Radioactive Disasters


Jayleen C., Staff Writer

      There has recently been a lot of talk about how the Japanese prime minister apologized in advance for having to dump radioactive waste into the ocean as a result of the Fukushima disaster because the country no longer has the space to store it. Fortunately, Japan intends to filter and dilute this radioactive waste before eventually releasing it over a period of 30 years. This is a significant problem, but there is a much more serious tragedy that few people appear to be aware of: the Marshall Islands. 

      The Pacific Ocean is home to these islands. They were used as a testing site for nuclear weapons by America between the 1940s and the 1960s, and they bombed the over islands 60 times! Vaporizing whole islands and carving craters into its shallow lagoons, they exiled hundreds of people from their homes. To this day the Marshall Islands are over 1000 times more radioactive than Chernobyl or Fukushima! In an attempt to house the radioactive waste, they placed a dome over some of the craters, but this was not enough. The Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. They are starting to be concerned that it will break due to rising sea levels and climate change. If this happens, the radioactive waste will seep out and create a terrible ecological catastrophe. We can only imagine the worst if this problem is ignored by America’s government officials.