Baneberry Disaster
A Generation of Atomic Fallout


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Author: Larry C. Johns

Format: Paper
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781943859450
Published Date: 2017

The Baneberry Disaster covers the calamitous December 1970 Baneberry underground nuclear test that pumped nearly 7 million curies of radiation into the atmosphere, caused the suspension of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site for six months, and whose radioactive cloud exposed 86 test-site workers to radiation, two of whom died of leukemia less than four years later.
The authors are attorneys from Las Vegas who spent 25 years pursuing a lawsuit for the victims at Baneberry. The story begins in 1971, just after the Baneberry test vented, and takes the reader through the years leading up to the trial, the 41-day trial in 1979, and the multiple appeals following the trial. It discusses the claims and lawsuits filed by others exposed to atomic testing, and the congressional investigations that led to the enactment of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in 1990.

Author Bio
Larry C. Johns holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Arizona. He was admitted into the Nevada Bar Association in 1968. In 1993, he was selected to membership in the Nevada American Inns of Court, Lloyd D. George Chapter, and remained active until 2005. He married Mary Pratt, and they have four children, Charles, Laura, Julianna, and Jason, and 7 grandchildren.

Alan R. Johns holds a Juris Doctor Degree from University of Colorado. He was admitted into the Nevada Bar Association in 1963. From 1998 to present, he has served as an Arbitrator and Short Trial Judge in over 100 cases and maintains his private law practice. He married Loretta Jung, and they have three sons, Tris, Greg, and Brian, and 8 grandchildren.

“The Baneberry saga is a story that should be told, and Mr. Johns is the one to tell it.” —A. Costandina Titus, congresswoman and author of Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics

The Baneberry Disaster is a compelling recollection of the causes and human consequences of the failure of the underground Baneberry test in December 1970. Its focus is the resulting decades-long search for justice by lawyer brothers in Las Vegas who investigated the accident and pursued the case on behalf of the widows of two men who succumbed to leukemia after being caught in Baneberry’s radioactive cloud. Johns gives readers an interesting inside-the-courtroom perspective that reveals the dilemmas of private attorneys who found themselves outmatched in terms of resources and in access to critical information about the incident.” —Mary D. Wammack, University of Nevada, Las Vegas