Radiological Conditions at Bikini Atoll: Prospects for Resettlement

Radiological Assessment Reports Series 2

Subject Classification: 0609-Radiation protection

English STI/PUB/1054; (ISBN:92-0-100398-6); 67 pp.; 11 figures; € 20.50; Date Published: 1998

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The general concern about the state of the environment has focused the attention of many countries in recent years on the need to remediate areas affected by radioactive residues. The present assessment was requested by the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, with the purpose of obtaining an independent view of the radiological situation on Bikini Atoll, the site of nuclear weapons testing in the period 1946 -1958. In particular, questions were posed about whether the former inhabitants should be permitted to return to their homes and about the nature and extent of any remedial actions which might be necessary. This report presents the results and conclusions of a meeting of international experts convened by the IAEA and chaired by K. Lokan, Australia, in December 1995 to review the available information on the subject. Contents: 1. Summary; 2. The Marshall Islands; 3. Background: Nuclear weapon testing in the Marshall Islands and its aftermath at Bikini Atoll; 4. The international review; 5. Radiological concepts in the context of nuclear weapon testing; 6. Present environmental radiological conditions at Bikini Atoll; 7. Estimates of potential radiation doses to people resettling Bikini island under present conditions; 8. Radiation protection criteria; 9. Habitability of Bikini islands; 10. Conclusions and recommendations; References; Addendum: IAEA corroboratory monitoring mission to Bikini island.

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