Resettlement Support Activities
One of the key directives of the Marshall Islands Program is to provide measurement data and radiological assessments in support of island resettlement. Local atoll government contractors are normally responsible for implementing the cleanup programs while Livermore scientists provide on-going technical assistance and conduct radiological surveys to verify the effects of cleanup. Key recommendations adopted under the Rongelap Island Resettlement Program were to (1) reduce external gamma exposure rates in and around housing and village areas by replacing contaminated surface soil with clean crushed coral fill; and (2) add potassium fertilizer to agricultural areas to reduce the uptake of cesium-137 in locally grown foods. Extensive use is made of in-situ gamma spectrometers (shown in the photo above) to determine external gamma exposure rates in village and housing areas where people spend most of their time. The effects of adding potassium fertilizer depend on the initial conditions and must be confirmed by re-sampling and analysis of locally grown foods.