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Leaking nuclear waste dome in the Marshall Islands

This dome contains tons of radioactive waste — and it's starting to crack… Here's the threatening legacy of years of US nuclear testing.

Leaking nuclear waste?!

What’s happening to the Marshall Islands?

The Marshall Islands, an archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, were originally supervised by the United States from 1947 to 1986 along with the Marianas and the Carolines (excluding Guam). Since declaring itself a presidential republic with free association with the United States, the Marshall Islands have membership in the United Nations and the Pacific Community. However, the United States used this relationship to their advantage. Between 1946 and 1958, the Pentagon dropped 67 nuclear bombs, tested a dozen biological weapons and dumped tons of irradiated soil from Nevada on the archipelago.

The United States then gathered the most radioactive waste in this crater sealed with a dome. This crater, called the "Runit Dome,” is threatening to crack open because of global warming. Radioactive materials are already leaking out and the soil around the dome is highly contaminated. This so-called “tomb” is the legacy of American nuclear testing during the Cold War. Nowadays, the dome is at risk of collapsing under the pressure of rising sea levels. In fact, the Marshall Islands could be entirely submerged by the end of the century, all 70 square miles of them. With the 2018 census reporting a population of around 58,500 people, many homes and lives would be lost.

Too late to say sorry?

The American government maintains that responsibility for the dome now lies with the Marshall Islands. The Marshallese government contests this and is trying to obtain compensation for the health and environmental effects of the nuclear testing. Although the American Congress launched an inquiry into the risk that this dome represents in December 2019, to this day, the United States have never officially apologized to the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Islands currently have laws in place to protect the environment including a $10 thousand penalty fee for each day that the hazardous waste violation continues.

Brut.

03/07/2020 2:30 PM

75 comments

  • Sam M.
    09/09/2020 01:21

    Maybe whoever brut is should go fix it

  • Bill M.
    07/27/2020 15:14

    Fake news

  • Shashi S.
    07/27/2020 07:16

    What if a Godzilla came out from the crack and say times up you stupid homensssssss 🦖🦖🦖🤣😂

  • Kevin J.
    07/26/2020 17:59

    That why nuclear needs to be banned. This what is going on in World today. They ignore the warning. They created a disaster. Affected humanity.

  • Eliz A.
    07/23/2020 14:45

    F# this is nuts

  • Cheryl P.
    07/23/2020 10:47

    All born, after the first bombs were dropped, carry the scars.

  • John P.
    07/19/2020 22:44

    Shut up.

  • Theresa R.
    07/19/2020 03:25

    There is so much in this world that we were never told or know.

  • Lisa S.
    07/18/2020 09:22

    The USA is a pox on the planet.

  • Stephen M.
    07/16/2020 06:39

    The time is Neigh for the Total Collapse of Extreme Capitalism and The Global Military Complex.

  • Martin G.
    07/14/2020 19:05

    If America was able to gather up all the waste and transport to the islands they need to do the same to bring it back to American soil and all the contaminated soil as well. It is America's and stays that way, they just haven't done the right thing, well that is America through and through

  • Shelly R.
    07/14/2020 14:38

    We're SUCH inadequate caretakers of this amazing planet we inherited.

  • Mary C.
    07/14/2020 13:43

    Wow look at this

  • Raymond V.
    07/14/2020 04:46

    We are heading into a solar minimum you need to Google that and if we are that gives us time to fix the problem

  • James W.
    07/12/2020 13:45

    Why does all the global death always have America stamped all over it?

  • Daniel B.
    07/12/2020 11:08

    Apology 🙄 get over it you have your sovereignty instead of speaking Japanese now deal with your country you literally have no impact on the world stage so you may as well fix the dome you have nothing else to do

  • Todd B.
    07/12/2020 09:53

    Don't worry aren't we all going to die from climate change anyway.

  • Riasat F.
    07/12/2020 09:36

    Radioactive plants

  • Jason C.
    07/12/2020 08:07

    ignore the headline and read this report from the LA Times, the situation is much less clear cut than described: https://phys.org/news/2020-07-leaking-nuclear-dome-safe-marshall.html

  • Desmond S.
    07/12/2020 00:39

    Second thought, the US is not the worst. The Americans and the French tested in the South Pacific, a lot closer to Australia and Zealand than to California and France. But the British, they tested in Western Australia or the Northern Territory, very close the Perth or Darwin. And was it open air in the atmosphere? And you think they cared? And guess where do the Brits keep their nuke waste? Definitely not in Ireland, where they used to get their white slaves from.