Trinity Site Atomic Bomb Test Commemoration in Tularosa




Runs 8/1/14 through 8/8/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:

  • Trinity Site Atomic Bomb Test Commemoration in Tularosa

About 70 people attended the Fifth Annual Luminaria Lighting and Prayer Vigil in Tularosa, New Mexico, on Saturday, July 26th in commemoration of the Trinity Site Atomic Bomb Test. Trinity was the site of the first experimental test of the atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, at what is now known as the White Sands Missile Range. It led to the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th of that same year.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, in cooperation with the Village of Tularosa, organized the public event at the Tularosa Little League Field. More than 150 luminarias were lit in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer and other radiation related illnesses directly linked to the test explosion. At least half of the people in attendance were cancer survivors and those living with cancer.

One lone luminaria was placed in the center of the field in honor of Fred Tyler, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. Tyler died earlier this year of a lung disease.

The Consortium formed in order to ensure that those exposed to the test be covered by the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which has provided compensation for other impacted communities downwind of the Nevada Test Site and the Marshall Islanders for over 20 years. New Mexico Senator Tom Udall has led the effort to introduce amendments to RECA that would include the Trinity downwinder.

Senator Udall’s Senate speech acknowledging the work of the Consortium in support of expansion of RECA was played at the event. Udall said, “The original RECA bill required years of work on the ground. My father, [Stewart Udall], helped lay the groundwork for RECA a quarter century ago through his work with radiation exposure survivors and their families, compiling stories, records and histories of victims. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium continues this critical work, and I encourage them to keep up the fight. This is a bipartisan effort and driven by simple fairness for American citizens who should have been helped, but were ignored instead.”

Concerning the memorial event, Tina Cordova, a co-founder of the Consortium, said, “Every time I see all the luminarias with names and learn of another person who has passed I lament. Every time I learn of another neighbor stricken with cancer I am saddened. We will keep the vigil going until the time that our Congressional Representatives are present to lament with us and we receive the recognition of our suffering that we’ve waited 69 years for.”

For more information about the work of the Consortium, please contact Tina Cordova at 505-897-6787 or


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