A San Francisco Neighborhood’s Nuclear Radiation

A promising new affordable housing development in San Francisco is on hold after discovery of nuclear radiation left over from the Cold War.

By DAVID on May 4, 2018
(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

One of the last stories you’d expect to read about San Francisco, but nuclear radiation is a real concern. There’s a new neighborhood being built in the Shipyard, designed to be a sort of “city within a city.” That old Navy base was once a place where nuclear testing and ship cleaning happened.

The Shipyard is being called one of the more “affordable” places to live in San Francisco. The average 2-bedroom condo there goes for about $1 million. Honestly, in San Francisco housing, that does seem “affordable.” Anyway, the shipyards were used during the cold war era to clean ships returning from nuclear-contaminated sites. It’s also called a “nuclear testing” facility. Plans started back in 2014 for developing the property, and prospective buyers put money down.

Fast forward to now, and more info has come out about what secrets the property really holds. The US Navy says that the land that surrounds some condos already in place is perfectly fine. Problem is that some independent testing was done, and it shows levels of radiation in the area still. The City has stopped allowing developers to build until the land is deemed “safe.”

See also: Burned-out Bay area house selling for $800k.

What’s more, the US Navy recently found that the contractor they hired to clean the old Navy base “botched” the cleanup. ALSO, former employees of the company that did the cleanup have said that the company faked soil tests. That was done to “expedite” the redevelopment process. The initial cleanup cost the US Navy $350 million, and they’ll have to pay for ANOTHER cleanup now too. The EPA says that they estimate about 97% of the original “cleanup data” was faked.

For now though, residents are obviously concerned about their money, and future investment values of the property. Existing residents are worried about their safety. There are also concerns of crime in the area as well, since it sits largely undeveloped and basically full of rubble from the former military buildings. “I feel like I’m in the middle of a suburb with nowhere to go, and it’s been that way in our neighborhood for quite a while… There really is nothing,” says a resident. See a lot more info about the Shipyard here.

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