Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Commemorations in Marshall Islands, Japan and at the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas

Bravo nuclear test

Held on the 60th anniversary of the Castle Bravo nuclear detonation in the Marshall Islands, the most powerful nuclear bomb tested by the United States, Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014 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

The testimony from the Marshall Islands to the International Court of Justice in 1995 led to the ICJ affirming that ‘the destructive effects of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in time or space”, and helped produce the historic conclusion of the ICJ that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal.

Commemorative events:

  • Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014: Reflect. Honor. Educate
    Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton Presidential Library, The Great Hall. February 28
    Speakers include: Ambassador Charles Paul (Marshall Islands Ambassador to the United States), Senator Kenneth Kedi (Rongelap Atoll), Professor Michael Gerrard (Director of the Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University). Organised by the Marshallese Educational Initiative.
  • International Forum, commemoration and rally
    Shizuoka, Japan, Feb 27-March 1. Organised by Gensuikyo
    Speakers include Joseph Gerson, (American Friends Service Committee), Malaya Fabros (Nuclear-free Philippines Coalition), Ikuro Anzai, Norman and Pam Haglund. Includes a special youth program Creating a Surge of Youth for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons toward 2015

For more on the nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and Remembrance Day, see: