FRENCH ARMY TO HOLD CLOSING DOWN CEREMONY FOR PACIFIC NUCLEAR TEST SITE

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PAPEETE, French Polynesia (June 29, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---The French army will conduct a ceremony Saturday to mark the final shutdown of its controversial nuclear testing facility in French Polynesia, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

The ceremony will officially wind up the Centre d'Expérimentation du Pacifique (CEP) and will be conducted by Commodore Chéné, who is the CEP Commander.

Top military officials also will attend.

France ended its nuclear tests on French Polynesia's atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa in 1996. Since then, the CEP has been dismantled, marking the end of a thirty-year nuclear era in the French Pacific territory.

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