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Interview with Stephen Craig Ronshaugen, November 26, 2004


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Narrator affiliation: Special Assistant Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

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Ronshaugen, Stephen Craig. Interview, 2004 November 26. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Stephen Ronshaugen November 26, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Joan Leavitt © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Stephen Ronshaugen November 26, 2004 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: birth, family background, education ( B. A., Chemistry), graduate school ( North Dakota State University, 1970) 1 Talks about how state of ND monitored fallout from atmospheric testing, and measured strontium in milk 2 Teaches school in Minot, ND ( 1970- 1973), then moves to Las Vegas, NV and goes to work as chemist for EPA doing air monitoring for the NTS ( 1973) 3 Baneberry and creation of Containment Evaluation Panel [ CEP] ( 1970- 1971) 5 Discusses creation of Community Environmental Monitoring Program [ CEMP] and the High Yield Series of tests, leaves EPA and goes to work for DOE Nuclear Systems Division ( 1983), talks about development of Nuclear Emergency Search Team [ NEST] 6 Talks about work on Three Mile Island ( PA) and Kosmos- 954 ( Canada) 9 Becomes Director of Site Operations and Branch Chief for DOE at NTS ( ca. 1985) 11 Discusses development of Hazardous Material [ HAZMAT] Spill Facility at NTS 12 Talks about work with Defense Nuclear Agency [ DNA] ( early 1990s) 13 Recalls Chuck Costa’s work on Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and tracing a load of radioactive rebar from LANL to Mexico, and subsequent cleanup 14 Returns to NEST and terrorism threats in the U. S., and compares Soviet threat to modern terrorism 18 Talks about Chernobyl and antinuclear movement in Europe, and worldwide concerns about radiation exposure from testing 21 Discusses confidentiality/ classified nature of work and effects on family life of test site work 24 Recalls work on JVE and experiences in USSR ( 1988- 1989) 28 Work with U. S. Embassy in Soviet Union after signing of agreement 31 Logistics and supplies to the Soviet Union for JVE process, Soviets lodge protest when U. S. workers remove items from test site, meetings with Soviet assistant ambassador re issue 33 Experiences in Moscow and cultural differences 38 Travel from Moscow to Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, Soviet nuclear test site 40 Identifies photographs of JVE and continues discussion of work on project and social life with Soviets in the U. S. 44 Talks about end of testing, changes in Russia after the fall of the USSR 53 Story about American- Soviet visit to the beach in California 56 Conclusion: talks about various highlights in professional life, and work today 58 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Stephen Ronshaugen November 26, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt Joan Leavitt: Let’s start with some of your background, maybe your mother and your father’s family background? Stephen Ronshaugen: My mother is from Wisconsin originally and moved to North Dakota with her father, my grandfather, who worked on the railroad as a section chief for a piece of the railroad in a small town. My father was born in this country but his father immigrated into South Dakota. From where? From Norway, and he moved to Minot and my grandmother and grandfather homesteaded a small piece of land south of Minot. Now was this when the railroad came together? Yes. So you’re talking the 1880s? Well, they moved up there in the early 1900s, and were farmers. My father and mother met and there was a fairly large age difference, I think eight or ten years between them, but they eventually married. My father and his brother started working building roads in the summertime, gravel roads and things in the prairies, with team- drawn horses and road equipment. [ He] eventually became a mechanic. He worked forty- two years for the county before he passed away. I have seven brothers and sisters. Oh, a large family! All of the families up there were relatively large. I was the youngest of that group of people. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Were there a lot of Norwegians up there? Oh, yes. Norwegians, very largely Scandinavian in that area, and then there was German sections and Russian places. Well, this is the Laura Ingalls Wilder country, too, isn’t it, so was Little House on the Prairie your life? No, we lived in town. I did. My brothers, who were both older than I am, went to either grandfathers’ farms in the summertime. By the time I was old enough to know what was going on, they had long since passed away and were gone. I always lived in Minot, a small town in the prairies there. I knew where the farms were, but I didn’t go up there to the farms much. My father died when I was thirteen. And then it was my mother and my sister, youngest sister, she’s three years older than I am, that were at home. So you were one of the younger kids. Yes, and