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Fort Bliss Confirms Nuclear Bombs Made on Post During Cold War

By Matt Dougherty
Published On: Jul 17 2013 11:44:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 10:28:50 PM CST

July 2013: Update: Radioactive material found at Fort Bliss. Reporter: Matt Dougherty

EL PASO, Texas -

Fort Bliss officials confirm government environmental investigators expanded their search for sites emitting radiation on post Wednesday.

The broadened investigation comes after a bunker and its surrounding area were found to contain alpha and beta radiation particles, a finding which was released publicly on Tuesday.

"We've received more than 40 calls," Major Joe Buccino said. "People are calling from all over the U.S., most of the calls are from retirees who worked here back in the fifties and sixties."

The army post was unaware of the possibility that potentially harmful radiation existed in the bunkers, which were being used to house training weapons, Buccino said.

Fort Bliss officials were tipped off to the information that uranium had been buried beneath the bunkers by a retired air force veteran who built nuclear bombs on the site which was formerly operated by Biggs Air Force base.

"We don't know quite the scope of how far into the desert this stuff may be buried," Buccino said.

The spokesman said more radioactive sites on post are possible, extending up to White Sands Missile Range, Buccino said.

ABC-7 obtained court records detailing a criminal case in which a former army private, and member of the Ordnance Special Weapons Unit at Fort Bliss until 1960, was convicted of giving information on how the post built nuclear bombs during the 1950s to Russian government officials.

Fort Bliss officials say they do not know of any other locations where uranium may be buried on post.

 

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