Jun 18, 2019

A concrete dome housing nuclear waste in the middle of the Pacific is crumbling

It’s called “The Runit Dome,” but locals call it “The Tomb.”

In the 1970s, the United States built the huge concrete structure in the Marshall Islands to house nuclear waste amid bomb tests taking place in the region.

‘The Tomb’ haunts some residents in the area who are feared for the security of the nuclear waste inside. (Source: Vimeo CAHSS Webteam, Steve Holloway/Okeanos Foundation for the Sea)

But over the years, Mother Nature has taken a toll on the site and its structural stability.

Various reports have outlined the slow deterioration of the dome, and the potential threat it poses to the environment.

Now, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is pushing the federal government to release more information about the site.

Gabbard included an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the government to provide an unclassified report on the status of the dome.

‘The Tomb’ haunts some residents in the area who are feared for the security of the nuclear waste inside. (Source: Vimeo CAHSS Webteam)

“The Marshallese people are gravely concerned about environmental threats to the integrity of the storage site and the impact on their country,” Gabbard said, in a news release.

“The U.S. government is responsible for this storage site and must ensure the protection of the people and our environment from the toxic waste stored there.”

The amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee.

According to Gabbard’s office, the dome holds 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris.

The report would assess the current condition of the dome’s outer construct along with environmental impacts. It would also examine the safety of food sources and people living in the vicinity of the dome.


By Dillon Ancheta for Hawaii News Now, June 14, 2019