OPPENHEIMER…and The Bomb in My Body!

Ahimsa Porter Sumchai MD
10 min readJul 24


“The biggest concern was control of the radioactivity the test device would release.” Manhattan Project: The Trinity Test — July 16,1945

Lord Vishnu — Like the mighty atom…”The whole universe is contained within him.”

The most Supreme form of Vishnu appears in the Bhagavad Gita in the epic told to Prince Arjuna by Krishna on the battlefield of the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas. “The whole universe is contained within him.” [wisdomlib.org(8 May 2020)Verse 11.16 [Bhagavad-gita]

In the climactic war of the Mahabharata, Arjuna — the Pandava prince and his brothers, fight against their cousins with Krishna as their charioteer. Faced with the moral dilemma of whether to fight and kill his own family, Arjuna suffers a crisis of conscience.

Vishnu appears in cosmic form…with many arms holding many weapons… the conch or shankha, the Sudarshana chakra, the gada mace, the Sharanga bow and his sword Nandaka. Within his body are various dieties. His form is so terrible only people blessed with divine vision can withstand the sight. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishnu]

“Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”

Arjuna bows to Vishnu-Krishna— “The god has a thousand eyes, a hundred heads, a thousand feet…a thousand arms…holding weapons of sacrificial fire.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishvarupa

The most memorable quote from the life of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer are words spoken by the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” as he witnessed his terrible creation — the first human detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945. Oppenheimer served as head of Los Alamos Laboratory — birthplace of the Manhattan Project — and the Trinity nuclear test.

J. Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 — February 18, 1967) was a theoretical physicist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In reference to the Trinity test, Oppenheimer quotes the Bhagavad Gita, “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.” [https://www.rarenewspapers.com/view/577368?imagelist=1]

“Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds” https://www.wired.com/uk/article/manhattan-project-robert-oppenheimer

In a video posted on the 66th Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Dr. Oppenheimer speaks the infamous words…

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince (Arjuna) that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” [https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZrdNuQ_fE0&feature=shareb]

An Allied war correspondent stands in the ruins of Hiroshima weeks after the atomic bomb “Little Boy” leveled the Japanese city in August of 1945. The U.S. government dismissed Japanese reports of radiation sickness as propaganda. A courageous journalist named John Hersey wrote a devastating account of the death, destruction and radiation poisoning he witnessed in the book, Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-Up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World.
Robert Oppenheimer chose the name “Trinity” test after the poems of John Donne

“And then finally at 4:00 a.m, the rain cleared, and the scientists and engineers were able to proceed with the world’s first nuclear test. The test was a success in that the bomb exploded as planned — but the yield far surpassed any of the scientist’s expectations…as did the fallout.” [https://www.newsweek.com/trinity-test-atomic-development-earth-set-fire1362367]


According to the Manhattan Project: The Trinity Test, July 16, 1945, “Some scientists at Los Alamos continued to privately have doubts that it would work at all. There was only enough weapons grade uranium available for one bomb and on July 14, 1945, uranium encased in the atom bomb Little Boy began its trip westward to the Pacific without its explosive power having ever been tested.”

“On Sunday, the 15th of July, about noon, we were at Hunters Point and they put on us what we now know was the atomic bomb.” Capt. Charles B. McVay III, U.S. Navy Commanding Officer, USS Indianapolis (From the Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center”

In the August 31, 2009 article published by the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper titled The Bomb in our Back Yard, I wrote about the August 6, 2009 commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack. The Mayor of Hiroshima — Tadatoshi Akiba — urged global leaders to back President Barack Obama’s call to abolish nuclear weapons.

War is the ultimate battleground of human ethics and morality. The United States is the only nation to deploy atomic weapons in combat. So much as we cower from the prospect of a nuclear Iran or North Korea and face the prospect of igniting the atmosphere by Russia’s reckless targeting of nuclear power plants in Ukraine, it was American leadership that changed the course of human history for eternity with the July 26, 1945 ultimatum issued by US President Harry Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Joint Chiefs of Staff — demanding Japan “surrender in safety or face utter destruction.”

The Landfill In Our Bodies

The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is located on a peninsula extending eastward into San Francisco Bay. The central role of the shipyard in the 1945 Manhattan Project delivery of weapons of mass destruction to the world cannot remain buried in the depths of our conscience.

