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Moruroa: Clean-up before arrival of IAEA

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(July 12, 1996) The French army started the clean-up of the pacific atolls Moruroa and Fangataufa. The bulldozers of the French foreign legion fill the barges with concrete, diverse waste and even with data processing material.

(455.4505) WISE-Amsterdam - The barges deliver their content into the deep ocean. As parts of the buildings of these islands probably are contaminated, it violates the international law which forbids dumping of radioactive material into the ocean. French President Chirac promised during the series of tests to invite independent experts to measure the radiation level on the atolls. Is the cleanup ment to get rid of some of the contaminated material?

Meanwhile, the IAEA announced that, starting early July, international teams of scientists are collecting terrestrial and marine samples at Moruroa and Fangataufa. Teams will visit the atolls in relays, to collect samples including plankton, fish, seawater, lagoon sediment, coral, soil, coconuts and vegetation.

Separately, geological specialist will be examining the situation regarding possible future scenarios, inclusing very long-term, using modelling techniques taking as their starting point inter alia the geological characteristics of the atolls, experience gained at other nuclear test sites, and information provided by the French authorities regarding their own series of tests.

The estimated date of publication of the complete, final report is early 1998!


  • Silence (Fr.), July-August 1996
  • IAEA Press release, 25 June 1996

Contact: Stop Essais, Bonnecombe 12120 Cassagnes-Bégonnès, France.
Tel: +33-65 741340
Jacques Chirac, President de la Republique. Palais de l'Elysee, 55 rue de Faubourg-Saint-Honore, 75008 Paris, France.
Fax: +33-1-4742 2465