A couple of years ago, the Department of Energy started a mission to clean up the remains of the Project Chariot. Many people aren’t familiar with this scheme, but, during the Cold War Era, a deep-water harbor was created in Northwest Alaska using the nuclear blasts. However, people living in the neighboring village think they have been lied to about atomic bombs, which they believe were secretly buried and never removed.
The mayor of Point Hope openly expressed his disagreement, thinking that the U.S. Government is trying to cover everything up.
The village counts around 700 residents on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. People are concerned about their safety because nuclear devices lie there openly.
The history of the project
Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this became a part of Operation Plowshare, which an effort to demonstrate the peaceful use of nuclear power. The scientists planned to detonate the series of underground bombs near the Cape Thompsons, which is 30 miles away of Point Hope, and in this case, blasting a crater to create the harbor.
However, due to strong opposition from Point Hope, explosions never happen. Many environmentalists backed this opinion. The Department of Energy issued a statement that bombs were never landed here.
What is the truth?
Local population residing here believes that federal government is trying to cover their tracks. They think that nuclear missiles reached their destination and were left to decay here, posing a severe threat not only for the Alaskan population but the entire world.
Since 1990, the government has performed cleanups to eliminate pollution which was connected with the years of preparation for the project. The last step was to seal and abandon four holes close to the mouth of Ogotoruk Creek. The scientists have drilled the permafrost using the high explosives, but not nuclear devices. Regarding the fifth hole, it is also set to be cleaned up.
We will see how the entire operation will resolve, but one thing is sure, residences of Point Hope are convinced that nuclear weapons are hidden in the ice, only waiting to explode or leak.