Neisen Laukon will join Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s (NAPF) Rick Wayman during a WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) webinar scheduled for August 6th. Laukon, a Rongelapese woman who resides in Springdale, Arkansas, will give a first-hand account of the impact of nuclear testing. Laukon also spoke during Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014: Reflect. Honor. Educate. hosted by MEI on Feb. 28th.
The title of the Webinar is: “The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits: Why the Tiny Marshall Islands Took On the Nuclear Nine”
Laukon lived on Rongelap as a child when the United States used the Marshall Islands as their Proving Grounds to test atomic and nuclear weapons. The largest detonation, Castle Bravo, which was tested on March 1, 1954, was a 15 megaton blast–the largest weapon ever detonated by the United States–that sent irradiated coral dust throughout the Marshall Islands. Though nearly every atoll was directly affected by Bravo (and by other tests such as Castle Yankee and Castle Union, among others), the inhabited atoll of Rongelap bore the brunt of the worst fallout.
After having already suffered radiation burns and illness, the Rongelapese were removed from their atoll by the U.S. military. They received healthcare, but also became the unknowing subjects of Project 4.1, a secret study to measure the effects of radiation on humans. Laukon was part of the control group. She was also one of the Rongelapese who were returned to their atoll in 1957 by the U.S. military. Laukon describes life on Rongelap where the residents suffered constant illnesses.
Wayman is the Program Director for NAPF, the organization that serves as the primary consultant to the RMI regarding the Nuclear Lawsuits. Information about the lawsuits may be found at the Nuclear Zero website.