25 Oct 2013

Tahiti Greens urge Paris to give information about Moruroa risks

5:41 pm on 25 October 2013

The Greens in French Polynesia are urging Paris to give information about the risks of Moruroa Atoll collapsing.

France is refusing access to the former nuclear weapons test site while saying the chance of a collapse is practically nil.

A spokesperson for the Greens in Tahiti, Olivier Champion, says many fear that a Fukushima-like disaster is possible.

He told Walter Zweifel he has little reason to trust the French military.

OLIVIER CHAMPION: There is a huge history of many lies from the army and the French government. The first lie was to say that the nuclear tests that were done in Moruroa and Fangataufa were really very, very clean. A lot of people know that it was totally untrue and completely false. And that's why we have a lot of problems here in French Polynesia, a population that is faced with disease and so on and cancers that are directly linked to the nuclear test. So since the beginning everything is based on lies.

WALTER ZWEIFEL: By raising your concerns again, what are you trying to achieve?

OLIVIER CHAMPION: The main thing we would like to achieve is, first, transparency, of course and another thing is a plan - what to do in case of? If the reef barrier of Moruroa and Fangataufa is collapsing, what is the plan? What can we do? How can we react, and so on? For the moment we know that there is nothing prepared and it is acting like blind people to say that nothing will happen. We have already listened to those kinds of speeches, for example, in Japan, where TEPCO was saying, really everything is under control. We are 100% sure of the situation, of what we are doing. Just a simple tsunami and we have seen what kind of catastrophe we have been faced with. We know that the tuna in the Pacific ocean comes in French Polynesian waters to reproduce. And it is not so far from Moruroa. Many countries in the South Pacific ocean have some agreement for fishing and so on. So if the tuna are not safe because they are polluted by nuclear materials what is the situation? What can it be after?

WALTER ZWEIFEL: According to the French government, radiation in Moruroa at the moment is very, very low. What do you know about the radiation levels that are hidden?

OLIVIER CHAMPION: Nothing. Nobody knows. There is a total lack of information. When we were at the Ministry of Environment we tried to have some discussion about the French government and authorities about this problem, and we have always been faced with a great silence and just the same sentence all the time - 'Everything is fine. Everything is under control'. And when you ask for independent authority to go there and to check and to make an analysis of the situation, it was always the same answer, which is 'No, you can't. It's private because it's dedicated to military authorities and nobody else can go'.