S.C.R. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 1




requesting the united states congress to provide for the compensation of awards, to the fullest extent, as determined by the marshall islands nuclear claims tribunal.


WHEREAS, fifty years ago on March 1, 1954, at 6:45 a.m., the United States of America tested the "Bravo" hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, resulting in an explosion that is now acknowledged as by far the most destructive nuclear detonation ever; and

WHEREAS, scientists involved in the test known as "Bravo" have maintained that they expected a yield equivalent to five megatons; and

WHEREAS, the "Bravo" bomb actually yielded 15 megatons, or a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb; and

WHEREAS, while U.S. servicemen on Rongerik Atoll were evacuated within hours of the blast, Marshallese residents of Utirik and Rongelap, all within the hazardous range of the explosion, were left on their contaminated islands for at least a day longer, resulting in their exposure to significant radiation; and

WHEREAS, the men, women, and children of these atolls were already suffering burns and loss of hair at the time of their removal from their homes; and

WHEREAS, 23 crewmembers of the Japanese fishing boat, Lucky Dragon, were also exposed to severe radiation from Bravo; and

WHEREAS, a total of 67 nuclear tests were conducted in Bikini and Enewetak between 1946 and 1958, exposing the people of the Marshall Islands to severe health problems and genetic anomalies during the tests and for generations to come; and

WHEREAS, if one were to calculate the net yield of all the tests conducted in the Marshall Islands, it would be equivalent to the detonation of 1.7 Hiroshima bombs every day for 12 years; and

WHEREAS, Enewetak Atoll served as ground zero for 43 tests including the first-ever hydrogen device, resulting in the loss of eight percent of their land, and even after a massive cleanup program by the United States, the Marshallese have no safe access to more than 57 percent of their land; and

WHEREAS, the people of Enewetak were exiled from their home for more than 33 years in spite of assurances from U.S. officials that they would be repatriated in three to five years after their original removal in 1946; and

WHEREAS, similar promises made to Bikini residents forced the surrender of their land supposedly for the "betterment of mankind"; and

WHEREAS, on advice from the United States, the people of Bikini were repatriated in 1967 only to be evacuated seven years later when high levels of radionuclides were discovered in their bodies; and

WHEREAS, the people of Rongelap and Utirik were returned prematurely to their atolls and received additional exposure, causing many to believe that they were used to study the effects of radiation on human beings as contemplated in the Atomic Energy Commission's now infamous Project 4.1; and

WHEREAS, recently declassified information contains strong indications that human experimentation using the people of the exposed atolls was indeed part of the nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands; and

WHEREAS, in its Compact of Free Association (Compact), the United States of America "accepts the responsibility for compensation owing to the citizens of the Marshall Islands... for loss or damage to property and person... resulting from the nuclear testing program which the Government of the United States conducted in the Northern Marshall Islands between June 30, 1946 and August 18, 1958"; and

WHEREAS, the pertinent provisions of the Compact were negotiated based on limited and misleading information provided by the United States Government to the Marshallese representatives, a fact exposed only recently in material declassified by the United States and acknowledged by their officials; and

WHEREAS, the funds provided under the Compact agreement are grossly inadequate to provide for health care and environmental monitoring, personal injury claims, or land and property damage; and

WHEREAS, the "changed circumstances" provision of section 177 of the Compact provides that if the agreement on nuclear matters is manifestly inadequate to meet the technological and financial requirements anticipated during the negotiations, or if new information emerges which renders those agreements insufficient for the purpose of concluding full and just compensation, the Congress of the United States would consider a request for proper compensation; and

WHEREAS, the Government of the Marshall Islands submitted such a petition on September 11, 2000; and

WHEREAS, just compensation and continued funding for promised medical and health programs for survivors of the atomic tests depend upon Congress' favorable consideration of this petition; and

WHEREAS, over the past 15 years Hawaii has provided medical, educational, and other supportive services to lawful nonimmigrants from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, without reimbursement from the United States; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the House of Representatives concurring, that the United States Congress is respectfully requested to take appropriate measures to provide for the compensation of awards including property damage claims, to the fullest extent, as determined by the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, and to provide for the costs of cleaning up nuclear sites in the Marshall Islands; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature expresses deep regret for the nuclear testing legacy which the people of the Marshall Islands have inherited, and hereby requests the Governor to declare March 1 as a Day of Remembrance for the survivors of the United States nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, President of the United States Senate, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Governor of Hawaii, Speaker of the Marshall Islands Nitijela, and Mayor of Bikini Atoll.

Report Title:

Requesting the U.S. Congress to provide full compensation of awards to the victims of U.S. nuclear tests in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.