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  • Unfortunately, the world has had its fair share of nuclear disasters over the last half century.

  • The Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, in Fukushima in Japan.

  • But what few realize is that there is another great nuclear disaster brewing somewhere else in the world right now, and his location is so remote, it's no wonder that you've probably never heard of it before.

  • 5000 miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, lies a small island chain known as the Marshall Islands.

  • For a lot of us, these islands are best known as the birthplace of the movie monster Godzilla, who was awakened and mutated from atomic bomb explosions at one of the many islands.

  • And while sadly, the island's never actually ended up spawning a terrifying lizard that breeze radioactive fire in the real world, they may still be just as terrifying, if not even more so in the very near future.

  • The Marshall Islands are leftover remnants of ancient volcanoes that once protruded out from this region and were first settled nearly 3000 years ago by the ancestors of the present day Marshall ease.

  • These people cross the ocean by boat by way of Asia and Polynesia and lived a largely secluded and peaceful existence up until the mid 19 forties.

  • During World War Two, the islands were ruled by the Japanese until the United States showed up and took them over in 1944 and very quickly after that, the American presence on the islands increased dramatically.

  • As the Cold War began, American officials were eager to find a location to test their growing atomic arsenal.

  • And the vast empty expanse of ocean in this region that is nearly five times the size of California seemed to be the ideal spot.

  • In fact, during the years between 1946 and 1958 the United States detonated a total of 67 nuclear devices across these islands, leaving all sorts of extremely dangerous radioactive waste behind.

  • The islands were even home to the largest thermonuclear bomb ever tested by the United States government, known as Castle Bravo.

  • This experimental nuclear device created a mushroom cloud 4.5 miles tall and even still, today, this bomb ranks as the third largest man made explosion ever, the equivalent of 15 megatons of TNT, making it 1000 times as powerful as the little boy atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

  • And after the explosion, it dropped radioactive ash across 7000 square miles of the surrounding area in and around the Marshall Islands.

  • The marshall is themselves were not evacuated from their islands until three days after the bombs detonation, and many would suffer from acute radiation sickness as a result.

  • While 23 additional members of a nearby Japanese fishing vessel were also contaminated by the heavy fallout, the initial blast itself even vaporized the entire island where the bomb went off and created a crater 2000 m wide by 76 m deep.

  • The last nuclear bomb that the United States detonated on the islands was in 1958 and shortly thereafter the world at large began to understand the implications of sustained above ground nuclear testing.

  • That is why, in 1963 a treaty was signed amongst most of the world's nations that banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater, which still stands today.

  • However, as far as the Marshall Islands were concerned, the damage had already been done.

  • You see all of this.

  • Nuclear testing came at another long term horrible price because it also left behind an incredible amount of hazardous radioactive waste.

  • The United States government knew that it had to do something to clean up its mess.

  • And so in the 19 seventies, they decided to construct a giant tomb to house all of these radioactive debris in, and they built it here on one of the most isolated islands in the whole chain.

  • Called Run It.

  • The tomb was built over a big existing crater from a previous nuclear tests and capped off with a massive concrete dome in order to seal the dangerous contents inside forever.

  • The dome itself is 115 m wide and 18 inches thick, and today the tomb contains roughly 3.1 million cubic feet worth of nuclear waste inside roughly the equivalent of 35 full Olympic size swimming pools.

  • But it doesn't just contain all the nuclear waste than America generated on the Marshall Islands.

  • The U.

  • S government also had the gall to ship over 130 additional tons of radioactive soil and atomic debris left over from the nuclear test sites in Nevada here as well, and tossed all of that into the tomb to join the Marshall Island debris as well.

  • The Tomb on Running Island became one of America's largest storage sites for nuclear waste.

  • And while it's located over 7000 miles away from Washington, D.

  • C, it's only located 665 miles away from the Marshall Islands capital city Majuro.

  • The construction effort of the tomb itself took three entire years to complete, with the help of 4000 US servicemen.

  • During that construction, six men died during the cleanup due to acute radiation poisoning, and hundreds of others developed radiation linked cancers from handling the incredibly dangerous waste.

  • This includes all sorts of radiated equipment, soil and plutonium laced chunks of concrete and metal.

  • One particular isotope of plutonium house inside of the tomb.

  • Plutonium 239 has a half life of 24,100 years, meaning that for the material to even lose half of its radio activity, it will literally take 24,100 years.

  • But what's even worse is that during the construction, the government failed to build a concrete lining underneath the dome and instead just relied upon the existing crater itself.

  • And as a result, seawater has slowly begun seeding into the tomb from the Pacific Ocean that surrounds it, and after it seeps in, it'll leak back out and take radioactive waste with it into the Pacific.

