According to new research , radiation levels in some parts of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific, where the United States conducted nuclear tests during the Cold War, are much higher than in areas affected by the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.
Three studies have shown that the concentration of nuclear isotopes on some of the islands far exceeds the limit set by agreements between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. During the course of the study, soil samples, ocean sediments and various fruits were measured.
Nearly 70 nuclear bombs detonated by the United States from 1946-1958 left widespread pollution on the islands – a chain of atolls halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The largest nuclear explosion – “Bravo Lock” – in 1954 on the Bikini Atoll was 1000 times more powerful than any of the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Since the 1960s, a rapid population growth has been observed in the Marshall Islands. Most of the country’s inhabitants live on two crowded islands and cannot return to their home islands due to nuclear contamination. Nuclear fallouts from tests mainly focus on the atolls of Bikini, Enevetak, Rongelap and Utirik.