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bailout. It will still challenge the resources and ingenuity of American governments after no one alive can remember Los Alamos. While urgent and shocking, the revelations of radiation biology and cost analysis are not especially cinematic. Isolated and secret, the SRS resists anything but fugitive peeks. Building Bombs is not Jurassic Park, though it, too, frightens with the prospect of buried horrors returning to wreak havoc. Mori and Robinson have dramatized their message by concentrating on a few of the human beings involved in the Carolina catastrophe. In particular, Bill Lawless, a senior engineer with the Department of Energy, provides a kind of narrative thread. Assigned to analyze how Du Pont, which managed SRS until 1989, was disposing of wastes, Lawless discovered error, deceit, and systematic negligence. He found that radioactive materials were being buried in flimsy cardboard boxes and that serious leaks had already occurred. He was ordered to revise his report again and again, until finally it was suppressed by the management of Du Pont. SRS was always exempt from environmental regulations, but when the Department of Energy loosened its standards of performance at the facility, Lawless complained. After his work was reassigned, Lawless resigned and became one of the project’s most vocal critics, claiming an abiding regret for not having spoken out at a crucial moment. Building Bombs amples his speech and itself breaks the silence that consented to the creation of a potential nuclear holocaust not through the explosion of a bomb but through seepage of its byproducts. The film’s earlier version is in part responsible for the creation of a civilian review board and an independent study into the effects of SRS on the health of workers and neighbors. If its own internal tensions had not destroyed it, the 60,000 nuclear weapons created in the United States might have annihilated the Soviet Union many times over. They pose an immediate environmental threat to the Pyrrhic victors of the Cold War. “I’m an environmentalist myself,” proclaims James Edwards, exulting in the fact that the American effort to build nuclear bombs employed 100,000 workers. “The worst environment I can think of is to be cold and hungry and out of work.” But corpses are cold and gaunt and unemployed, and few would knowingly choose death as the finder’s fee for a high-paying job. Building Bombs lets us know that “jobs” has replaced “national security” as the shibboleth of scoundrels. It is how spotted owls are made to seem disposable and expensive, while archaic military bases are essential. Many would do anything to stay on a payroll make stupid movies or smart bombs, sell the body or sell the soul. SRS might be the most egregious of the nuclear weapons plants spread throughout 17 states, including Texas, where Amarillo’s Pantex poisons the Panhandle. The most important question raised by Mori and Robinson in their updated film is no longer whether nuclear weapons, like high-tech Colt 45s, can indeed make the peace. Willy-nilly, we are left with white elephants and mountains of toxic manure. “What are we going to do with it?” asks Robinson, in an epilogue. “Who’s going to pay for it? These decisions are being made now, and what’s decided in the next few years will set the course for the next 30 years for the next hundred.” CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individdal membership $25, P.O. 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