Climate change is ‘cracking open a nuclear tomb’

A concrete tomb containing more than three million cubic feet of nuclear waste is reportedly cracking under the strains of climate change.

Officially known as the Runit Dome, the structure holds the radioactive waste produced by the 67 nuclear bombs which were detonated on the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958.

According to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, the US government also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests on the islands before mixing the lethal debris and soil with concrete and burying it in the dome.

The US military dropped the bomb 'Ivy King' just north of Runit Island in 1952
Image:The US military dropped the bomb ‘Ivy King’ just north of Runit Island in 1952

Despite being buried, the newspaper investigation found evidence that the dome – which locals refer to as “The Tomb” – is leaking.

The rising level of the ocean water means that the waters around the dome rise every year, and Los Angeles Times reporters found evidence of coral bleaching and fish kills nearby, as well as health impacts on local residents.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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