Marshall Islands sues 9 superpowers including USA over nuclear weapons

[Read the post]


Atomic tourism is reportedly quite a thing. They could make some cash on it, if they aren’t already.

I know I’d love to see the place.

1 Like

Why don’t our little brown brothers appreciate the valuable fertilizer we rained down upon their lands?

At the time of these tests, if you had told anyone that they were contaminating and destroying gigantic parts of the pacific few would have believed it because it was top secret and besides you would have heard about it on the news right? Something similar is going on now with experimental weather modification - called geoengineering - equally top secret - distructive sudo-science with no public comment or oversight - possibly affecting us all in negative ways but, if it were really going on you would surly hear about it on the news or at least on boingboing right?

1 Like

Do you mean climate engineering? So top-secret Wikipedia is full of it?

Large-scale operations cannot be kept secret. Even with the nuke tests, anybody with a big enough dust collector and gamma spectrometer could (and did) know what was happening. Do you think in the age of multiple competing and quarreling nations operating weather satellites with multispectral cameras anything with global impact would go unnoticed?

We’ll need those approaches in the future, anyway. The weather is getting out of whack and something will have to be done to keep it within some reasonable limits. The distribution of water has to be reined back so there are fewer droughts and fewer floods. Of course, with the associated political and philosophical bickering, fat chance enough will be done in time.

There is a piddly-scale weather modification, but that’s much smaller scale. Good enough to prevent rain over a city center on the day of a parade, but not much beyond.


What’s sudo-science? A brand of computer security research? Or perhaps a way to get things working? sudo experiment --force-success, something like this?

Surly, that certainly sounds like me!

…and yes, these things are in the news. And in the publications, though some are behind annoying paywalls, even if some are accessible via guerrilla ways. Down with paywalls.


I wonder what the total megaton equivalent of TNT was dropped.

1 Like

If you mean the total of all nuclear tests up to 1996, according to Wikipedia it was some piddly 510.3 megatons. That includes Tsar Bomba with its 50 megs.

Past 1996 there were some give or take 0.15 metagons total from a couple sparklers.

See table here:


According to the image captions, Bravo was 15mt, and the largest single detonation by the Americans.

As @shaddack said, the Tsar Bomba was the largest detonation ever, at ~50mt, but that weapon was actually neutered to be about half as powerful as it’s calculated potential. With a little optimization it would have been close to 100mt.


I was at a Passover seder some years ago when the host began telling how in the 50s her mother almost brained/divorced/strangled her then young father over an atom bomb test which ended up too big. You could imagine my excitement and then disappointment when I found that while she remembers how pissed and afraid her mother was she had nothing further to pass on. I was able to inform her though that this was the test where lithium-6 enriched natural lithium was being tested, they had forgotten to consider what would happen with the tritium generated by the fission of the lithium-7 by highly energetic neutrons(vs slow neutrons). Almost all of the scientific instruments were destroyed and the test ships were threatened by a roughly 3x expected blast. About this point in my history book recital my wife began kicking my leg(our Asperger-geek rant signal) under the table.
(kicks own leg)
Oh yea, also when are the superpowers going to comply with the NPT that they have pushed on the ‘little’ states? I worry a bit that while there will eventually be a ‘black swan’ event. In a way MAD deters that big war, the problem being that like a very old unburned forest, when the superfire conditions finally coincide with an ignition the destabilisation of the system is far worse than a system with regular burnovers of ‘fuel’.


My uncle’s grandfather was an admiral in the fleet that did the Castle Bravo test. I have an original copy of the report he wrote for it. He didn’t spend any time on the construction of the bombs or how they worked. It’s a dense 300 page tactical evaluation of the effects and proposals for how nuclear sea mines could be used in perimeter defense and speculation on psychological warfare uses.

He also never mentioned any issues with fallout either which is a shame.


Well, Obama is melting the polar ice caps with thousands of small nuclear heating devices originally built for spacecraft that we had left over from the Regan SDI project. We all know that. The fractures in the ice clearly show the pattern of melting consistent with it. And of course there is the HAARP which makes storms far more powerful than usual. We’ve seen Obama meet with the Bilderberg group on numerous occasions before and after he became President… He wants to reign in the one-world government and destroy America.

(sigh - it is oddly easy to come up with conspiracy theories off the top of your head - no wonder people believe them)


It will be interesting to see how the case plays out. I’m certainly no expert on the relevant law; but these sorts of highly-novel-international-case affairs often don’t even seem to have much law on the table one way or the other; some creatively repurposed statutes and a lot of diplomatic and public posturing.

The case against the US may be particularly tricky. We…did not exactly cover ourselves in glory…in our treatment of the locals (surprise, surprise; in a cold war scenario where stuff like MKULTRA and ‘Green Run’ were A-OK to do to real people, we barely pretended to care about some inconvenien foreigners on a rock somewhere); but we subsequently made a variety of more and less token compensatory gestures which, while probably insultingly inadequate, may also have included agreements of the ‘all this can be yours if you agree to drop the issue’ flavor.

There is also the obstacle that the Marshall Islands are not well situated in terms of running much of an economy. There is some fishing, some farming(but very limited land area); but a heavy reliance on imports, which are expensive because it’s a fairly widely dispersed collection of small islands about as far from anywhere as it is practical to be. Much of the GDP is direct US aid under the terms of the Compact of Free Association, activity associated with our remaining military base and test range, and some remittances from the Marshallese population in the US(they enjoy more favorable than usual status in terms of immigration and working legally in the US, and a fairly substantial number do).

None of this is intended to suggest that we have been a veritable horn of plenty to the benighted, and whatnot, since that isn’t exactly how I’d characterize the relationship; but if those various agreements and substantial practical dependence don’t make suing us more difficult, I’d be very, very, surprised.

1 Like

Nitpicking: nine nuclear powers, not nine superpowers. One super-power, one possibly aspiring future superpower, one former superpower and six other powers.

1 Like

The US Government likes to rant about terrorism, but they’ve spent the last 70 years upgrading weaponry that could destroy all life on earth, as do their buddies over in the USSR.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.