23 Jun 2004

Nuclear waste shipping talks in Fiji ban media

4:00 pm on 23 June 2004

Talks are under way in Nadi, Fiji, to allow ships carrying nuclear waste to sail through Pacific waters.

Radio Legend says those involved are representatives from France, Britain and Japan and officials of the Forum Secretariat.

The radio says the talks are taking place behind closed doors with NGOs and the media told to stay out.

A Greenpeace representative, Shirley Coutts, who is outside the meeting, says leaders are discussing liability and compensation payments for shipments that go through the Pacific.

Ms Coutts says this is the fifth year such talks are taking place but no liability regime has been agreed on even though nuclear shipments are still passing through.

Ms Coutts says the nuclear superpowers are not willing to pay compensation and claim that nuclear shipments are one hundred percent accident-free.

Fiji is represented at the meeting by the Navy commander, Viliame Naupoto, without the involvement of the ministries of environment or foreign affairs.