29 Oct 2003

Pacific Concerns Resource Centre renews calls for ban on nuclear waste shipments

11:34 am on 29 October 2003

A blanket of secrecy is covering the latest shipment of nuclear fuel heading from Australia to France.

Environmental group Greenpeace says the vessel- carrying highly enriched uranium -could be travelling through the south Pacific's nuclear-free zone.

The New Zealand Government says it has been notified of the shipment and that it will not pass through New Zealand waters.

But Foreign Minister Phil Goff says, the Government, in its role as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, is continuing to push for an agreement on liability with the transporting companies.

But Peter Emberson of the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre in Suva says it is time that all radioactive shipments were banned.

"O ur governments must simply put a stop to any future shipments of radioactive material because of the risk they present. Also it undermines thae nuclear-free status of the Pacific. The inceasing threat of terrorism and shipping accidents at sea only make it even more urgent that we stop any talk of liability or corporate accountability."