In the worst radiological disaster in US history, the Castle Bravo
nuclear accident on March 1, 1954, inflicted radioactive contamination on the inhabitants of nearby atolls.
DeBrum was 9, out fishing with his grandfather, on March 1, 1954, when the Castle Bravo
blast - all 15 megatons of it, the largest US nuclear test ever - was detonated on Bikini Atoll.
The United States detonated a dry-fuel hydrogen bomb, code named Castle Bravo
, at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands; the explosive yield of 15 megatons, much greater than expected, dropped radioactive fallout on occupied islands hundreds of miles away.
The 1953 Castle Bravo test, America's largest detonation, (2) had set the pattern.
(2) Castle Bravo nuclear test in 1953 in the Marshall Islands, 1000 times more powerful than Hiroshima: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5_9Gi7w19Y
At 15 megatons, 'Castle Bravo,' was unexpectedly the largest (1) of 67 tests of nuclear and thermonuclear devices conducted at the Bikini and Enewetak atolls in the northern Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958.
The people of Rongelap atoll in the northern Marshall Islands, about 130 kilometres east of the 'Castle Bravo' blast, were covered in a cloud of powdery ash laden with radioactive by-products carried by the wind.