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Bikini(bēkē`nē), atoll, c.2 sq mi (5.2 sq km), W central Pacific, one of the Ralik Chain, Marshall IslandsMarshall Islands,
officially Republic of the Marshall Islands, independent nation (2005 est. pop. 59,000), in the central Pacific. The Marshalls extend over a 700-mi (1,130-km) area and comprise two major groups: the Ratak Chain in the east, and the Ralik Chain in the west, with
..... Click the link for more information. . It comprises 36 islets on a reef 25 mi (40 km) long. After its inhabitants were removed (1946) to Rongerik, Bikini was the scene of 23 U.S. atomic and hydrogen bomb tests (1946–58). The natives were transferred from Rongerik to Ujelang in 1947 and in 1949 were resettled on Kili. Bikini was declared safe for habitation in 1969. In 1974, 100 natives returned, but they were evacuated in 1978 when new data showed high levels of residual radioactivity. A cleanup began in 1988. By the late 1990s, Bikini had become a popular destination for scuba divers, though it remained uninhabited pending completion of the cleanup. Bikini was formerly called Escholtz Island.
a coral island, or atoll, in the Pacific Ocean, in the archipelago of the Marshall Islands (11°35’ N lat. and 165°25’ E long.). It has been under the guardianship of the USA since 1946. It has an area of about 5 sq km. In July 1946 the USA used Bikini for two atomic bomb tests; on July 1 a high-power bomb was dropped on 73 obsolete warships in the lagoon, and on July 25 an underwater atomic device was exploded in the same location. The atoll was destroyed on Mar. 1, 1954, during tests of the hydrogen bomb.