Putting the ‘nuclear coffin’ in perspective

Putting the ‘nuclear coffin’ in perspective

There has been a flurry of headlines this summer about a \"nuclear coffin\" leaking radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean. It’s arguably the region’s most visible scar from a series of U.S. nuclear weapons tests that took place off Bikini and Enewetak Atolls between 1946 and 1958. The concerns aren’t unfounded—the area has been a hotspot for lingering radioactivity for more than half a century. But according to Ken Buesseler, a world-renowned expert in marine radioactivity at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the concerns are nothing new. A more recent study from Columbia suggests that radiation levels vary significantly between islands, and higher levels have been measured on nearby Bikini and Rongelap atolls.

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