Most people think of Bikini Atoll when they think of idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters, and gorgeous tropical views. But this tiny island off the coast of the Pacific had a terrible impact on the world when it came to atomic weapons.
Between 1946 and 1958, the US conducted a bunch of nuclear tests on Bikini, which caused a lot of damage to the island and the people living there. Let’s talk about Bikini Atoll testing, its victims, and how they are being compensated.
History of Bikini Atoll Testing
Bikini Atoll is a coral island in the Pacific Ocean. The atoll includes 23 small coral islands within its reef and is a part of the Marshall Islands, an island chain between Hawaii and the Philippines.
Following World War II, Bikini Atoll was chosen by the United States as a site for nuclear tests. Bikini Atoll was home to over 100 indigenous people at that time, most of whom were relocated to other islands (Rongerik being one of them, about 200km east). This was all so that the nuclear testing could start.
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States conducted 23 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, which caused widespread radioactive contamination of the islands.
Who Bikini Atoll Radiation Victims Are?
The Bikini Atoll radiation victims were the people who were exposed to radiation from the nuclear tests that the United States conducted at Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958. These victims can be categorized into two groups:
- Marshallese Residents – These include indigenous Marshallese people living on Bikini Atoll and neighboring atolls at the time of the nuclear testing and people who came in contact with the radioactive fallout.
- Military Personnel and Scientists – The U.S. military personnel and civilian scientists who participated in the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll also fall into the category of radiation victims.
Common Health Problems in Bikini Atoll Victims
The people who were exposed to radiation from the nuclear tests suffered a wide range of health problems, including:
- Cancer: Radiation can damage DNA, leading to the development of several types of cancer.
- Thyroid disease: Radiation exposure can damage the thyroid gland, leading to various health problems, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- Birth defects: Radiation exposure during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects, such as mental retardation and physical deformities.
- Immune system disorders: Radiation exposure can damage the immune system, making people more susceptible to infections.
What Is Being Done to Help the Victims?
The United States government has provided some compensation to the Marshallese people for the health and social problems caused by the nuclear tests.
Congress passed a law in 1988 to pay compensation to atomic veterans and their families if they got a covered cancer (lung, bone, or skin cancers) after being exposed to radiation. In 1994, the Advisory Committee for Human Radiation Experiments (ACHR) was formed. The US government still pays compensation ($75,000) to survivors, survivors’ families, and former residents.
Bikini Atoll Testing Compensation Program
If you or someone you know are among those who were exposed to radiation due to nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll and were subsequently diagnosed with cancer or related health problems, call the National Cancer Benefits Center today. Our team of experts has been helping victims collect their compensation for cancer for almost 30 years.
For more information about the compensation program, call us today at (800) 414-4328 or use our request for more information form.