Skip Navigation

RTW avoiding Nuclear Test sites

Travel Forums Round the World Travel RTW avoiding Nuclear Test sites

1. Posted by Wanderer33 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

OK - not the normal first thought when you consider wanting to travel the world, but with many Pacific islands and inland sites having been the preferred testing grounds for various nuclear tests (think RTW favourites such as the Marshall Islands, through to Nevada, etc) - is there a definitive guide to making sure where NOT to go on a RTW trip to avoid such unpleasantries as proximity to nuclear fallout?

I know there's lots of separate info out there about US tests and French tests, etc, but is there anything all in one place to see about how best to avoid the 500,000 year radioactivity that persists after the blast?

As a side note - just how could any one human being take the decision that effects the safety of an entire area for the next half a million years? How could one even contemplate, destroying - forever - something like a beautiful, fragile, ecosystem, like a coral reef island?

Its a very sad thought.

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Marshall Islands on a RTW route? Not really.
But I guess most places like Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu etc. are 100% safe.
Some french polynesian islands may not be, but they probably won't let you go there anyway. And french polynesia is expensive and boring with lots of annoying french tourists, so don't bother going there.
500,000 years is a lot by the way, how did you come up with that? I heard it's already safe with some precautions to visit Chernobyl.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 9y

I think you'll find that most unsafe areas are no-go zones anyway.. Incidentally, Bikini Atoll apparently has some of the most incredible underwater life in the world, largely due to being left alone for a few decades following the nuclear tests :) While the island is by no means safe for rehabitation, it is now also considered safe to walk around and visit. (http://www.bikiniatoll.com/)

All that said, I totally agree that bombing these beautiful islands was a dumb thing to do

4. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 9y

This has to be one of the oddest questions I have seen on here regarding places to avoid on a RTW trip.

Most of the nuclear test sites you reference are not in the typical RTW trip itinerary. Your typical RTW tripdoesn't stop in the Marshall Islands, nor the desert testing sites in Nevada. Most of the U.S. stops for RTW trips are centered around the coastlines (New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Fracisco, Seattle, San Diego, Miami) for obvious reasons... easy to arrive and depart. Most of the pacific island stops are favorites such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, etc. And those are only if you can afford the airfare.

I haven't seen too many RTW'ers making it a point to visit the remote desert testing grounds of Nevada.

As has already been reported, sites that aren't safe due to fallout are probably off limits anyway so i'm not sure what you have to be concerned about.

5. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

If you come to OZ, avoid the Monte Bello islands and Maralinga.
They weren't even underground tests!!!

6. Posted by Wanderer33 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Quoting Utrecht

Marshall Islands on a RTW route? Not really.
But I guess most places like Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu etc. are 100% safe.
Some french polynesian islands may not be, but they probably won't let you go there anyway. And french polynesia is expensive and boring with lots of annoying french tourists, so don't bother going there.
500,000 years is a lot by the way, how did you come up with that? I heard it's already safe with some precautions to visit Chernobyl.

I mentioned the Marshall Islands, because they seem to pop up a lot here in the UK on RTW stop-overs, hence why I'd thought it would be wise to consider the implications of travelling anywhere near the nuclear test sites.

I know this thread seems like such a bizarre question, but I'm a prepare for the worst / hope for the best type of person and would like to minimize as far as possible, any present and future danger for myself and my wife (and future kids) when we go travelling.

For those of you who think I'm just being paranoid, then just take a look at these links:

Map of Worldwide Nuclear Test Sites:

http://www.atomicarchive.com/Almanac/Testing.shtml

Justification for my remark that the radiation fallout has a half life of 500 000 years:

http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2004/05/24_keever_origins-nuclear-holocaust.htm

and most scarily of all, in my opinion:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17323330.800-nuclear-tests-cancer-toll.html

I did also read, on that second link, that in terms of deaths for the rest of eternity due to the nuclear tests, 3 million people will die from cancers directly related to the 2000 nuclear worldwide tests - which I find an appalling statistic.

To me, this is just another factor to consider along with the reported levels of terrorism or conflict in a country as to whether you choose to go anywhere near a place and a wise traveller ought to at least consider such things, that's all.

------

Keep travelling people, but please keep thinking.

[ Edit: Edited on May 5, 2007, at 3:01 PM by Wanderer33 ]

7. Posted by Wanderer33 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Quoting adv3nture

As has already been reported, sites that aren't safe due to fallout are probably off limits anyway so i'm not sure what you have to be concerned about.

Government cover-ups perhaps?! And no, I'm really not a conspiracy theorist. However...

Apparently the bomb that blew apart Enewetak was cleaned up by dumping all the radioactive material in a structure that has a longevity of 300 years - when the predicted negative effects of the soil is 250 000 years! (check here)

Who do you think is going to remember to rebuild the structure in 300 years time? In fact, if Google has archived this post, please set up an electronic calendar reminder to check that one out in 2258!

8. Posted by Wanderer33 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Quoting Peter

I think you'll find that most unsafe areas are no-go zones anyway.. Incidentally, Bikini Atoll apparently has some of the most incredible underwater life in the world, largely due to being left alone for a few decades following the nuclear tests :) While the island is by no means safe for rehabitation, it is now also considered safe to walk around and visit. (http://www.bikiniatoll.com/)

Thanks for that link - I think your last sentence really depends on who you believe.

I notice the islanders themselves point out that the US EPA's standardized level of 15 mrems above background radiation being a cause for a cleanup operation, whereas the Bikini Atoll actually has 100 mrems!

Not sure if that justifies "safe to visit" in my books (may be safe to visit whilst you are there, but in 10 years time?).

I suppose it depends on whether you like to live "dangerously"...

9. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 9y

Quoting Utrecht

Marshall Islands on a RTW route? Not really.
But I guess most places like Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu etc. are 100% safe.
Some french polynesian islands may not be, but they probably won't let you go there anyway. And french polynesia is expensive and boring with lots of annoying french tourists, so don't bother going there.
500,000 years is a lot by the way, how did you come up with that? I heard it's already safe with some precautions to visit Chernobyl.

For your own information the toutists in french polynesia are from America and Japan. The french you will see in polynesia are actually working there. Concerning the bombing they have been stopped for good in the late 90ยด. I lived there for 16 years and I feel pretty find. Do not misunderstand me am against the testings

[ Edit: Edited on May 17, 2007, at 11:47 AM by flo jo ]