Maralinga, in the language of the indigenous land of thunder, is an area in the west of the Australian state of South Australia in the Nullarbor Desert. Even the resident tribe of Aborigines, who belongs to the Pitjantjatjara, describes itself as Maralinga.
Nuclear weapons tests
The area, which is part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, because it was made in the 1950s, the British military for nuclear weapons tests available was known. First, in 1953, two experiments were carried out in the more northerly Emu, then they decided to move into the more accessible Maralinga area. A military base was set up under the name Maralinga Village, which served up to 2,000 soldiers and military personnel as accommodation. In the Maralinga Forward Area were conducted seven major nuclear tests and hundreds of smaller tests 1955-1963. A total of 22 kg of radioactive plutonium were released into the test site explosions. Even in the 60s, the test facilities have been removed and concreted. The contaminated soil was dug up.
As the Maralinga and Yalata Aboriginal people was handed over a 80,000 km ² area in the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands Right Act in the 1980s, it was the 3126 km ² large land to Maralinga Village and Forward Area except contained therein. Also known as the Section 400 site remained in the possession of the Australian State. It is true that this area according to the country Rights Act should fall to the natives again, however, showed themselves in the 80's significant long-term effects of exposure to ionizing radiation in both Aboriginal and military personnel who had been employed there. 1985, the McClelland Royal Commission dealt with the effects of British nuclear weapons tests. An investigation of the site was still far too much contamination, so you went mid-1990 once more to the cleansing of the area. This time, the contaminated soil layers have been completely eroded and submerged and covered in deep trenches. The work continued until April 2000 and cost 108 million Australian dollars.
Since then negotiate a return of the territory to the descendants of the former inhabitants. Maralinga Village is intended to be once converted into a tourist accommodation. Since the cleansing, it is uninhabited - except for a couple who oversees the facility.
Was millions of years ago, about 35 kilometers from Maralinga, the Maralinga meteorite down, which was found in 1974, but not recognized until 1989 as a meteorite.