everyone else had long since moved out and were married and living lives of their own. I finished high school there and then went to college while I was in Minot. During the summers, I’d go to Seattle. My brother had gotten me a job with the place that he was working out of in Seattle. I would work there in the summer, take all my money and save it, and then come back so I could pay to go to college. Finished college and went to graduate school down at North Dakota State University. This would be about 1970. What I can remember from my childhood at that time of interest into this process is that we used to have daily strontium readings for strontium in milk. What does that mean? At that time, both Russia and the United States were doing atmospheric testing, and fallout would come typically over the area. The state would monitor how much of this fallout was UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 getting into the milk. They would measure the strontium that was in the milk levels and you would hear that number on the news. It meant nothing to me as a child, but we would hear it. Also, in ’ 57, with Sputnik going up, I can remember that as a very dramatic thing, standing outside and, in fact, watching it pass overhead, seeing the blinking light in the stars in the prairie which was quite easy to view. Kind of perked my interest in the science field. I can remember the school system had a science teacher that would go from elementary school to elementary school once a week, and they started a program to try to interest people in science. That’s kind of where my science interest came from. I went on to study chemistry and did some graduate work at North Dakota State, and then went back and taught in Minot for three years. Now what level were you teaching at? The first year, I taught junior high level, which was seventh, eighth, and ninth. Then they shifted the way the schools were and ninth grade, tenth grade, eleventh and twelfth grade went into one school with a split campus. I went downtown to the old school and, in fact, taught in the same room that was my homeroom for six years while I was going to junior high and high school. I taught for two years in that school. At that time I had applied for a job with the government, hadn’t heard anything, and I got a call out of the blue from the EPA [ Environmental Protection Agency], which is on the university campus. I accepted a position as a chemist in the summer of ’ 73 and we moved here. Now is that what your Bachelor of Science was in, chemistry? Yes. At our school, it was a Bachelor of Arts degree, not Bachelor of Science, and it really holds true that chemistry is more of an art than a science anyway. So I moved down here in ’ 73 and went to work. The work I was doing was air monitoring for the [ Nevada] test site. The laboratory at EPA got its start as a [ U. S.] Public Health Service UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 laboratory in association with monitoring activities that were at the test site. We did air monitoring and water monitoring and soils and a number of other things for environmental levels. This is not the kind of activities you get that the national labs would study for yield from a device, but these were environmental samples around the site to monitor what was getting out and what was getting into the air. So that was ’ 73. That was ’ 73. They had been doing that for a number of years. In fact, they had been doing that since the mid- sixties. Can you say what acceptable levels that you were looking at? Well, the acceptable levels were all whatever the federal government had established at the time. Drinking water standards for tritium were like twenty thousand pico curies [ pCi] per liter, which is a relatively high number. Noble gases is what we were principally looking at, krypton and xenon. Those are gases that are given off by the activity at the site, and also by reactors. We were monitoring those for any number of years. We were monitoring the tests around the test site and at that time, of course, everything was underground tests. The unique thing that the tests have is high- and- low- pressure weather systems that move across the test site. As the low pressure comes across, gases emanate from the earth. High pressure tends to keep the gases in. And as the number of shots that we had out there, certain portions of the test site were more permeable than others, and krypton and xenon would leak to the surface. If you had a very high number, that was indicative of having a leaking test, something that went wrong with the containment of the test at the site. Very seldom did we have that, but we had some fifteen stations, a couple on the test site and several around the test site, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 that we would monitor weekly. We’d bring in the air, we’d test it and get the results, and that was kind of a routine process week after week after week. Well, I know weather was really important whether or not a shot would go off. Right. And was it important it be high pressure or was it important it be low pressure? No, no. No, the importance of that was not the concern. What I’m trying to