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First posted on May 13th 2008

The Pacific Region : The World's Nuclear Bomb Testing and Dumping Area

Australia, Christmas Island UK atmospheric nuclear bomb tests 1952-1958, in uninhabited areas - Monte Bello, Maralinga, Malden Island, Christmas Island)
Bikini Atoll located in the U.S. Trust Territory (Marshall Islands), used 1946-1958 as a nuclear bomb testing site. Prior to the first test the population was evacuated. In 1968 declared habitable, the population again was removed in 1978 due to too high radiation. Since 1996 a tourism destination.
Johnston Atoll uninhabited island, U.S. possession since 1858, 1958-1975 test missile launching site (since 1962 missiles with nuclear load); since 1993 used as site for storage and destruction of chemical (incl. nuclear) weapons
Moruroa uninhabited atoll in French Polynesia; French nuclear bomb testing site 1966-1998
NFIP Charter In 1983 the Peoples' Charter for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific was signed
Rainbow Warrior In 1985 French secret agents sank the "Rainbow Warrior" in the harbour of Auckland, New Zealand. The "Rainbow Warrior" was a Greenpeace vessel which was on its way to the waters around Moruroa Atoll; the presence of the vessel was to prevent the French authorities with going forward with plans to conduct another test explosion

Nuclear bomb test sites outside the Pacific region : Trinity Test Site (New Mexico, U.S., 1945), Nevada Test Site (U.S., since 1951), Algeria (French, 1960-1965), Novaya Zemlya (USSR, 1955-1975), Semipalatinsk (formerly USSR, presently Kazakhstan, 1949-1989), Lop Nor (P.R. China, Xinjiang Province), Pokhran (India, Rajasthan State, 1998), Balochistan (Pakistan, 1998), Hwadae-ri (North Korea, North Hamgyong-do 2006)

Activities :
1.)    Find the testing sites on a map. What do the testing sites have in common ?
2.)    How did/do the tests affect the regional society, economy, ecology ?

External Files Nuclear Free New Zealand, from New Zealand History Online
British Nuclear Testing in Australia, from Underground Book
Article : Nuclear Testing, List of Nuclear Tests, British Nuclear Tests at Maralinga, Johnston Atoll, Moruroa Atoll, Bikini Atoll, Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, from Wikipedia
Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands : A Chronology of Events, posted by Republic of the Marshall Islands Embassy in the U.S.
DOCUMENTS Bikini Sources, from Bikini Atoll
Reference Bikini Atoll Online Store (books, videos etc.)