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The concrete-domed radioactive landfill of Runit Island
Runit Island
28 COMMENTS —
  • Anonymous
  • March 9, 2009 at 3:13:00 AM CDT
  • See it on Google Maps: http://tinyurl.com/RunitIsland


  • namhenderson
  • March 9, 2009 at 8:13:00 AM CDT
  • Talk about a real-life megastructure....


  • Ari Herzog
  • March 9, 2009 at 10:34:00 AM CDT
  • Can it support solar panels or wind turbines on site?


  • Anonymous
  • March 9, 2009 at 1:30:00 PM CDT
  • assuming it could support solar or wind what exactly would it power? Goodle map show some sort of civilization to the south. Might as well locate it there and not have to traverse the perimeter of the atol.


  • Steff Z
  • March 9, 2009 at 7:12:00 PM CDT
  • On the google map, it looks like there is still a crater (or another crater) about 30 ft deep and the same diameter of the dome, right next to the dome, in the water about 100 ft to the NE (just left of the frame of the above photo). Were there two craters? Or did they put the radioactive fill on land nearby because it was easier?


  • thomaspa
  • March 10, 2009 at 3:34:00 AM CDT
  • t4ats like t4e MAD MAX bastard stepbrot4er of VELODROME berlin http://www.floornature.com/worldaround/img_magazine/wr383_01_popup.jpg


  • Georgia (localecology.org)
  • March 10, 2009 at 8:11:00 PM CDT
  • Interesting. Just reading about Sacramento's decomm nuclear plant Rancho Seco. View http://www.satellite-sightseer.com/id/6040/United_States/California/Sacramento/Rancho_Seco_Nuclear_Power_Plant.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • March 10, 2009 at 10:56:00 PM CDT
  • Steff Z,

    According to this website, there were several tests conducted around the Enewetak Atoll. The one referred to in the label -- the Cactus test -- was conducted at least 3 feet above the ground surface of Runit Island. Other bombs were detonated in the lagoon, such as in the Umbrella test (150 feet below the surface) and the Yellowwood test (on a barge).

    To clarify things a bit, we also read that "in 1979-1980 [the crater from the Cactus test] was used as a burial pit to inter 110,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil scraped from the various contaminated Enewetak Atoll islands."


  • Alexander Trevi
  • March 10, 2009 at 10:57:00 PM CDT
  • And by the way, thanks, Anonymous (MARCH 9, 2009 3:13:00 AM CDT), for the Google Maps link!

    And to thomaspa & Georgia for the images!


  • Anonymous
  • March 13, 2009 at 2:49:00 PM CDT
  • Are those people walking on the surface?
    EJ


  • Alexander Trevi
  • March 13, 2009 at 3:09:00 PM CDT
  • Are those people walking on the surface?

    Yes.


  • lucy
  • March 22, 2009 at 8:21:00 AM CDT
  • Is it safe to walk on the surface, by no means is this a pretty design but it is functional - I am not sure I am convinced that radioactive material can be stopped by concrete


  • steff
  • March 22, 2009 at 8:58:00 AM CDT
  • looking it up on google earth, have you noticed the strange tree formations on the islands north of this one? anybody knows what they are?


  • Alexander Trevi
  • March 22, 2009 at 5:08:00 PM CDT
  • steff,

    Did you mean these tree formations? http://tinyurl.com/cnc3pr

    At first I thought the trees were part of an afforestation project, but the gridded layout is more indicative of cultivation. But what is being farmed? Commercial lumber? Coconut products, including coconut oil, soaps, body oil and foodstuff? One wonders if residual radiation is now at such a low level that applying body oil on the skin, for instance, is safe enough.

    With a bit of googling I found this article by AFP about using coconut oil to generate electricity in remote Pacific islands. One processing plant experimenting with turning coconut oil into a diesel fuel substitute is located in the capital of the Marshall Islands, the island group to which Runit Island, part of Enewetak Atoll, belongs.


  • New Orleans Ladder
  • March 31, 2009 at 10:18:00 AM CDT
  • Hey Man,
    we have been orgying all on your Fisk Maps at Flicker, and hung one onto today's New Orleans Ladder, with links and all'dat.
    You are Herolero! We also hung you on our list of Stitch'hikas.

    I first ran across one here: http://www.blueshighway.org/ which ironically is where I grew up.

