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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised concerns Thursday that a concrete dome built last century to contain waste from atomic bomb tests is leaking radioactive material into the Pacific.
"The Pacific was victimised in the past as we all know," he said, referring to nuclear explosions carried out by the United States and France in the region.
Marshalls - Islanders - Lands - Thousands - Fallout
In the Marshalls, numerous islanders were forcibly evacuated from ancestral lands and resettled, while thousands more were exposed to radioactive fallout.
The island nation was ground zero for 67 American nuclear weapons tests from 1946-58 at Bikini and Enewetak atolls, when it was under US administration.
Tests - Bravo - Hydrogen - Bomb - United
The tests included the 1954 "Bravo" hydrogen bomb, the most powerful ever detonated by the United States, about 1,000 times bigger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Guterres, who is touring the South Pacific to raise awareness of climate change issues, said Pacific islanders still needed help to deal with the fallout of the nuclear testing.
Consequences - Relation - Health - Relation - Poisoning
"The consequences of these have been quite dramatic, in relation to health, in relation to the poisoning of waters in some areas," he said.
"I've just been with the President of the Marshall Islands (Hilda Heine), who is very worried...
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