Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
15 Thayer Street, London WIM 5LD
Tel: (0171) 486-7073 Fax: (0171) 486-9970
Internet web site: www.antigua-barbuda.com
His Excellency Ronald Michael Sanders CMG
High Commissioners call for end to nuclear contracts:
London, 30th January 1998. Commonwealth Caribbean High Commissioners at a meeting in London today called on the governments of the United Kingdom, France and Japan not to consider any new contracts for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel which are likely to lead to many more dangerous shipments of spent nuclear fuel, high level nuclear waste and weapons-usable plutonium through the Caribbean.
A shipment of vitrified nuclear waste may even now be approaching the Caribbean Sea on its way from France to Japan. Despite promises, the shippers have refused to reveal the route of the deadly material. Last week Caribbean governments expressed their great alarm that this shipment was being made despite repeated protests over the great danger which it poses to the fragile Caribbean environment and to the lives of Caribbean people.
Caribbean High Commissioners in London said that they are appealing on behalf of their people to the three governments not to consider any new contracts for reprocessing nuclear fuel because they have information that COGEMA and British Nuclear Fuels Limited, French and British companies respectively, have been seeking new contracts from Japanese utility companies.
The representatives of twelve Caribbean countries said, "Once these contracts are signed, shipments through the Caribbean are likely to continue and the safety of Caribbean people, the fragility of the coral ecosystems nd the economy of Caribbean countries will be threatened". They pointed out that the Caribbean also houses overseas territories of France, Britain and the United States whose people are equally at risk.
The High Commissioners also called on all persons concerned with the Caribbean, including the millions of tourists who enjoy holidays there, to write to their governments in support of an end to the shipment of this lethal material.
Note to Editors: Commonwealth Caribbean countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
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