24 Feb 2006

Pacific campaigner condemns US and Britain for nuclear test

4:13 pm on 24 February 2006

A leading campaigner for Pacific nuclear test victims has condemned today's atomic test by the United States and Britain in the Nevada desert.

The US National Nuclear Security Administration says the underground test, a short time ago was to gather information to maintain the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

The test was described as a subcritical experiment, meaning that no critical mass was formed, and no sustained nuclear chain reaction could happen.

The campaigner for further compensation for test victims on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Jack Niedenthal, says the money could have been better spent.

"It's still amazing that they have all these affected people in the communities out there that haven't been taken care of, yet they still feel that it's ok to go ahead and plough into yet another nuclear test without taking care of their obligations in the Pacific."

The United States carried out 66 tests in the Marshall Islands, and the US and Britain carried out 30 tests on Kiritimati Island in Kiribati.