say is that was what drove the release of the material from underground. You do a shot, you have a cavity underground, it generates these materials, they’re twelve to fifteen hundred feet below the surface, but eventually this stuff percolates to the surface. How long does it take for it to percolate? Well, it goes on forever, but I can’t tell you what it takes for one to go from here to there. It depends on what the weather was like for the past ten or fifteen years. It’s long- term process. It’s not something that happens immediately. As I say, if you get a real large reading right away, then there’s some pathway that’s allowed it to move quickly from the shot cavity to the surface. A few shots during that period of time did generate some leaks. Baneberry being one of them? Well, Baneberry was in ’ 70 or ’ 71, in that time frame, and post- Baneberry there was a significant amount of work done by the Department and the laboratories on changing methodologies for analyzing the containment program. The Containment Evaluation Panel [ CEP] being one of them? Right. Right. And so the Containment Evaluation Panel, they did a lot of work in changing the way you designed containment and stuff. What we did have was a couple of unique activities. One particular test was Agrini, in which we had a collapse after the test which was almost like a UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 post- hole, which is very unusual, and that did have some off- gassing. Now it didn’t leak like Baneberry, but it did have some off- gassing that was higher than normal. There was a couple of others, and they slip my mind right now. So I did this kind of monitoring, and in fact we started what was called community monitoring stations [ Community Environmental Monitoring Program, or CEMP]. There’s one on the campus of the university right in front of the EPA office. We started putting those in around and employing, through Desert Research Institute [ DRI], high school teachers to run the equipment, explain what was going on to the local citizenry and their town, and so there was about fifteen of these community monitoring stations around Nevada and southern Utah, I think one in California at Shoshone at one time. And they still exist today, but not to the level that we did when we had an active testing program. During that time period, we also did what was called the High Yield Series. Realizing that the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, or TTBT, was about to be approved, the United States went to work very rapidly on conducting the final few large tests that we were to do, you know, upwards of a megaton of yield, and then post the passing of that treaty, we moved into the “ no test larger than a 150 kilotons,” and that’s what led into the JVE [ Joint Verification Experiment] processes. About ’ 83, I left EPA and went to work at DOE [ Department of Energy] direct. Let me try to explain this relationship. It started out with the Public Health Service, and at one time it was called the Southwestern Radiological Research Institute. It changed to the National Environmental Research Center, NERC. EPA had many names. Currently I think it’s EMSL, Environmental Monitoring [ Systems] Lab. But about that time also, you remember, AEC [ Atomic Energy Commission] changed into ERDA [ Energy Research and Development Agency] UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 and then from ERDA into DOE. And the EPA came into existence and took over a lot of what the Public Health Service was doing, and they had this lab out here. Then as government changed the way they organized, you had kind of EPA in lockstep, moving with DOE. The interesting thing was there was what was called an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA in which DOE paid for a certain number of federal positions to be housed and worked for EPA. So when I see an interagency meeting is this between DOE and EPA? Not necessarily. It could be between any agency, and interagency agreements can be written between any agency. The DOE had— or ERDA, or the USGS [ United States Geological Survey] was one of the people that they had an interagency agreement with because the GS provided geological services to the site. EPA provided environmental monitoring services. Oh, they had agreements with the FAA [ Federal Aviation Administration] for airspace closures around the test site. They’ve had agreements with any number of other federal agencies that they worked with. And they have an agreement with Nellis [ Air Force Base], of course, because they’re right in the middle of the bombing and gunnery range. Well, in order to do an experiment, they had to work with eighteen different agencies. At least. So under this agreement, I was working for EPA in a DOE position, and eventually I went over and just worked directly for DOE for a position that was in a group called the Nuclear Systems Division. Now the Nuclear Systems Division really supported the initial programs of developing what was called at that time NEST, Nuclear Emergency Search Team. Can you explain what that is? