Before the 1970s, the United States and other nuclear-armed countries conducted more than 500 atomic weapons tests in the atmosphere.
During these tests, radioactive debris and gases were flung up into the atmosphere and traveled around the world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that people around the world have had exposure to radioactive fallout from these nuclear tests. Even today, radioactive fallout is present in many parts of the world, but in small amounts.
In the early 2000s, the CDC released a global radioactive fallout report and found that any person living in the US since 1951 has been “exposed to some radioactive fallout, and all of a person’s organs and tissues have received some exposure.”
The costs associated with nuclear tests for any country have been quite devastating for surrounding communities. Take, for instance, the Enewetak Atoll, a large coral atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean, where the U.S. government detonated 30 megatons of weapons – equivalent to 2,000 Hiroshima blasts – between 1948 and 1958.
In total, sixty-seven nuclear bombs detonated on Enewetak Atoll and Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Beginning in 1977, more than 8,000 people worked to clean up the Marshall Islands, shifting 110,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris into a blast crater.
This thirty-foot-deep crater is called the Runit Dome, on Enewetak Atoll, also called “Cactus Dome” or locally “The Tomb.”
The dome of death spans 350-feet across with an 18-inch concrete cap covering radioactive debris from 12-years of U.S. government nuclear tests.
Despite the U.S. government’s resettlement efforts of radioactive debris in the 1970s, some parts of the Marshall Islands today, have elevated radiation levels deemed dangerous for human life.
The Daily Star reports that the death dome’s concrete structure is rapidly deteriorating. This is allowing the tides of the ocean to pump water into the dome and then pump radioactive water out.
Paul Griego, who was a specialist at the dome site blames the radiation for his health problems today.
“When I first arrived, the dome’s blast crater was open to the ocean – it continued to be full of sea water even after it was sealed off from the ocean.”
“During my 10-hour work day I witnessed the water level in the crater rise and lower as the tide came in and out.”
“No attempt was made to drain the crater or line it before the radioactive waste was dumped into it.”
“The coral that created the island is porous and the shock from numerous nuclear weapon tests had also fractured the coral.”
“From the first day forward, the water has flowed out of the lagoon with the tide, creating a gigantic radioactive toilet that is flushed about twice each day into the Pacific Ocean.”
Griego then warned,
“The dome could be just one typhoon away from a breach.”
Rama Schneider, who transported radioactive waste from various islands in amphibious vehicles during the cleanup, said it is no surprise that the dome is failing.
“Standing on any island at that atoll is akin to standing inches above sea level – and that was in 1979,” he added.
“The sea level and ground level are becoming more and more to be the same, and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking sea level rise, land subsidence or both,” he said.
Girard Frank Bolton III, who worked as a draughtsman on the dome for 14 months, insisted the damage to the dome is minimal. He stated the dome was designed to slow the migration of radiation not to completely stop it.
And lastly, he warned, “Also, since concrete is porous, the wave action and tides are continuously pumping radioactive water in and out of the structure.”
The toxic legacy of the U.S. military-industrial complex has a radioactive secret in the Pacific paradise of Enewtak Atoll that you are not allowed to know about.
To keep America safe, the U.S. government has poisoned an entire region of the Pacific Ocean with nuclear weapons tests. In an attempt to cover their tracks, a massive crater was dug to dispose of the radioactive material, but decades later, a breach has been found poisoning the Pacific once more. At what point do Americans say “no more” to the military-industrial complex who runs around the world blowing things up in the name of keeping America safe, and at the same time poisoning planet earth.