Global warming could destroy the tomb of nuclear waste in the Marshall Islands

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The rise in sea level could destroy the dome under which is stored the waste.

Climate change can destroy the dome under which is stored the nuclear waste on the island of Runit, Marshall Islands. Journalists Los Angeles Times, which jointly with the school of journalism at Columbia University for 15 months, the study was conducted on the island, saying that “the tomb”, as it is known locally, is struggling.

The results of the study showed that rise in ocean levels and global warming can destroy the dome, which will lead to leakage of toxic waste into the environment.

Dome on Runit island was built in the 1970-ies for the disposal of 87.7 thousand cubic meters of nuclear debris that remained after the nuclear tests conducted by the United States. According to journalists, the government of the Marshall Islands also used the region to test conventional and biological weapons after the ban on nuclear testing in 1958.

The tomb was built on top of the crater, buried underneath a large part of the waste. Then the grave was covered with 18-inch (about 43 centimeter) cover in order to fulfill a “moral obligation”. However, even then there were concerns about the security of the burial site.

In one of the military documents of 1981 States that few people knew about the leak from the crater and these events were repeated in the future. New reasons for concern have added climate change.

According to current projections, by the end of the century the Global sea level rises by two meters. The Marshall Islands will suffer more than others: since 1993, the water level here rises to seven millimeters per year. In other parts of the world, the figure is 2.8-3.6 mm per year.

Nuclear tomb is worn out. But storms and ocean waves that will hit it, because of sea-level rise may create more problems in the future. The dome on the island of Runit can crack, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.

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