    Please come check us out, and if you want hook us up wit'yo thang too. Please fang back through the archives. Help us get ready for flood/hurricane season. Have a good time!

    I really really really like your blog.
    Thank youz,
    Editilla~New Orleans Ladder
    http://noladder.blogspot.com/


  • Blaize
  • April 6, 2009 at 2:41:00 PM CDT
  • Must re-read Ballard's "The Terminal Beach"....


  • Chkn
  • April 8, 2009 at 5:58:00 PM CDT
  • It looks like a giant ash tray


  • Anonymous
  • April 11, 2009 at 2:34:00 PM CDT
  • Some might mistake that for a mothership UFO!


  • Anonymous
  • June 17, 2009 at 8:28:00 PM CDT
  • 6/17/09

    Aloha!

    It is extremly sad that the young people of the Marshall Islands - that live in Hawai`i are unaware of what the U.S. has did to their homeland. An anti-propaganda educational thang would be GREAT.

    Also, empowerment of their magnificent navigational skills & cultural identity which has been lost to the younger folks. The roots of their amazing lifestyle prior to the horrific nuclear bombing of their islands.

    SUPERFUND Sight should be cleaned up ~ That the people may return to live their lives prior to radioactive Hell.

    God Bless the Marshallese people & the clean up of their homelands ~ that their lives may return ~ Proud & whole ~ being able to live a subsistence life style without cancer induced by radioactive contamination!

    Much Aloha ~ bpb


  • Anonymous
  • August 27, 2009 at 1:10:00 PM CDT
  • I was one of the many that served my time there in the late 70's I hope that one day the american people will see that the one's that cleaned this mess up are now having health problems because of it. I only hope you will all see


  • Anonymous
  • October 4, 2009 at 8:51:00 AM CDT
  • Look at the Hanford Site in the US...Another big mess the atom boys created!
    And of course Karabolka in Russia!


  • Anonymous
  • December 15, 2010 at 5:01:00 PM CST
  • The 'Crater' in the lagoon adjacent to the Runit Dome is from the 'Lacrosse' detonation (5th May 1956) of 40 Kilotons.
    All part of Operation 'Redwing' 1956


  • Anonymous
  • May 20, 2011 at 8:28:00 PM CDT
  • I WAS PART OF THE ORIGINAL CREW THAT SET UP THE BASE CAMP ON THE ISLAND OF LOWJA BACK IN EARLY 1977.I WAS PART OF THE ORIGINAL 27 28 GUYS. AND NEVER RAN INTO HEALTH PROBLEMS.MAYBE I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES


  • Anonymous
  • May 21, 2011 at 4:33:00 AM CDT
  • I just saw a documentary (1978) about Runit Island. They said that the island was choosen to store wastes from other islands because already highly contaminated after a Cactus test which went wrong (no explosion: plutonium (?) sprayed all over)
    Anybody has more informations or details about that?


  • Anonymous
  • January 1, 2012 at 10:12:00 PM CST
  • warwarwARWARWARWARWARWRARWRARWRARWA


  • Anonymous
  • March 20, 2012 at 1:46:00 PM CDT
  • I was one of the militaary personnel that built the dome and moved the soil and debris from various islands on the atoll. The sad thing is the VA fails to reconize us as radiation exposed vets and will not compensate us for the cancers etc. we still suffer from.


  • Anonymous
  • August 28, 2012 at 3:53:00 PM CDT
  • I too was one of the cleanup crew, I was there from Jan 79 thru Jan 80. there were numerous shots on or near Runit. Most of the plutonium came from the Quincey shot which went nonnuclear and spread plutonium, but the main problem came because they placed the Fig shot on top of the Quincey shot site which was a very low yield shot equil to about 40 tons of TNT. I did develop colon cancer and tried to get compensation, but the VA said I do not classify as a radiation exposed vet.


  • Anonymous
  • August 9, 2013 at 11:59:00 PM CDT
  • I was a 1st Lieutenant stationed on Lojwa base camp who worked on Runit Island from late June 1979 to February 1980. I was there when the last piece was placed on the top of the dome by a cement truck aptly named Grandpappy. That was on the 6th of Sept of 1979. Morley Safer from 60 Minutes visited the dome when I was there. I helped seal up the command bunker (20 foot reinforced concrete walls) when we left Runit. Also remembering burning down the concrete bag warehouse. I have not experienced any issues myself.


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