State: New Mexico
Location: Chupadera Mesa
Time Period: 1945
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Facility Description: Chupadera Mesa is located in the White Sands Missile Range and was part of the fallout area from the Trinity test. The Trinity Test took place in July 1945.
*Site Description and History:
The Chupadera Mesa, New Mexico, Site is located approximately 28 miles northeast of the Trinity atomic bomb test site at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (also referred to as Area 21). The area consists of open range and is used primarily for cattle grazing. The Trinity test took place approximately 60 miles north of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The nation’s first atomic bomb test was conducted at the Trinity test site on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project, which was established to conduct research for the development and production of nuclear weapons during World War II. Windblown fallout from the Trinity test drifted northeast over the White Sands Missile Range, Chupadera Mesa, and other ranching areas. Radiation measurements began the same day as the test, and since then, surveys and studies have been performed in the area by the University of California (in 1948, 1950, and 1951), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (in 1973 and 1974), and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (from 1972 to 1979).
The Chupadera Mesa site was one of six regions of study and sampling (along with the Trinity area, White Sands Missile Range, Bingham area, Far Fallout area, and San Antonio area) to evaluate the presence of residual radioactive contamination. Radioactive decay since the Trinity test has resulted in substantial reductions of fallout levels at the Chupadera Mesa site and has left only longer-lived radioactive materials, including cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium-239 (with traces of europium-155). However, based on these extensive studies and sampling data, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) determined that the dose from the residual radioactive contamination for an individual living in the fallout area and consuming food produced there was less than the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) criterion of 25 millirem per year for unrestricted use. Therefore, DOE concluded that no remedial action was needed at the site.
Chupadera Mesa is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
As of 03/22/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Chupadera Mesa is $0.
Chupadera Mesa Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $150K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.
We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY 14214.