ADVISORY Honolulu Hawai‘i May 5, 2000


News Conference to Discuss Historic Award for Damage to Land from Nuclear Testing

News Conference by the People of Enewetak Monday, May 8, 2000 10:30 a.m. State Capitol Grounds (grassy area – meet at Queen Liliuokalani statue) Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Representatives of Enewetak Atoll will be available Monday, May 8, 2000 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the historic $341 million award from the Nuclear Claims Tribunal for damages from U.S. nuclear testing. Enewetak Atoll is located 2,500 miles southwest of Hawai‘i and is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

In 1947, the U.S. Government removed all the residents of Enewetak Atoll and relocated them to Ujelang, a small, resource-poor atoll, in order to test nuclear bombs at Enewetak from 1948 to 1958. The U.S. promised the Enewetak People that they would be taken care of and that they would have all the protections of the U.S. Constitution with regard to the use of their land by the U.S. Unfortunately, they were not cared for during their 33 years of exile and only now have been awarded the constitutional just compensation for their losses.

Forty-three nuclear bombs were exploded at Enewetak. One of the tests at Enewetak was 750 times greater than the bomb on Hiroshima. This test, known as the Mike test, was the first hydrogen bomb exploded by the U.S. and occurred on October 31, 1952. The Mike test vaporized several islands leaving a crater one mile across and 200 feet deep.

Over half of the land of Enewetak Atoll is still contaminated by radiation forcing the people to live only on the southern part of the atoll. Even this southern part was so damaged by the testing program that the Enewetak People can not live on their land without importing food.

The Nuclear Claims Tribunal (which was established pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands) awarded the Enewetak People compensation for damages they suffered as a result of the U.S. nuclear testing at Enewetak. The compensation includes awards for loss of use their land, for restoration (nuclear cleanup, soil rehabilitation, and revegetation), and for hardship (for suffering the Enewetak People endured while being exiled to Ujelang for 33 years). The Tribunal does not have the funds to pay the award. This requires that the Enewetak People seek the funding for the award from the U.S. Funding of the award will provide the funds necessary to rehabilitate the atoll, resettle the northern islands, and provide compensation to the Enewetak People.

You will be able to speak to representatives of the Enewetak People including Senator Ismael John, Mayor Neptali Peter, Councilmembers Samson Yoshitaro and Johnson Hernest, Mrs. Renny Robert, Mr. Teariki Mateariki and Davor Z. Pevec, Legal Counsel to the People of Enewetak.

Contact: Davor Z. Pevec TEL: 808-599-5655

For more information: Lynette Lo Tom TEL: (808) 524-6441 (office) or during news conference at (808) 252-3045 (pager)

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