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Marshall Islands Nuclear Document Database:
About the database

This database is a collection of declassified documents developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) about the effects and consequences of nuclear testing in what is now the Republic of the Marshall Islands (and related topics).

For years it was public through the webpage of the DOE, but was taken down in August 2013. The DOE has given various, multiple reasons for taking it down; they center, in the end, around their lack of desire to maintain the resources, and to take responsibility for the (small) chance that historical privacy information may be contained in these documents which were on the web for over a decade.

This is the restored database, created through the efforts of Bill Graham, a longtime advocate for the Marshall Islanders and their adequate compensation for the environmental and human damage caused by American nuclear testing in the Pacific; representatives of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (notably Tony DeBrun), Dr. William Burr of the National Security Archive, Dr. Trudy Peterson, and Professor Alex Wellerstein of the Stevens Institute of Technology.

The data in this reconstructed database comes from many sources. Some documents were recovered from CD-ROMs kept in the Washington, DC embassy Republic of the Marshall Islands, whose files and metadata were recovered and converted through the efforts of Wellerstein. Some of the files — including the one file that appeared to contain any actual privacy information — were obtained through slower channels at the Department of Energy. It is notable that the single file that we identified any potentially private information in is still available on another website of the DOE.

As of this posting, there are still files that we believe were in the database that are not yet incorporated into this database; this will be rectified soon. The full PDF set will be uploaded to Archive.org so that it cannot be easily removed again. The metadata that indexes the database will also be made available. The database system (developed by Wellerstein) will be upgraded to add new features fairly soon as well.

We believe that the documents are an invaluable historical and cultural resource. They were paid for with US taxpayer dollars. The DOE should not be able to unilaterally remove documents on a whim. The documents are all, as far as we know, in the public domain. They are wholly declassified.

This website is not affiliated with the DOE in any way.


This database is a product of the US government, a copy of what used to be posted on the Department of Energy website. Its hosting here is not an official effort of the US government (or any other government, including that of the Republic of the Marshall Islands).

To the knowledge of its hosts, its contents are without copyright and without classification (either unclassified or declassified/sanitized).

The hosts of this database can give no guarantees as to its accuracy, either in the files themselves (the PDFs) or their metadata (the searchable database "index").

This database is hosted as a public service on an "as is" and "as available" basis. The hosts explicitly disclaim any warranties, express or implied, including without limitation, those pertaining to: merchantability, non-infringement, fitness for a particular purpose, availability, accuracy, timeliness, correctness, reliability, currency, or completeness of the service or any information or results obtained through the service, even if assisted by the hosts. The hosts specifically disclaims any responsibility for determining the compatibility of any hardware or software necessary for viewing this database.

If you are interested in processing the metadata or files in bulk, please get in contact with the hosts — we will endeavor to rapidly give you access to the data you want (please do not use a web spider).

Automated usage of the site that results in performance degradation of our web host may be blocked.

If you have questions or concerns about this database, please contact Alex Wellerstein.