Mushroom Cloud




The U. S. government conducted atmospheric atomic weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1962. The last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site was "Little Feller I" of Operation Sunbeam, on 17 July 1962.

St. George received the brunt of the fallout of above-ground nuclear testing in the Yucca Flats / Nevada Test Site. Winds routinely carried the fallout of these tests directly through St. George and southern Utah. Significant amounts of radioactive particles were dropped on these areas leading to marked increases in cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, bone cancer, brain tumors, and gastrointestinal tract cancers, from the mid-1950s through 1980.

The term, "downwinders", is applied to people who lived in Washington County and surrounding areas during the time of those atmospheric tests.

Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP)
This federally funded program provides education and free specialized physical exams to qualified individuals. Qualifications include residence in Washington County and certain other areas for one year between 1951 and 1958, or who lived here during July of 1962.

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)
This federally funded program can provide payments of $50,000 to those individuals (or their heirs) who lived for two years in qualifying counties between 1951 and 1958 or who lived here during the month of July 1962, and who subsequently developed certain types of cancer. In addition to downwinders, cancer patients who were uranium workers may qualify for $150,000, and those who worked onsite for $75,000.


Wikipedia article on the Nevada Test Site

The Downwinders of Utah Archive
at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah

My First Second Sunrise
By Clark N. Nelson, Sr.,   May 27, 2019

Out of date website about the Nevada Test Site

United States Nuclear Tests, July 1945 through September 1992
DOE/NV--209-REV 15,   December 2000

Atomic Test Effects in the Nevada Test Site Region
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission,   January 1955

They Never Knew: The Victims of Atomic Testing
Book by Glen Alan Cheney
Impact Books,   1996
ISBN-10: 053111273X,   ISBN-13: 9780531112731

50 Years Later, The Tragedy of Nuclear Tests in Nevada
by Norman Solomon,   January 5, 2001

SOUTHERN UTAH MEMORIES: The Atomic Test Named Dirty Harry
by Loren R. Webb,   December 1, 2012

Atomic Tests In Nevada: The Story of AEC's Continental Proving Ground
This 25-minute film was produced in 1955 by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
It talks about the AEC's atomic testing in Nevada and the expected effects on St. George.
For another copy of the same film, click here.

Documentary film: Turning Point: Cover-Up at Ground Zero

Documentary film: Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang

Downwinders, Inc.
254 West 500 North
Malad City, ID 83252

Facebook Group: Downwinders of Southern Utah and elsewhere...