5 Jul 2002

Fiji groups call for action against plutonium ships

1:54 pm on 5 July 2002

Greenpeace and Fiji's Coalition for Human Rights are demanding that the Qarase government protest in the strongest possible terms, the passing of two ships carrying shipments of plutonium through its waters.

The two groups made the call as they protested outside the British High Commission and Japanese Embassy in Suva, this morning.

Greenpeace campaigner, Angie Heffernan, says the Fiji government should send strong diplomatic notes to Tokyo and London.

Ms Heffernan says the Pacific Pintail and the Pacific Teal are old and poorly designed ship and she says neither is double-hulled and one of them failed a safety inspection last year.

The ships left Japan last night and are expected to pass through Fiji waters on the 17th of this month, carrying 250 kilogrammes of higly dangerous plutonium, enough to make 50 nuclear bombs.

Concerns have also been raised about the risk of terrorists attacking the ships to seize the plutonium for use against civilian targets.