May 20, 2019 02:28 PM EDT
PACIFIC OCEAN -- The nuclear weapons from the Cold War could be leaking radioactive wastes in the Pacific Ocean. This may not seem like the biggest problem the world is suffering from today, but if it were deemed true, it could pose serious damages not only to the environment but to human's overall health and survival as well.
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said there is a concrete dome in Runit Island in the Pacific that was built in the 1970s. It became the home to the massive atomic bomb tests conducted after World War II happened. He said that the same concrete dome could be polluting the sea with toxic sludge.
"The Pacific has already fallen victim in the past that's something the world history takes note of," Guterres said. He was referring to the nuclear explosions that were carried out in the area by France in collaboration with the US government.
The island nation used to be the base where roughly 67 nuclear weapons owned by the US were tested. The tests were conducted on the nuclear bombs that were also used during the war. In fact, it included "Bravo" the hydrogen bomb, the most powerful bomb detonated by the US. it was considered 1,000 times bigger than the A-bomb that was used in the Hiroshima bombing.
Due to the radioactive fallout during this time, many residents of the Marshall Islands had to be evacuated. Their exposure to such types of radioactive materials could have caused serious damages to their health.
"I have sat down with the president of the Marshall Islands. Ms. Hilda Heine expressed her concerns about the risk of leaking radioactive materials in the coffin area," Guterres said. He is currently in a tour to raise awareness on climate change.
Radioactive ash and soil from the blasts were carefully put in a crater that is covered by an 18-inch think dome. It was seen as the most economical and safe fix at that time. However, changes in the weather conditions have caused cracks on the concrete and there are fears that it might just break apart when a strong tropical cyclone hits the area.
"A lot of things should be done to address the problems that were caused by the explosions. It is not just about the environment at risk, but it is also about how such leaks could impact the communities," he added.
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