K=1 Project Faculty Associate, Ivana Hughes, featured in an article about the Marshall Islands

May 23, 2018




Ivana Hughes, Faculty Associate of the K=1 Project, was interviewed this year by Aftenposten, the magazine of the largest printed newspaper in Norway.  The magazine was interested in the research that the K=1 Project is performing in the Marshall Islands and, in particular, data that the K=1 Project had published in the PNAS journal in 2016, which included background radiation measurements collected in several northern atolls during K=1 Project research expedition to the atolls in 2015. Dr. Hughes' contribution was featured in a beautiful article about the nuclear legacy in the Marshall Islands, recently published by Aftenposten. 

Aftenposten article is now published and can be dowloaded here (Article text is in Norwegian).

You can also download K=1 Project 2016 PNAS research article here.

Here it is the English translation of the section where Dr. Ivana Hughes was featured:

In the summer of 2015 an independent group of scientists and students from Columbia University in New York measured the external gamma radiation levels on six islands in the northern atolls. They wanted to find out if the levels of radiation exceeded 100 millirem per year, the limit agreed upon by the US and the Government of the Marshall Islands for when the islands could be resettled.
“On Bikini we measured 180 millirem per year, only from external gamma radiation. Anything else we add on with food and any other exposure will keep taking us away from that limit”, says one of the scientists, Ivana Nikolic-Hughes. “If Bikini is to be resettled anytime in the near future some kind of cleanup is going to be required”.
On Rongelap the external gamma radiation levels were below the agreed upon limit. But the scientists are right now analyzing new data collected last summer from food and soil. When those figures are added for Rongelap it is possible that Rongelap would also be over the limit of 100 milirem per year.

For reference, radiation data from fruit and soil collected by the K=1 Project in 2017 is now being analyzed and the results will be published in peer reviewed journals soon.