Radiation from atomic testing in Marshall Islands still too high for human habitation

Radiation from atomic testing in Marshall Islands still too high for human habitation
Nuclear weapon test Bravo (yield 15 Mt) on Bikini Atoll. The test was part of the Operation Castle. The Bravo event was an experimental thermonuclear device surface event. 1 March 1954 CC: Public Domain

A team of researchers from Columbia University has found that radiation levels from atomic testing in the Marshall Islands are still too high for human habitation. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes radiation readings of soil samples from four of the islands, and what they found.

Over the years 1946 to 1958, scientists working for the U.S. government carried out 67 nuclear explosion tests in the Bikini and Enewetak atolls in the Marshall Islands. The tests were conducted to learn more about nuclear weapons and their destructiveness. Prior to conducting such tests, officials with the U.S. forcibly removed the atoll residents to other sites in the Marshall Islands. During testing, researchers discovered that fallout was reaching two other inhabited atolls (Rongelap and Utirik), so those people were moved, as well. After testing ended, officials with the U.S. government met with officials from the Marshall Islands to discuss the possibility of cleaning up the test sites, and when the relocated people might return. In this new effort, the researchers ventured to all four of the atolls and tested for .

The researchers tested soil samples on 11 islands that were part of the four atolls, and found that external gamma radiation levels varied greatly from test to test. They further report that some of the levels were much higher than expected, and far exceeded the legal exposure limit that was agreed to by officials with both countries. Levels on Bikini, for example, were measured as high as 648 millirems per year. The "safe" level set by governmental agreement is 100 millirems per year. The researchers note such levels are also much higher than those found around the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accident sites.

The same group of researchers also conducted two prior tests—one that involved measuring radiation levels in fruit from trees in the affected areas, and another that studied the crater created by the largest explosion to take place in the region. They reported in papers also published in PNAS that they found radiation levels in fruit too high for human consumption on many of the . They also found that in soil sediments in the crater were still several orders of magnitude higher than normal levels.


Explore further

Radiation levels on Bikini Atoll found to exceed safety standard

More information: Maveric K. I. L. Abella et al. Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1903421116

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Jul 16, 2019
"The coastal belt of Karunagappally, Kerala, India, is known for high background radiation (HBR) from thorium-containing monazite sand. In coastal panchayats, median outdoor radiation levels are more than 4 mGy y-1 and, in certain locations on the coast, it is as high as 70 mGy y-1. "
No excess cancers were discovered in people living with gamma doses 10 times higher than the above article

Jul 16, 2019
Effects of Cobalt-60 Exposure on Health of Taiwan Residents Suggest New Approach Needed in Radiation Protection
https://www.ncbi....2477708/

"Based on the investigation conducted by the RSPAT,[10] the total number of cancer deaths among these residents is only 7 in 200,000 person-years or 3.5 deaths per 100,000 person-years—only 3% of the rate (i.e., 116) expected for the general population!"

Jul 16, 2019
What!?! Both the first two responses check out. How could that be? It's as if someone wants to spread fear and uncertainty about radiation and nuclear power risks, and has vastly overstated the dangers of it all over the place. A sweeping orchestrated campaign of BS coming from the energy industry? Imagine.

Jul 16, 2019
"The coastal belt of Karunagappally, Kerala, India, is known for high background radiation (HBR) from thorium-containing monazite sand. In coastal panchayats, median outdoor radiation levels are more than 4 mGy y-1 and, in certain locations on the coast, it is as high as 70 mGy y-1. "
No excess cancers were discovered in people living with gamma doses 10 times higher than the above article

Really?
Well, I got a couple of beautiful Pacific islands for your vacation.

Jul 16, 2019
The "safe" level of radiation by "governmental agreement" based on mathematically extrapolating from massive, instantaneous exposure (which can be lethal) from studies back in the 1940's is being challenged by recent studies of actual long-term exposure. Here's another:

http://news.mit.e...ure-0515

"There are no data that say that's a dangerous level," says Yanch, a senior lecturer in MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. "This paper shows that you could go 400 times higher than average background levels and you're still not detecting genetic damage."


Which suggests that even 40,000 mrem/yr may be okay for humans. Time for more studies.

Jul 16, 2019
@tehgeighalgore and @assdad should move to the Marshall Islands.

Jul 16, 2019
Radiation is only part of the problem, it's when you have fractured Plutonium neutron fragments in the environment you have and unfixable problem.
Radium will never leave waterways or the ground, it's too heavy, and because of its non spherical shape it will continue to "work" until it find its natural spherical shape.
Because of the time dilation effect this can take an extremely long period of time.

BAN PLUTONIUM!

Jul 16, 2019


BAN PLUTONIUM!


Yeah but then Mark Watney would have died on Mars without the radioisotope thermoelectric generator to keep him warm.... ;)

Jul 17, 2019
What!?! Both the first two responses check out. How could that be? It's as if someone wants to spread fear and uncertainty about radiation and nuclear power risks, and has vastly overstated the dangers of it all over the place. A sweeping orchestrated campaign of BS coming from the energy industry? Imagine.


The Nuclear Scare Scam.
https://www.youtu...QrOTE-XA

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