|Geographical location||11 ° 30 ' N , 162 ° 14' E|
|Number of islands||> 40|
|Land area||5.85 km²|
|Lagoon area||1 004.89 km²|
Eniwetok is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean that is part of the Marshall Islands . It consists of more than 40 small islands and is located around 525 km northwest of Kwajalein , around 1020 km southwest of Wake and around 4400 km southwest of Honolulu . Eniwetok was the site of numerous atomic bomb tests by the United States after the end of World War II . Between 1977 and 1980, a nuclear waste storage facility was built on Runit Island . LORAN radio beacons were installed on Kwajalein and Eniwetok .
The land mass of all the islands belonging to it covers 5.85 km². The enclosed lagoon is 1004.89 km² and has a diameter of about 37 km. Around 1000 people used to live on the islands. The largest islands are Eniwetok ( 11 ° 20 ′ 33 ″ N , 162 ° 19 ′ 50 ″ E ) , Engebi (also called Arthur, 11 ° 39 ′ 47 ″ N , 162 ° 14 ′ 22 ″ E ), Parry ( 11 ° 24 '4 " N , 162 ° 22' 14" O ) , MutY ( 11 ° 25 '28 " N , 162 ° 22' 59" O ) and Igurin ( 11 ° 21 ' N , 162 ° 14' O ) .
During the Pacific War , the Japanese built a military airfield on Eniwetok in November 1942 in order to be able to control the Caroline and Marshall Islands from here . On February 19, 1944, the Americans captured the island in Operation Catchpole . The entire atoll was under their control on February 23rd. On Eniwetok, 34 American soldiers lost their lives, 94 were wounded and three are still missing . On the side of the Japanese army , 700 soldiers fell and 25 were taken prisoner by the Americans. After the takeover by the Americans, the existing runway was expanded and extended to over 2000 m. The name was Eniwetok Auxiliary Airfield.
Nuclear weapons tests
After the end of World War II , the islands were part of the Pacific Islands Trust Territory . In addition, the UN decided that the use of areas of the Marshall Islands for the security needs of the US is not subject to any restrictions. The islands were selected by the US as a nuclear test area. The residents were evacuated before the experiments began. Eniwetok was particularly badly affected on October 31, 1952, when the USA carried out the Ivy Mike experiment there with an explosive force of 10 megatons; the island of Elugelab disappeared completely as a result of this explosion. Another 43 nuclear weapon explosions followed, so that the remaining islands were heavily radioactive . Around 11,000 US technicians, scientists and military personnel were stationed on Eniwetok during the atomic bomb tests. In order to investigate the explosion clouds of the bomb tests, some rockets (mostly from Rockoons ) were launched in 1957/58 .
Overview of the most important tests
|X ray||April 14, 1948 ( GMT ) 18:17||Engebi Island||37 kT|
|Yoke||April 30, 1948 (GMT) 6:09 pm||Aomon island||49 kT|
|zebra||May 14, 1948 (GMT) 6:04 pm||Runit Island||18 kT|
|Dog||April 7, 1951 (GMT) 18:34||Runit Island||81 kT|
|Easy||April 20, 1951 (GMT) 18:26||Enjebi Island||47 kT|
|George||May 8, 1951 (GMT) 9:30 pm||Eberiru Island||225 kT|
|Item||May 24, 1951 (GMT) 18:17||Enjebi Island||45.5 kT|
|Mike||October 31, 1952 (GMT) 19: 14: 59.4||Elugelab Island||10.4 MT|
|King||November 15, 1952 (GMT) 11:30 pm||Runit Island||500 kT|
|lacrosse||May 4, 1956 (GMT) 18:25||Runit Island||40 kT|
|Yuma||May 27, 1956 (GMT) 19:56||Aomon island||0.19 kT|
|Erie||May 30, 1956 (GMT) 18:15||Runit Island||14.9 kT|
|Seminole||June 6, 1956 (GMT) 12:55 AM||Bogon Island||13.7 kT|
|Blackfoot||June 11, 1956 (GMT) 18:26||Runit Island||8 kT|
|Kickapoo||June 13, 1956 (GMT) 11:26 pm||Aomon island||1.49 kT|
|Osage||June 16, 1956 (GMT) 1:14||Runit Island||1.7 kT|
|Inca||June 21, 1956 (GMT) 21:26||Rujoru island||15.2 kT|
|Mohawk||July 2, 1956 (GMT) 6:06 pm||Eberiru Island||360 kT|
|Apache||July 8, 1956 (GMT) 6:06 pm||Ivy Mike Crater||1.85 MT|
|Huron||July 21, 1956 (GMT) 18:12||in front of Flora Island||250 kT|
Operation Hardtack I
|yucca||April 28, 1958 (GMT) 18:15||97 miles NE of Eniwetok Atoll||1.7 kT|
|Cactus||May 5, 1958 (GMT) 18:15||Runit Island||18 kT|
|Fir||May 11, 1958 (GMT) 5:50 pm||Eniwetok Atoll||1360 kT|
|Butternut||May 11, 1958 (GMT) 18:15||Eniwetok Atoll||81 kT|
|Koa||May 12, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 pm||Eniwetok Atoll||1370 kT|
