Stop Radioactive Waste from Leaking into the Pacific Ocean

Target: Rick Perry, United States Secretary of Energy

Goal: Repair Runit Dome, a containment structure currently leaking radioactive waste and threatening Pacific Ocean ecosystems.

Containment structure Runit Dome contains 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive waste left over from nuclear testing in the 1940s and 50s. Now this dome, located on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, is leaking. Rising sea levels threaten to sweep this radioactive leakage into the Pacific, or worse, destroy the dome entirely and deposit all its contents in the ocean.

From 1946 to 1958, the United States performed extensive nuclear testing on remote atolls in the Pacific. These tests left the islands cluttered with nuclear debris and extensive topsoil contamination. In lieu of a better solution, the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency dumped the radioactive debris and topsoil into an unlined pit and covered it with concrete. Although this solution was only supposed to be temporary, Runit Dome has not be updated or reinforced since its construction in 1979.

Now, the dome is leaking. Sections of the concrete dome have begun to crack, and radioactive waste has leached out of the unlined pit, resulting in high levels of soil contamination around the dome. With climate change causing sea levels to rise and storms to become more extreme, Runit Dome is more dangerous than ever. Scientists and environmentalists fear that a high-intensity typhoon could completely destroy the dome, sending huge amounts of radioactive debris out into the Pacific Ocean. This would be disastrous for the already threatened ecosystems of the Pacific.

Sign this petition to urge the U.S. Department of Energy to reinforce Runit Dome to prevent this environmental catastrophe.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Perry,

The Pacific Ocean is in danger. Already plagued by plastic pollution, warming temperatures, and ocean acidification, the Pacific now faces the threat of contamination by over 100,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris from Runit Dome. The Pacific Ocean contains many endangered species that might become extinct if an event of this magnitude occurred.

Runit Dome may also be a threat to the people living near it in the Marshall Islands. Although previously many people in the Marshall Islands made their living by fishing, the U.S. has banned the export of fish from the islands due to concerns about contamination. Although representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy insist that there is no threat to the people of the Marshall Islands, locals say they have not been able to access important information about the hazards – including the tests of their own levels of radiation exposure.

I ask that you provide funding for the reinforcement of Runit Dome to protect the people of the Marshall Islands and Pacific Ocean ecosystems.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman

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6 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    stop it! i rather swim in the clean ocean than polluted ocean. if you were to swim in the polluted ocean, you get sick.

  2. Richard Hofman Richard Hofman says:

    No worries that is exactly for what the human was created…to destroy themselves!!!
    And it’s obvious that they deserve this fully…..

  3. Pollution, including radioactive is no good. So please stop it!

  4. MAKE A PLAN TO END A DISASTER LIKE THIS NOW.

  5. Non-action clearly defines a person!
    Is this who you are? Sitting in a cozy position while giving a damn about the future of your offspring, mankind and the planet?

  6. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared❗️😠

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