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Catch & Release


Researchers explore whether nuclear test effects linger

Expedition Underway in Amchitka, Alaska

On 28 June 2004, a diverse group of researchers from five major research universities left Adak, Alaska bound by ship for Amchitka, an island in the western Aleutian chain in Alaska.  Before leaving, the research team reported to the residents of Adak on the status of their Consortium’s two-part expedition this summer at Amchitka.

Amchitka is a few miles from the international dateline and is the site of three significant underground nuclear test shots more than 30 years ago. The research effort is seeking to clarify whether there is any current threat to human beings or the environment in the marine surroundings of the three nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. government at Amchitka. It also seeks to establish a baseline for any later scientific evaluations of the effects of the tests and provide information to inform any additional surveillance of the sea and marine life near Amchitka. Adak is the home of the community of Aleut residents closest to Amchitka and residents report subsistence fishing activities near Amchitka and its environs.

Results from this summer’s field work will require extended analysis and are not expected for about eight months.

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