For thirty years, a 365 square mile area around the Farallon Islands served as the nation's primary nuclear waste dumping ground. From 1945 until 1970, when nuclear dumping at sea was prohibited, an estimated 47,500 barrels of radioactive debris from nuclear labs such as Lawrence Livermore as well as the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, were dumped in the area. Ships irradiated in the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb tests of the 1940's and '50's were sunk off the islands (including the aircraft carrier Independence), along with numerous undocumented materials. The extent of contamination in the area has not yet been fully investigated.
Farallon Island Nuclear Waste Dump