This concrete dome
holds a leaking toxic time-bomb.
Enewetak Atoll in the
Marshall Islands - a remote location
nestled deep within the vast Pacific Ocean between Australia and
Hawaii - is a picturesque paradise in many respects.
Adorned by clear pale
blue waters, breathtaking skies and vivid vegetation, it is also
home to one of the most poisonous tombs on the planet.
This Cold War
artifact hides toxic waste from United States nuclear tests, and
rising sea levels are threatening its stability.
Produced by ABC News
Australia, 'The Dome' travels to this exotic location to uncover
the extent to which this structure is eroding, and the threat
its leaking contents pose to inhabitants of the region.
The dome itself is a circular slab of concrete set close to the
ground on a narrow strip of land. Under this concrete lies the
radioactive remnants of atomic explosions conducted almost seven
decades ago. Construction on the dome was completed sloppily and
with little regard for safety precautions.
Proper lining was not
installed between the toxic materials and the underlying soil.
Cracks are beginning to fester on the dome's surface and the
ocean has already begun to make its way inside.
The workers who built the dome have suffered a myriad of
illnesses over the years, and many of them were kept in the dark
about what their construction was designed to conceal.
Sea waters are already impeding upon the structure. A typhoon
could shatter it completely. If such an event were to occur, the
entire Pacific Ocean could become contaminated and impact the
lives of millions.
The film profiles several residents of nearby islands who were
evacuated many years ago, including the inhabitants of
Island, the site of a nuclear test which measured 1000 times
more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.
Even after all this
time, contamination levels leave them no hope of ever returning
to their homeland.
The Dome is a testament to the destructive impact of
age. The ill effects of that bygone era linger to this day and
continue to infect new generations.
The film also sheds
light on the dangers of climate change by examining one of its
most unexpected and catastrophic consequences.