Remember the radioactive waste dome used by the United States to hold nuclear waste? Not long ago, it was announced that the so-called “nuclear coffin” is “maybe” leaking. As it turns out, the shellfish around the dome are all radioactive.
That means the dome is leaking radioactive material into the ocean and turning the sea life into biohazards, or the authorities in charge of clean up did a piss poor job. Researchers have found high levels of radiation in giant clams near the Central Pacific site where the United States entombed waste from nuclear testing almost four decades ago, according to a report by the LA Times. This is raising concerns that the radioactive contamination is spreading from the dump site’s tainted groundwater into the ocean and the food chain.
U.S. officials adamantly reject that the dome is leaking. But this issue isn’t new or recent by any means.
The radioactive shellfish were found near the Runit Dome, which is a concrete-capped waste site known by locals as “The Tomb,” according to a presentation made by a U.S. Department of Energy scientist this month in Majuro, the island nation’s capital. The clams are a popular delicacy in the Marshall Islands and in other nations, including China, which has aggressively harvested them from vast swaths of the Pacific.
And as it turns out, large segments of the population have been consuming radioactive fish. According to Terry Hamilton, a veteran nuclear physicist at the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Runit Dome is vulnerable to leakage by storm surge and sea level rise, and its groundwater, which is leaking into the lagoon and ocean, is severely contaminated. But the radioactive fish aren’t because of a leaking dome if Hamilton is to be believed.
He said isotopic analyses indicated the lagoon contamination was from residue from the initial nuclear weapons testing, according to a report by the LA Times. Many of the residents living in the area are rightfully skeptical of the U.S. government’s conclusion that the dome isn’t leaking.
“What they’re saying is, here is the dome. And here, in the lagoon area, there is radiation. … But as far as leaking from the dome, we don’t think that’s the case?” said James Matayoshi, mayor of Rongelap Atoll, one of the atolls contaminated by fallout from the nuclear testing program. “That doesn’t make any sense.” Matayoshi and others added that Hamilton presented a short animation of the dome, showing it rise and fall with the tide. The animation wholly suggested that the seawater is freely flowing in and out of the containment zone and spreading the radiation into the ocean and surrounding fish.
More than likely, the U.S. government is lying and trying to cover up mistakes they’ve already admitted to making as opposed to helping out those whose lives were ruined due to their neglect.