6 Apr 2011

US officials assure Marshall Islanders over nuclear contamination concerns

9:11 pm on 6 April 2011

United States government officials have assured Marshall Islanders not to worry about radioactivity emitted by damaged nuclear reactors in Japan despite having no radiation monitoring equipment in the island nation.

But a Marshall Islands senator says the government's assurance is not an adequate response as the country has already been exposed to radiation from some of the 67 American nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll and Enewetak in the 1950s.

Small amounts of radiation traced to the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan have been recorded across the US, and problems continue to mount at the reactor nearly a month after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, causing damage to the reactors.

A Marshall Islands member of parliament Tony deBrum says despite monitoring being carried out in other countries, this does little to reassure Marshall Islanders there is no threat to the population.