Pohakuloa Radiation Hearings

Last night several of us attended the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public informational meeting in Wahiawa related to DU contamination in Lihu’e (Schofield) and the Army’s application for an NRC license to “possess” the DU material.   The presentations were informative about the regulatory functions of the NRC.  But is was frustrating to learn the limited authority (or political will) of this regulatory agency to impose stronger restrictions on the Army.  And more shocking was how nonchalant their attitude was about the hazard in Hawai’i.  When questions were raised about potential hazards of conducting training activities in an area contaminated with DU, one NRC panel member basically said that the NRC doesn’t agree that there is a risk.  I was blown away. This is supposed to be an independent regulatory body?

NRC documents related to this docket can be accessed at:


  • Select “Begin ADAMS search”
  • Select “Advanced Search”
  • Enter Docket Number “04009083”

Comments on the Army’s license application can be sent to:

John Hayes
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Two White Flint North, Mail Stop T8F5
11545 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-1738

Telephone (301) 415-5928
Fax: (301) 415-5369
Email: john.hayes@nrc.gov

DEADLINE to request a hearing is October 13, 2009.

Jim Albertini sent out this call to attend Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meetings in Kona and Hilo.   Anyone on the Big Island, please come out to demand a halt to training activities in the contaminated areas and the clean up of the DU and the hundreds of other military toxics in Hawai’i!


Pohakuloa Radiation Hearings

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 Time: 6 – 8:30 PM

Place: King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel

Thursday, Aug. 27th Time: 6 – 8:30 PM

Place: Hilo High School Cafeteria

Come out and express your concern for the health and safety of the people and the aina.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be holding hearings in Hilo and Kona this week on Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation at the l33,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), located on so-called ceded lands — Kingdom of Hawaii occupied/stolen lands. The Army is seeking a license from the NRC to allow the radiation from weapons training to remain in place. That’s the Army’s polite way of saying it wants a formal OK to do what it has already done — establish a radiation waste dump in an active bombing range in the heart of Hawaii Island.

Some background: It has been confirmed that hundreds, perhaps over 2,000, Depleted Uranium (DU) spotting rounds have been fired at PTA for just one weapon system — the Davy Crockett back in the l960s. Davy Crockett DU rounds were also fired on Oahu at Schofield Barracks, possibly Makua Valley and elsewhere in Hawaii. The Army disclosed it also fired Davy Crockett DU rounds at several locations in at least 9 other states and three foreign countries. Other DU rounds from many other weapon systems may have been fired over the past 40 years at PTA and other sites in Hawaii, since the number and types of DU munitions in the U.S. arsenal has increased dramatically.

Ongoing live-fire at PTA (millions of rounds annually) risks spreading the DU radiation already present. DU is particularly hazardous when small burned oxidized particles are inhaled. The Hawaii County Council, more than a year ago, on July 2, 2008, called for a halt to all live-fire and other activities at PTA that create dust until there is an assessment and clean up of the DU already present. 7 additional needed actions have also been noted by the Council. The military has ignored the Council and continues live-fire and other dust creating activities at PTA, putting the residents of Hawaii Island at risk, since no comprehensive testing has been completed.

It is now up to the people to sound the alarm. Seize this opportunity to speak up now, not only for your own safety but for our keiki and the aina, and for generations to come. Isn’t it time for the State of Hawaii to cancel the military’s land lease at Pohakuloa. Pohakuloa was never meant to be a nuclear waste dump. Mahalo.

Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622. Email ja@interpac.net http://www.malu-aina.org

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