|Wahoo||May 16, 1958 (GMT) 01:30||Eniwetok Atoll||9 kT|
|Holly||May 20, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 p.m.||Eniwetok Atoll||5.9 kT|
|Yellowwood||May 26, 1958 (GMT) 02:00||Eniwetok lagoon||330 kT|
|Magnolia||May 26, 1958 (GMT) 18:00||Eniwetok Atoll||57 kT|
|Tobacco||May 30, 1958 (GMT) 2:50 am||Eniwetok Atoll||11.6 kT|
|rose||June 2, 1958 (GMT) 6:45 pm||Eniwetok Atoll||15 kT|
|Umbrella||June 8, 1958 (GMT) 11:15 pm||Eniwetok lagoon||8 kT|
|Walnut||June 14, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 p.m.||Eniwetok Atoll||1.45 kT|
|Linden trees||June 18, 1958 (GMT) 3:00 am||Eniwetok Atoll||11 kT|
|Elder||June 27, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 p.m.||Eniwetok Atoll||880 kT|
|Oak||June 28, 1958 (GMT) 7:30 p.m.||Eniwetok lagoon||8.9 MT|
|Sequoia||July 1, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 p.m.||Eniwetok Atoll||5.2 kT|
|Dogwood||July 5, 1958 (GMT) 6:30 p.m.||Eniwetok Atoll||397 kT|
|Scaevola||July 14, 1958 (GMT) 4:00||Eniwetok Atoll||0 kT|
|Pisonia||July 17, 1958 (GMT) 23:00||Eniwetok Atoll||255 kT|
|olive||July 22, 1958 (GMT) 18:15||Eniwetok Atoll||202 kT|
|Pine||July 26, 1958 (GMT) 8:30 pm||Eniwetok Atoll||2000 kT|
|Quince||August 6, 1958 (GMT) 02:15||Eniwetok Atoll||0 kT|
|Fig||August 18, 1958 (GMT) 4:00 am||Eniwetok Atoll||0.02 kT|
In the years 1977 to 1980, three islands were cleaned of the leftover nuclear waste . The contaminated earth was removed over a large area and mixed with Portland cement together with the collected garbage and then poured into an explosion crater. The crater was formed on May 5, 1958 during the Cactus explosion on Runit Island . The diameter of the crater is 107 meters, the depth 9 meters. The crater was then sealed with 358 concrete slabs, each 46 cm thick, at a cost of 239 million US dollars. To this day, ionizing radiation can still be measured, which is mainly caused by plutonium . Runit is a restricted zone and because of the long lifespan of the radioactive fission products ( half-lives of up to 24,000 years), it will have to remain uninhabited on a human basis. The southern and western islands were declared habitable by the US and people were allowed to return there.
A US-funded agriculture program aimed to reintroduce traditional crops, but was unsuccessful. In the case of the three cleaned islands, the removal of the soil left only a few centimeters of fertile soil, which is too sparse for arable farming. Residents rely on US Trust Fund payments to compensate for the nuclear tests, but the amounts transferred are now shrinking.
In 2013, as part of the Marshall Islands Dose Assessment & Radioecology Program, a comprehensive report was produced on the concrete lid covering the explosion crater with nuclear waste. In addition to meticulously documenting every single concrete slab segment with a photo, this report shows some clues that indicate problems with this type of storage.
Names and code names
Alternative names that can be found on cards are:
- Arthur Island
- Brown group
- Brown Islands
- Brown's Range
- Parry Island
Code names of the US Navy during the Pacific War, or the nuclear test period:
- Say hello to the whole of Eniwetok Atoll
- Downside for Eniwetok
- Fragile for the Engebi Island
- Heartstrings for Parry Island
- Outgeneral for Engebi Island
- Overbuild for Parry Island
- Privilege for Eniwetok
- Bikini Atoll - Analog Nuclear Weapons Test Series
- Atomic bomb | Fallout | Radiation sickness
- ↑ Kenneth W. Ford: Building the H Bomb - A Personal History. Singapore: World Scientific 2015, ISBN 978-981-4632-07-2 , page 177
- ↑ Eniwetok in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English)
- ↑ Archived copy ( Memento of the original from May 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- ↑ Jan Hendrik Hinzel, Coleen Jose and Kim Wall: America's Forgotten Nuclear Waste Storage . sueddeutsche.de, November 28, 2015, accessed on November 28, 2015 .
- ^ Website of the Marshall Islands Dose Assessment & Radioecology Program. Retrieved May 22, 2019 .
- ↑ Terry F. Hamilton: A Visual Description of the Concrete Exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure. In: Marshall Islands Dose Assessment & Radioecology Program. Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, January 1, 2013, accessed May 22, 2019 .