  • And now the local martial ease are left with a decades old decaying structure and the responsibility of maintaining it all the while worried about the future of what was once pristine waters.

  • It's even more alarming, though, when you remember that the world's climate is changing rapidly and that the ocean sea levels are rising and the Marshall Islands in particular, are facing a graver threat from this than most other places are.

  • In fact, since 1993 the sea levels within the Marshall Islands region have risen by about 0.3 inches per year and based upon forecasted sea levels, this could end up reaching up to four or five additional fee feet.

  • By the end of this century alone.

  • That's within most of our lifetimes, and this would effectively submerge most of these islands for good as well as the tomb itself, potentially even collapsing the dome and releasing all of that incredible amount of radioactive waste inside.

  • And since today, the tomb is already somewhat bobbing up and down with the tides, it could present itself as a complete disaster scenario today.

  • Already, thousands of dead fish are watching up on the shore on a regular basis due to the terrible radioactive waste that is already leaking out into the surrounding water.

  • The nuclear tomb on Running Island has the potential to become one of the 21st century's greatest nuclear disasters, so you may be asking what's being done about all of this?

  • Well, fortunately, there is actually some progress that can be reported in 2020.

  • For instance, the National Defense Authorization Act, or the U.

  • S.

  • Bill that funds the U.

  • S military each year provided a directive for the Department of Energy, which is the department in charge of the United States nuclear arsenal, to write a report on the status of the rounded dome.

  • In that report, they determined that it's not in any immediate danger of collapse or failure.

  • But it remains to be seen if that will continue to be true over the next several decades, especially as sea levels rise high enough to potentially submerged the dome entirely.

  • As far as the Marshall these are concerned, however, much of the Marshall Islands are already uninhabitable now due to the large radioactive hazard in the region.

  • In fact, many of the recent tests show that some of the islands are still even more radioactive than Chernobyl is.

  • Of the 40 or so primary islands in the atoll where run it is located, only three have been confirmed safe for human habitation, which are currently only home to around 650 residents today.

  • The unfortunate fact is that the marshal is don't have the capability or the funding to deal with this issue alone and instead are completely reliant upon America's willingness to clean up the mess that they left for good.

  • To date, the Nuclear Claims Tribunal, an independent ruling body with the authority to arbitrate legal relations between the United States and the Marshall Islands, has awarded the Islanders $2 billion in damages.

  • However, to date, only four million of that amount has ever actually been paid out.

  • Right now, it remains to be seen whether a more permanent solution to holding in the waste will come about, or if this really will end up becoming the world's next great nuclear disaster in the making.

  • Whatever the future might hold for the fate of the dome on rugged island, it takes time in order to learn how to solve or overcome any challenge.

  • Just over five years ago, now I created real life floor without a single shred of knowledge in animation, editing or even audio recording.

  • I quite literally had no idea what I was doing.

  • And I've learned over the years, simply through trial and error and continuous learning, if you're looking to get started creating your own videos here on YouTube, whatever the genre, the good news is that just like me, you don't need any prior experience to get started.

  • I understand that it can be intimidating at first when you don't know how to do a lot.

  • But thankfully, that's where skill share could help.

  • My good friend Evan from the channel Polly Matter has an entire class on there called Make animated YouTube videos.

  • It's only 30 minutes long, and it has 13 complete projects for you to practice with.

  • That will give you all of the fundamentals you need in order to get started with your own channel.

  • And if you're not interested in creating your own animated YouTube channel, there's thousands of other classes that you can take on skill share in almost every field and subject you can imagine Want to learn how to create cinema quality videos with tools you already own?

  • I'd suggest the class iPhone filmmaking.

  • Create cinematic videos with your phone by Kayla Babcock and Niles Grey.

  • Or perhaps you just want to learn how to become more productive with your study or work habits.

  • My friend Thomas Frank teaches an entire productivity master class that will teach you how to stay focused and productive while doing just about anything.

  • When you become a member of skill share, you can take these classes as well as thousands of others on subjects ranging from writing and Web development to music and graphic design, any of which can help you find a new passion, help you get ahead in school or give you the skills needed for career advancement.

  • It's the absolute perfect activity to learn a new skill early into the new Year.

  • For whenever you're stuck at home or have a lot of free time, and with its very difficulty levels, it's still great whether you're a beginner or an expert.

  • And best of all, you can get a completely free trial of skill share premium by being one of the 1st 1000 people who uses the link down in my description.

  • By doing this, you can achieve all of your own personal learning goals and help support my channel at the same time.

  • So go ahead and check them out and, as always, thank you for watching mhm.

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How America's Chernobyl Could Be Happening on This Island

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/10
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