Enewetak Atoll (05:47)
The United States performed atomic tests on the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 1950s. The waste was buried in a concrete dome on the island chain of Enewetak. Residents were forced into exile for decades because of nuclear fallout.
American Nuclear Testing (05:18)
Most tests were carried out on Bikini Island, which is still uninhabitable. The U.S. military evacuated the island in the 1940s. Unpredictable wind patterns led to over 60 inhabited islands experiencing nuclear fallout.
Health Problems (03:08)
Jack Niedenthal, head of the Red Cross in the Marshall Islands, seeks justice for those affected by nuclear testing. There are high rates of thyroid and other cancers around Bikini Island. Thousands filed claims against the U.S. government, but few received pay outs they were owed.
"The Dome" (02:34)
When the U.S. began cleaning nuclear sites in the 1970s, they filled a crater with nuclear waste and covered it with a concrete dome. It was built as a temporary solution and safety regulations were relaxed to cut costs. The bottom of the dome is permeable soil with no lining.
Climate Change (04:13)
Sea level rise in the Marshall Islands causes the dome to leak into the Pacific Ocean. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner is an environmental activist and one of the leaders in protecting the country from climate change. Flooding is common; much of the country could be underwater by 2100.
Climate Change Refugees (04:22)
Rising sea levels have forced many Marshallese to move. The Marshall Islands are on the front line of climate change and many feel they are being neglected.
Atomic Clean Up Veterans (09:11)
Over 4,000 American soldiers worked on the cleanup crew at Bikini Island. They were not told about radioactive waste before they arrived and did not receive proper protection. Despite displaying symptoms of radiation exposure, the military does recognize the soldiers as atomic veterans.
Enewetak Injustices (05:03)
Many view the dome as a shameful reminder of the United States' mistreatment of the Marshall Islands. Climate change threatens the country more than its radioactive past.
Credits: The Dome (00:25)
Credits: The Dome
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