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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Moruroa Structure Reportedly For Military Personnel Safety
Platforms built in case of coral cliff collapse, French authorities say

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 3, 2013) – The French military has confirmed that platforms have been built on Moruroa atoll, should a coral cliff collapse trigger a huge wave and force the 35 military personnel deployed there to seek safety.

Addressing the media in Tahiti after touring the area, Commodore Anne Cullerre says, however, radiation from the former nuclear weapons test site poses no risks.

The atoll in French Polynesia was used until 1996 for more than 130 underground blasts and remains a closely monitored military exclusion zone.

The French High Commissioner Jean-Pierre Laflaquiere has dispelled concerns about a possible atoll collapse that could trigger a 20-meter high wave.

He says such an event would not be sudden and allow for Moruroa to be evacuated and the residents of nearby Tureia to be warned.

[PIR editor’s note: Earlier, criticism had been leveled at France for allegedly clandestine construction work conducted on Moruroa, but government authorities have denied any such building.]

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
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