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 The Nuclear Emergency Search Team at that time was a group of volunteers and federal people that were willing to go out if someone were to pose a nuclear threat to the U. S. or a threat to a U. S. reactor and try to neutralize that threat. And how many individuals were a part of that? Probably in the neighborhood of two hundred, two hundred and fifty people, various people, you know, groups, all of the national labs, Sandia [ National Laboratories], Los Alamos [ National Laboratory], [ Lawrence] Livermore [ National Laboratory]. They were DOE people, they were EPA people, and they were at that time REECo [ Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company] and EG& G [ Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier] personnel. Now this was a threat, or was it an accident, or just—? No. No, this is a readiness program for emergency response to a potential threat. So if somebody threatened to do some harm, you would go out and respond to that. Now is it on a national level or local level? It was national. OK, so it was a national response to a nuclear threat. Right. And that program changed over several years. Of interest is when I was— I’m going to back up a little bit. Because Troy Wade had mentioned NEST, too, and I didn’t get very many details about that. Right. And there’s more written on the NEST team today than probably is necessary but this was the initial formation of those programs. I’m going to make one little sideline, which was an interesting vignette in my career, was that while we were doing the monitoring around the test site when I was working for the EPA, two rather large incidents happened that affected this UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 country. One was Three Mile Island and the other one was the Kosmos- 954 crash in Canada. At Three Mile Island, we were called upon to go in and put in monitoring systems very similar to— Now was this NEST who did this? No. No, this is DOE and EPA jointly. It was a group of people that went. We took our resources that we normally used at the test site, made some modifications to them, and then went in to monitor around Three Mile Island. And you did the measurements—? We did air monitoring measurements, water quality measurements, we monitored oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, we did milk monitoring for the milk. You know, Hershey Chocolate was a very large employer and a very large distributor of food products back there at that time, and so they were very concerned that they might get contaminated. So we spent, you know, weekends building equipment and shipping it out there. I spent time at Harrisburg [ Pennsylvania] in the state laboratory, running analysis back there. A little interesting sideline was when we were doing gas analysis, it’s a manual process to separate pieces of this gas out and then monitor it with our machines. There was a national columnist by the name of Jack Anderson who used to comment on government and government efficiency and other things from time to time, sometimes tongue- in- cheek, sometimes very sarcastically. We did make his column one time when we were back at Three Mile Island. The question was whether the government was really telling anybody the truth on the data, because everybody said, you know, jeez, we’re all going to die from radiation, and everything, and that was not the case, and it proved not to be the case. I had lost a sample in analysis. Of course, our numbers of analysis were being published for people to see, and when you don’t hit the switches right, you lose the sample and you have to start over with a new sample. And so you write down, “ Lost.” UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Oh. Well, you said it was a manual process. Right. And so the result for that one was lost. And Jack Anderson’s column says, At least one government official is still telling the truth. He lost his analysis. And it was true. We did lose it. It was kind of interesting, a little sideline, that we made the national papers. We did that work and then it wasn’t— you know, [ Kosmos]- 954 had come down also, and at that time, what was called the aerial monitoring systems, or the SANDS [ Surveillance Accident Nuclear Detection] system— SANDS is just an acronym for remote detection of radiation— Now was that to detect���? Those were DOE assets and they were to detect radiation from aircraft or on- ground monitoring. It wasn’t just from Russia, then. No, no, no. You know, radiation from Russia is the same as radiation in the United States. You can’t tell one from the other. It’s radiation. So we were on standby to go up, and then of course a large contingency of people went up to Canada to help the Canadian government out with this Russian reactor that had fallen from the sky, crashed in the Great Northwest provinces of Canada. Was it Canada who asked for help? Yes, and we’ve had mutual agreements, obviously, with all kinds of at least Western- allied nations throughout the history, so those kinds of exchanges were not infrequent at all for us to help the Canadians, the Canadians to provide us with information. We would provide information to the Brits; the Brits would provide stuff to us. It’s back and forth. Now why was this so important to recover? