[ RadSafe ] Manhattan Project - Uranium- Important history item: US/Belguim/Geochemistry

Stewart Farber SAFarber at optonline.net
Tue May 29 12:09:53 CDT 2012

A recent exchange in the last day, large of a personal nature, between Roger
Helbig and an anti-nuclear activist involved in Upstate New York was posed
on Radsafe. In the references posted,  included was a tangential link to a
truly fascinating individual, Edward Sengier who, as a Belgian national and
civilian who fled Europe before the Germans captured Belgium,  played an
incredibly, behind the scenes, major role in the Manhattan Project. The link
below tells a story that reads more like a movie drama, but in this case
proves the saying the truth is stranger than fiction.





The bio above discusses Sengier who as a director of Union Minere
transferred more than 1,000 tons of VERY high grade uranium ore residues 

out of Belgium before the Germans invaded. Sengier had the privately owned
uranium ore shipped to a depot in Staten Island arranged by Union Miniere.


The 1,200 tos of 65% uranium waste ore that was stored in NYCity,  and a
byproduct of Union Miniere in Belgium extracting Radium to make Ra-226 for
its manufacture of Ra-226 sources at their factory in Belgium [ THE major
source of Ra-226 in the world for making medical Ra-226 sources ] during the
decades leading up to the start WWII, was sent to the US because Sengier had
been told by European scientists he knew that the Germans might be able to
use the rich uranium bearing ore for military purposes. Sengier also
stockpiled 3,000 tons of high grade uranium ore at the mine operated there
by Union Miniere du Haute Kanga before WWII, of which he was a director,
since he anticipated it would be needed by the Allies. Sengier ended up
supplying almost all the uranium feedstock used at Oak Ridge to extract the
U-235 necessary to make the first atomic bomb used at Hiroshima.


When a senior person with the Manhattan Project sought him out at Sengier's
penthouse suite on Central Park West [it just hit me Sengier was living a
very rich lifestyle in NYCity in Manhattan after he fled Belgium, and the
ore was stored in Staten Island !!]  shortly after WWII began, Sengier is
stated to have asked the US rep working for General Groves  "what took you
so long" to contact me!


There was a discussion on Radsafe many years ago about "hot" spots detected
in aerial surveys around NYCity after  911. An area of very elevated dose
rate was found in flying over Staten Island and it was first reported that
authorities did not know why. I don't know details of what was found in the
aerial surveys, but the ore once stored there most likely would have left
elevated contamination there from the ore storage during WWII, that was
picked up in aerial surveys after 911.


Stewart Farber, MS Public Health

farber at farber.info

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