PLUTONIUM SHIPS SIGHTED OFF COAST OF TASMANIA

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GREENPEACE PACIFIC Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS RELEASE March 1, 2001

Two ships carrying plutonium fuel from Europe to Japan were sighted 300 nautical miles southwest off Tasmania by a Greenpeace-chartered plane today.

And based on their current position, the ships are expected to pass through the Exclusive Economic Zone of New Caledonia on March 8th, a week from now.

The ships, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal, are carrying 230 kilograms (506 pounds) of mixed oxide (MOX) plutonium fuel despite the protests of the governments of Nauru and the Cook Islands, the Pacific Islands Forum and over 53 community and non- governmental groups from around the region.

Greenpeace has a yacht, "Tiama", in the Nuclear-Free Tasman Flotilla, which is currently in position between Lord Howe and Norfolk islands in the northwest Tasman Sea. The flotilla plans to form a symbolic chain across the 75 miles of international waters between the two islands.

For additional information, contact: Angenette Heffernan on ++679 922044 or Samantha Magick on ++612 92614666  

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