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Well, it spread radioactive contamination all the way across the Canadian border and, of course, the Eskimos, the Native peoples, that lived there would traverse this land. And if they would happen to come upon something, you know, just like any curious soul, they would see a shiny object, maybe a metal piece of object, in the snow and they’d pick it up and take it with them, and all of a sudden now this person is sitting there holding a radioactive item and being exposed. So you needed to get in there, find it, clean it up, and recover it all. So early on, I had two interesting experiences, one at Three Mile and one with the Kosmos- 954 processes. Well, then I went over to work for DOE in this particular group. Anyway, I worked in that group for about a year- and- a- half, and then I was transferred into another job as the Director of Site Operations and Branch Chief. There was an operations at the test site and technical operations downtown, and I went out to work at the test site as the Director of that particular branch, or the Branch Chief for Operations at the site. I had offices at the control point, at CP- 1 on the test site. Now the test site was structured at that time with a logistical office that ran Mercury and a site director, and a forward area posted CP that ran the operations that were conducted upon the test site. So I’m working out there at the test site, and I’m still involved in other things that DOE is doing, but while we’re out there we did a number of interesting things. Besides conducting nuclear tests, the test site has been used for many other wonderful and unusual scientific experiments because it provides – I’ve learned about the rocket development site. Yeah, it provides a place for that kind of activity, and so we took stuff— in fact, we took materials from the old rocket development site, tanks, and built a huge tank farm in Area 5, and UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 where we started at the initial suggestion of [ Lawrence] Livermore National Laboratory, some folks over there, building what was called a Hazardous Material [ HAZMAT] Spill Facility. I remember seeing that when we toured it. In Area 5, there’s a Hazardous Material Spill Facility, and I worked in that program and getting it initially up, certified, and running, and doing tests. That was driven out of a process for emergency response to an accident that happened in Bhopal, India, in which they had a refinery and a gas line break there that killed hundreds of people. And we were trying to develop places where you could test anti- contamination suits for both chemical and other hazardous materials, where you could put people in these kind of suits, they could go in, and then make repairs or fix valves or turn things off to mitigate it, spray down systems, and things like that. One of the big tests we did was when you make gasoline in a refinery, you have a facility that uses hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is one of the most reactive acids, chemically, that we have. Very nasty stuff. And they use it to make high- octane fuel out of petroleum in refineries. And so we spilled tanker car loads of hydrofluoric acid and washed it down with different spray mechanisms and tried to neutralize the cloud, and we monitored how far the cloud went out and what concentrations it was so that you could determine how far you’d have to evacuate people to till it was safe, a number of things. And that was of interest because there were some problems with some refineries in Texas that were making gasoline and they had some issues on what kind of systems they could put in place, you know, almost like a sprinkler system in a house to prevent a fire, only these were sprinkler systems that if a pipe broke, you would wash the acid down and if it collected on the ground, you didn’t have to worry about this big cloud of acid going out into the town and killing off all the citizens. Now did this government research get put back into industry, then? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 It was industry that really came to use our facility. DuPont. The National Gas Institute, which is a consortium of all of the private industry people that put together— they do joint research and then that research is disseminated back into the design community for facilities. Did they help fund it, too? They would pay for parts of their projects that would come out. They would provide materials. MSA is a company that develops like gas masks and clothing outfits and protective suits and things like that, and they would bring their equipment and we would do the tests on the site where it was safe to do the tests, because there’s no population around there, and then test their equipment for leaks and those kinds of things. So we started that program when I was out there. You saw a lot of non- nuclear testing things, then, didn’t you? A lot of things like that. The first Iraqi war under George I [ President George H. W. Bush], we did some things through DTRA, which is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency