Justice for Nuclear Survivors
ABNONO – (PETITION)
Bravo H-bomb Anniversary
March 1, 2007
TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:
TO THE U.S. CONGRESS:
TO THE AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
We ask the American people to educate yourselves on the injustices that we
Marshallese suffered as a result of your 67 atomic and nuclear tests!
Kemij kajitok bwe dri Amerka ren katakin ir make kin bwid im entan ko rar
walok nan kim jen 67 Nuclear test ko!
We ask the U.S. Congress to reconsider passing the Changed Circumstances
Petition (CCP) that our RMI government submitted to you in Sept. 2000!
Kimij kajitok iben US Congress bwe en bar etale im kale CCP en im kien in an
RMI ear lelok nane ilo Sept. 2000!
We ask Ambassador Clyde Bishop to advise the Administration of the United
States of America to change your position on the CCP!
Kemij kajitok iben Ambassador Clyde Bishop bwe en kokabiloklok lok
Administration en an Amerka bwe en ukot an lomnak ikjen CCP en!
What is the RMI Changed Circumstances Petition (CCP)
During the negotiating of the Compact of Free Association in 1986, between
the U.S. Government and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)
Government, the full extent of personal injury and property damages
sustained by the U.S. nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands was
not fully known. Negotiators agreed to include a changed circumstances
provision in the Compact that would allow the RMI government to petition the
U.S. Congress for additional assistance if new and additional information
about the U.S. testing program became known, and if this information was not
and could not have been known during the negotiations of the Compact.
Since the Compact came into effect in 1986, there has been new and
additional information about the personal injury and property damages
resulting from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program that was not known
by the negotiators of the Compact. The new information comes from U.S.
government documents declassified by the Clinton Administration as part of
its Openness Initiative that began in 1993, and from changes in scientific
understanding about the health and radiation exposure.
The RMI Government in September 2000, submitted the Changed Circumstances
Petition that requests Congress to: 1) Authorize and appropriate $26.9
million so that the Claims Tribunal can complete full payment of the
personal injury awards made as of August 15, 2000; 2) Authorize and
appropriate $386 million to satisfy the Claims Tribunal award to the
Enewetak people; 3) Authorize and appropriate $50 million in initial
capital costs to build and supply the infrastructure necessary to provide
adequate primary and secondary medical care to the populations exposed to
radiation from the U.S. Weapons Testing Program; 4) Authorize and
appropriate $45 million each year for 50 years for a 177 Health Care Program
to provide health care for those individuals recognized by the U.S. as
having been exposed to high levels of radiation during or after the testing
program, including those who were downwind for one or more test, and the
awardees of personal injury claims from the Tribunal; 5) Extend the U.S.
Department of Energy medical monitoring program for exposed populations to
any group that can demonstrate high levels of radiation exposure to the U.S.
WITNESS FOR JUSTICE #311
March 12, 2007
WELL KEPT SECRETS
By M. Linda Jaramillo
Justice and Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ (UCC)
Each year in August, we acknowledge with regret the devastating
impact of the atomic bombs that were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. We know that thousands of lives were lost or changed forever.
Generations of Japanese citizens have experienced the aftermath of the
chemicals that entered people’s bodies and affected their health and
environment for the rest of their lives. Most of us know about this.
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Bravo H-bomb test,
conducted on March 1, 1954 on Bikini Atoll. Sixty-seven nuclear tests were
carried out in the Marshall Islands from June 30, 1946 to August 18, 1958.
These were not bombs to end a war, the justification for the devastation in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the Marshall Islands, this was bomb testing!
The bombs were intentionally dropped on the Marshall Islands by the U.S.
Military. How many of us knew about this? If we did not know before, it is
time that we know now.
The H-bombs tested were 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima
atomic bomb. Dr. Neal Palafox of the University of Hawaii says that the
radiation for this testing equaled 7,000 atomic bombs. The New York Times
reported on April 30, 2001, “America’s debt to this Country has its roots in
the 66 nuclear tests conducted in the Marshall Islands. Their total yield
was 128,000 kilotons, roughly the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima-sized weapons
per week throughout the testing period (twelve years).” How many of us paid
attention to that story?
The lives of thousands of residents of the Marshall Islands were
changed forever. Survivors continue to suffer from the effects of
radiation. Many of the survivors of the bomb testing have now passed away.
Perhaps, the magnitude of the H-bomb testing was not known during those
first tests in 1946. How could we not have known? We already knew the
affects of the atomic disaster in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the year before.
Granted, the United States admitted its wrong doing and signed a
Compact with the citizens of the Marshall Islands in 1986 agreeing to
compensate the citizens for injuries and damages. As of August, 2000, some
actual awards had been made for personal injuries. However, 712 of the
awardees (42%) died without receiving their full compensation. The
long-term health impact on the Marshallese people is still being discovered.
Those who were down wind of the tests continue to suffer serious health
consequences. The waters and lands are poisoned and the food supplies
remain contaminated. Today, little attention is being given to this
atrocity. Did you know?
Because of the resulting illnesses and environmental crisis, the
Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands submitted a Changed
Circumstances Petition to the U.S. Congress on
September 11, 2000. They are still waiting for a response almost seven
years later. In fact, the Petition has not moved at all. How many of us
It is time to tell everyone we know about this well kept secret. It
is time for Congress to quit ignoring the appeals for help from survivors of
the H-bomb testing. It is time to challenge
Congress to respond to the Changed Circumstances Petition submitted by the
Government of the Marshall Islands. Contact your Congressperson – tell him
or her that you know about this and they need to do something about it, now.