Moruroa Atoll poses an environmental threat to the Pacific

09.02.2011: Pazifische Kirchenkonferenz in Sorge um nukleare Vergangenheit

Pressemitteilung der PCC ( vom 3. Februar 2011:

The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) is deeply concerned about the consequences of the envisaged collapse of the reef cliff of Moruroa atoll and calls on the French authorities in Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) to immediately assess the dangers the atoll poses to the people of Maohi Nui and the rest of the Pacific region.

PCC calls on the churches in the Pacific to pray for the lives of those affected by this latest threat to the region and to call for discernment and recognition of responsibility by the relevant authorities namely the French government.

In a document handed to the Ministry of Health of French Polynesia, Mr. Jurien de la Gravière, the delegate for “nuclear safety” of the Ministry of Defence highlighted the major risks a detachment of a “loupe", as he says, in the reef cliff of Moruroa atoll would cause, adding its collapse would probably provoke a “wave" of 10 to 20 meters high!

The Polynesian association of former test site veterans, Moruroa e Tatou, had alerted the authorities on the fragility of the geological structures of Moruroa atoll at a symposium to the National Assembly way back on 20 February 1999. Twelve years later, the delegate to the "nuclear safety” of the Ministry of Defence has obliged to the reality of the situation.

The Pacific Conference of Churches condemns nuclear tests of any kind and by any nuclear power in the Pacific region and calls on the French government in particular to acknowledge without any reservation, the potential nuclear radiation pollution of the Pacific Ocean as a direct consequence of the collapse of the Moruroa atoll.

“As we in the Pacific have to deal with the effects of climate change in our region, we are now faced with an even more dangerous pollution that will have a direct effect on our livelihoods, as experienced in other parts of the Northern Pacific region,” said Mr. Fe’iloakitau Kaho Tevi, General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches. Mr. Tevi adds: “because of the flow of the ocean currents in the South Pacific, the first countries to encounter this nuclear pollution would be the Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Australia and New Zealand”.

The Pacific Conference of Churches adds its voice to the call of the Moruroa e Tatou for the President of French Polynesia to convene an extraordinary session of the Assembly with the purpose of recommending the following to the French Government: 1. The resignation of the Delegate of nuclear safety and his team for lies and incompetence over the state of Moruroa and Fangataufa. 2. Immediately dispatch a team of independent geologists and radiologists to verify the condition of the Moruroa atoll. 3. The transfer, in dialogue with the Polynesian authorities, of monitoring missions of nuclear tests follow-up in Polynesia to the highest authorities of the State.

Moruroa was the centre of nuclear testing in the Pacific by the French government from 1966 to 1996 where more than 126 tests were conducted, mostly under the ocean.