Held on the anniversary of the Castle Bravo nuclear detonation in the Marshall Islands, the most powerful nuclear bomb tested by the United States, Nuclear Remembrance Day is a date to reflect on our shared nuclear legacy, honour survivors and victims, educate the public about the global consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and campaign for nuclear abolition.
The Bravo test, conducted on Bikini Atoll, was 1,000 times greater than Hiroshima’s. Unlike Hiroshima’s blast, which was well above the city, the Bravo blast was in-ground. It created a 20-mile-high upheaval of coral, water, animal, and plant-life, which then drifted in a huge cloud of raining fallout. It probably created between 1,000 to 10,000 times the fallout of Hiroshima which drifted across the Marshall Islands creating horrific humanitarian consequences over generations. This included increased rates of thyroid cancer, luekemia, and other radiation induced diseases:
The most common birth defects on Rongelap and nearby islands have been “jellyfish” babies. These babies are born with no bones in their bodies and with transparent skin. We can see their brains and hearts beating. The babies usually live for a day or two before they stop breathing. Many women die from abnormal pregnancies and those who survive give birth to what looks like purple grapes which we quickly hide away and bury.
Lijon Eknilang (Marshall Islands). Testimony to the International Court of Justice