactive Weapons Maintenance Waste

2003-05-08 AF – Buried Radioactive Weapons Maintenance Waste

Air Force acknowledged that it routinely withheld records about radioactive waste from Federal, State and Local regulators, contractors, and the public. “All activities supporting the nuclear defense program are highly classified to protect national security. Since this included weapons maintenance waste materials during the period involved, information on the amounts and [Read More…]

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U.S. Air Force Investigates Radiological Waste Burial

2003-06-02 WSJ – U.S. Air Force Investigates Radiological Waste Burial

The U.S. Air Force is investigating whether radioactive waste is buried at more than 80 former and current air bases across the country, including the site of a new federal prison in central California. Air Force health experts believe the radioactive material, generated by nuclear-weapons maintenance in the 1950s and 1960s, [Read More…]

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DOD Can Improve Its Response to Environmental Exposures on Military Installations

2012-05-02 GAO – DOD Can Improve Its Response to Environmental Exposures on Military Installations

DOD has no policy guiding services and their installations on appropriate actions to address health risks from past exposures, which DOD attributes to the Superfund law not specifically requiring responsible parties to address such risks. [Read More…]

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Low-level radiological contamination found inside Fort Bliss bunker

2013-07-xx News – Radioactive Waste Biggs AFB, TX

Radioactive waste buried at Biggs Airfield/Fort Bliss, TX stemming from Air Force maintenance activities involving nuclear weapons from the 1950s and 1960s. The specific quantity of maintenance waste buried is not known due to incomplete records. Bases with first generation nuclear weapon systems used the waste disposal methods that were [Read More…]

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Danger Radiation

George AFB’s Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Testing Decontamination Centers

In 2016, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Radiologic Health Branch investigated the radiological decontamination centers at George AFB.  CDPH concluded that there were historical documents that demonstrate that aircraft were decontaminated at George AFB and the Air Force has NOT publicly acknowledged the radiological contamination or the cleanup [Read More…]

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George AFB HTRW Sites Lahontan RWQCB

George AFB’s Hazardous Toxic and Radioactive Waste Sites

Potential Contaminants of Concern at the former George Air Force Base, CA, “EPA Superfund ID: CA2570024453” Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), Aviation [Avgas], Benzene, Chlordane, Diesel, Explosives (UXO, MEC) [Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) / Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC)], Gasoline, Heating Oil / Fuel Oil, MTBE / TBA / Other Fuel Oxygenates, [Read More…]

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Dr. John R. Sabol

John R. Sabol, J.D., P.E.

John Richard Sabol, J.D., P.E. (21 December 1932 – 3 August 2000) was the Chief Environmental & Contracting Programming / Community Planner / Construction Engineer for George Air Force Base, CA from June 1976 to February 1981. Dr. Sabol Letter # 1 “Dear Frank, In accordance with our past discussions, this [Read More…]

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OOcean Dumping of Radioactive Waste

Ocean Dumping of Radioactive Waste

Burial of Radioactive Waste in the USAF Page 26, section (2), refers to burial of radioactive waste at sea in 2 locations. 1. 72° 43” west longitude: 38° 40” north latitude, 2. 123° 6” west longitude: 37° 40” north latitude “(2) Burial at Sea Burial of radioactive wastes at sea has been authorized. Burial [Read More…]

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Caution Radioactive Material

Radioactive Waste Timeline

In the 1940s and 50s, it was standard practice to bury radioactive waste, including radioactive waste generated by nuclear weapons maintenance operations, in unlined pits, until the Air Force implemented Technical Order 00-110N-2 in 1958-59.  Because all activities supporting the Nuclear Defense Program are highly classified to protect national security, [Read More…]

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USS Reagan – Fukushima Radiation – News

Judge: Sailors’ class-action suit can proceed over alleged radiation … Stars and Stripes-Oct 30, 2014 Judge: Sailors’ class-action suit can proceed over alleged radiation … for a variety of ailments from radiation exposure following a nuclear … Two US Sailors Dead After Fukushima Radiation Exposure Center for Research on Globalization-4 [Read More…]

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Logo BOP No Deed – Transfer Document Is Not Public Information

Victorville Federal Correctional Complex

If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires the Air Force to make full disclosure of known and suspected contaminants when the property is transferred.  Why are the Department of Defense (DoD), Air Force (AF), and Bureau [Read More…]

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Old Posts


  • I (Frank Vera) had an accidental radiation exposure “with inhalation/ingestion of the hot particles” in the Southeast Disposal Area (SEDA)  – September 1973  Supporting documents, and timeline 

“There’s something going on here other than a fair and equitable evaluation of what should and shouldn’t happen to the taxpayers’ money.” former fighter pilot Col. Maurice Long said.
Long. Lt Col Vernon R Lee and Capt. William McDaniel, all retired fighter pilots, contend Air Force officials intentionally misled the Defense Secretary’s Commission on Base Realignment and Closure during 1988 hearings.
The Secretary of Defense announced that George Air Force Base was selected for closure. 29 December 1988
This article might explain why the Air Force went from a fighter base (George AFB) with 360 days of flying weather to Idaho with 100 good days of good weather (Mountain Home AFB). Fighter Pilots need lots of training and lots good weather. I understand doing winter training to be prepared, but not moving a whole base from one of the top areas with great weather and low population.

In 1990 I won the medical side of a Compensation and Pension Exam with diagnoses of probable radiation myocarditis. This was done with the help of the medical staff at VA Bay Pines Medical Center and the research librarians at Stetson University of Law Gulfport, FL. Unfortunately, I lost the Compensation and Pension case with the Veterans Affairs because the DoD would neither confirm nor deny the presence of the radioactive material at George AFB, CA.

  • Congressman George E. Brown request that the Air Force investigate my radiation exposure – July 1990
    “Mr. Vera opted for an honorable discharge versus the medical discharge, that was recommended by his superiors, when he separated from the military. Mr. Vera’s military records indicated that he was exhibiting the same symptoms that are indicative of exposure to nuclear radiation (radiation myelitis). The fact that it was not diagnosed accurately, while Mr. Vera was in the military, does not prove that he was not suffering from radiation myelitis.” 

A number of former airmen have indicated that nuclear weapons were present on the base in the 1960s and 1970s.”
“some radioactive materials had been buried in the southeast disposal area as well as on the base grounds behind the alert hangar.”

 

I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

The views and opinions expressed in this website/articles are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government

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