17 Jul 2019

Radioactivity still persists in Marshall Islands after nuclear tests, warn scientists

From , 3:04 pm on 17 July 2019

Scientists have proven that radioactivity still persists in parts of the Marshall Islands from nuclear testing in the 1940s and 50s.

Three recently published papers from Columbia University show gamma radiation persists at Bikini Atoll making it uninhabitable.

Also coconuts from the northern islands show higher caesium levels than fruit near Chernobyl or Fukashima, and soil from 25cm deep at the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb crater still shows significant levels of plutonium and other radioactive isotopes.

A senior lecturer in physics from the University of Auckland, Dr David Krofcheck, spoke to Jenny Meyer about the new evidence and what it might mean for Marshallese people.

Bikini Atoll test "BAKER" in 1946

Bikini Atoll test "BAKER" in 1946 Photo: supplied