The secret legacy of the first Bikini nuclear test
Seventy-five years ago, the United States conducted its first nuclear weapon test explosion in the Marshalls Island. Dubbed “Operation Crossroads,” the nuclear blast was staged at Bikini Atoll in the Northwest Pacific, part of the Marshall Islands, a UN Trust territory ‘administered’ by Washington for the first four decades of the atomic age.
It was the first of nearly 70 devastating nuclear tests that poisoned everything, especially the people who lived there.
In his most recent column for the Cape Breton Spectator, Peace Quest Cape Breton’s Sean Howard examines the fallout from the first Bikini nuclear test – its purpose, both stated and secret, and the terrible impact of all the nuclear tests that followed.
As Sean writes, “And the horror-show all began with the ‘temporary’ removal of 167 islanders to make way for experiments conducted, US Navy Commodore Ben Wyatt assured them, ‘for the good of all mankind and to end all wars.’ The ‘temporary’ was a cynical ruse, designed to secure the ‘approval’ of the tribal leader, King Juda: the Bikinians still await their return to a homeland rendered, as scientists predicted, uninhabitable for decades or centuries.