The hydrogen test-bomb Bravo, dropped on the Marshall Islands in 1954, had enormous consequences for the Rongelap people. Anthropologists Barbara Rose Johnston and Holly Barker provide incontrovertible evidence of physical and financial damages to individuals and cultural and psycho-social damages to the community through use of declassified government documents, oral histories and ethnographic research, conducted with the Marshallese community within a unique collaborative framework. Their work helped produce a $1 billion award by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal and raises issues of bioethics, government secrecy, human rights, military testing, and academic activism. The report, reproduced here with accompanying materials, should be read by everyone concerned with the effects of nuclear war and is an essential text for courses in history, environmental studies, bioethics, human rights, and related subjects.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations -- Prologue: Consequential Damages of Nuclear War -- The Rongelap Report: Hardships and Consequential Damages from Radioactive Contamination, Denied Use, Exile, and Human Subject Experimentation Experienced by the People of Rongelap, Rongerik, and Ailinginae -- Part 1: Introduction -- Summary of Relevant Findings -- Research Concerns -- Research Methods -- Report Framework -- Photo Essay after page -- Part 2: Loss of a Healthy, Sustainable Way of Life -- Valuing Land from a Marshallese Perspective -- Land and Sea Tenure -- Rules Governing Access and Use Rights -- Cultural Land and Seascapes -- Spiritual Values of Land and Seascape -- Environmental Knowledge and Sustainable Resource Use -- Flexible Patterns of Resource Use—Sustainable Living on Atoll Ecosystems 82 Taboos and Resource Management -- Concluding Discussion -- Part 3: Chain of Events and Critical Issues of Concern -- Evacuation from Rongelap to Lae in 1946 -- Damage and Continued Loss of Access to Rongerik -- The Bravo Event -- Relocation from Rongelap to Kwajalein in 1954 -- Project 4.1 Research on Kwajalein -- Relocation from Kwajalein to Ejit -- Long-Term Human Subject Research Plans, Priorities, and Policies -- Difficulties of Life in a Contaminated Setting -- Degenerative Health and Health Care Issues on Rongelap -- Human Subject Research Experiences -- Evacuation of Rongelap in 1985 -- Current Conditions Endured by a Fragmented Rongelap Community -- Part 4: Summary of Damages, Needs, and Compensation Concerns -- Claims by the People of Rongelap for Hardship and Related Consequential Damages of the Nuclear Weapons Testing Program -- Consequences of These Events and Injuries -- Household Economic Injuries -- Compensation Concerns -- Research Needs -- Ideas for Remedial Action -- Part 5: Conclusions and Recommendations -- Violations of Trustee Relationships -- Statements of Culpability -- Reparations -- Relevant Case Precedents -- Recommendations for Categories of Concern in This Claim -- Concluding Remarks -- Epilogue: Seeking Meaningful Remedy -- Appendix -- Sample Marshallese text from the memoir of John Anjain -- List of documents submitted to the Nuclear Claims Tribunal in support of the Rongelap claim -- Letter from the Advisory Committee on Biology and Medicine to Lewis Strauss, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, November 19, 1956 -- Memorandum from Gordon M. Dunning to C. L. Dunham, June 13, 1957. Subject: Resurvey of Rongelap Atoll -- Letter from Hermann Lisco, MD, Cancer Research Institute, New England Deaconess Hospital, to George Darling, Director, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, April 29, 1966 -- Letter from Paul Seligman, U.S. Department of Energy, to Mayor James Matayoshi, Rongelap Atoll Local Government Council, April 29, 1999 -- Glossary -- Index.
Barbara Rose Johnston, Holly M. Barker