NAAV  was founded in August, 1979 by the late Orville E. Kelly ( of Burlington, Iowa ) for the purposes of allowing the U. S. Atomic Veteran Community to speak, with a single voice, to their inability to get a fair hearing related to their developing ( radiogenic )  health issues  that may have been precipitated by their exposure to “ionizing” radiation while participating in a nuclear weapon test detonation, or a “post-test” event.   From the beginning, and to date, we continue to pursue our purpose to this dedicated cause.

Who  is  an  Atomic Veteran

Atomic Veterans were members of the United States Armed Forces who participated in atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons tests from 16 July, 1945 to 30 October 1962.  They also include veterans who were assigned to post test duties, such as “ground zero” nuclear warfare maneuvers & exercises, removing radiation cloud samples from aircraft wing pods, working in close proximity to radiated test animals,  de-contamination of aircraft and field test equipment, retrieval and transport of test instruments & devices, and a host of other duty assignments that provided an opportunity for a radiation exposure & contamination event.

Also included are military personnel who were a part of the Occupation Forces assigned to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan soon after the detonation of Atomic-Bombs over those respective cities, and those American prisoners of war ( POW’s ) who were housed in close proximity to those cities.  These Veterans fit the VA’s “official” description of an Atomic-Veteran. 

There is a second group of veterans who may have been involved in radiation exposure events. These  include post test events related to nuclear weapon devices detonated  underground or in shafts ( after 1962 ) that may have provided a radiation exposure event, or those who’s duties involved regular use of radiation producing equipment or processes, such as power plant technicians aboard nuclear powered Aircraft Carriers and Submarines, X-ray technicians, and  those veterans assigned to the Enewetak Atoll radiation clean-up projects.  These veterans fit the VA’s “official”  description  as  Occupational  radiation  exposed veterans.

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