28 Feb 2014

Marshall Islands marking Bikini Atoll bomb 60th anniversary

11:16 am on 28 February 2014

The Marshall Islands has been marking sixty years since the United States exploded the Bravo hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll.

The blast on the 1st of March 1954 yielded a force one thousand times larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during the second world war and its radioactive fallout caused health and environmental problems around the Marshall Islands.

Friday is Nuclear Survivors Remembrance Day, marked by a national holiday and formal ceremonies.

A government minister, Tony de Brum, says the anniversary is a major checkpoint in the nuclear saga and it highlights that Marshall Islanders are still a long way off their goal of righting the wrongs they have suffered.

"We have hit a brick wall in not just obtaining just compensation for people who were harmed, both physically as well as harmed in terms of their property, but also to get full disclosure from the United States as to what actually happened there."

Tony de Brum says he still gets goosebumps thinking about the test he witnessed as a child on Likiep Atoll, which is 450 kilometres from Bikini.