French Polyensia Anti-Nuclear Group Worries Gravel From Hao Atoll Is Contaminated

Association 193 protests transport of construction aggregate to Mangareva from former base of nuclear testing

Translated by Jennifer Vehia Wheeler

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (Polynésie 1ère, Oct. 24, 2016) – Information dropped this weekend by the Anti-Nuclear Association 193 in French Polynesia had the effect of a bomb.  Some crushed gravel from Hao atoll, set to arrive in Mangareva for use in road construction, is thought to be contaminated with nuclear material.  However, the Equipment Service Company refuses to acknowledge any contamination.

Hao atoll is the former home base of the French Experimentation Center of the Pacific, where aircraft were decontaminated after exposure to radioactive dust at the end of nuclear tests.  According to a study by the Institute of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety published December 10 2015 the presence of plutonium has been confirmed in the decontamination slab. The soils surrounding the slab were also contaminated with heavy metals. 

The Anti-Nuclear Association 193 says moving the gravel is a political maneuver detrimental to the health of the Mangarevan people. However, according to Bruno Gerard, deputy director of the technical management of the company, these aggregates are not polluted.   

The Nuku Hau departed Hao last night bound for Rikitea carrying 200 tons of aggregates to construct the 500 meter road.

The Association 193 has warned that they will block the ship from unloading upon its arrival on Saturday. 

If this happens, Bruno Gerard said the Nuku Hau will not unload the aggregate and the ship will return to Hao. 

Consequently, the Mangarevan inhabitants, will need to wait for the new road to be built.  It is time to find another solution.  

Polynésie 1ère
Original French version. Copyright © 2016 France Télévisions. All Rights Reserved.

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