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The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, has called for the intervention of the Runit Dome, a space that houses radioactive waste and that is cracking.
In the 40s and 50s, the United States lived a great obsession with nuclear bombs and other atomic weapons. After what happened during World War II he wanted to remain as the world leader in this type of weaponry and the race to prevent his enemies from overtaking him led the country to use islands and Pacific atolls to test their inventions. Nuclear activity ended in the 70s , but not only has not its trace been erased but it continues to generate problems for the environment, as is the case with the Runit Dome .
This kind of nuclear graveyard is located on Runit Island, in the Enewetak Atoll, a territory belonging to the Marshall Islands. Surely these names do not sound to you or know how to locate them on a map, but under their concrete roof there are some 73,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil and other nuclear waste that, if no one is able to remedy it, may end up filtered into the Pacific Ocean in the coming years and get to affect areas of China or Australia . So at least he has denounced the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres , visiting that area.
As explained by Guterres, the Marshall government is very concerned about the situation in which the “coffin” is located (as he has called this installation). The 45-centimeter-thick concrete roof is filling with cracks and it is not even known if the waste is already leaking into the ocean, because not all the tank has a layer of concrete that separates it from the land and the sea. And is that, built in the 70’s, this infrastructure was made as a temporary measure taking advantage of the crater of one of the nuclear bombs and in the middle of the plan initiated by the US to try to compensate and fix all the problems generated by its nuclear program .
But what is inside? In this space are residues generated by the 67 bombs that were launched in the area between 1946 and 1958 with components such as plutonium-239, cesium 137 or strontium 90. It was in these atolls where they tested, for example, the hydrogen bomb ‘Bravo’ in 1954, the most powerful detonation ever made by the United States (1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima) and next to Bikini Atoll were the points that suffered most from nuclear activity.
In the 1980s, the United States declared the Enewetak atoll as a safe place and its former inhabitants returned to the area, but islands such as Runit are still closed , as the radiation is still too high for humans. In addition, the same complaint that the UN is now making was made in 1982 when US experts warned that a typhoon or any other nuclear disaster could destroy the facility and later, in 2013, the same observation was made again with the addition of the elapsed time .
We will have to see if this new appeal gets something moving in the Marshall Islands or the disaster ends up confirming. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the place will have to continue living with the radiation, surviving with the money that the United States offers them as compensation for having contaminated their lands.
Source: El Confidencial