Radiation contaminated buildings, soils and infrastructure at the shipyard are areas where radioactive materials and nuclear waste are present that mandate immediate action.

Hunters Point Naval Shipyard/NRC.gov

Radiation impacted sites include areas where radioactive materials were used or stored, where known spills, discharges or unusual occurrences were documented and where radioactive materials were disposed of and buried - including landfills, laboratory drains and the underwater sediments surrounding the base.

The Federal law governing environmental cleanup at the Hunters Point Superfund sites is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act — called CERCLA.

CERCLA defines radionuclides as particles that emit radiation. Radionuclides are hazardous substances under CERCLA that must be investigated, characterized and cleaned up. Additionally, they are listed as Proposition 65 carcinogens by the State of California. [https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/proposition-65-list]

According to the EPA ECHO Enforcement site, in 2012 a CERCLA Action was taken against the Parcel E-2 landfill that characterized it as containing radioactive materials. The Navy was fined $85,000 in the 2012 action that designated Parcel E-2 a Federal Superfund site.

That landfill festers like a gaping wound within feet of children’s playgrounds, private homes, public housing and churches at the Palou Avenue intersection with the Crisp Road entry to the base. It lies within 200 feet of state workers at 75 Crisp Road. The western fence line separating the Parcel E-2 landfill, shoreline and panhandle region of the base is unfortified and lacks basic humane dust barriers:

Photos by AP Sumchai & K Tankersley

The conclusions of the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program -based on four years of geopatial mappings and approximately 150 urinary screenings, rescreenings and advanced screenings to detect radiation emitting particles — finds residents and workers within the half mile radius of the base from Evans Street to Carroll Avenue to be at highest risk.

UCSF administrator in Building 830, 75 Crisp Road located less than 200 feet away from a radiation contaminated landfill and Superfund site undergoing deep soil excavations underwent biomonitoring screening in 2020. Uranium was detected in concentrations — 0.457 ug/g creatinine- almost 18 times higher than reference range <0.026 ug/g creatinine.

Geospatial mappings, conducted by manually placing color coded pins at the home or work place of residents and workers with radioactive biomarkers and radioisotopes detected in high concentrations on urinary screenings, are densely clustered at locations the Navy and EPA have determined to be radiation contaminated — including the entire western fence line and Parcel E-2 landfill:

The findings of the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program are in 100% concurrence with the findings of the U.S. EPA and U.S. Navy — laboratory and clinical evidence of human exposure to nuclear waste and ionizing radiation corresponds to the most radioactive regions of the base.


Radioactive potassium or K-40 is everywhere at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. K-40 is so common in shipyard soils the Tetra Tech soil scandal was foiled by Navy computers in 2012 because the orchestrated scheme to replace “clean soil” lacked the characteristic “signature” of radioactive K-40 evident in shipyard soils.

In 2018 the Calfornia Department of Public Health scanned Parcel A — a parcel transferred to the City & County of San Francisco in 2004 for residential development.

Over 200 above background gamma emitting anomalies were detected and attributed to “naturally occurring” radioactive potassium. K-40 has a half life of over 1 billion years. While K-40 is the largest source of natural radioactivity in humans — it is unstable and radioactive. Potassium in high doses is lethal. It is a component of lethal injections used to stop the heart in systole!

Hunters Point residents have been tested and found to have radioactive K-40 detected in concentrations 20 times higher than laboratory reporting limits. A resident living half a mile west of the shipyards main gate at Palou and Crisp Road, was diagnosed with breast cancer after undergoing urinary screenings that detect enormously high levels of potassium, was told by treating doctors to stop eating bananas when her potassium levels came back in high concentrations on hospital blood tests:

Radioactive K-40 detected in Hunters Point resident in concentrations of 2030 pC/L — 20 times higher than the lab report limit of 100 pC/L.
The “Breast Cancer Necklace” The roughly circular pattern of verified breast cancer cases in residents living within the half mile perimeter of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and it’s system of Federal Superfund Sites. A new case was identified at the time of this publication of a woman who died prematurely of breast cancer at age 57 who lived at the intersection of Newhall and McKinnon, seven blocks west from the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Her sister underwent biomonitoring that detected arsenic and cancer causing heavy metals in elevated concentrations.
From the Parcel A Finding of Suitability to Transfer — the list of EPA 2002 cancer risks and clean up goals for chemicals determined to be present on Parcel A includes the profile of toxic chemicals commonly detected and geospatially mapped by the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program.

