Cover page of a report on the Hydrogen Bomb Tests in the Marshall Islands.
The Cold War may be over, but in the Marshall Islands its legacy lives on. In the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, the United States conducted 67 above-ground nuclear and thermonuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 1950s.
From 1946 to 1958, as the site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands including the largest nuclear test the U.S. ever conducted, Castle Bravo. In 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as "by far the most contaminated place in the world".
Nuclear claims between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands are ongoing, and health effects from these nuclear tests linger. Project 4.1 was a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Bikini Atoll exposed to radioactive fallout.
With the test of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb, Ivy Mike, the island of Elugelab in the Enewetak atoll was destroyed.
Archival reference: R22848902, folio 65
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