A new study revealed that in the Pacific Ocean, some of the Marshall Islands like Enewetak atolls and Bikini atoll are still more radioactive than Fukushima and Chernobyl, although over 60 years have passed since the U.S. tested radioactive weapons there.
It was found by the researchers while they were testing the soil for plutonium-239+240, that some of the islands had levels which were about 10 times higher than levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and between 10 & 1,000 times higher than those on Fukushima (where a tsunami and an earthquake led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors)
Only a limited amount of samples were taken by the researchers, which means that there is a need for a more comprehensive survey, they said. Nevertheless, they were surprised that neither international organizations nor national governments had any further guidance on permissible plutonium levels in the soil although the levels in the Marshall Islands were high, the researchers told in the study.
After atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, effectively ending WW II, the US decided to test more radioactive weapons. Some of these tests took place in the Marshall Islands, a chain of islands between the Philippines and Hawaii, run by the United States on behalf of the United Nations. The first 2 bombs called Baker and Able were tested on Bikini Atoll and kicked off twelve years of nuclear testing on the Enewetak atolls and Bikini atoll, during which the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons.
Ivy Mike, the code name of the first-ever hydrogen bomb test, was tested on Enewetak in 1951. The United States conducted its largest hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll, the 1954 Castle Bravo bomb, which was over 1,000 times more powerful than “Little Boy,” the uranium weapon that destroyed Hiroshima.