U.S. to investigate nuclear waste site on Marshall Islands

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
The U.S. Congress is demanding an investigation into the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands, which contains radioactive waste and is being threatened by rising sea levels.

The dome was built in the late 1970s during the Cold War era. It was originally built to contain radioactive waste from nuclear tests conducted by the U.S on the islands, according to CBS News.

The U.S. conducted 64 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini and Enewetak atolls between 1946 to 1958.

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of Energy must investigate the deteriorating concrete site and submit a report about the risks the dome poses to the people, wildlife, and surrounding environment by June 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The report must also assess how rising sea levels could affect the nuclear dome.

In May 2019, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had raised concerns about the risk of the dome's radioactive material leaking into the sea, reports BBC News.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior, the Marshall Islands was a UN trust territory that was administered by the U.S. from 1947 to 1978. It became a sovereign nation in 1979.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Runit dome
2. Why the dome was built
3. Nuclear weapons tests the U.S. conducted on the islands
4. The amount of radioactive ash and soil the dome holds
5. The Department of Energy is tasked at investigating the dome to assess the risk the site poses to the surrounding area and environment
6. The report must also assess how rising sea levels could affect the dome

VOICEOVER (in English):

"The U.S. Congress is demanding an investigation into the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands, which contains radioactive waste and is being threatened by rising sea levels."

"The dome was built in the late 1970s during the Cold War era."

"According to CBS News, it was originally built to contain radioactive waste from nuclear tests conducted by the U.S on the islands."

"The U.S. conducted 64 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini and Enewetak atolls between 1946 to 1958."

"Al Jazeera reports the tests included the 'Bravo' hydrogen bomb, which was said to be 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima."

"According to the Los Angeles Times, the site holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet of radioactive ash and soil from the nuclear explosions, which was closed with a concrete dome that is 18 inches thick."

"This was originally meant to be a temporary solution since the bottom of the crater was never lined."

"The Los Angeles Times reports that as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of Energy must investigate the deteriorating concrete site and submit a report about the risks the dome poses to the people, wildlife, and surrounding environment by June 2020."

"The report must also assess how rising sea levels could affect the nuclear dome."

SOURCES: BBC News, Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera, CBS News, The Guardian, U.S. Department of Interior
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50951981
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-12-30/new-us-law-probe-marshall-islands-nuclear-waste-site-threatened-by-rising-seas
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/chief-guterres-concerned-nuclear-coffin-leaking-pacific-190516073758642.html
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/enewetak-atoll-dome-un-antonio-guterres-concerns-marshall-islands-structure-leaking-radioactive-material-pacific/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/runit-dome-pacific-radioactive-waste
https://www.doi.gov/oia/islands/marshallislands