The basic findings of the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program in four years of operation are that a unique profile of radioactive and carcinogenic heavy metals are detected in clusters concentrated at the main entry gate, western fence line and radiation contaminated landfills at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Federal Superfund System.

The profile of chemicals include carcinogenic heavy metals and radionuclides of concern documented to be present by the Navy and EPA, as well as chemicals on the State of California Proposition 65 list known to cause cancer and birth defects. These chemicals are documented to be present in Parcel A and Parcel E-2 soils.

On January 2, 2020, as a precautionary measure, I underwent biomonitoring screening a month after the December 12, 2019 Grand Opening of Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring medical clinic located at 5021 3rd Street — six blocks west from the shipyards Revere Avenue/Fitch Street fence line.

That screening detected no toxic elements in high concentrations. On February 28, 2023, a repeat screening detected radioactive heavy metals in elevated concentrations commonly detected in Hunters Point residents and workers. They are cesium, cadmium, tungsten, thallium and rubidium.

Cesium-137 is a product of the nuclear fission of uranium 235 — used in the Atom Bomb Little Boy and in 68 nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. government in the Marshall Islands. Wikipedia

Cesium detected on my February 28, 2023 urinary toxic elements screening in concentrations exceeding reference range. According to French physicist Phillippe Hubert working with fine wine makers in Bordeaux states in an NPR interview, “In the wine is the story of the Atomic Age”. He records gamma waves in collector wines. If it was bottled before 1945, there shouldn’t be any cesium-137. Cesium is radioactive evidence of exploded nuclear bombs and the Atomic Age — in the wine!
Robert Oppenheimer: The myth and the mystery [https://thebulletin.org/2018/12/robert-oppenheimer-the-myth-and-the-mystery/

“Recall that many of the scientists urging the US government to develop the atomic bomb were Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, keenly aware of the kind of genocidal state Germany had become under Adolph Hitler. The prospect of a Third Reich with atomic bombs was intolerable.” Robert Oppenheimer: The Myth and the Mystery — Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The British and American race to build the first atomic bomb had been predicated on the assumption that Nazi Germany was racing to the same. Robert Oppenheimer — a brilliant and controversial physicist and scientist died of throat cancer at age 61 on February 18, 1967. Described by Chester Barnard, President of New Jersey Bell, in 1947 as “an extraordinary man who worked very hard and always seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown,” in 1966 Oppenheimer was awarded the Atomic Energy Commission’s highest honor — the Enrico Fermi Award.

Oppenheimers death from cancer was attributed to chain smoking. According to cancer research tobacco and alcohol greatly increase the risk of head and neck cancers. Head and neck cancers can also be induced by exposure to radiation. 2004 DPH research found these cancers to be a leading cause of cancer deaths in the Bayview Hunters Point 94124 zip code.

A 31% increase in lung cancer among men in the 94124 zip code was documented by Tomas Aragon, MD DrPh in a letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed in March of 2019. Aragon attributed the finding to smoking in a neighborhood often maligned by public health officials. Indoor smoking incidence BVHP was found to be 4% in Department of Public Health epidemiological research compared to 10% in an affluent predominantly white neighborhood in southwest San Francisco.

Support the Hunters Point Biomonitoring Foundation’s toxic registry, legal defense fund and GoFundMe campaign to test high risk low income residents at: https://gofund.me/bcbd2ce7 or paypal at: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=EJP7RUXX4J6XQ

Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai MD/https://health.usnews.com/doctors/ahimsa-sumchai-6622395

Ahimsa is the ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to actions towards all living beings. Ahimsa (Sanskrit:, lit. nonviolence) is a key virtue in Indian religions, Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahimsa

Lord Mahavira, the Torch-Bearer of Ahimsa



Ahimsa Porter Sumchai MD

Founder, Director, PI - HP Biomonitoring/ Founding Chair- Radiological Committee Hunters Point Shipyard RAB 2001, Former Attending MD VA Toxic Registry & SFDPH