On Bikini Atoll, the U.S. military conducted 23 nuclear weapons tests.
The largest nuclear test the U.S. ever conducted was at Bikini Atoll.
In 1977, the U.S. military began a cleanup process that mixed contaminated soil and debris with cement and buried it in a crater created by an atomic test on Runit Island in Enewetak Atoll.
After the cleanup, many of the islands in Enewetak were declared safe and some residents returned as early as 1980.
4. Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands
In 1986, the Compact of Free Association with the U.S. provided aid and defense to the Marshall Islands in exchange for continued use of the missile testing range, known as the Reagen Test Site, on Kwajalein Atoll.
The U.S. military used the island for training exercises, involving ship-to-shore gunfire, and bombing by naval aircraft.
There is a roughly 900-acre area designed for targeting by live ordnance.
A series of protests set of by the accidental bombing of a civilian in 1999, led the U.S. military to withdraw completely by 2003.
The former navy land is now a national wildlife refuge. Numerous beaches on the island still retain the names given by the navy, including Red Beach, Blue Beach, Green Beach and others.
7. Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska
Many of the U.S. military’s sites were in the Aleutian Islands, which extend westward from Alaska. On Amchitka island, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission detonated three nuclear blasts between 1965–1971, including the United States’ largest underground nuclear test, the Cannikin test which was 385 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
In 1965 the U.S. Navy conducted an explosives test called Operation Sailor Hat in which they detonated 500 tons of TNT. The blast was so big it created a crater.
Kaho’olawe was turned into bare rock by military testing, and much of the island remains inaccessible because of unexploded bombs buried in the soil.
It was used as an airbase, a naval refueling spot, a nuclear weapons testing site, and a chemical weapons dump.
In 2004 the military base was closed, and Johnston Atoll became an unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
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