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Bikini Atoll


Bikini Atoll, located in the central Pacific, is one of the 29 atolls and five islands that make up the Marshall Islands. Bikini itself is perhaps best known in the West for the role it played in the U.S. nuclear test program. A number of atomic tests took place on Bikini, the first of which called Operation Crossroads, was scheduled for March of 1946. The 167 islanders, who were living on Bikini at the time were evacuated by U.S. officials. In 1969 after U.S. agencies declared that it was safe to return to Bikini, President Johnson ordered the atoll to be resettled "with all possible dispatch." Bikini Islanders began returning home in the early '70s. But subsequent monitoring of the islands revealed higher levels of radioactivity than originally thought. In September 1978, the Islanders were once again evacuated. They have not returned.

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