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Plutonium Ships Ignore Pacific Opposition

Plutonium Ships Ignore Pacific Island Nation’s Opposition And Breach Exclusive Economic Zone

Federated States of Micronesia, 13 July, 2002: British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) plutonium ships’ breached the Federated States of Micronesia’s 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) at 9:50 this morning (FSM time) against that nations’ stated wishes, Greenpeace revealed today. The shipment of reject plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is in transit between Japan and the United Kingdom.

“Greenpeace today witnessed the Governments of Japan and UK arrogantly disregard the legitimate call by a Pacific sovereign nation to keep out of their Exclusive Economic Zone,” said Simon Boxer, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner.

“The irresponsibility and arrogance of sending this dangerous shipment through the Pacific by Japan and the UK must not go unpunished. Legal redress can and should be sought through the international courts by all en-route nations especially in the Pacific to prohibit this unjustifiable trade.”

Greenpeace predicts that over the next ten days the ships will breach other Pacific Island Nations EEZs despite their opposition.

These breaches are also occurring in contravention of the requirements of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1).

Greenpeace, using a small aircraft, found the ships at x co- ordinates sailing at x knots on a bearing of x degrees (2).

A flotilla of twelve yachts, which left on Sunday 7 July, are sailing into the Tasman Sea to protest against the shipment. The yachts from Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu, will gather next week in the northern Tasman Sea and wait for the two ships as they pass through the Tasman Sea.

For the Federated States of Micronesia statement: http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/gpnz1/campaigns/Nuclear/micr onesia.asp

(1) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea says, which stipulates the shipping nations have legal obligations to engage in meaningful consultation on matters such as emergency contingency plans and to conduct an environmental impact assessment and should include detailed routing and timing information to the emergency and marine safety authorities of each en route state.

(2) Two UK lightly armed nuclear freighters, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal carrying the cargo of faulty MOX, including 255 kgs of weapons-usable plutonium, left Japan on Thursday. The shipment of faulty MOX is being returned to the UK because its producers, the government-owned British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), falsified critical safety data on the fuel and the Japanese refused to use it.


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