Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapons tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in They were the first tests to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, which included a large press corps. A fleet of more than ninety vessels were assembled at varying distances around the Lagoon as a target. The target fleet consisted of older U. Some of the ships were loaded with live animals, such as pigs and rats, to study the effects of the nuclear blast and radioactive fallout on animals. A support fleet of more than ships provided quarters, experimental stations, and workshops for the 42, men who participated in the test.
The Marshall Islands Are 10 Times More 'Radioactive' Than Chernobyl
Bikini Atoll Is More Radioactive Than Chernobyl, Thanks To Nuclear Bomb Tests | IFLScience
Part of the intense cold war nuclear arms race, the megatonne Bravo test on 1 March was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout. Bikini islanders and their descendants have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in When US government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement some residents were allowed to return in the early s.
70 Years Later, Bikini Atoll May Still Be Too Radioactive For Resettlement
On the morning of 1 July , a second sun rose over the remote Pacific island chain of Bikini Atoll. Now it was a bomb site. The Bikini islanders had agreed to a series of nuclear tests on their islands believing they would be able to return as soon as the experiments ended. Instead, they began a nomadic existence that would see them starve on atolls too small and sparse to sustain them, and sicken from lingering radiation on others.
Operation Crossroads, which had its first big event—the dropping of a nuclear bomb—on July 1, , was just the beginning of the nuclear testing that Bikini Atoll would be subjected to. When the first bomb of the tests dropped, it was the first time since the attacks on Japan that a nuclear weapon had been deployed. Here are three things you might not know about the infamous tests:. The test subjects were ghost ships full of animals. The goal of the tests was to see what happened to naval warships when a nuclear weapon went off, writes the Atomic Heritage Foundation.