Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Queen Elizabeth Highway
Antigua, W.I.

Telex: 2122 AK
Telephone: 809-462-1052
Fax: 809-462-2482

Press Release

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has condemned the planned shipment of high level nuclear waste (HLNW) between Europe and Japan scheduled for the second half of January, 1998. Although the exact route and date remain shrouded in secrecy, the shipment is expected to travel to Japan via the Caribbean Sea, the Panama Canal, and the Pacific Ocean.

The Government maintains its objection to such shipments through the Caribbean, and shares the view that this shipment threatens to establish the Caribbean sea as a route for future shipments. The Government calls for a review of the safety and security procedures used, and for full consultation with the transit states of the Caribbean region.

The continued movement of nuclear waste through the Caribbean threatens the very survival of Caribbean and the ecosystem. The region still has no contingency plan to deal with an accident involving this very hazardous waste and, as a result, an accident of this nature could have catastrophic effects on the economy, fish stocks, agriculture and local food supply of the entire region.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda calls on the governments of Japan, United Kingdom and France, to halt the shipment of this hazardous waste through the region and to find a more appropriate and safe means of disposal of this radioactive material.

January 20, 1998

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