Never forgotten nuclear wastes buried by US in Pacific Ocean

China Military Online
Lin Congyi
2022-06-15 17:55:09

No sooner did China visit South Pacific island countries with sincerity to establish win-win cooperation than the US hastily vowed to strengthen the relations with Pacific island countries. But it should be kept in mind that those countries are never anyone's backyard, much less an arena for geopolitical contention.

There is an astonishing fact in history that has to be mentioned here, about a South Pacific island country which had to endure the pain brought by the US.

From 1946 to 1958, the US conducted 67 nuclear weapon tests on the Marshall Islands, exposing the local people to a horrible disaster. If we spread the outcomes of those nuclear bombs evenly, it was like the islands went through 1.6 times the Hiroshima bombing every day in 12 years.

John Anjain was a Marshall islander who witnessed the explosion of the hydrogen bomb "Castle Bravo", the largest nuclear bomb the US tested in the atmosphere. Later, his wife and four children got cancer, their 5th child had acute myelogenous leukemia and died at the age of 19, while the 6th child had poliomyelitis. Obviously, Anjain's family was exposed to nuclear radiation -- the result of US government's failure to arrange timely evacuation, since they had underestimated the power of "Castle Bravo".

Testing nuclear bombs wasn't the only crime committed by the US. When the locals moved back later – with assurance from the American military, the nuclear radiation there was on a very high level and the sea areas nearby, along with the aquatic products, were contaminated too, which cut off the source of income for the island dwellers who used to live on fishing.

When the US completed its nuclear tests on Marshal Islands in 1958, what cleanup did it do? It turned out the US military simply scraped the contaminated surface soil on the island, mixed it with radioactive splinters, dumped them in a deep pit, and covered that with a dome made of 358 concrete slabs, a makeshift measure that was by no means a long-term solution. Now, scientists are warning that the rising sea level caused by climate change may lead to about 85,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste flowing into the ocean.

Faced with the risk of nuclear leak, officials of Marshal Islands tried to ask the US government for help, but officials in Washington refused the request on the grounds that the concrete dome was on Marshal Islands and therefore was the islands' own responsibility. Former president of Marshal Islands Hilda Heine argued that the dome is by no means their responsibility. "We didn't want it. We didn't build it. We didn't create the waste under it. It's theirs," she said.

Considering the terrifying and lasting harm created by nuclear tests, how did the US get the approval from Marshall Islands residents in the first place? Washington Post reported that a US commodore, taking advantage of the local people's belief, claimed they were the "chosen ones" and should sacrifice for the development of atomic bombs and peace for the human world.

Obviously, the US didn't want to be the chosen one itself, and it is in no way the peace-loving country it claims to be that wishes to keep humankind away from war in the future.

Everything it says is nice and fancy whereas everything it does is evil and egregious – how American!

Editor's Note: This article is originally published on, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of


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