The U.S.’ largest [fusion] hydrogen bomb – Bravo – was 1,000 times the Hiroshima atomic [fission] bomb, and deposited a liberal sprinkling of these  and a potent potpourri of 300 other radionuclides over a wide swath of the Central Pacific and the inhabited atolls in the Marshalls archipelago in March 1954 during “Operation Castle.”
[E]ntrapped within the thermonuclear maelstrom from Bravo was the not-so-Lucky Dragon [Fukuryu Maru] Japanese fishing trawler with its crew of twenty-three fishing for tuna near Bikini… As the heavily exposed fishermen’s health quickly deteriorated after Bravo, the radio operator Aikichi Kuboyama died of a liver illness six months after his exposure; his is now a household name in Japan and is associated with the “Bikini bomb.”
Meanwhile, the Japanese fishing industry was rocked when Geiger counters registered “talking fish” [what the Japanese called the clicking sound of the contaminated fish being monitored] from the 800 pounds of tuna catch of the Lucky Dragon in Yaizu and in local fish markets…
In response to the plight and symbolism of the Lucky Dragon, Japanese women collected 34 million signatures on petitions advocating the immediate abolition of both atomic and hydrogen bombs in 1955. Pugwash, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning anti-nuclear organization was founded in 1955 by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in response to Bravo. The dangers of radioactive fallout from Bravo inspired Nevil Shute’s classic nuclear dystopia On the Beach, as well as Godzilla.
Two grandmothers, two priests and a nun were sentenced in federal court in Tacoma, WA Monday March 28, 2011, for confronting hundreds of US nuclear weapons stockpiled for use by the deadly Trident submarines.
- Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York,
- who was ordered to serve 2 months in federal prison and 4 months electronic home confinement;
- Fr. Bill Bischel, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington,
- ordered to serve 3 months in prison and 6 months electronic home confinement;
- Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland,
- ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison;
- Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington,
- ordered to serve 6 months in federal prison; and
- Fr. Steve Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California,
- ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison.
They were also ordered to pay $5300 each and serve an additional year in supervised probation. Bischel and Greenwald are active members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a community resisting Trident nuclear weapons since 1977.
A hard rain’s agonna fall