Pacific Proving Grounds was a US government site in the Marshall Islands where nuclear testing was conducted between 1946 and 1962. During that time, 105 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests were performed, many of which were of extremely high yield.
Because of the sheer number of atmospheric tests performed at Pacific Proving Grounds during that time, many employees, scientists, and others were exposed to high levels of radiation. Studies show that residents and former workers at Pacific Proving Grounds have a higher risk of cancer, attributable to fallout-related radiation exposures. The cancers are the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation from weapons-test fallout deposited during the testing period (1948-1958) and exposure to residual radioactive sources during the subsequent 12 years (1959-1970).
Here, we have compiled publicly available information and documentation about the facilities covered by the Act to clarify how their activities relate to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
Pacific Proving Grounds
Also Known As: Eniwetok Atolls, Johnson Island, and Christmas Island, PPG
State: Marshall Islands
Location: Marshall Islands
Time Period: 1946-1962
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Facility Description: The United States conducted one hundred and two tests in its Pacific Proving Grounds between 1946 and 1962. The United States conducted 23 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll (1946 and 1954- 1958), 43 tests at Enewetak Atoll (1948 and 1951-1958), 12 tests at Johnston Island (1958 and 1962), and 24 tests at Christmas Island (1962).
* The Pacific Proving Grounds included Bikini Atoll, Enewetak Atoll, Johnston Island (nuclear weapons testing activities only), and Christmas Island (U. S. nuclear weapons testing activities only).
Pacific Proving Grounds is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site from 1946-1962 under the EEOICPA.
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
Department of Energy (DOE) employees or DOE contractor or subcontractor employees who worked at the Pacific Proving Grounds (PPG) from 1946 through 1962 for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters (excluding aggregate work day requirements) established for other classes of employees included in the SEC, and who were monitored or should have been monitored.
Location: Enewetak Atoll
Job Titles and/or Job Duties: All scientists and scientific couriers
Period of Employment: July 1, 1958 until August 31, 1958 (Operation Hardtack I)
As of 01/08/2023, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including med ical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Pacific Proving Grounds is $180,273,815. Click here for a current accounting of compensation paid to former PPG Workers under the EEOICPA.
Pacific Proving Grounds Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.
We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY.
One view of the PPG tests can be seen here:
Additionally, descriptions of the Operation Sandstone test presented by the Atomic Energy Commision (AEC) and produced by the United States Air Force can be seen below:
A U.S. Navy film describing the Project Crossroads test at PPG is also informative:
And, lastly, a film depicting the test bombings at PPG and their devastating aftermath, both above and below the water, even many years later, can be viewed here:
Petition 20 (1946 through 1962)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00020, Rev # 0
Report Submittal Date: 10-20-2005
Additional Information Regarding the PPG SEC Petition:
DTRA (Defense Threat Reduction Agency) Response to NIOSH Evaluation of SEC PPG Petition
Summary Site Profile for the Pacific Proving Ground