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Former nuke test site, military base celebrated in France

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Oct. 30, 2009) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced in Paris that Moruroa, where France conducted nuclear testing for thirty years, and Hao, where a French military forward base was located, will be "sites of remembrance and territorial pride", the AFP (Agence France-Presse) reports.

Sarkozy will preside an inter-ministerial committee for overseas territories next week in Paris.

Among the different measures to be announced, the atolls of Moruroa and Hao will be labelled [sites of remembrance and territorial pride].

The Tuamotu atoll of Moruroa was used as a nuclear testing site from 1966 to 1996.

And the Tuamotu atoll of Hao was used as a French military forward base during the nuclear testing period in French Polynesia.

France conducted 41 atmospheric nuclear tests in the remote atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa from 1966-1974 and 137 underground nuclear tests from 1975-1996.

The former testing sites are located 1,200 kilometers (720 miles) southeast of Papeete.

Different topics like the use of European funds and the high-speed undersea Tahiti-Hawaii cable should also be discussed during the inter-ministerial committee.

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