In December of 1962, ConEd applied for a permit from the Atomic Energy Commission to build a PROPOSED NUCLEAR REACTOR (36) in Queens, near 38th Avenue and the East River. After much public outcry, the proposal was withdrawn on January 7, 1964.
Approximately 3.75 tons of thorium oxalate sludge was stored at the WOLFF-ALPORT CHEMICAL COMPANY WAREHOUSE (37) (1125-1139 Irving Avenue) in Queens. According to the EPA, this company buried its radioactive waste underground, and may even have dumped it into the sewer.
Nike anti-aircraft missiles were deployed at FT. TILDEN (38) (Breezy Point, Queens) in 1955. The missiles were intended for use in the event of a nuclear attack on NYC.
For the first nationwide defense drill on June 14, 1954, three HYPOTHETICAL NUCLEAR ATTACK POINTS in NYC were selected as “ground zero.” The three sites were in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn (39) (Smith & Schermerhorn Streets).
Uranium and other materials for the Manhattan Project were stored at the ARCHER DANIEL MIDLANDS WAREHOUSE (40) on Richmond Terrace, near the Staten Island anchorage of the Bayonne Bridge.
In 1985, the US Navy announced it would build a “nuclear weapons capable” HOMEPORT (41) for the USS Iowa on Staten Island. The Iowa was retrofitted to carry 32 Tomahawk cruise missiles, making it the most lethal shore-bombardment vessel in the world. In 1989, an explosion on the Iowa in the Caribbean Sea killed 47 crew members. The Iowa became an issue in the 1989 NYC mayoral campaign, and helped David Dinkins defeat incumbent Ed Koch. Mayor Dinkins vetoed the city’s contribution to the homeport, and it was closed in 1994. In this same New York spirit, NYCAN continues to urge Mayor Eric Adams to implement Introduction 1621, a local law that establishes the NYC Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Advisory Committee to “examine nuclear disarmament and issues related to recognizing and reaffirming NYC as a nuclear weapons-free zone.”
The Nuclear NYC Map was created by Kathleen Sullivan, Noah Diamond, Seth Shelden, and Matthew Bolton for NYCAN, incorporating research by Catherine Falzone. Map design by Noah Diamond.
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