4 Oct 2018

Call for more research into effects of Pacific nuclear testing

8:14 am on 4 October 2018

An academic who was part of a Nobel Prize-winning campaign for a treaty against nuclear weapons says more research needs to be done into the effects of nuclear testing in the wider Pacific.

View of the advanced recording base PEA "Denise" on Moruroa atoll, where French forces have conducted nuclear weapon tests until 1996.

Remnants of the testing infrastructure on Moruroa atoll Photo: AFP

The director of the International Disarmament Institute at New York's Pace University, Matthew Bolton, said extensive research has been done into the long-term effects in places where nuclear testing was done - French Polynesia, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

Dr Bolton said monitoring at the time showed radiation was recorded in neighbouring countries, including Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands.

However, he said this stopped in the early 1970s, and little is known about what long-term effects, if any, have been recorded in those countries.

"What is startling besides the graph that shows that this was the case is actually the fact that many of the places that we followed up with, where this fallout happened, have not been doing detailed monitoring since then and the level of understanding about this is actually quite low."

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