now, at that time called DNA, Defense Nuclear Agency. We did some development of standard munitions, laser- guided bombs and things at the site on some hardened targets that we have out here. If you remember the first war in Iraq, there were concerns on dropping bombs into concrete- reinforced buried structures on the battlefield, and so we did some of that testing out here. We later went on to do some further development of that testing out here for now this current war. So when I’m sitting here watching television and seeing a laser- guided bomb, I can remember being the test controller on certain tests at the test site for the development of that weaponry. So it’s kind of neat to watch that. Well, this is just kind of a side note, but I was up in Alaska when that great big spill happened up at Valdez. Would any of the technology you were developing help with that cleanup? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Well, we did some monitoring, but in fact I know who headed up a large portion of that. It was a gentleman by the name of Chuck Costa, who was my boss at EPA here locally. Chuck went up to do a lot of that work up there with the [ U. S.] Coast Guard for EPA on the cleanup of that oil spill. But the agents that they used up there and the things and the programs that they tried were not developed out here. They were developed elsewhere. One of the things they used was a bacteria that tends to eat oil. So they could fly over, spray this thing, and this little bug would go out and eat up the oil. And so they did a number of different experiments and real life cleanup studies like that. Chuck now works for Los Alamos National Lab and he’s a test director for the lab out here, so I’ve worked with Chuck for thirty years. But he was one of the leads on the cleanup of that from this office here. The interesting thing about this, I guess, is like with Troy Wade, who we mentioned, and running the NEST program and the aerial measuring system and things like that, the degree of capability that the test site had spawned into other areas that were used to address interests of international concern. Canada. Alaska. Three Mile Island. One other response that we did was— this was very unique, and I headed this program up, a very unique one was where a load of rebar went in the wrong gate at Los Alamos National Laboratory and it set off the radiation alarms. Well, the truck was going in the wrong gate, one. Two, why was it radioactive? The gate was there designed to monitor vehicles leaving so nobody could steal stuff and get out. Found that the material was contaminated. Tracked it back to a foundry in Chihuahua, Mexico. We followed up on that. There was a relationship that was developed between the Mexican government and the U. S. government. You’ve got to go through the State Department before you can go do anything [ laughing]. Albeit time- consuming, they generally do help you. But it seems like the bureaucratic process just takes forever. Eventually what happened is we sent a helicopter and a radiation UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 monitoring crew to El Paso, Texas. Across the border from El Paso, Texas is Juarez. In Juarez, there was two locals who had been given, quote unquote, “ salvage rights” for an old medical facility. They were cleaning it up. They took from it a cobalt- 60 [ Co- 60] old X- ray unit that the doctor had had in his office there and were going to take it out to the metal yard and surplus it to get money for the metal. They threw it in the back of a pickup truck and broke it open. Commenced to drive around town. One of the problems that was a bit of a delay was one of these gentlemen, married, also had a girlfriend that he was seeing. And we followed his truck from the warehouse where this source was to his girlfriend’s house, because he kept dropping these little pellets along the way. He got in trouble, didn’t he? Yeah, he eventually died from the radiation. They took it to a salvage yard. Two other gentlemen were severely injured in the salvage yard from the radiation. They actually were sitting on it, eating their lunch. It was loaded from there onto a big semi truck, hauled to Chihuahua, which is well inland, turned into rebar for construction purposes, along with other metal scraps, sent back to the United States, and we found this truckload of this material at Los Alamos. Well, that was quite a history to track to— So we tracked this all the way back. We continued to follow that process for about two months. We collected material, some fifty thousand pounds of contaminated steel. We recovered it, brought it all the way back from Alaska and all the western United States. They had made patio tables out of it, had cast patio tables and chairs. And all of this stuff was brought back and then eventually buried in a repository in Mexico. So we had to work with Customs, we had to work with the Department of Transportation [ DOT], we had to monitor that. We monitored the road between Chihuahua and Juarez, we monitored all the city of El Paso, and found all of these UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 places, cleaned them up, and we did that in