Concrete “tomb” of radioactive debris from nuclear bombs “is cracking due to climate change”

14 November 2019
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The surface detonations of nuclear weapons in the late 1940s and 1950s marked a chilling peak in the nuclear arms race – but attempts to bury radioactive waste crated during the explosions could be under threat.

An atoll near the Marshall Islands is under threat, amid reports rising seas could endanger a ‘kind of coffin’ built to contain radioactive materials from America’s nuclear tests.

Leaks from the site could be bleaching coral, killing fish, and possibly harming the health of locals, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation has suggested.

The concrete ‘lid’ officially known as the Runit Dome was built on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands to contain radioactive material from American nuclear tests in the 1950s.

From 1946 to 1958, America conducted 67 nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

The issue around the Runit Dome has been known for a number of years. In 2013, a study of the structure commissioned by the US Government revealed the site would be classified as a “Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Site” if it was located in America.

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