A breathtaking report in the LA Times outlines a nightmarish situation in the Marshall Islands, where the US government stored 3.1 million cubic feet of nuclear waste underneath a concrete dome, known as the Runit Dome, only 18 inches thick. Because of climate change and rising sea levels, the site is in danger of being compromised.
Locals refer to the dome as “the Tomb” and it is somewhat of a concrete coffin for an astounding amount of nuclear waste. During the 1940s and 1950s the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs in the area, sometimes erasing entire islands and reshaping local lagoons. The largest of these was the largest bomb ever detonated by the United States, known as Castle Bravo.
Locals are panicking about the possibility that rising sea levels and what that could mean for the dome. The concrete is already showing signs of cracking. According to one local Senator:
We didn’t know the Runit Dome waste dump would crack and leak…. We didn’t know about climate change. We weren’t nuclear scientists who could independently verify what the U.S. was telling us. We were just island people who desperately wanted to return home.Jack Ading, a Marshallese senator
The locals are asking the United States to do something to contain the situation before the dome leaks and nuclear waste spills out into the ocean, causing an unprecedented environmental disaster and forcing thousands of people to flee the area.
Source: LA Times