Presentation by author of “The First Dirty Bomb: Trinity”

November 6, 2019 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm


November 6, 2019

Dr. Joseph J. Shonka is a Senior Health Physicist / Engineer, and one of the authors of the Los Alamos Historic Document Retrieval and Assessment (LAHDRA) report.  Dr. Shonka has worked in nuclear engineering and health physics for over 40 years, including extensive experience at three of the U.S. National Laboratories. He has served as a consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) and for many of the commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. His areas of expertise include instrumentation, shielding, dose reconstruction, accelerator safety, reactor physics and health physics, and regulatory and licensing support. For over five years, Dr. Shonka has focused on the radiation exposure of aircrew, who are among the highest exposed occupational workers.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) will host Dr. Shonka for his presentations about the first nuclear test held at the Trinity Site and to explain how the Trinity test in July, 1945, was similar to what might occur with a dirty bomb; that is, a bomb where only a fraction of the plutonium was used in the explosion. The population in New Mexico was ten times closer to the Trinity test than those downwind from the Nevada Test Site. The cattle on the Chupadera Mesa received up to 20,000 R skin exposures from the fallout and potential doses to Downwinders will be summarized.

The presentation will be held at:

New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, on November 6, 2019, Hardman Jacobs Learning Center, Room 210 at 3:00 pm. 

Registration for each event will begin one half hour before start time and space is limited.

For more information please contact Tina Cordova of the TBDC at 505-897-6787 or via email at

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