arianna: (Ghost)
[personal profile] arianna
I just saw the note below from JD Nicoll in my 'network'. For those who aren't familiar with his work, Farley Mowat has been one of Canada's leading contemporary writers for much of my lifetime. I fear the report below is true, and it sure explains the cancers three aunts who lived together in that area had, along with many of their neighbours, even though cancer isn't prevalent in the family. The things we don't get told, no doubt to avert 'a panic'. ::shudders::


From wikipedia:

November 10, 1950 – Rivière-du-Loup, Québec, Canada – Non-nuclear detonation of an atomic bomb

Returning one of several U.S. Mark 4 nuclear bombs secretly deployed in Canada, a USAF B-50 had engine trouble and jettisoned the weapon at 10,500 feet (3,200 m). The crew set the bomb to self-destruct at 2,500 ft (760 m) and dropped over the St. Lawrence River. The explosion shook area residents and scattered nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium (U-238) used in the weapon's tamper. The plutonium core ("pit") was not in the bomb at the time.



Not only that but it tangentally involved Farley Mowat


In the summer of 1954, Mowat was sailing down the St. Lawrence River, making an “Eastern Passage” from Montreal to Halifax. A deckhand “spotted a large, corpse-white something just beneath the surface directly in our path,” he writes. Mowat swung the tiller hard and avoided a collision, but recognized the semi-submerged object as a six-metre beluga whale, clearly sick or injured.

Further east, from an old sailor, he learned of a horrific explosion that had occurred in these waters four years before—the result, apparently, of an American plane having jettisoned several bombs. Almost half a century passed, Mowat writes, before he pieced together the whole story.

An American bomber had run into engine trouble while transporting a version of “Fat Man,” the nuclear bomb that in 1945 had obliterated the Japanese city of Nagasaki. The pilot, acting on standing orders, released the bomb into the St. Lawrence before attempting an emergency landing. The official version claimed an empty “Fat-Man casing” and three conventional bombs were released, but admitted that the blast “was felt for 25 miles.”

Mowat flashes forward to a 1988 New York Times article. It described how, since 1950, “a mysterious die-off of beluga whales” in the St. Lawrence had shrunk the colony from 1,200 to 450. It noted also that the area “has Canada’s highest level of human birth defects, although no direct cause-effect relationship has been shown.”



I like how they try to imply the US may have covertly nuked Canada without outright saying it. Yields on Mark 4s ran from 1 to 31 KT; not sure what this one would have had.
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