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The Plutonium Files

Welsome, Eileen

1999, January 1


In a Massachusetts school, seventy-three disabled children were spoon fed radioactive isotopes along with their morning oatmeal….  In an upstate New York hospital, an eighteen-year-old woman, believing she was being treated for a pituitary disorder, was injected with plutonium by Manhattan Project doctors….  At a Tennessee prenatal clinic, 829 pregnant women were served “vitamin cocktails” — in truth, drinks containing radioactive iron — as part of their prenatal treatment….

In 1945, the seismic power of atomic energy was already well known to researchers, but the effects of radiation on human beings were not.  Fearful that plutonium would cause a cancer epidemic among workers, Manhattan Project doctors embarked on a human experiment that was as chilling as it was closely guarded: the systematic injection of unsuspecting Americans with radioactive plutonium.  In this shocking exposé, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome reveals the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of American men, women, and even children to nameless specimens with silvery radioactive metal circulating in their veins.  Spanning the 1930s to the 1990s, filled with hundreds of newly declassified documents and firsthand interviews, The Plutonium Files traces the behind-the-scenes story of an extraordinary fifty-year cover-up.  It illuminates a shadowy chapter in this country’s history and gives eloquent voice to the men and women who paid for our atomic energy discoveries with their health — and sometimes their lives.

Where to Find Resource Online

This book has become rather difficult to obtain as Amazon no longer carries the kindle version and the paperback version is out of print.  Used copies are going for over $300.  You can get a copy in Japanese, though!  Try these links:



PDF version available below.


Eileen Welsome did not give very many interviews.

Amy Goodman, from Democracy Now — Independent Global News, is interviewing Eileen Welsome in this interview from May 2004:

Source link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UObIhUKjCiY

A transcript of the interview is available at Democracy Now’s website.

Exclusive 2019 Brasscheck interview with Eileen Welsome about her book The Plutonium Files.

Source link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcDLRK7Huyg

PDF Document

Greater Context

Filed under the following tags: government health science secret activities

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