Story by RNZ
The Marshall Islands government will survey a leaking nuclear-filled dome after growing international concern over the structure.
The country's Nuclear Commission said work is due to start by the end of the year studying the impact of the structure on Enewetak Atoll.
It comes after the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, called for an audit of the dome to determine if it was leaking.
Her UN counterpart, Antonio Guterres, has also raised concerns about the potential radioactive fallout.
Nuclear Commission chairperson Rhea Moss-Christian says the survey will take around three years.
"We just need to understand better what's happening, what the status is. We already know that there's the ground water beneath the dome is mixing with the lagoon water. All we know, based on DOE (US Department of Energy) studies is that the lagoon has more contamination than what is inside the dome."
Moss-Christian said an ongoing US program monitoring the presence of nuclear waste in groundwater continued to be held up by a lack of funding being released by the Department of Interior.
"We've been relying for years on the data provided by the US through the Department of Energy studies. And we haven't had a clear enough picture for many years."