Government of the Federated States of Micronesia



Statement Opposing The Nuclear Shipment Of Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) From Japan To Britain

Palikir, Pohnpei, June 4, 2002 - We have learned that a shipment of rejected Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) is scheduled for reshipment back to England aboard a British flagged nuclear cargo vessel. It is expected that the nuclear cargo vessel will pass through the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Exclusive Economic Zone around the 12th of July 2002. The movement of such toxic materials through the waters of the FSM will clearly pose a great risk to the livelihood of the people and the marine ecosystem of the FSM.

Under International standards and regulations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Shipping Nations have the duty to engage in detailed and meaningful consultations in providing detailed international assessment of environmental risks and measures for emergency response, damage mitigation or liability in the event of an accident. The interest of en route States to be adequately consulted before any shipment is made is clearly disregarded.

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia wishes therefore to reiterate its continued strong opposition to the shipment of MOX fuel through the region, especially through its Exclusive Economic Zone, and calls on the nations involved in the plutonium shipping operation to heed the concerns of the Forum Leaders expressed in the 1996 Forum Communiqué and address the issue of liability and compensation expressed in the 2001 Forum Communiqué. It is apparent that the shipping nations continue to show disregard for these concerns and ignore their responsibility under international maritime law.

In that respect, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia urges the shipping nations involved to immediately re-consider their plan to transit through the region with the shipment of MOX fuel.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356