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Moruroa nuclear site could collapse, MP warns UN

KH-7 satellite reconnaissance image of the Mururoa Atomic Test Site in French Polynesia, May 26, 1967. Source: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 184, via Wikimedia Commons

French Polynesian pro-independence politician, Moetai Brotherson, says it is only a matter of time before the French nuclear weapons test site at Moruroa collapses.

Mr Brotherson made the claim while addressing the UN decolonisation committee in New York which heard about France's refusal to engage in a UN-supervised process.

He had asked France to remove remaining radioactive substances from its former weapons test site at Moruroa, where tests were carried out between 1966 and 1996.

Mr Brotherson, who is also a member of the French National Assembly, said cracks suggested it was only a question of time before the atoll collapsed.

He had asked the French government to remove the remnants of nuclear material from the site for proper disposal.

But Mr Brotherson said he did not expect a positive answer from Paris.

"Explain to me then why the most important French investment in French Polynesia for the past ten years has been the Telsite project, totalling more than US$100 million just to monitor the cracks on Moruroa," he told the committee.

"This is 100 times more money than the total compensation granted to Polynesian victims so far."

Moruroa has remained a no-go zone despite the end of testing 23 years ago.

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