Radioactivity Lingers from 1946-1958 Nuclear Bomb Tests

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Scientists have found lingering radioactivity in the lagoons of remote Marshall Island atolls in the Pacific Ocean where the United States conducted 66 nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

Radioactivity levels at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls were extensively studied in the decades after the testing ended, but there has been relatively little work conducted there recently. A team of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reported that levels of radioactive cesium and plutonium have decreased since the 1970s, but these elements continue to be released into the Pacific Ocean from seafloor sediments and lagoon waters.

The levels of plutonium are 100 or more times higher in lagoon waters compared to the surrounding Pacific Ocean and about two times higher for a radioactive form of cesium…

Read Full Article, WHOI (10-30-2017)

Exiled by Nuclear Tests, Now Threatened by Sea Levels, Bikini Islanders Seek Refuge in U.S.; The Washington Post (11-01-2015)

Turtles’ age determined by atomic-bomb fallout in their shells; CNET (01-10-2016)
During the years spanning the mid-1950s to 1970, the US government conducted some serious atomic bomb testing above the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the corals accumulated a lot of nuclear fallout into their structures. But the coral wasn’t the only sea creature to take radioactive material onboard, hawksbill sea turtles incorporated the material into their shells as well…

Bikini Atoll nuclear test: 60 years later and islands still unliveable, Guardian UK (03-01-2014)

Revisiting Bikini Atoll, NASA (03-10-2014)
Sixty years ago, the United States detonated a thermonuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, that altered the landscape, hundreds of lives, and the trajectory of a nuclear arms race…

Effects of nuclear tests in French Polynesia remains a major concern, ABC News (02-24-2014)
France conducted nearly 200 nuclear tests in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1996. The French Government has admitted in the past it’s possible the Mururoa atoll could cave in because it has been sapped by the underground tests…

French Nuclear Tests Showered Vast Area of Polynesia With Radioactivity, Guardian UK (07-03-2013)
French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents…

Nuclear testings: French Polynesia is suing France for Crime Against Humanity; La Tribune (08-22-2017)

Essais nucléaires en Polynésie : la France accusée de crime contre l’humanité; France Info (08-09-2016)
French Polynesia has endured a total of 163 nuclear testings, from 1966 to 1996

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