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This atoll was once a living hell. Here is an account of one of the many disasters and mishaps that occurred here:
Failed nuclear test:
"Project Bluegill Prime," the second attempt to launch the payload which failed last time was scheduled for 23:15 (local) on July 25, 1962. It too was a genuine disaster and caused the most serious Plutonium contamination on the island. The Thor missile was carrying one pod, two re-entry vehicles and the W50 nuclear warhead. The missile engine malfunctioned immediately after ignition, and the range safety officer fired the destruct system while the missile was still on the launch pad. The Johnston Island launch complex was demolished in the subsequent explosions and fire which burned through the night. The launch emplacement and portions of the island were contaminated with highly radioactive plutonium spread by the explosion, fire and wind-blown smoke.
Source: Johnston Atoll
Today, most of that contamination was buried on the tip of the island and encapsulated with a coral containment dome.
It is unbelievable how much disrespect we had for the environment in those years.
No wonder the place is off limits!edit on 5-2-2014 by charlyv because: (no reason given)