Johnston Atoll

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Johnston Atoll,

atoll, 2.8 sq mi (7.25 sq km), central Pacific, c.700 nautical mi (1,300 km) SW of Honolulu, central Pacific, an uninc. territory of the United States. It consists of four islands and reefs. The largest island, Johnston Island, c.3,000 ft (910 m) long and c.600 ft (180 m) wide, has been significantly expanded with dredged fill. The atoll is the site of a wildlife refuge.

Johnston Atoll was discovered by Americans in 1796, or the British in 1807, and was claimed by both the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1858; it was not, however, included in the state of Hawaii. U.S. companies exploited the island for guano until the 1880s. A bird sanctuary since the 1920s, the strategic island was under U.S. Navy control from 1934 and Air Force control after 1948, now jointly with the Dept. of the Interior.

In the 1950s and 60s the United States conducted a series of nuclear tests there, causing some radioactive contamination of the atoll; the area was also a chemical and biological weapons storage and incineration site. Contaminated soil is now stored in a landfill. Since 2009 it has been part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National MonumentPacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument,
c.490,000 sq mi (1,260,000 sq km), central Pacific Ocean; est. 2009. The monument comprises the waters and reefs surrounding seven islands and atolls, and in most cases the island lands are managed as wildlife refuges as well.
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References in periodicals archive ?
To avoid transporting the aging munitions, the Army decided to destroy the chemical weapons at their individual stockpile locations in Anniston, Alabama; Edgewood, Maryland; Newport, Indiana; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Tooele, Utah; Umatilla, Oregon; Johnson Atoll in the Pacific Ocean; Pueblo, Colorado; and Blue Grass, Kentucky.
In exceeding 1,000 days with no accidents resulting in time away from work, PBCDF surpassed the previous safety record for demilitarization facilities set by the WDC pilot plant on Johnson Atoll in the South Pacific, thus building on the foundation of their success with lessons learned.
is completing operations at the chemical weapon demilitarization pilot plant on Johnson Atoll in the Pacific, and constructing similar plants in Pine Bluff and Umatilla, Ore.

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