Masao Tomonaga is the honorary director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital and a hibakusha, an atomic bomb survivor. He studied internal medicine and hematology at the Nagasaki University Medical School. Currently, he runs a retirement home for older hibakusha. In this interview, Dr. Tomonaga discusses his experience surviving the bombing of Nagasaki. He outlines the immediate physical impacts the bomb had on people’s bodies, the long-term physical impacts, such as cancer, and the psychological harm.
Cindy Kelly: Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Monday, September 10, 2018, and I have with me Gary Petersen. My first question to Gary is to please say his full name and spell it.
Gary Petersen: Gary Petersen, P-e-t-e-r-s-e-n. Gary is G-a-r-y, so that’s easy.
Kelly: Terrific. Well, Gary, you have the most fascinating history and I want to start with the beginning. Where and when you were born and your education. A little bit about what brought you to the Tri-Cities [Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington].
Gary Petersen is the former vice president of federal programs for TRIDEC, the Tri-City Development Council, which works to promote economic growth for Washington State’s Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland) area. Before TRIDEC, he worked at the Hanford site for Battelle, serving as news manager, and in the International Nuclear Safety Program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In this interview, Petersen discusses the studies Hanford conducted in biology and health physics, the continuing cleanup of the Hanford site, and the future of radioactive waste disposal.
Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is April 25, 2018, here in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I have with me Lee Russell.
Liane Russell: Right.
Weisenberg: My first question is if you could please say your name and spell it for me?
Russell: My full name is Liane B. Russell. It’s L-i-a-n-e, and the B stands for my maiden name, which is Brauch, B-r-a-u-c-h, Russell, R-u-s-s-e-l-l. Okay?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Monday, May 28, 2018, in Antony, France. I have with me Hélène Langevin-Joliot.
Hélène Langevin-Joliot: My name is Hélène. The name of my husband was Langevin, so I am Hélène Langevin, and Joliot.
Nate Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg, and I’m here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Thursday, October 12, 2017, and I am here with Mr. Al Zeltmann at his home in Los Alamos. My first question for you is if you could please say your name and spell it.
Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It’s Friday, February 3rd, 2017. I’m in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I’m with Jim Walther. First, could you say your name, your full name and spell it?
Walther: Jim Walther, and that’s spelled J-I-M W-A-L-T-H-E-R.
Jim Walther is the director of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, NM. He begins this interview by discussing his working relationship with Jim Sanborn, the sculptor behind the renowned exhibits “Atomic Time” and “Critical Assembly.” He continues with a discussion of health physics, the history of nuclear reactors, and other innovations from the Manhattan Project. Walther also talks about the portrayal of nuclear issues in popular culture. He concludes by asserting the importance of studying the Manhattan Project and other nuclear issues.
Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is Saturday, February 4, 2017. I have with me Jay Shelton. My first question is to please say your name, full name, and spell it.
Shelton: Jay Shelton, J-A-Y S-H-E-L-T-O-N.
Kelly: Perfect. Now, Jay, why don’t you just tell a little bit about yourself and what you have been doing for the last umpteen years?
Nate Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am doing this interview for the Atomic Heritage Foundation with Kathleen Maxwell here in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It is Monday, April 25, 2016.
How did you get involved with the Manhattan Project?
Kathleen Maxwell: I had just finished my Master’s degree at Smith [College], and I was contemplating staying at Smith because the main men in our department there had gone to work for the Manhattan Project someplace else.