Nation: Blunder on Bikini Island

After ten years, it is still dangerously radioactive

A decade ago, when the U.S. finally agreed to let some 500 Micronesians return to their native island of Bikini, Washington officials determined to undo the damage inflicted by 23 nuclear tests. All sorts of debris was scooped off the beaches and dumped out at sea. Swaths of local jungle were cleared so that some 50,000 new coconut trees could be planted. Forty cement houses were built along the shore of the lagoon, and an Atomic Energy Commission spokesman declared that there was "virtually no radiation left." After a generation of exile, the first...

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