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Nuclear shipments not welcome near New Zealand


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

5 July 2002

Nuclear shipments not welcome near New Zealand

Foreign Minister, Phil Goff says New Zealand has strongly reiterated to the nuclear shipping states its opposition to the shipment through the Pacific of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel from Japan to Britain.

Mr Goff said the message was delivered in response to advice that two British ships carrying MOX had left Japan for Britain.

“We have advised both Britain and Japan of our opposition to such shipments through the Pacific.

“As in the past we have sought and received assurance that this shipment will not enter New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, other than in a humanitarian emergency.

“These assurances have been honoured in the past. New Zealand has previously used and will again employ Orion surveillance flights to verify this.

“While acknowledging the safeguards which have been put in place, these do not eliminate risks posed by accident or by terrorist attacks.

“New Zealand has worked with its Pacific Forum partners and with other countries in international forums such as the International Atomic Energy Agency to impose the maximum controls over such shipments.

“We will continue to insist on the highest possible safety standards and proper advance notification and consultation with states in regions through which the shipments pass. New Zealand is also seeking for the transport states to accept full responsibility and liability for compensation for any accident which may occur should this adversely affect another state in any way.

“New Zealand will continue with these efforts and to insist that no shipment of nuclear fuel or waste should come within its 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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