FSMISDN (1) 9/13/99

(President Statement on the Clandestine Shipment from Europe to Japan)

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSMISDN INFORMATION SERVICE) -- The President of the Federated States of Micronesia Leo A. Falcam, today gives his statement on the clandestine shipments of Japan plutonium from Europe to Japan.

"We have recently learned from a delegation composed of representatives from the United Kingdom, France and Japan that the first ever commercial scale transport of mixed plutonium/uranium oxide (mox) fuel will take place aboard the nuclear freighters, the Pacific Teal and the Pacific Pintail, and that while they remain secretive about the shipping route, it is expected that these nuclear freighters will pass through the FSM Exclusive Economic Zone sometime between mid-September to October.  In noting the measures taken to insure the security and safety of the shipment, we remain concerned that no assurances have been made by these shipping nations on an emergency response, damage mitigation or liability in the event of an accident.

"The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia wishes therefore to reiterate its continued strong opposition to the shipment of plutonium fuel through the region, especially through its own waters, and calls on the nations involved in the plutonium-shipping operation to heed the concerns of Forum Leaders expressed in the 1998 forum communique.  It is quite apparent that the shipping nations continue to show blatant disregard for these concerns and to ignore their responsibility under international maritime law."


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