HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » How the U.S. betrayed the...

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:28 PM

How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster

Five thousand miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, on a far-flung spit of white coral sand in the central Pacific, a massive, aging and weathered concrete dome bobs up and down with the tide.

Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome.

https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/

6 replies, 889 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster (Original post)
Zorro Nov 10 OP
SterlingPound Nov 10 #1
hlthe2b Nov 10 #2
dhill926 Nov 10 #3
FirstLight Nov 10 #4
CloudWatcher Nov 10 #5
malthaussen Nov 11 #6

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:31 PM

1. THE BIKINI ATOLL PEOPOLE ARE THE NEW JEWS,

DESTINED TO WANDER for the next 2000 years

unable to return home.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:31 PM

2. Marked for later. I have a personal interest/history in the Marshall Islands so I want to read this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:48 PM

3. disgusting behavior on our part...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:01 PM

4. well this is disturbing

only 2/3 for the way through...and I swear, the fucking Imperialism of the US is so fucking disheartening. I hate my country sometimes

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 08:31 PM

5. We need to step up and do right by these people.

Thanks for posting! There is so much wrong here. From casual human tests (highlights mine):

U.S. government documents from the time show that officials weighed the potential hazards of radiation exposure against “the current low morale of the natives” and a “risk of an onset of indolence.” Ultimately they decided to go forward with the resettlement so researchers could study the effects of lingering radiation on human beings.

“Data of this type has never been available,” Merrill Eisenbud, a U.S official with the Atomic Energy Commission, said at a January 1956 meeting of the agency’s Biology and Medicine Committee. “While it is true that these people do not live the way that Westerners do, civilized people, it is nonetheless also true that they are more like us than the mice.”


... to ridiculously ineffective containment of radioactive waste (buried in an unlined pit that is degrading and leaks):



To an expert that says not to worry, because the situation is already horrific:

But Hamilton went on to assure them such a scenario was not cause for alarm. Enewetak lagoon is already so contaminated, he said, that any added radiation introduced by a dome failure would be virtually undetectable — in the lagoon, or in the wider ocean waters.


Much more awful details in the excellent LA Times article.

We're better than this. Or at least we should be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 10:33 AM

6. We treat our own people just as badly.

Not mitigation, just to emphasize that the people at the top of the food chain don't care about those beneath them, unless it is to use them as guinea pigs. The USN personnel who were made sick by the Bikini tests never received compensation; hell, we still deny that the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan , who were unnecessarily exposed to radiation after Fukushima, have anything to worry about. Liability is all: note that the treaty with the Marshalls specifically relieves the US of any and all liability.

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread