Nuclear Tests Deem Bikini Atoll Uninhabitable

kim kardashian

The radiation readings on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands still exceed inhabitable limits. The atoll was used as a part of 67 United States nuclear explosive tests from 1946 to 1958. Bikini Atoll itself was the site of 23 tests.

The most devastating test on the atoll was on March 1, 1954. A hydrogen bomb that was a thousand times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima was detonated on the atoll on that day. The test’s code name was Castle Bravo. It was deemed a success even with the large fallout that spread to two surrounding atolls: Enewetak and Rongelap.

Before this was the Baker Test. The test, which occurred on July 25, 1946, involved the detonation of a bomb underneath a target fleet of battleships. Together, the two tests, called Operation Crossroads, changed the language of nuclear testing for good.

But even with recent studies, researchers aren’t sure residents can return back to some of the islands, even after so long of a time. Some of the islands are becoming less nuclear, according to an article for Smithsonian Magazine.

Although attempts were made to resettle Bikini Atoll in 1968, radiation levels were still too high for humans to safely return. The same occurred with Rongelap. An attempt was made in 1957 to resettle the people evacuated before the testing. But radiation levels were still too high above the standards set by the governments of the United States and the Marshall Islands.

The most recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that some of the research done is not entirely right. Six out of more than 1,000 islands subjected to nuclear testing and fallout are actually habitable once again.

Smithsonian Magazine perfectly captures that plight: “Those measurements fly in the face of prevailing wisdom about radiation on the islands—wisdom that the study’s authors say is based on outdated, decades-old data. The findings could prompt Marshallese who had to flee their home islands to move back. If so, it will be a welcome relief to the evacuated residents forced to cram themselves onto crowded islands with scant resources.”

About Larissa Klaus

Lover of thunderstorms and modern takes on all kinds of mythology. Video game enthusiast and strong advocate of all things caffeinated. Museum and gallery oriented with a slight touch of question for modern art.

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