Concrete ‘Coffin’ Storing U.S. Atomic Bomb Waste At Risk Of Rupture, UN Chief Warns

Concrete ‘Coffin’ Storing U.S. Atomic Bomb Waste At Risk Of Rupture, UN Chief Warns

Concrete ‘Coffin’ Storing U.S. Atomic Bomb Waste At Risk Of Rupture, UN Chief Warns

Marshallese atolls of Enewetak and Bikini between 1946 and 1958 ― forcing many islanders to abandon their ancestral homes and leaving behind a staggering amount of radioactive soil and ash that continues to threaten the region and its people today. ‘ data-reactid=”17″>The U.S. detonated a total of 67 nuclear and atmospheric bombs on the Marshallese atolls of Enewetak and Bikini between 1946 and 1958 ― forcing many islanders to abandon their ancestral homes and leaving behind a staggering amount of radioactive soil and ash that continues to threaten the region and its people today. 

Runit Dome, and cause its collapse. ‘ data-reactid=”23″>Scientists and locals have been raising the alarm for years that a big storm or rising sea levels caused by climate change could threaten the structural integrity of the coffin, known officially as the Runit Dome, and cause its collapse. 

2013 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy found that radioactive materials had already started leaching out of the dome. The soil around the structure was found to be more radioactive than the contents within, the report concluded. The report insisted that a “catastrophic failure” of the dome would “not necessarily lead to any significant change in the radiation dose delivered to the local resident population.” ‘ data-reactid=”29″>A 2013 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy found that radioactive materials had already started leaching out of the dome. The soil around the structure was found to be more radioactive than the contents within, the report concluded. The report insisted that a “catastrophic failure” of the dome would “not necessarily lead to any significant change in the radiation dose delivered to the local resident population.” 

The U.S., which has never formally apologized to the Marshall Islands for the nuclear tests, has long washed its hands of responsibility for the Runit Dome. 

In 1983, the Marshall Islands, which had been under U.S. rule since World War II, signed a compact of free association with the United States. The compact granted sovereignty to the island nation and settled “all claims, past, present and future” linked to U.S. nuclear testing.

The Runit Dome and its hazardous contents became the responsibility of the Marshallese government. Marshallese officials, however, have said the island nation does not have the resources needed to solve this problem.

“It’s clear as day that the local government will neither have the expertise or funds to fix the problem if it needs a particular fix,” Riyad Mucadam, a climate adviser to the Marshallese government, told The Guardian in 2015.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.‘ data-reactid=”36″>This article originally appeared on HuffPost.


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