Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (JFK+50) Sixty-nine years ago today, July 1, 1946, a 23 kiloton hydrogen bomb was detonated by the United States 520 feet above the Bikini Atoll.
The explosion was one of two detonations which were part of Operations Crossroads. The second detonation, held on July 25, 1946, was conducted underwater at a depth of 90 feet. The first detonation was identified as "Able" while the second was "Baker".
The Bikini Atoll is part of the Marshall Islands located near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean just West of the International Date Line.
A 15 megaton test, dubbed "Bravo", was conducted in March 1954. The nuclear explosion was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. U.S. nuclear experiments in the Marshall Islands ended after the 67th test in 1958.
According to The Guardian, U.S. scientists declared the sites of nuclear testing safe in the early 1970s, but after inhabitants later ingested high levels of radiation from eating foods grown there, they were removed.
The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal has awarded more than two billion dollars in injury and damage claims.
"Bikini Atoll nuclear test: 60 years later and islands still unlivable," The Guardian, www.theguardian.com/