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Nuclear Waste Tomb Unlikely to Survive Climate Change

There’s a ticking time bomb in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — and climate change could set it off at any moment.

A new investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found that the Runit Dome — a massive “tomb” in the Marshall Islands containing radioactive soil and debris from nuclear bomb tests — is at risk of busting open as climate change causes both sea levels and temperatures to rise.

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During the Cold War, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands. It also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests in the region and shipped 130 tons of irradiated soil from a Nevada testing site there.

The U.S. then mixed all that irradiated soil and debris with concrete, dumped it into a crater created by one of the bombs, and capped the whole thing off with an 18-inch-thick concrete dome in 1980.

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