Bombs over Bikini: The World’s First Nuclear Disaster

Bombs over Bikini: The World’s First Nuclear Disaster
by Connie Goldsmith (Author)

Booktalk: In 1946, as part of the Cold War arms race, the US military launched a program to test nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean. From 1946 until 1958, the military detonated sixty-seven nuclear bombs over the region’s Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. The twelfth bomb, called Bravo, became the world’s first nuclear disaster. It sent a toxic cloud of radiation over Rongelap Atoll and other nearby inhabited islands.

Snippet: “I began to feel a fine powder falling all over my body and into my eyes. The coconuts changed color. By now all the trees were white, as well as my entire body. I didn’t believe this was dangerous. The powder fell all day and night over the entire atoll of Rongelap,” Moyor John Anjain later recalled.

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