hen it comes to radioactive or nuclear disasters the first location that comes to mind is Chernobyl for notable reasons, but technically Bikini Atoll located in the Northern Mashall Islands in the Pacific is argued to be a lot more radioactive. During a short period of time at the end of the Second World War and most of the Cold War, the US Army has been using Bikini Atoll to test nuclear weapons.
According to Stanford Magazine, during the 20th century, Bikini Atoll has seen 23 nuclear explosions on land, air, but mostly detonated in its waters. In the issue of Time Magazine from April 12, 1954, it was described that during 1946 Bikini Atoll was the ideal paradise within the Pacific, and after the nuclear bombs started to drop. The area had never been affected by the Second World War due to its remote location.
Most of the locals that were living in this paradise had been forced by the US Army to relocate and a Commodore Ben Wyatt, a representative of the occupying United States Navy used the lie “the temporary move is for the good of mankind and to end all wars” to convince the locals to move.
The nuclear tests have taken place from 1946 to 1958. It has been 64 years since the last nuclear bomb had been tested and according to Ivana Nijokic Hughes from Columbia University, Bikini Atoll is far from safe. If locals from the region were to return, this would imply major health issues as the level of radiation are still very high.
Scientists have presented their views on this issue and the carelessness of the US government in the Marshall Islands. Not only about not executing a plan to contain the high levels of radiation, but also the lack of care for the Bikini people after being moved. Most of the population had been moved to Rongerik Atoll for two years where they were constantly faced with starvation and left to live in military tents without building any proper housing.
The issue has been brought up last year and it would take an estimated $110 million to clean up all the radioactive residue in order to start the process of making Bikini Atoll more habitable. The US government does not seem to be very interested in this issue nor in the locals of Bikini Atoll who have been stranded now all over the US and won’t be able to return to their place of origin for centuries.
In a book written by John Jagger and entitled “The nuclear lion: what every citizen should know about nuclear power and nuclear war”, John compares the radioactive impact of Chernobyl to Hiroshima, stating that the disaster from Chernobyl was 100 times more radioactive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. To understand how much worse Bikini Atoll is compared to Chernobyl, in 1954 the US Army dropped a nuclear bomb that was 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima.
It is not just the locals of Bikini Atoll that had to suffer, but all of the marine life that had been affected by the radiation as most of the bombs had been detonated in water.
When Biden had spoken about helping minorities, did he take into consideration minorities such as the natives of Bikini Atoll and offer the one thing they want which is to go back to the homes they have been taken from by the US government? This is only one of the many minorities affected by the US government without any sort of repercussions.