Navy Finds Radiation in Treasure Island Home

Elevated levels of radiation found at San Francisco's Treasure Island, a former naval station and training center for nuclear decontamination after WWII.

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    The Navy has confirmed that it found levels of radiation at a former residence on Treasure Island. Investigative Reporter Vicky Nguyen continues her coverage of Treasure Island in a story that aired on July 29, 2014. (Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014)

    The Navy has confirmed to NBC Bay Area that it has found elevated levels of radiation at a residential site on Treasure Island.

    As the Investigative Unit reported in April, the Navy said it would begin testing more than 600 homes for radiological contamination.

    Now, surveyors have found elevated levels of radiation in Unit F of building 1303 on Gateview Avenue. The unit is currently unoccupied, and the Navy says that while the radiation levels are above normal, they’re about half of the maximum considered a health concern by federal and state standards.

    Still, the findings are troubling for some of the roughly 3,000 people who live and work on Treasure Island, a former naval station and training center for nuclear decontamination after WWII.

    The Navy did not originally plan to test the homes for radiation. That decision came after the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered a report showing that a different building at 1101 Bigelow Court also registered elevated radiation readings.

    For years the Navy has denied the presence of radiological contaminants on the former naval shipyard and only recently acknowledged that parts of Treasure Island are “radiologically impacted.” In May, the Investigative Unit asked the Navy’s director of base closure how the public can trust them when there continues to be these unexpected findings.

    “I wouldn’t put it that there continue to be unexpected findings,” she said. “I think the natural evolution of cleanup program is that we learn more as we do more work. We have $200 million of cleanup and as we evolve we learn more.”

    So far, the Navy has tested roughly half of the 600 residential units. Only Unit F in building 1303 has tested positive for higher than normal levels of radiation. Updates are available on the Navy's website and on NBC Bay Area where the Investigative Unit will be following the results.