Fear Of Radiation Prompts French Polynesia Mayor To Ban Gravel From Hao Atoll

Mangarevans don't want construction materials from site of former weapons testing base

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 28, 2016) – A cargo ship in French Polynesia has been banned from offloading gravel on Mangareva after a nuclear test veterans' group raised concern it may be irradiated.

The gravel was to be shipped from Hao atoll, which was the site of a military base while France tested nuclear weapons in the Pacific.

The veterans' group, Association 193, said the gravel, which was due to be used in road construction, was contaminated with plutonium.

However, the public works ministry said the gravel was not irradiated.

It said the gravel was made up of broken down concrete structures from Hao.

The mayor of Rikitea on Mangareva imposed the ban and told the public broadcaster he did so in order to keep the peace.

Radio New Zealand International
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