Comments: 399 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

F3llyjish1 karma

I get uncomfortable just from walking past radiators, how intense was the heat from the nuclear blasts?

GooodGrief3 karma

If you were close enough to feel any heat effects from a nuke test, you aren't here anymore.

Rude_Etude1 karma

Sea stories about working in the desert? Ooh, let's!

GooodGrief8 karma

There are ships of the desert. They are called camels.

Rude_Etude2 karma

Go on...

Rude_Etude2 karma

I just can't think of any nautical-type jokes or quips that would play well in the desert ....

Although, Arizona has a surprisingly large Coast Guard.

GooodGrief2 karma

Most of the sea storied I ever heard when i was I was in the Navy took place in a bar or a whorehouse.

Sea stories are just stories told by old salts about their experiences in the Navy.

There were lots of Navy dudes at the test site. The earliest of nuclear reactors for propulsion, first one on the Nautilus were created by US Navy personnel in conjunction with some scientists.

GooodGrief2 karma

Well there is my favorite joke. Not really nautical. Not really a desert joke. But about the gorilla in the backyard tree? The guy calls in and tells the police there is a gorilla in his tree. Yeah, right. The response. He insisted. If there was a gorilla in your tree you shouldn't call us anyway. Call the SPCA. So he called the SPCA. They didn't believe him either, no zoo being nearby, but said if there actaully was a gorilla in his tree, he should call this local guy, a big game hunter, who happened to live in the area. So, he called. The hunter didn't really believe him, but he was so distraught he agreed to come by and have a look anyway.

Well, to make a long story short here -----------\

The hunter shows up with his dog, Old Blue. He looks in the back yard and announces "There is a gorilla in your tree." That's what I been trying to tell you the exasperated man replied.

Getting near the end now.

The hunter says, well you are in luck. I think I can get that gorilla down out of that tree and safely tied up in this net. He pulled a large net out of the back of his pickup truck. He gave the man some instructions. He said "Look, I'm going to climb up in that tree towards the gorilla. They are really very shy creatures and he will try to avoid my reaching him by climbing higher in the tree. When he gets high enough, a branch will break and he will fall to the ground. At that moment, Old Blue will rush over and bite him on the testicles giving you enough time to throw the net over him. By that time I should be down from the tree."

The hunter handed the man the net and his big elephant gun and walked towards the tree. "WAIT, called the man, what is the gun for?" Hmmmm. well, sometimes when I'm doing this sort of thing, I fall from the tree first, he said." Yeah, yeah??? and then? "Well, if that happens, shoot Old Blue".

Ricepudding941 karma

How high were the background radiation levels at NTS back then?

GooodGrief8 karma

Background was pretty much the same as it is everywhere in Nevada on most of the site. About .015 mrem/hr with a geiger counter.

There were places where weapons had been tested that still had some residual radiation associated with the remaining materials left over from the test. There was some trinity glass out there in places.

angryhaiku1 karma

Do you share any responsibility for what happened to the Lucky Dragon #5? If so, how do you feel about altering their lives forever?

GooodGrief3 karma

I hate to admit my ignorance. I never heard of this incident before. I looked it up on wiki and found that only one person died from radiation exposure? If that is correct I would estimate the accumulated exposure to have been around 1000 rem acute exposure.

Without know the details I am confident to say that we tried to discover any vessels in the area before the test and would not have conducted it if anyone was near enough to be affected by it. I am confident that would have been the procedure.

That being said, I feel no responsibility personally for their fate. It was bad Karma.

Here is my favorite haiku in remembrance of the crew.

of an early death

showing no sign

the cicada's voice

fredandlunchbox1 karma

I grew up in Vegas and I always wondered what the contamination rate was from the test site. My mom remembers being able to see the above-ground tests in the 50's. There had to be SOME fallout that made its way over, or in the case of underground tests, that hit the water table. I mean, when the rain falls, it goes through those contaminated areas to this day.

GooodGrief5 karma

No damage to the water table that I am aware of ever. This is one of the reasons the Test Site was chosen for these tests.

Fallout most always went to the east or the north-east from Yucca and Frenchman flat. Waited for the right conditions before detonations.

gx14001 karma

Do you know Hal Walling, Harold Ritter, or Ben Benjamin?

GooodGrief2 karma

Ritter and Benjamin sounds familiar. I came into contact with most every name working that the Test Site in 1959-60 as I was Manager of Dosimetry records and reports during that time. I doubt if I knew them personally, by maybe. Benjamin sounds like a miner's name I knew.

notjonahbutnoah1 karma

So what are the chances of something like "The Hills Have Eyes" occuring? I mean, is it possible that there are inbread mutants living in a cave somewhere in the Mojave?

GooodGrief1 karma

Wife says there are more inbred mutants living in LA or DC than there are on the desert.

Shred_Gnar_Pow1 karma

i read in an earlier answer that you started around age 21. What credentials did you already have at that young age that allowed you to work in such a new and advanced field?

GooodGrief5 karma

In the Navy I had a class A school that was equal to 2 years college in electricity and electronics. I had some connections too. My dad worked for the railroad in Vegas. He had to arrange shipments to the Test Site. He knew someone who hired me to work in instrumentation out there.

Dad told me once that this military guy called up and said they had a shipment and needed a train with a flat care top transport some stuff to the site.

Dad said OK where do I pick it up. OH no. I can't tall you that the guy said. Dad said no tell, no train.

After the officer checked with his superiors he got back to Dad and said it will be in Barstow california.

OK, sir, said Dad. When do you want us there? OH no, I can't tell you that the guy said.

Ah_Real_Monsterz1 karma

I too am a huge advocate for nuclear energy. What are your thoughts on LFTR reactors compared to the more widely used traditional nuclear reactors? I have unfortunately spent very little time studying science; however, this particular field is extremely interesting to me. Personally, I think that LFTR reactors are the future of our energy needs.

GooodGrief3 karma

I just read up on LFTR technology a little bit. I think it would take some time to fully evaluate the technology for use in generating electricity for home and commercial use.

There are some initial start up problems for a LFTR reactor in the US since we don't allow reprocessing of our nuclear fuel at present. '

Since China and Japan are looking at it seriously in the recent past I would suspect it is viable .

Inji0 karma

Do you have any experiences with any of Nikolai Tesla's proclaimed work that is said to be in use with the military, defense contractors, etc today?

Also, any foreign metals that aren't shared with public knowledge yet? (Dumb question, but still interested.)

GooodGrief5 karma

There are some very interesting things going on in the military with some Tesla styled energy. I don't have any special knowledge about them myself.

Not a dumb question, but many elements were discovered ,. created with nuclear power.