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Marshall Islands

UNESCO World Heritage

Marshall Islands, Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 28, 2013 at 05:25:34

Location Marshall Islands
Coordinates N11 35 60 E165 22 50
Property 73,500 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1339 )

In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Photos from Landolia

Nuclear craters, Bikini Atoll

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map



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